Dear Rabbi Bernath,
I know this question may sound crazy, but I feel like I have done everything possible to try to find a husband. Is there any Jewish voodoo magic I can do to bring him closer?
I hear your frustration. You feel like you’re doing everything right – you’re healthy, you’ve got skills and a job, you’re actively looking for him – but still, he’s not around. The same goes for men searching for wives.
There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you’re doing everything right in your own life, but some cruel twist of fate is preventing you from meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right.
As Jews, we don’t believe in fate. Fate is a passive future that you can do nothing about. Instead, we believe in destiny. Your job is to find your destiny and bring it closer. A spouse is part of that destiny.
We also don’t necessarily believe in voodoo magic (and if we did, we wouldn’t be allowed to use it), so I can’t help you there. What I can do is offer you some of the spiritual solutions – segulot – that our tradition has handed down to help people find their match.
These little tricks are not magical. They’re mostly tangents of various mitzvot that, we believe, make the “vessel” worthy of the blessing that it needs. But they’re tried and true, and I’ll make sure to throw in a good story as we go along.
Number one is the big one – the “nuclear cruise missile” of segulot. This advice was often dispensed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe and I’ve seen it work firsthand for many (former) singles. The greatest thing you can do to advance your destiny is to help a groom or bride – especially those who are in need.
Help, in this case, can mean money (tzedakah). Setting aside a certain amount of money for this charitable cause every single day is a good place to start, particularly in denominations of 18, like 18 cents (the thought and the repetition factor also count).
But it will be even better if you can help with your time, which is what many brides and grooms really need. Can you drive them around? Help them shop? Help them move, set up a new apartment, toivel the dishes, you name it.
If anybody you know gets engaged, instead of getting jealous, call them up and say, “When you need help with anything, please, call me first.” It’s an opportunity that is rare, but very effective.
A young man I know who was looking to get married a few years ago heard the above advice in my synagogue. Not long afterwards, a friend of his who was engaged needed a ride around Manhattan to find some sort of clothing accessory for the wedding – a silly detail, in fact. He would have said “no,” if not for this advice.
So he drove around Manhattan, searching for a store that simply did not exist, with a groom who was somewhat unappreciative. Could you imagine anything more frustrating?
But this young man did it all with a smile, as he was glad for the opportunity. And what do you know? Shortly after that, his future wife found out about him and, out of the blue, he met Mrs. Right.
The other segulot the rebbe would often suggest is to resolve to take on an additional mitzvah observance or new Torah study that one would not have otherwise, with the specific intention that it should help find a match. The fact that the urgency of the matter is pushing you to do something that is normally out of your reach has a profound spiritual effect.
That special person is out there for you. Don’t give up. You will find him.
Have a question for Rabbi Bernath? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.