- Family and Society
I have a debate with a friend. I learned that you can have more than one basheret but only one zivug. I think there is a machloches over whether the the zivug rishon and zivug sheini are actually two people or the same zivug at different stages. My friend says there is only one basheret but multiple zivugim. What’s the answer?
There are many various commentaries, both ideological and kabbalistic, on the different sources on the topic. Accordingly, it's complex and we don't know all of the factors involved "behind the scenes". As always, it's best to choose a spouse based upon the "nigleh", what's revealed, "known" and logical, and not what's hidden, and "may" possibly be one of the possible commentaries on certain passages in the Talmud and Midrash. If a person is a mentch, idealistic, observant and there's basic compatibility, "chemistry" and attraction between the two, that's what's important. We can't know before or after a marriage if it was "my bashert" or not, because our free will and actions are really what decides whether it will succeed or not, our patience, love, giving, altruism, understanding, etc. That's what free will is about, to destine one's fate. Like parents, our Father in Heaven wants to help us, but an essential part of that loving help is to give us free-will, granting us the pleasure of being independent. Even when something is “meant to be”, and God introduces us to our “bashert”, ideal soul-mate, man has free will and can “mess it up”, or conversely, to “fix it up”, by continuing the search, where together with prayer and constant initiative (e.g. going to “match-makers”, asking married friends to set you up with their husbands’ compatible friends, etc.), BH it should hopefully work out! Even when our rabbis teach us that 40 days before a child is born his/her ideal soulmate is announced, nevertheless, we usually only reveal who it is after investing a lot of time, effort, sweat, and tears into building that relationship!