Besheret- The Concept of Meeting the Perfect Mate

In Judaism there is the concept of Besheret, or if you prefer basheret. Since this blog is read by Jews and Non-Jews alike I am going to minimize the religious component somewhat. At the ripe old age of 35 I can no longer remember a time in which I was unaware of this concept, the concept of basheret, or "meant to be."

The way most of us typically use this is to mean that we all have a soulmate, the one other soul out there that was created so that we would have the perfect companion. It is the one person who understands you on all levels, mental/emotional/physical. He/she is the person that calms your raging seas, that banishes the storms and brings you the peace of mind that no one else can. It is an incredible happiness.

It is something that I have wrestled with for a long time. I have three little sisters. I think that this has given me certain advantages over many men. Just by having sisters I was exposed to girl things that other men have not been and I was adopted as a big brother by a number of their friends. And in truth I have always enjoyed that role. It feels natural to me and I am good at it.

Through the years I have also developed a large number of female friends. All told I have been exposed to so much estrogen I occasionally develop an irrational desire to go shoe shopping.

The real result of this is that I have been called upon by many of these women to try and explain men. I have been there for numerous tear filled discussions about what it takes to find the one to find their besheret.

And it is something that I wanted so badly for myself as well. To think that there would be that one person who could bring me the things that no one else could was exciting, and even somewhat intoxicating. I did a lot of dating and spent a lot of time thinking and talking about this. It was a dream that I pursued relentlessly as many people do and have done.

Most of my friends were married during their 20s and a number of them divorced during their 20s as well. Couples that I remember thinking must be besheret fell apart. Some crumbled due to immaturity, others grew up to want different things. A couple of people lost their spouses to cancer or some other premature death. It is fair call death in your 20s or 30s premature is it not.

So as I watched and learned and considered everything I decided that there must be at least 100 people in the world that I could be in love with. I envisioned it as being concentric circles. If you drop a stone into a river there are ripples, circles within circles.

It seemed to me that of this 100, this mythical 100 women I could love, who could love me as well, I couldn't love them all equally. Some of them would be deeper and more fulfilling loves than the others. If you met me at this point you would have found that I was difficult to pin down, I wouldn't commit to you although it seemed like I would in the future.

It wasn't a fear of commitment, but a fear of missing out on experiences. If there was a better, a deeper love I wanted to share that, I wanted to experience that. But as the women had free will, they were not all gung ho to wait around and see if I would decide that they could be the person who did it for me. In some respects I was able to say that this was a sign of besheret, they left so clearly they could not be the perfect mate.

But I also came to realize that if you spent all your time chasing the rainbow you might miss out on what lay before you, the hidden treasure that was never really hidden, you were just not prepared to see it.

So if you ask me today what I think of besheret and whether I believe in it, I have to say yes. But I still have to qualify it. There are people who can take you places that you never imagined existed, there are people who can plumb the depths of your soul and make you feel naked and exposed, but safe. They do exist, even if you do not always recognize them for who and what they are.

I don't have any real advice other than to be open and to believe. And to let it come when it will as it will come.
if you want it and are willing to accept it, Peace of mind is available


Anonymous said...

and maybe the besheret is the one who you decide IS the experience you want to explore more than the others... knowing that traveling deep into someone's soul and life and mind will present a vast array of experiences that could be the "ultimate" experience... unavailable on the surface .... versus scanning far and wide and making surface decisions, expecting to find the ultimate without investing enough depth to know it exists....

sometimes treasure must be unburied... we might have to do some digging to determine if we have found the right spot...

or maybe intuition is enough. and we can trust that whatever is stopping us from digging there has a reason.


Anonymous said...

I do not think one can make someone their besheret.

There has to be magical connection,
an unspoken wireless comunication.

At the same time your besheret
is the one who can hurt you the most.
Just as they are the one who loves you the most.
So one has to be brave to go after her/him

My question is can there be more then one?

Unknown said...

I don't know if there is more than one, but after three marriages that didn't last, only one actually besheret, i certainly hope so. I am still looking for that one besheret, but i'd rather be alone than be with the wrong one.

Unknown said...

Loved your words, they seem so pure and true, to a point... but then it is God's will for us to have one mate not three... or a hundred? The biggest thing is to begin, to tie the knot in a covenant between you, your wife, and God as the pinnacle will challenge you; this challenge will grow your male soul.

Jack Steiner said...

but then it is God's will for us to have one mate not three... or a hundred?

How do you know.

Avigdor said...

I think you've missed the point of what a besheret is. It is literally your soul (pause) mate. You are one soul, separated in your descent through seder hishtalshelus (the order of creation), and enclothed in two distinct vessels (the human body).

Whether or not you "feel" something magical with someone has absolutely NO relation to whether they are your besheret. Your soul mate is not there to make you feel good, to cater to your desires or to comfort your insecurities. This is describing movie love, not spiritual truth.

Your besheret is not someone created to make you feel good. They are not a piece of equipment for you to use to pleasure yourself. It could be someone who makes you feel terrible. It is romantic to think otherwise, but this is not reality.

There is absolutely no way for you to know who your besheret is. Matchmaking - the process by which two people who possess halves of the same soul are brought together in the same place at the same time - is a process directed by G-d, and only G-d.

It is not something you can speed along by dating as many women as possible, or by holding out for "the one". If that was your plan, stop it.

There is a possibility, a terrible possibility. We can say that in the World of Souls, before they descend into physical bodies, the two halves of a soul (masculine and feminine) that will become man and woman embrace each other. They cry and promise to never forget each other, and to meet up and reunite in the physical world.

But the physical world is a dirty place. Whereas one person can be born into purity, another person may be born into depravity. As one soul progresses through life, pure, waiting for its opposite half, the other begins accumulating layers of dullness, coarseness, that mask its true form.

Finally, when the two people meet, one soul covered with scabs and layers will say to the other, "hey! we finally found each other! finally we can be together!" And the pure soul will not recognize its opposite half, "who are you? i don't know anyone who looks like you. get away from me."

To meet your besheret is something you can pray for, it is something you can prepare for by purifying yourself of shmutz your soul has collected over time (like dating 100 women), but it not something you control.

The unity of a man and a woman has highly complex spiritual components, and expresses esoteric metaphors of enormous importance for the creation and existence of the world - the unity of spirituality and physicality, of G-d and creation.

It is not a pseudo-hip-intellectual quirky concept that is fun to talk about at dinner parties. To meet, recognize and reunite with your soul mate is a serious matter.

Jack Steiner said...


I didn't miss the point, unless you are talking about your comment because you lost me. Boil it down, what are you trying to say.

Ursabear said...

By chasing 100 !??!! women, you are just running after bad diseases and loads of cynicism.

Go see a yenta and accept that your true soul mate is someone who will tell you stuff you mostly don't want to hear, coz that's how your soul will grow.

Oh, and she'll probably tell you how to drive too, and you should listen to her.

D. Cohen said...

"All told I have been exposed to so much estrogen I occasionally develop an irrational desire to go shoe shopping."

I see all that exposure to women did not impair your willingness to use stereotypes for a cheap laugh. But then, ignorance in superstition do tend to go hand in hand. And make no mistake, the notion of the besheret is a silly superstition: there is no such thing.

Couples form among people, sometimes they work out and sometimes the don't. Relationships are complex and there is no way to "fool proof" them. However, one thing is clear, pairing that work tend to do so because the adults involved work. This isn't the result of divine providence, it is human effort.

Unknown said...

Hi, i have recently written a play called "Basheret" and while researching something nice to put in the opening, I came across this blog. I'd like to use parts of what you said, so I'd obviously like to use your name in the quote. You can comment back here to give your ok or not. Thanks!

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