Ilie Ruby is the author of “The Salt God’s Daughter” and “The Language of Trees.” Her blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
One of the things that I find most compelling about Judaism is the idea of bashert. It fills me with joy when someone says our meeting was bashert, our friendship is meant to be, when a new connection seems predestined. From the time I was a child, raised slightly less traditionally than my Conservative grandparents, this paradoxical sense of destiny, elusive yet certain, made of equal parts fate and faith, resonated with me.
Perhaps it’s the ethereal aspect of bashert, the assertion that some things are meant to be while others are not meant to be, which skeptics undoubtedly dismiss as merely a lens through which to impose order on chaos. And yet, the promises of bashert are vast. Those who were lucky enough to find their bashert, well, it seemed somehow the divine favored them. They’d passed the test, were deemed worthy, and had been chosen.
No matter what else happened, they could claim this: They found theirs in this lifetime.
How many basherts did you deserve? And when would you run out of chances? What happened if you never found your bashert?