A Puzzlement

By M’nucha Bialik, shidduch coach

Not long ago, I stumbled upon some hidden tales that had been discovered in an archaeological dig of ancient ruins in Israel.  After deciphering the writing, I brought them to a specialist to have them translated into modern English.  Similar to Aesop’s fables (but written in fairy tale style), these tales appear to be simple stories, but actually are deep, thought-provoking parables.  I’ll try to bring more of them to you whenever I can.  Enjoy!

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young maiden who loved doing puzzles.  One day, when she was doing a 2000 piece puzzle, she realized that something was seriously wrong.  She had finished most of the puzzle and had only a few pieces left, but she realized that something was just not right – the remaining pieces would not fit together.  Very upset, the maiden tried to figure out what to do next.  So she decided to ask the wise men for advice.

The wise men of Chelm told her to simply push the remaining pieces together and just make it work.  But that just ruined her puzzle, so that was obviously not the solution.  She then went to the wise men of Kalamazoo who told her that the problem was that people had messed up the puzzle. When the manufacturer wasn’t looking, these people randomly took pieces from different puzzles and mixed them all together. Now all the puzzles were completely messed up, and there is simply nothing to do. All that can be done is that from now and onwards, everyone should listen to the wise men of Kalamazoo as to how to do puzzles – but there is nothing right now to do about the puzzle that the maiden was in the midst of doing – that’s hopeless.

This didn’t make sense to the beautiful and wise young maiden either.  If there is a manufacturer who created the puzzle he must also be overseeing the process. Besides, it wasn’t possible that such massive mistakes were being made. Most of the puzzle pieces fit together – she could already see a picture appearing. Obviously, everything wasn’t a mess.

At this point, the princess realized that these “wise” men weren’t making any sense.  She was certain that the manufacturer knew what he was doing when he created the puzzle. She trusted that he hadn’t made any mistakes.  There were only two possibilities: either the pieces that remained really did fit together to finish her puzzle, and she just needed to persevere and continue, or somewhere along the way she had made a little mistake. All she had to do now is fix that mistake and then all would be good.

Well, that is exactly what happened.  After looking at the puzzle, the beautiful and wise young maiden found one small mistake, fixed that mistake, and then excitedly saw that she would be able to finish the entire 2000 piece puzzle after all. The young maiden (and her puzzle) then lived happily ever after.

The nimshal:  Good manufacturers don’t mess up.  G-d is a good manufacturer.  If you’re trying to find your bashert and nothing seems to be working,  it makes sense that either your bashert is one of the people still out there, so you have to persevere and keep looking for them in the way that you have until now. Or, being wise, as well as beautiful (or handsome, as the case may be), you realize that you have made a little mistake here or there or can improve the situation by doing something just a bit differently, and then everything will fit.  And you and your bashert will live happily ever after!

Amazingly enough, I’ve also discovered an ancient commentary for these ancient fables.  The commentary explains what underlied the success of the beautiful young maiden. Ultimately, she was successful in finishing her puzzle because she believed and knew with certainty that the manufacturer would not have made a mistake.  She knew and believed that the puzzle pieces fit.  Therefore, she had to keep on going or try something a little different to finish the puzzle.  If the beautiful young maiden would not have believed that the manufacturer knew what he was doing, she might have given up and never finished the puzzle.

So when things don’t go the way you want them to go, and you don’t find your bashert easily, you have to know deep, deep inside that your bashert is out there and the Manufacturer knows what He’s doing.  Either you need to persevere and continue to  examine the remaining “pieces” until you find your bashert. Or you have to consider that maybe there is a tiny change you need to make in the way you have been looking/dating and then you will find your missing piece at exactly the right time.