How I Met My Soul Mate

Upon a mountaintop which kisses the clouds, there is a magical, enchanted town called Tzfat.  This town of Tzfat has mystified sages for eons.  Everyone who experiences this town “feels something” in the air. It is a town of artists, healers, prophets, mystics, shamans, sages, scholars, musicians, wine makers, wine drinkers, activists, professors, therapists, and dancers.   Once the Light of the Divine possesses one’s soul, that Light guides them to the Holy City of Tzfat.

It is in this miraculous town where the Universe plots its mystical marvels.

One day a woman steps off the bus into this town not knowing anyone. She wants to be in solitude to write her reflections after spending one week meditating at Auschwitz.  She holds in her hand a simple address of her new home; a home a friend of a friend suggested on Facebook.  She has followed far more dubious leads in her travels.  The day she arrives is a fast day. She is a little light-headed from fasting all day and from the four-hour journey from Jerusalem. Left, right, up, down, twisty, windy, cobblestoned streets…. It is easy to get lost in this town. Little does she know that in the next five months, she will lose her self, entirely.

Down the block and around the corner from the stairwell leading to her new home is another home. A home where a man sits in meditation, reading the poetic verses of the Zohar.  On this man’s refrigerator hangs a picture of a vision board he created. At the center of the vision board are stick figures of a wife and two kids, a family.  This man has lived in the magical city of Tzfat for three years. He knows every citizen in this 20,000-person town, intimately.  He and his friends, the holy people of Tzfat, spend Shabbats together, dance, sing, pray, meditate, and learn. He has found his home. Now, he wishes to fill his home with the stick figures from his drawing.

As the woman opens the door to her new home, she is greeted by her roommate. Within minutes, this woman has the name and phone number of almost every person in Tzfat. “This person teaches yoga. This person teaches Tai Chi. This person is a glassblower.  That person is a kabbalah scholar.”  On and on.  The woman was not expecting to meet anyone during her two-week stay, let alone the entire town.  Her only question to her new roommate… “Where is the grocery store?”

“Which one?” The kosher one? The bakery? The co-op? The organic one? So many choices for such a small town.  “The closest one.”

“Up the stairs. Down the stairs. Across the street. To the right. By the Bank Hapoalim. There is a stairwell going down. At the bottom of the stairs, make a right. Ask someone if you get lost.”  As the woman walks around town, everyone notices the new punim (face in Yiddish).  In Tzfat, no one misses a new visitor.  People greet her with “shaloms” and invite her to their homes for Shabbat.  “Oh, you must meet the Friedmans.”  “Have you met the Friedmans yet?” “There is a family, the Friedmans, you should meet them.” “You would really love the Friedmans.”

That evening, two very important things happen… on Facebook.  One friend from California insists that she meet “the Friedmans” and the friend of a friend, who suggested the home in Tzfat, emails her asking if she is “seeing anyone.”

This is the backstory.

One day, Elina is walking towards the co-op grocery store, and she takes a wrong turn. In most linear towns, when one takes a wrong turn, one could retrace one’s steps back and find “home” again, but in the spiraling stairwell town of Tzfat, this is an impossible task. One must surrender to the wrong turn for the wrong turn oftentimes ends up being the right one. And so, she surrenders.  Trying to calculate which stairwell could lead her anywhere familiar is a complicated endeavor. She decides to follow the stray cats. Surely, they know where she is headed.  And in this way, she comes across a beautiful pottery shop.  The door to the shop is partly open, but it appears no one is inside. She walks in to admire the sculpted bowls, cups and mezuzahs.  A woman appears from the ether. She asks Elina a few questions “What are you doing in Tzfat? Where are you from?” They make small talk and as Elina is about to leave her store, the potter’s wife says….

“If you walk up the stairs and take your first left, the first alley, not the second one, walk half way down the alley, there will be a gallery there, Friedman Kabbalah Art. You should go there.”  By this point, Elina’s curiosity takes over and leads her to these infamous “Friedmans.”  She follows the potter’s wife’s directions and finds the Friedman’s door. She knocks. They open.  “Who are you? And why is everyone sending me here?”  Synchronistically, she arrives just in time for a lecture by David Friedman about the significance of the Hebrew letters: their numerological meanings, their healing sounds, and their cryptic shapes. She is spellbound.  Then, she meets David’s gracious and beautiful wife, Miriam. Miriam is a yoga teacher and invites Elina to her morning yoga class the following day.  Elina has not done yoga for a year, since traveling in India, and she thinks this yoga class is exactly what she needs.

That night at home, Elina responds to the friend of a friend, Zev Padaway, saying that she is not seeing anyone.  He responds back quicker than she could hit the “enter” key. “I have someone for you!”  She could feel his enthusiasm. It is as if all the icons on her Facebook page are doing the “Mazal Tov, L’Chaim, Havah Nagilla, Happy dance!”  She is a little reluctant. After all, Zev hardly knows her, but when in Tzfat…. “His name is Mordechai.”

That same night, about a five-minute walk away from Elina’s home, Mordechai has a dream.  He is driving in a jeep with Zev Padaway through the snow-filled mountains of Denver.  They are on a mission to buy organic apple juice for Reuven Goldfarb, another friend from Tzfat.  When Mordechai wakes up in the morning, he receives a message from Zev. “Are you seeing someone?”  Mordechai smiles because he knows exactly what that means.

The next morning after a soul-enriching yoga class, Miriam invites Elina for a green smoothie drink.  After two sips of green smoothie, Miriam asks her if she is “seeing someone.”  Seems to be a popular question in this town.  Elina says no and Miriam tells her that she has a friend who she thinks would be a good match for Elina.  How do these Tzfatonians determine so quickly who would be right for someone they don’t even know?  When in Tzfat….

Elina reluctantly gives Miriam her email address to pass along to Miriam’s friend.  Miriam intuits that Elina is a little hesitant and consoles her: “No pressure. Meet him and see if you like him. If not, he can be your tour guide in Tzfat. He knows the town very well. You have nothing to lose. His name is Mordechai.”  Elina agrees.

That afternoon, Miriam sends an URGENT email to Mordechai.  “I met this amazing woman. You MUST meet her. Here is her email address. Email her IMMEDIATELY.”  Mordechai is having a great week! “I have two dates this week! Woo hoo!!!”

Elina begins to wonder whether Mordechai is a popular name in Tzfat or if Zev and Miriam are pointing to the same person….

By the time Elina finds her way home, it is early evening. Her roommate, Lorelai, greets her with a glass of wine and an astrology reading. “Let me look up your astrology chart!” “Ok.”  “When is your birthday? Where were you born?”  Silence. Evaluation. Revelation.  “The only other person I have ever met who has a chart like this one, with five planets in Gemini, is this guy, Mordechai. You should meet him.”  Now, Elina doesn’t know what to believe. Either this man Mordechai is the last single man in Tzfat and there is a conspiracy by the entire town to find him a shidduch (match) or this is all divinely orchestrated.  She opts to believe the latter; although, the former continues to haunt her.

That evening Mordechai emails Elina. They set up a date to meet the following day at the Art Café, a beautiful café overlooking the valley.  He has not yet heard from Zev about his second date of the week.

The next morning, Mordechai realizes he has to buy a gift for someone and walks to the store. On his way, he hears someone calling to him from across the street: “Mordechai! Mordechai! I met this woman…. Come here….”  He crosses the street.  “Shalom Lorelai.” “She has five planets in Gemini, just like you.  She is from California. She is… She is… She is….”  “Yes,” Mordechai responds.  “I think I have a date with her in an hour.” In that moment, Mordechai realizes that all of his “dates” are pointing to one woman.

Once a very wise friend told Elina that magical occurrences happen in threes.

1. Zev.
2. Miriam.
3. Lorelai.

When you hear the same message three times, the Universe is trying to deliver a powerful message to you.  And in this instance, it was the angel of LOVE trying to bring two soul mates together. 

And for extra measure and to solidify the merging of these two souls, one other person played a vital role in our coming together.  Shifra, a prophetess and astrologer.  Zev insisted that Elina ask Shifra to read her astrological chart.  Elina did not have a phone in Tzfat, so on their second date, she asked Mordechai if she could borrow his phone to make an appointment with Shifra.  “Oh, yes, I know Shifra!” He dialed her phone number.  Mordechai and Shifra spoke for a few moments before he handed the phone to Elina. The first question Shifra asked Elina was “what is your relationship to Mordechai?”  No, hello. No, small talk. Straight to the point.

“Well, we were set up by a few people from Tzfat and we are just getting to know each other.”

“Ok. Are you free on Thursday?”

“Yep.”

Elina arrives at Shifra’s home on Thursday for a reading. Shifra has Elina’s chart printed and Mordechai’s chart memorized.

She starts off the session. “I just want to tell you that Mordechai is a really good match for you.”

Mordechai? How did he appear in Elina’s reading?

Shifra begins reading Elina’s chart, house by house, and every now and then, overlays Mordechai’s chart onto hers with the message: “and this is why Mordechai is a good match for you.”

If Elina did not understand her subliminal messages before, Shifra ends the astrology reading saying, “my conscience will not rest if I do not tell you blatantly that Mordechai is a great match for you.”

A year earlier, Shifra read Mordechai’s chart. She described to him the kind of woman that would be most suitable for him.

“When she shows up to get a reading from you, Shifra, please let me know.”

“Here she is!” Shifra rejoiced….

So here we are.

The beginning.

Written on November 1, 2013.