346. Come and behold, All the souls that are destined to come to the world appear before Him, as couples, WHICH MEANS THAT EACH SOUL IS DIVIDED INTO A MALE AND FEMALE. Afterward, as they arrive in this world, the Holy One, blessed be He, matches them together. Rabbi Yitzchak said, THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, says, 'the daughter of so-and-so to so-and-so.'
347. Rabbi Yosi asked, What is the meaning of this? THAT IS, OF THE STATEMENT THAT THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, ANNOUNCES WHO GOES WITH WHOM. HOW CAN THIS BE TRUE SINCE it is written, "and there is nothing new under the sun" (Kohelet 1:9), WHICH MEANS THAT EVERYTHING WAS SETTLED DURING THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. HOWEVER, ACCORDING TO WHAT YOU HAVE SAID, THE ACTION OF MATCHMAKING IS NEW EACH TIME, BECAUSE THE MATCHES MUST BE ANNOUNCED. Rabbi Yehuda said, it is written, "under the sun," yet "above THE SUN," NEW THINGS CAN TAKE PLACE. Rabbi Yosi asked, "Why does He have to make an announcement, since Rabbi Chizkiyah said that Rabbi Chiya said that "at exactly the time a man is born and emerges in the world, his spouse is assigned to him!"
348. Rabbi Aba responded, "Happy are the righteous, whose souls are adorned as they appear before the Holy King, before coming to this world TO ENTER THE BODY. Because we have learned that when the Holy One, blessed be He, sends the souls forth to the world, all of these spirits and souls include a male and a female joined together.
349. They are handed over to a governor, who is an emissary in charge of human conception and whose name is Lailah (Eng. 'night'). So when they descend to the world and are handed over to that governor, they are separated from each other. Sometimes one precedes the other in coming down and entering the body of a human being.
350. When their time to be married arrives, the Holy One, blessed be He, who knows THE MALES AND THE FEMALES OF these spirits and souls, joins them as they were BEFORE THEY CAME DOWN TO THE WORLD. And He announces, THE DAUGHTER OF SO-AND-SO TO SO-AND-SO. When they are joined together, they become one body and one soul - THEY ARE the right and left in proper unison. THE MALE IS THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BODY AND SOUL; THE FEMALE IS THEIR LEFT SIDE. And because of this, "there is nothing new under the sun," MEANING EVEN THOUGH THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, ANNOUNCES, 'THE DAUGHTER OF SO-AND-SO TO SO-AND-SO', THIS IS NOTHING NEW BUT RATHER A RETURN TO HOW THEY WERE BEFORE COMING DOWN TO THIS WORLD. AND SINCE ONLY THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, KNOWS THIS, HE THEREFORE ANNOUNCES REGARDING THEM.
351. You might say, "But we have learned that a man obtains a mate according to his deeds and ways of behavior!" It is assuredly so! If he is meritorious and his ways are correct, then he deserves his own SOUL MATESOUL MATE - to join her AS THEY WERE JOINED when they left THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, BEFORE BONDING A BODY.
352. Rabbi Chiya asked, "Where should he who performs good deeds look for his soul mate?" He answered, "We have already learned that a man should even sell all his property to marry the daughter of a sage, because the deposit of the Holy One, blessed be He, is handed over to a sage." THEREFORE, HE SHALL SURELY FIND HIS MATE WITH HIM.
353. We have also learned that according to the secret of the Braita, the mating of all souls, which are reincarnated BUT HAVE NO SOUL MATES can be performed before their time through mercy. THIS MEANS THAT HE MAY PRECEDE AND MARRY SOMEBODY ELSE'S SOUL MATE. THIS IS THE MEANING OF THE WARNING, "WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE MARRIED ON A FEAST DAY, BUT THEY CAN BE BETROTHED, BECAUSE ANOTHER MAN MAY PRECEDE HIM THROUGH MERCY." And what they said is right! The term "another man" is exact. This is the reason why "It is difficult for the Holy, blessed be He, to bring couples together." Above all, assuredly, "the ways of Hashem are right" (Hoshea 14:10), AND ALL THAT HE DOES IS GOOD AND RIGHT.
354. Rabbi Yehuda inquired of Rabbi Elazar, "I am aware of the secret of this subject. THEREFORE I ASK where do those souls that are reincarnated, BUT HAVE NO SOUL MATES, find their spouses? He responded, "It is written, 'How shall we do for wives for them that remain?' (Shoftim 21:7), and "you shall catch every man his wife..." (Ibid. 21). Although this passage deals specifically with the sons of Benjamin, IT ACTUALLY DEALS WITH THE REINCARNATED SOULS, WHO MAY PRECEDE THEIR FRIENDS AND TAKE THEIR SOUL MATES AWAY FROM THEM THROUGH MERCY. Therefore, as we have learned, "Lest another precede him with Mercy."
355. Rabbi Yehuda said that this is definitely the meaning of "It is difficult for the Holy One, blessed be He, to bring couples together," BECAUSE HE IS OBLIGED TO TAKE FROM ONE AND GIVE TO THE OTHER. Happy is the portion of Yisrael, because the Torah teaches them the ways of conduct of the Holy One, blessed be He, as well as all His secrets and mysteries hidden before Him.