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Soon By You

Soon By You

Although they mean well, these three words are like a knife digging deeper into my heart.


L’Chaa Dodi Likrat Kallah, Penai Shabbat Nekabala.
Come my Beloved to greet the bride, The Sabbath presence, let us welcome.”

I scan the room searching for a familiar face in the crowd. The sea of women are swaying rhythmically to the rise and fall of voices singing songs to welcome the Sabbath.

I slowly make my way to the front of the shul to an empty seat next to my cousin. In a few days she will be a bride. Achoti, my sister, as we fondly call each other.

I close my eyes and soak it in.

Bo’ee Kallah! Bo’ee Kallah! Enter, O bride! Enter, O bride!”

I slowly wrap my arm around her waist. The kallah. The long awaited moment is only a few short days away. Her search is over; she has found her bashert. Her prayers have been heard and answered.

“It’s your turn!” a woman beams as she takes my cousin’s hand and leads her towards a circle of ecstatic women. We dance as tears start to well up in my eyes. Women come to her, one by one to wish her mazal tov. She glows with the radiance of new love and released pain. We jump. We dance. We sing. We laugh.

I cry. Big, hot, salty tears mixed in with a thousand emotions start to blur my vision as I struggle to stay in the moment. My bottom lip begins to quiver like a child who fell and scraped her knee. My throat tightens and my voice vanishes as I struggle to keep my shaky smile strong. I continue to dance and clap and sing.

Much like the white curtain partition fluttering in the artificial wind of the air-conditioning unit, I find myself swaying as we slowly make our ways back to our seats.

The chazzan’s beautiful voice starts to reverberate as he begins to sing again. The congregation joins in, elevating the songs of Shabbat towards the heavens.

My cousin understands the mixture of complete joy and overwhelming pain.

The tears are stronger and bigger now. My heart is overjoyed with love, yet feels broken and empty. My search has been shared with her. My journey has been her journey as well. Together we have shared tears and broken hearts. We have grown together. Searched together. Shared joy and pain together. Achoti, my sister.

I turn to my cousin with a quiver in my voice and muster the strength to say, “You know I’m so happy for you, right?”

With tear-filled eyes she nods and says a simple, “I know.”

“Your last Shabbat as a single woman. Your last Shabbat alone. It’s your time. You deserve this,” I declare.

“Soon by you,” she says.

‘Soon by you’ must be the most common refrain that has been said to me recently. It’s meant to be a blessing, a prayer perhaps. It’s meant to make me feel better, to give me strength and courage. Perhaps it’s a mantra I should be saying to myself over and over again, Soon by me. Soon by me. Soon by me. It comes from a place of love, of that I have no doubt.

Yet these three words have started to pain me more than strengthen me, like a knife digging deeper and deeper into my heart. I smile and hug my beautiful cousin. She knows how I feel. She understands the mixture of complete joy and overwhelming pain. I turn my blurry tear-filled glaze back to my siddur as the rise and fall of another song clogs my ears. I can’t even hear the words anymore, just sounds. I’m lost in another world watching the fluttering of the white partition continue to oscillate.

I’m 32 years old and still searching, still looking for my “knight in shining armor.” My tall, dark and handsome stranger that will come knocking on my door to whisk me away on his white horse. Or maybe I’ve seen too many romantic comedies to know the difference between reality and Hollywood.

The older I get the more set in my ways I become. The harder it becomes to integrate a new person into my life. I have my routine, my schedule, my goals, and my “to do” lists. My entire existence has been built around ME, while I’m constantly longing for the WE. I’ve built a life that works perfectly for my own current existence. Yet somehow I expect to fit another person, God willing children as well, into my perfectly organized and structured existence.

My best friend, a married woman with four children, told me once that the hardest decision to make when looking for a partner is “to choose.” To be brave and really choose one person out of millions to make a life with. Then once the choice is made, to keep choosing that one person everyday from that point on. To choose to accept their strengths, weaknesses, flaws, and quirks with love and respect. To choose to stop searching and allowing that little voice in the back of my head to say, “but maybe there’s something better.” To know that the Hollywood romance is just that – a Hollywood fantasy made to sell a movie.

To make the choice of what values I’m truly looking for in a spouse, partner, friend, lover and accept the truth of human beings’ perfect imperfections. Until that day comes when I can finally stop searching and start choosing the same one man for the rest of my life, I’ll keep an open mind to the quirky imperfections that might be insignificant in the face of their beautiful inner core. .

I struggle to attain the patience and faith I need to make one of the biggest choices of my life that will lead to my bashert. Until that day comes I pray, soon by me.

March 1, 2014

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Visitor Comments: 64

(32) John, June 15, 2014 11:42 PM

Life is short!!!

I feel the same way. Yea, I'm a guy that wants marriage and kids. In my 40's & divorced. Life is set by immediate family,, goals schedules & friends true. H' ever I'm not going to let that tell me I can't make room for what God knows I need & we're not here forever. In last few weeks I've assisted doctors in surgery with patients that have terminal diseases They have been in 20's & 30's. I've realized I cannot lock myself in a life that will possibly lock someone out that I want to share life. You never know when it's going to end. Life by all means is better shared with someone you love instead of schedules, goals and just hanging out. I think you & everyone reading this will be willing to step back and reevaluate life, that knight in shining armor will enter your life. And lastly, be proactive in making room for that special someone too. By the way its good to know I'm not the only one that has that feeling when I attend weddings and see my friends that are happily married.

(31) Anonymous, May 8, 2014 9:00 PM

Thank you

....,,,,for sharing and for summing up the complex feelings of pure joy for the bride mixed with the strange combination of sadness and jealousy.
There are plenty of women out there who do understand what you're feeling as we are in the same situation.
Stay strong, open minded and full of faith....gam zu letova!
Shabbat shalom

(30) Anonymous, March 22, 2014 10:37 PM

there are knights in shining armour

there r knights in shining armour-i found one but i couldn't be with him due to mitigating circumstances didn't even get a kiss on the lips but i dont care because i've got someone to love even as a friend...have u tried are you interested on the internet-if u only want jews i guess u will have to narrow your search down to new york and israel

(29) debbie, March 22, 2014 10:31 PM

so do u want to date my brother?

do u want to date my brother only problem is he is aspergic and only gets disability welfare so the burden of financially supporting the kids will all be on u.but he's a nice man.been to yeshiva went back to the way he was brought up jewish but not observant, middle road zionist and he's fair and short but good looking...

(28) scott, March 17, 2014 6:51 AM

Knight in Shining Armor? That may be the problem.

I'm a happily married man and I'm neither a knight nor do I wear shining armor. Never did. Never will. Not particularly tall- and handsome...well that's in the eye of the beholder. Mom and my wife think I'm cute. Grandma thinks I kinda look like Brad Pitt (she's the only one.) I really like Grandma.

Let's look at the statement "Knight in shining armor" Anyone know any Jewish knights? Anyone know any Jews that wear shining armor? Ever read any classic Jewish texts talking about that romantic love? No to all these questions. So this will never be "soon by you" a very yiddishe-type phrase.

It's terrible to want something you don't have. And when I decided I wanted marriage and started dating for that purpose, every time things did not work out was a huge disappointment. And I really hated to hear advice from others. You see I was different from everyone else and they just didn't understand how hard it was for me to find Mrs. Perfect. It was so easy for them.

I found the right woman-but not Mrs. Perfect. If you asked me to draw a picture of my future wife a year before I met would look nothing like her. She'll tell you the same from her side.

I dunno maybe the stars aligned and she walked into the room and there she was-my Bashert. I like to think that way. I like to tell her that because it's romantic. But probably what happened is that she was pretty enough and had a nice enough smile and I was so tired of dating that I said okay and started listening. Instead of finding out what was wrong with her I was looking for what was right with her,and with most people there is really more right than wrong if you take the time to look. If you get over yourself. I did and I'm happy.

Start saying yes. Start looking for the good in regular height, average looking, non shiny knight-men around you. And good men will find you. That I promise can be soon by you.

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