Thank you for the opportunity to ask my question. I have been praying for a reconciliation with an ex for a fulfilling and loving relationship. It’s been almost 11 months apart and since last Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) I have been praying. Interacted with my ex a few times and found out recently that he is seriously dating. Should I continue praying to Hashem or just give up?
It sounds like you have had a rough year. You are asking a question about your personal situation, but the general idea applies to just about everyone at one time or another. Do we let God know what we wish, or do we instead pray to God to do His will?
The answer is that we need to do both. There is a concept in ancient Jewish wisdom that God leads us in the path that we choose to go. If we make a poor choice, we won’t necessarily find thorns and obstacles in our way. That would lift all responsibility off our shoulders; if we took a wrong step we would immediately know it.
So, whether it is in relationships, business or other areas we must act knowing that we may be making a mistake. At the same time, we should pray for God’s guidance to help us act wisely.
In general (and we emphasize in general because we do not know you or presume to give you a personal answer) once a couple is divorced or a relationship has terminated, most people need to leave the past behind and move forward. Hopefully, the decision was made after great deliberation so replaying and questioning it over and over isn’t productive.
We would recommend using the opportunity of the new Hebrew year that starts in a few short weeks to make a completely fresh start and focus on yourself rather than your ex. Pray that God makes a rewarding and joyous path clear to you, but take pragmatic and tangible steps to move forward while learning from the past and molding yourself into the person you want to be.
Wishing you a healthy, happy and prosperous year,
Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin