A cool story. Yet people sometimes invent stories, or switch details and identities from other miracle stories. For instance, this pretty clearly recycled Rav Kanievsky story. In this case, we are not told the identity of the chasan and kallah, which might be the first step in being able to confirm it.A 30-year-old guy goes to Rav Chaim Kanievsky to receive a beracha [blessing] for a Shidduch [marriage partner]. Rav Chaim Shlit"a tells him, "Your Bashert [soul mate, intended partner] wasn't born yet. It should be with Beracha Vehatzlaha[blessing and success]"
The news hit the man hard and he left the house crying, asking himself why he has to wait so long for a Shidduch.Two months later, he comes back to Rav Chaim Shlit"a and announces he's engaged to a Giyoret [female convert to Judaism] who had just converted a month earlier.
[Note: when a person converts to Judaism it is as if they are re-born. They receive a new name , and even a new birthday - the day of the conversion]
What strikes me as weird about the story is the pronouncement by Rav Kanievsky that the man's bashert was not yet born. I was under the impression that Rav Kanievsky gave advice on how to act, based on his Torah learning, and gave berachot. Does he also set himself up as a kabbalist with the ability to see and know about when people's basherts have been born?!
At Kikar, the comments are interesting as well. The most recent comment (#24) states the following:
That is, this is a well-known story about the kabbalist Rabbi Yonasan Eibeshitz. I don't know whether we can confirm it for him, but it does seem to make more sense.
Of course, it is possible that this is just a coincidental repeat of the same historical circumstances. But absent other evidence, is seems more plausible to me that someone just forgot which great rabbi this happened to and so substituted Rav Chaim Kanievsky, turning Lithuanian rabbanim even further into Chassidishe Rebbes.
There was also this amusing comment, relating this to Rav [sic] Nir Ben Artzi:
And there was also this rationistic explanation of the phenomenon:
That is, that (a) an 'older' bachur who still hasn't married, there are probably reasons for this, and those same reasons would cause people to try to set him up with a giyores. (b) When he heard this from R' Kanievsky and then sought out a giyores (who was 'not yet born'), this isn't a miracle but rather a talmid understanding his rebbe. (c) One can more readily declare something a 'miracle' which is only dependent upon heaven, where the tzaddik also has an influence, but not so much regarding a shidduch, where there is also a mitzvah for a person to seek out his mate.
2) DovBear on a bonfire of cell phones.
3) BeyondBT on why kiruv sometimes fails:
1. Kiruv is generally one-sided, hashkafically. Recipients do not necessarily realize that other ‘brands’ are legitimate within Orthodoxy when what they are presented with is the ‘right’ way. Its not that other groups of Orthodoxy are ignored or put-down, so much as never mentioned. Someone says, “This is how you do this,” and a BT hears, “This is the way God wants us to do this.” Hearing, “This is one of the ways that Jews believe God wants us to do this,” would leave more paths open in a BT’s mind for questions of hashkafa...This is probably accurate, but I don't think such kiruv would be so successful. People are seeking tp have confidence that their approach is the right one, and a wishy-washy message would not work, in many cases. Also, another interesting point:
3. The Judaism offered by kiruv is most often very shallow. It doesn’t address real difficulties in life, it doesn’t bend for different people. BT’s don’t know enough to realize that there are leniencies and ways around.4) At the Seforim blog, Dr. Marc Shapiro with comments on this and that, parts one and two.
5) The Israeli Hula frog is actually still around, rather than being extinct. Demonstrating that absence of evidence is not always (solid) evidence of absence. I recall that back in 2010, there were scientists who were actively seeking to find this frog and other species believed to be extinct.
Brilliant! They manage to make it clear to more enlightened readers that the Gemara is actually referring to dolphins, while not offending traditionalists by explicitly pointing out that Rashi's explanation is not correct.Also, at On the Main Line, Artscroll miscellanies.
7) At Hirhurim, a post on tights and the Mishna Brurah.
8) Here on parshablog, Ibn Caspi on the Avos keeping the entire Torah.