My cousin Adina* was one of those girls you would say had it all. She was sweet, smart, considerate, kind, pretty, and capable. With so much going for her, everyone assumed she would be snatched up and married right away. But Hashem had other plans. One by one, Adina’s younger siblings began to marry and were blessed with children. The same was true for her cousins. Adina danced with genuine happiness at simchah after simchah but wondered when her turn would come. As the years went by, Adina’s grandmother - my aunt - began to worry for her welfare. The nachas she felt as each of her grandchildren left their nests to move on and build their own families was accompanied by the gnawing concern she felt regarding Adina. Family members kept Adina in mind, always searching for her elusive match, but with no success. Nobody would ever verbalize it, but people began to wonder if she would ever marry.
My aunt passed away on Erev Yom Kippur. Unfortunately, she did not live to see Adina marry. But my aunt was a doer. If she had not been successful arranging Adina’s match here on earth, she would work to find her a shidduch from above. It seemed that her strategy worked. A little over two months after my aunt’s death, the years of searching came to an end. Adina finally met the man of her dreams. Her wedding was one of the happiest I’ve ever attended. Relatives came from near and far to participate in the great simchah. There wasn’t a dry eye at the badeken and chupah and the excitement on the dance floor was palpable. One of the most touching moments of the simchah was when Adina’s grandfather - my uncle - escorted by his son, walked to the chupah, and made one of the brachot. What a z’chus it was for him to reach the milestone of marrying off his last grandchild.
During the week of sheva brachot, my uncle repeatedly expressed how happy he had been to see Adina marry and to have had the honor of making a brachah under her chupah. On the morning of Adina’s last sheva brachot, my uncle had a massive stroke. He was rushed to the hospital, but two hours after the conclusion of the sheva brachot, he passed away. Adina was able to finish her celebrations and get to the hospital in time to see him before he passed. It seems that her grandmother had to organize things from heaven and her grandfather had to oversee operations from down here on earth. Once their joint mission was accomplished, he returned his soul to his Maker.
Yaakov* was on his way home to New York after a wonderful z’man learning in Eretz Yisrael. His shiur was great and his chavrusas could not have been better. And now he was looking forward to spending Yom Tov with his parents and siblings whom he hadn’t seen in many months. Yaakov had been trained well by his mother. Before he left for the airport, he made himself a tuna sandwich for the “just in case” scenario. He had ordered a kosher meal, but you never know. With a long flight ahead, why take a chance?
Yaakov got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. He breezed through check-in and security, took a quick walk-through duty-free, and was even able to open a sefer all before they announced that his flight would be boarding. Yaakov walked down the aisle, put his luggage in the overhead compartment, and settled down into his seat. After saying goodbye to all of his friends and rebbeim, Yaakov had gotten to sleep pretty late and was looking forward to a nice long nap during the flight. Maybe there would even be an empty seat next to him so he would be able to spread out and get really comfortable. But soon, a young frum girl sat down next to him. So much for the empty seat, he thought. Never a shy one, Yaakov introduced himself to Chaya* and the two played the requisite game of Jewish geography. After a safety demonstration by the stewardesses and a final request that all passengers take their seats and buckle up, the flight took off.
It didn’t take long after reciting Tefillat Haderech for Yaakov to fall asleep. But he was soon awoken by the smell of hot food and the sound of clinking trays. It seemed that there was some sort of mistake and there was no kosher meal for Chaya on the plane. Without missing a beat, Yaakov offered her his tuna sandwich. Chaya declined the offer but Yaakov was insistent. Chaya eventually complied and ate the sandwich.
Taken by Yaakov’s kindness, at the end of the flight, Chaya told him that she had an idea for a shidduch for him. Yaakov was not yet going out but he gave Chaya his mother’s telephone number and suggested that she contact her directly. This was not a passing idea Chaya would forget about. Deep in her heart, she knew this could really be a shidduch. When she returned home, she contacted Yaakov’s mother but, as he had told her, Yaakov was not going out yet. Yaakov’s mother suggested that Chaya contact her again in a few months. Chaya put the phone number away for safekeeping but did not forget about it. Several months later, she called Yaakov’s mother once again. By then, he was ready to start shidduchim. Chaya suggested her friend for Yaakov and, as she predicted, they were a match! The tuna sandwich had been helpful in more ways than one. Yaakov and Chaya’s friend got married and are the proud parents of two beautiful girls.
The wheels of shidduchim are always turning, but matches are made in heaven.