What is Hashems criteria for determining when someone will meet their soulmate? Is it due to their deeds or issues related to their past lives that need to be resolved in this life?

2 Answers 2


Sotah 2a (which zunior quotes), does correlate actions with finding a partner, but it should be noted that the Gemara goes on to say that it is a person's first match which is decreed in heaven, while the second match is according to one's actions.

There are other important rabbinic sources on soulmates. One is Moed Katan 18b, which says that a match is set by Hashem:

הָכִי אָמַר רַב מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי רְאוּבֵן בֶּן אִצְטְרוֹבִילִי: מִן הַתּוֹרָה וּמִן הַנְּבִיאִים וּמִן הַכְּתוּבִים — מֵה׳ אִשָּׁה לְאִישׁ. מִן הַתּוֹרָה, דִּכְתִיב: ״וַיַּעַן לָבָן וּבְתוּאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ מֵה׳ יָצָא הַדָּבָר״. מִן הַנְּבִיאִים, דִּכְתִיב: ״וְאָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ לֹא יָדְעוּ כִּי מֵה׳ הִיא״. מִן הַכְּתוּבִים, דִּכְתִיב: ״בַּיִת וָהוֹן נַחֲלַת אָבוֹת וּמֵה׳ אִשָּׁה מַשְׂכָּלֶת״.

Rav said in the name of Rabbi Reuven ben Itzterobili as follows: From the Torah, and from the Prophets, and from the Writings; it implies that the decree that a specific woman is destined to be married to a specific man is from God. From where is this derived? It is from the Torah, as it is written: “Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said: The thing comes from the Lord, we cannot speak to you either bad or good” (Genesis 24:50). From the Prophets, as it is written: “But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord” (Judges 14:4). From the Writings, as it is written: “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers; but a prudent woman is from the Lord” (Proverbs 19:14).

Indeed, there are many sources in the midrash that emphasize the miraculous and divine-decreed nature of marriages. That said, as we know from Pirkei Avot (3:15) and other sources, we have free will:

הַכֹּל צָפוּי, וְהָרְשׁוּת נְתוּנָה, וּבְטוֹב הָעוֹלָם נִדּוֹן. וְהַכֹּל לְפִי רֹב הַמַּעֲשֶׂה

All is forseen, yet freedom of choice is given. The world is judged with goodness, but all depends on the majority of one's deeds.

This is crucial to understanding the marriage of soulmates. Both partners must consent to the marriage, and one partner, perhaps driven by their actions, might choose an incompatible spouse based on their free will. So people independently decide to be with one other, even though Hashem arranged it to be so.

  • Great response. Regarding first and second zigugim, I do not recall where I have seen this, but I believe there is a source which states that first and second may not necessarily be in chronological order. Commented Feb 18 at 20:35
  • Couples often choose to be with each other for the wrong reasons. Finding the right match requires patience and wisdom.
    – Miguel
    Commented Feb 21 at 18:38

אָמַר רַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר רַב יִצְחָק: כִּי הֲוָה פָּתַח רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ בְּסוֹטָה, אָמַר הָכִי: אֵין מְזַוְּוגִין לוֹ לְאָדָם אִשָּׁה אֶלָּא לְפִי מַעֲשָׂיו,״. Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzḥak says: When Reish Lakish would introduce his discussion of the Torah passage of sota he would say this: Heaven matches a woman to a man only according to his actions


This answers one question in your post. The rest I don't think you will find.

It has been said that studying the זרע שמשון can help. I have not tested this. Many also pray at the Amuka.

  • But then how do you explain bad people who meet their soulmates?
    – Miguel
    Commented Feb 15 at 0:00
  • 1
    בִּפְרֹ֤חַ רְשָׁעִ֨ים׀ כְּמ֥וֹ־עֵ֗שֶׂב וַ֭יָּצִיצוּ כָּל־פֹּ֣עֲלֵי אָ֑וֶן לְהִשָּׁמְדָ֥ם עֲדֵי־עַֽד
    – zunior
    Commented Feb 15 at 0:33
  • That when the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did iniquity flourished, It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.
    – Miguel
    Commented Feb 15 at 2:13

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