Afternoon Matchmaking

First posted on The Times of Israel at:

Baal Haturim Genesis: Chaye Sara

Afternoon Matchmaking

Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate. -W. H. Auden

The shortest, though perhaps the most challenging prayer of the day is the afternoon prayer (Mincha). The morning one (Shacharit) is the longest, but for those who introduce it into their routine, it turns into an excellent start to their day. The night prayer (Arvit) is not too long and is a great way to cap off ones busy day. But Mincha is different. It involves a very conscious decision to stop what one is in the middle of, and set aside some minutes for God.

The Baal Haturim on 24:63 reminds us of the tradition that our patriarch Isaac was the one who instituted the Mincha prayer. What is interesting about the Biblical source for this tradition is that immediately after praying that afternoon, Isaac’s bride-to-be appears.

Was it Isaac’s selfless time for God that earned him the appearance of a wife? Does stopping our personal pursuits and beseaching God for intervention in our lives actually lead to some stronger divine involvement?

The Baal Haturim ends his explanation with the famous dictum, Matza Isha Matza Tov (One who found a wife, found goodness). This perhaps goes against a growing trend that glorifies singlehood.

May those who seek a spouse merit divine intervention and those who have a spouse remember and reinforce the goodness that marriage is meant to be.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the single people in our lives. May they find the right partner – at the right time.

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