12 Kislev 5781 / Saturday, November 28, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
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Joe Cool    

Joe Cool

Joe had a way with women. We all thought he was really cool. Little did we know that what was cool in our eyes was definitely not cool in the eyes of Hashem.


When I was young, I always thought the casual date was a good thing. Everything I saw on TV, heard on the radio, and viewed online told me that it was okay to date a woman for the sake of the hunt. This type of conquest was not sinful or cruel at all. In fact, it was pretty cool.
I tended to agree with the world. That was until I met Joe.
Joe Cool was my college buddy. He was also the king of the dating scene. Every week he would mesmerize us with stories about his latest exploits.
Joe had a way with women. He knew how to be warm and compassionate, the ultimate nice guy. That was, until he got what he wanted. We all thought he was really cool. Little did we know that what was cool in our eyes was definitely not good in the eyes of Hashem.
The True Teacher gave Joe, and all of us, a lesson we would never forget.
A couple of years after graduation Joe met Batya. She was perfect. She was bright, successful, and had this positive view on life he found very appealing. We were shocked to see Joe still with her after two months, but the biggest shock came when Joe made it official:
He was retiring from the dating scene.
Was the king stepping down once and for all? How could this be? Joe told us that he had found his wife. He couldn't explain it, but something inside him said that he found the woman he was destined to spend forever with. He was committed to Batya and nothing else mattered.
What could we do? He was a friend and he looked really satisfied. We made a parting party with Joe Cool, and watched in silence as he left the bar -- at 9 PM on a Saturday night.
Joe's life got progressively better. We started to meet up with him at the local coffee house. He would go on and on about how great she was, how much he loved her, and when he would ask "the question."
I never saw a man so happy before.
Then, out of nowhere, the bottom fell out.
It was Saturday night. My friends and I were doing our usual when out of the blue, Joe shows up. He is wearing his "hunting" clothes. We hadn't seen him in those for a long time. He looked devastated.
"Batya dumped me."
Nobody could say a word. Just last week Joe showed us the ring. He was just about to ask her to marry him.
"She said that I was a lot of fun, but it was time for us to move on to greener pastures."
They looked so perfect together. Batya was his soulmate, his other half. How could she? It's not supposed to end this way!
I knew my friend. Joe will bounce back. It won't be long before he has more stories about his next triumph.
That's not what happened.
He put on fifty pounds. He started to drink too much. He lost his job. He was miserable.
I never saw a man fall to pieces like that.
"Dov man, she was my soulmate. Every moment of my life since I met her, there is this feeling like we are two pieces of a whole. It's like Hashem planned it that we would be together. How can I ever get close to another woman when Batya is the only one? She was perfect."
I didn't know what to answer him. How do you cheer up a guy who thinks his life is forever destroyed beyond repair?
That was the last I saw of Joe for a while.
Years later, I saw Joe at a singles lecture on Emuna. He was one of the guys sponsoring the event. He looked familiar, but a little changed.
"Dov, my brother! Give your old friend a hug!"
He was happy again like when he was with Batya.
"You would not believe how great things are!"
They must have got back together. I'll bet their married by now.
"Nah. She's old news."
He found someone else.
"Nope. I'm Still single."
Is this Joe Cool? Are you sure we went to college together?
"It's still me, Dov. Hashem gave me the answers I needed. They weren't easy, or pretty, but they saved my life. Losing Batya almost killed me. I was so down and out I couldn't begin to tell you. After I hit bottom, I did a lot of soul searching. I read Rav Shalom Arush's Garden of Emuna and Rav Lazer Brody's Trail to Tranquility. Do you know that for everything we do to another, Hashem repays us the same? Hashem loves us and wants us to make teshuva for our sins, so instead of just punishing us for our actions, he sends us the exact pain we caused others so we know what we did wrong and can make amends for it while we are still alive."
"You know how many people I hurt? I was the ugliest man alive. It's not like I had a sign on me that said 'I am lying. All I want is some fun. Beware of me!' I was very subtle about it all. I acted like a true gentleman until I got what I wanted, the girl never saw it coming. I never hinted about baser matters on a date. I always dressed my best and insisted on picking up the dinner tab. Dov, I am guilty of committing one of the cruelest acts against a fellow Jew. I convinced a girl to trust me. I made her believe that I was not like the others. For a moment, I showed her that you can trust in the goodness of people. How many of these women, when they were with me felt like they found their soulmate? When I dumped them, I took that trust away from them. How many of them did I hurt the way Batya hurt me when she left?"
"Hashem repaid my evil with the ultimate punishment. For what I did to others, I had to suffer the exact same anguish. Hashem sent me a blessing. G-d Willing, when I do find my true soulmate, I will treat her like gold. In the meantime, I am focusing on being the nicest, and most genuine Joe I can be."
It all came from Above. It was G-d's love in its rawest and toughest form. It was a lesson in life: Don't mess with Hashem's beloved daughters. A Jewish woman is a descendant of the portion of Am Yisrael that did not participate in the sin of the calf, or the sin of the spies. It will be these spiritual diamonds who, in their modestly, will merit the coming of Moshiach. Don't hurt those closest to G-d – He takes it very, very personally. Outside of his dating escapades, Joe was an honest guy. He was a good person. If someone like Joe could suffer like that, anyone could. If I learned something from Joe, it's that none of us get away with anything in life – especially what we do to others. There is an Eye that sees, an Ear that hears, and everything is written into our spiritual accounts, to be judged at any time.
From then on, whenever I went out on a date, and I felt that things were going well, and I was ready to make the next move...
...I would take a deep breath, reflect for a moment, and remember what happened to my friend Joe.

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  1 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  Excellent article, thank you!
A.10/31/2017 7:14:06 AM

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