Bashert: Herb Freed
Life hands you situations that change your perspective on many things. In my faith, the Jewish faith, all too often you might hear your mother or grandmother say that something that happens an event or the chance meeting someone is Bashert. That means you were destined to meet that person or it was predetermined that you will meet that special someone or even a situation that created something wonderful is often considered Bashert. Herb Freed takes readers on many different journeys flashing back time periods as we get to know Dan and Marion and learn the true meaning of the word or someone called your Bashert or soulmate. As the author is a former Rabbi so is Dan Sobol mirroring the career of the author from Rabbi to director who’s knows for his cinematic television commercials. Marion Gladstone is a writer and film editor attending a screenwriter’s even in Los Angeles. Imagine hearing the voice of someone, listening carefully to the intonations of his words, the cadence of his speech and phrases and knowing just from that that this man was your Bashert. Dating for a short time and realizing that they were meant to be the romance takes on a unique flavor as the author allows us to get to know both Dan and Marion until something happens and she realizes that a change is about to occur and the world won’t be the same for either one.
Simone and Steven had a little girl named Molly who would play an integral part in both Dan and Marion’s lives. Simone thought Molly was an inconvenience and really had nothing to do with her while Steven had no idea how to be a father. Marion latched on to her and as the years wore on she became Molly’s mother as she decided to move in with Marion and made her the mother she always wanted. Molly also wanted to meet Bertha, Dan’s mother and the relationship between Marion and Bertha was strong and she even convinced her to move closer to them in Los Angeles. While Dan’s career flourished and Marion and Molly grew closer, Marion had bouts with Lupus that would eventually take her life and change things for everyone. Traveling, remembering their trip to Cancun, the hotel, the people and eventually not seeing Steven for so many years and hoping to reconnect for Molly’s wedding, Dan’s life has taken many u-turns but will he finally get on another path to happiness. Seeing Molly after so many years and coming to Jamaica for her wedding he is reminded of the word Bashert and how Marion and Bertha told him that eventually they will be reunited and she explains how. A phone call that only Marion hears while Dan is transfixed in front of the television watching the football game. Sharing a cab with someone named Gabrielle, who Molly takes a dislike upon meeting her, she takes control, takes Dan but how does he wind up in his hotel room and not remember Molly bringing him there?
Molly and Rocky are about to be married but not before the author tells us how they met, the reason why she fell for him and how like Dan’s voice his played a part in their relationship. The author flashes back again to his relationship with Steven and the fact that he and Marion wanted to make a specific film and he passed on it but why and how?
Marion’s vision and voice comes into play at many crucial times as Molly seems to think that she is guiding her path to decide whether to marry Rocky or not. Rocky is confused, upset and is trying to understand why she is unsure, what she is hoping to find including her faith in God. Marion suffered from Lupus and the attacks were quite grave and even when her doctor tells us to not direct anymore films and rest, after six months she cries wolf you might say and has to venture to Rome and then Israel to film the movie that was sent to the film cemetery and they would resurrect it hoping to make it a hit. But, for the first few weeks she was fine until you the reader along with Dan and Marion experience the attack, hear her cries to end her life and then her doctor calls with a cure. But, even with some relief she is far from out of the woods. Miracles happen if you believe they will so when she appears to Dan after he spends time with Rocky what she says hits to the core of his existence and explains why he needs to reverse his thinking and believe in miracles and more.
Author Herb Freed studied to become a rabbi and discovered from his professor Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel the transcendent power of “the story” as he relates in an interview. He as you learns when you read the book and hear his voice served as a Rabbi and then decided to become a filmmaker. Sermons, classes, stories, villains and lectures were just part of his life but with Marion, a film-editor, writer and story teller he knew he had to change his path for his Bashert. This is a story of survival, strength, dealing with life’s challenges and a story about his true real love Marion and how he created the story that built on their lives spiritual, physical and emotional as he guides us in different time periods through their romantic beginning until her fateful end. Meeting famous film producers, editors, directors and going to lectures, classes and learning the trade were the start of one of his journeys. This story is told through Dan’s eyes and you will laugh, cry, scream, and get frustrated and wonder just how it will all come together at the end.
Jubilation Day was upon them and thinks happened that day for a reason as Dan, Molly, Rocky and his guardian angel you might say explained what would happen next before the marriage might take place as Marion’s voice came through Molly but how? The magic of love how strong is it but this is a story of love, setbacks, uncertainty and the hope for miracles to link lives together. The scene by the Wailing Wall where Dan is praying for a miracle for Marian’s Lupus to finally get a cure was telling as a young Hasid brings to light the many differences in the way we pray and Dan’s reaction was quite remarkable. The author even discusses Epic of Gilgamesh quest for eternal beauty, which ends in tragedy. Molly is a spitfire and a force to be reckoned with as we see her go from sane to insane at times. At times she is focused and grounded and at other times you wonder about her rationality as you hear her voice in many different directions and situations. As the story winds down and we learn more about Molly and why she disappears we begin to understand the definition of Bashert and why their witch doctor takes them in hand and leads them through Jubilation Day, the rituals and then Rocky and Molly need to decide if they are truly meant to be. The spirit of Marion hangs over them and what she relates to Dan will either set him apart of the others or unite everyone as one. Asked by Steven to officiate over the ceremony will he be able to do it and what will the final outcome be? Dan finally realizes that Molly is the catalyst and the one that brought him to the place of miracles. This is the place where everything will be revealed. The author reminds us of Guatemala and the curse of the Shaman and that was not a curse at all! It was a prophecy stating: One lives and one dies but no llores because the one who dies, lives, and both die and both live. No llores, no crying because the child remains. Then a song burst through the café and a reggae band alighted and you could here the words Jubilation is here! Resurrection is near As Molly’s eyes closed and was moving to the beat. This is a true story about his Bashert, Marion and his first love Anne Marisse, and the memory of this young successful actress that starred on Broadway in so many of our favorite shows. He tells of her influence on him and how she helped him to become an actor, dancer and writer and that when she passed away after twenty years something inside of him changed until he meets Marion Segal, his Bashert. When you hear the final words and watch the ceremony take place the ending is quite compelling and the twist and surprise you won’t expect. Will Dan finally reunite with Marion? Will he move forward? The Obeahman, the witch doctor, Abednego will guide them all the rest of the way as Dan makes one more journey to the water, hears the voice of Abednego and enters the water as it rises above his calves leaving readers to wonder what is final destination will be. Can you see Dan and Marion? Can you see Marion dancing on his feet and moving to the music? Will they be rejoined? Will they become one? Will he reunite with his Bashert? A compelling, heartwarming yet heartbreaking story that will leave readers to understand that someday when you are walking down the street, or catch the eye of someone you too might be lucky to find you own Bashert.