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Spotlight: Bashert by Herb Freed

About the Book

Would you recognize your soul’s complement in another? Beyond the bliss of actually finding your soul mate, there is a belief that the universe hinges on predetermined people finding their other half, their bashert, to maintain cosmic balance. In BASHERT, author, screenwriter, director and former rabbi Herb Freed immerses us in the heady intoxication and thunderous losses of what it really means to be bashert.

Dan Sobol and Marion Gladstone meet by chance at a screenwriter’s event in Los Angeles. He’s a rabbi turned director known for his cinematic television commercials; she’s a writer and film editor who is recovering from a tabloid-headline screaming Hollywood divorce. From the moment Marion hears Dan’s voice, she knows—and so does he. It’s bashert.

But when did the course of true love ever run smooth? Dan and Marion are soon partners in business as well as life, traveling the world to create movies. He directs, she writes and edits, and life becomes an amazing adventure—until Cancun. There, among the ruins of the Mayan civilization, Marion has an eerie premonition that has the potential to change everything.

Drawing upon his own personal experience, Freed spins a tale unflinching in its examination of life, but weaving along the edge of magical realism. From the bright lights of Hollywood to Mexico, Israel, Paris and the dreamy exhilaration of Jamaica, BASHERT is a love story about transcending life, loss and the boundaries we mistakenly place on our lives and our hearts. 

Excerpt

Dan and Marion found one another four days earlier and they both knew the instant their eyes met that it was preordained. The morning after they met at a Writers Guild reading, he called. “Dear beautiful lady, this is Dan, as in the guy you met in the Zanuck Theater last night.”
He invited Marion to his house in Hancock Park for dinner that evening. She came with Sheldon Keller, her writing partner and escort to the writer’s event, but didn’t leave with him. The next night, Dan stayed at Marion’s house in Century City and the following morning she made a startling announcement to her therapist.
“I met the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.”
“The man you met . . . two days ago?”
“Four.”
“Do you realize how nutty that sounds?”
“It doesn’t feel nutty at all. Thrilling, new, but definitely not crazy.”
“We have to talk about this.”
“I don’t want to talk anymore. I’ve talked too much for too long. I’m happy, Larry, happier than I have ever been so I won’t be needing therapy any longer.”
“I’m afraid you’re a lot sicker than I thought, Marion.”
“Not sick. Bashert.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand Hebrew. What does that mean, exactly?”
“My lover hyphen rabbi told me it’s a Yiddish word that describes an important event for which there is no explanation other than destiny or the Divine Plan. The simple meaning is preordained.”
“And you feel you were preordained to . . . ?”
“Be with this man for all eternity.”
“I see, and you were preordained by . . . ?”
                   
Later that night, while Dan and Marion were dancing naked in her bedroom to “Carnival,” the theme from Black Orpheus …Manhã, tão bonita manhã…,” Marion asked, “Do you believe we were preordained by God?”  With his arms wrapped around her, eyes closed, Dan said, “I believe we are one soul divided at birth by God, the cosmos and some indefinable mystical power and our mission in life was to find our other half. Bashert.”
Marion stopped dancing. “Then, you do believe our meeting was preordained by God?”
“I do,” he said and caressed her neck. “Speaking of heavenly wonders, what is that divine fragrance?”
“Me, Marion . . . and the slightest whiff of Yves St. Laurent, Paris.
“Absolutely divine,” Dan said and dropped to his knees.
“What are you doing?”
“Exploring parts of our body I didn’t know we had before our souls were reunited.

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About the Author

HERB FREED started his adult life as an ordained rabbi and became the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Lake Mahopac, New York while producing and directing three shows at the Maidman Playhouse in New York City. Eventually, he resigned his pulpit to become a movie director. He has directed and produced 15 feature films most of which have had psychological, spiritual and/or social themes in spite of their commercial categories. He is best known for Graduation Day, a horror film, and Tomboy, a teenage romp, as well as the psychological drama Haunts, and CHILD2MAN, a story of survival during the Watts riots.

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