It is said that ever since G‑d created the world, He has been kept busy making shidduchim, making marriages. And that making a good match is as hard as the splitting of the Red Sea. Forty days before a child is born a voice is heard: this person is destined for that one. Somehow our bashert, the person destined for us, waits for us. But that doesn't mean we find him.

Gila and Ben found each other. And on the day of their wedding, each went to visit Yosef Goodman's grave in order to thank him. Ben left the wedding invitation at the grave.

It was Yosef who was their matchmaker.

But this time something went terribly wrongYosef had been in Maglan, an elite combat unit of the paratroopers of the Israeli army. Yosef enjoyed the freedom and excitement of parachuting. Even on the day of his accident, his friends told Yosef's mother that as he was jumping, he was happy and shouting. He, together with four others who were the best guys in the unit, was doing special training jumps. But this time – his 36th jump – something went terribly wrong. His commander's leg became entangled in the rope of Yosef's parachute. They started to spin quickly in circles. Yosef tried to save them both by cutting himself free from his parachute while opening up his emergency parachute. The commander landed safely. Yosef's emergency parachute was released but he was too close to the ground for it to fully open.

Yosef Goodman died on February 2, 2006. He was 20.

Yosef Goodman a"h
Yosef Goodman a"h

The second of 9 children, Yosef was a generous, well-loved person, fun loving and full of life, not afraid of anything. He was a loving brother. When his older brother wanted to spend his time learning in yeshiva, Yosef's parents asked the other children if they would be willing to help support him in the future if they were working and their brother was still learning. Yosef was the first son to say yes, he would help support his brother if he needed assistance. In fact, he changed his army insurance policy a month before he died, naming that brother as the beneficiary instead of his parents. Now his older brother, studying in yeshiva and married, is using Yosef's gift to support his family.

Yosef's parents, Ann and Mordechai Goodman, are immigrants from the States; Mordechai grew up in Texas, Ann in New York. Anne trained as a lawyer; Mordechai is the owner of Pizzeria Efrat, famous for its wonderful pizza and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. If you go to the pizza place, you often see the kids working there. Yosef put in many hours baking pies and delivering pizza. He was tall and lean, good-looking, and he loved to laugh.

Gila Wolbromsky lives a few houses away from Yosef's family. Gila's younger brother was Yosef's good friend. They grew up together; all their childhood stories are shared ones.

She didn't think that he was serious One Friday afternoon, when Yosef came home from the army for Shabbat, he went over to Gila's house and told her that he wanted to set her up with his former commander, Ben Berdichev. Though Ben had completed his army service, he and Yosef still spoke often on the phone and had a very close relationship.

When Yosef told Gila about wanting to set her up, she didn't think that he was serious. She was already dating somebody and she didn't think much about the suggestion.

Two and half weeks later Yosef died in the parachuting accident. Gila's last conversation with Yosef had been about Ben.

The day he died, Yosef called Ben. "Did you call her yet?" he asked. Ben said: "We'll speak about it later." He wasn't planning on calling. He was going to Australia to work at a Jewish day school and he didn't think it made sense to try to begin a new relationship when he was leaving. But Yosef insisted, and Ben promised he would call.

But Ben didn't call.

After Yosef was killed, during the week of shiva, Ben spent a lot of time at the Goodman house. He wanted to be there, to grieve and to talk about Yosef. Gila saw him there, but she had no idea that he was the commander that Yosef had been talking about.

But he heard her name there, and knew who she was.

"The last day of the shiva, Ben came over to me and apologized to me. I didn't know why. But then I realized that he was Ben. Yosef had been serious and he had given Ben my number and made him promise to call me," Gila said.

"You have nothing to apologize about," she told him.

"I promised Yosef I would call."

That was the beginning of their relationship. They kept on meeting, even though they are very different and Ben was soon to leave for his trip to Australia. Gila grew up in an observant home, Ben's family was not religiously observant. Gila didn't know why Yosef had put them together.

They started seeing each other and when Ben went to Australia, after six months, Gila went to visit him. Ben returned from Australia early, after ten months, because he wanted to be with Gila.

Once they were dating, they told the Goodman family about their relationship. Ben and Gila worried because they felt that in some way they were an extension of Yosef. If they broke up, would it be a blow to the Goodman family? But Ann and Mordechai told them to feel free to do whatever they needed. Not to feel any pressure.

Soon they were making plans to be married. "Our wedding was in October. The wedding was meant to be outdoors but during the reception there was a dramatic rainstorm with thunder and lightening, and the wedding was moved indoors at the last minute, with the guests' help. The night Yosef died had also been a rainy night with thunder and lightning. We felt that Yosef was dancing with us," says Gila.

Mordecahi, Yosef's father, was honored with a blessing under the chupah. He said, "I am saying this blessing instead of your matchmaker, Yosef."

Ann Goodman says, "When they got married it was almost two years after Yosef died, and it was a wonderful feeling: I felt that I was still getting nachat, pleasure, from Yosef."

Both Ben and Gila feel privileged to have Yosef play such an important role in their lives. They know that their marriage is truly a match blessed in heaven.