Moses Mendelssohn, the grandfather of the well-known German composer, was far from being handsome. Along with a rather short stature, he had a grostesque hunchback.
One day, he visited a merchant in Hamburg who had a lovely daughter named Frumtje. Moses fell hopelessly in love with her. But Frumtje was repulsed by his misshapen appearance.
When it came time for him to leave, Moses gathered his courage and climbed the stairs to her room to take one last opportunity to speak with her. She was a vision of heavenly beauty, but caused him deep sadness by her refusal to look at him. After several attempts at conversation, Moses shyly asked, “Do you believe marriages are made in heaven?”
"“Yes,” she answered, still looking at floor. “And do you?”
“Yes I do,” he replied. “you see, in heaven at the birth of each boy, the Lord announces which girl he will marry. When I was born, my future bride was pointed out to me. Then the Lord added, “But your wife will be humpbacked. Right then and there I called out, ‘Oh Lord, a humpbacked woman would be a tragedy. Please, Lord, give me the hump and let her be beautiful.”
Then Frumtje looked up into his eyes and was stirred by some deep memory. She reached out and gave Mendelssohn her hand and later became his devoted wife.
In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.
- Erich Fromm