Sunday, November 30, 2008

What does go on this list then?

If we have already sat down and talked to our child as previously mentioned, and if we (ourselves as parents and our children) have been able to articulate the qualities, talents and needs (not wants) of our child, then this should not be such a difficult task.

It is necessary to keep the list down to only 6 or 7 items.

  • A young lady once told me she would put on the list that the boy be a non-smoker. For her this was obligatory; she would get physically sick at the smell of stale cigarettes. A good number of girls mentioned they want someone who is straight in their dealings with others. He does not make “shtick” he does not “drei”.

I was surprised by that. It did not occur to me when I got married, and my daughters did not think of that when they got married. But times change, and our girls are now concerned that their chosson be honest and straight, with them and with others.

  • Another common item on the list is “chassidish”. That is too general of a term to use on this list. Do we know how our child defines Chassidish? Is the way we define it and their interpretation the same? Be specific about what chassidish means to you and your child. This way you can explain what level of chassidish you are looking for when you speak to a shadchan.

  • The same thing apples with the description “mentch”. Who is a mentch in your eyes? Is it someone who is thoughtful of others? Is it someone who is responsible? Polite? What constitutes a mentch for you?

  • Some families will put on this list “meshichist” or “non-meshichist”. If you are sure that it must be, then list it, but unless it is a very heavy issue for the family, concentrate more on middos rather than “political” affiliation.

  • Similar bakgrounds and upbringing, is one of the things that should be considered. Your S/D needs to be on the same “wavelength” as their prospective partner, and they need to be able to understand each other.They may live in two different cities or countries or continents but the families have similar values and outlook.

When our Bubbes and Zeides got married their parents knew the families, or their relative knew the families. In the limited world of the shtetl or even in the relatively limited environment of the city, everyone knew almost everyone. Even here in Crown Heights, when our parents grew up, everyone knew everyone.

It was common to marry someone from ones own village or from a relative’s village. Upbringing was similar; tastes and experiences were similar; goals were sometime basic, but they were always along similar lines.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to see that you consider "meshichist-non-meshichist" a "political affiliation." Actually, it's quite shocking.

Would you say, a "Mekushar to the Rebbe" or "not a Mekushar to the Rebbe" is a political affiliation too?

I guess your designation expresses where you yourself are coming from ...

Basmelech said...

Yes it certainly does.
I stand by my words.
And I would NOT say, a "Mekushar to the Rebbe" or "not a Mekushar to the Rebbe" is a political affiliation too because if you are a chossid no matter if you are a mishichist or an anti you are still mekushar to the Rebbe

Anonymous said...

A Chasid is not, by definition, mekushar to the Rebbe. There were Chasidim who were mekushar to the Rebbe Rashab and did not make the transition to the Rebbe Rayatz; Chasidim of the Rebbe Rayatz who did not make the transition to the Rebbe.

I would define a mekushar and meshichist as someone who ascribes to there being one final shlichus, that of "kabbolas pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu" (as the Rebbe told the shluchim at the Kinus Ha'Shluchim 5752). The Rebbe said what shlichus consists of now, that every single peula should be done in a way that is permeated with the point: how it leads to kabbolas pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu. The Rebbe went on to say that this means that every shaliach has to "prepare himself and the Jews of his city, to greet Moshiach, by explaining the inyan of Moshiach as it is explained in the written and oral Torah, in a way that it can be accepted by each person according to his intellect and understanding."

Likewise, a mekushar and meshichist would ascribe to what the Rebbe said, Shoftim 5751, that "each person has to recognize himself, and publicize among his widest circle of influence, that we need to accept upon ourselves the rulings and advice of "the judges" and "the advisors" of our generation... in particular, this refers to the leader of our generation -- the judge, advisor and prophet of our generation."

A mekushar and meshichist would ascribe to the Rebbe=Nasi-Hador=Moshiach, as the Rebbe told us.

These are the Rebbe's designations, the Rebbe's hora'os.