Friday, December 5, 2008

Back to list making

When compiling this list, your Son/Daughter, should look at themselves and figure out what are their talents and best character traits. It will be much easier to articulate who they are looking for once they know themselves better.

We should be concious of the fact that it is very hard to know oneself and realize our own merits and demerits. Adults find this hard to do, vertainly our adolescents will find it much harder.

They may not realize how good they are at solving problems, or that they are peacemakers, great with children, or are very sensible. They may belittle their own talents and take them for granted. Encourage them to realize how much they have accomplished and to figure our what direction they want to take with their lives.

What are their goals, and are those goals realistic and compatible with their talents? Which talents do they want to develop further. Discuss the goals they have for their future, and by extension the goals they see for the family they want to build.

Both Chosson and Kallah must have similar goals and values for the family they will build IY”H. Their understanding of what is meaningful to them should be similar. If he wants to be a Chazan, and she hates Chazonus, there might be serious issues to overcome, especially when he is not home on Rosh Hashana or if he practices at home and she cannot stand hearing him do scales for example.

If this one wants to go on shlichus and this one wants to pursue a career, etc. Each set of circumstances comes with its baggage, and both parties must be ready to accept it. If your daughter wants a boy that will go on shlichus, she has to know that there will be sacrifices she will have to make. She may encounter hardships —real ones, not no pizza on Motzaei Shabbos!

It is more difficult these days to find Shlichus positions, and going on shlichus might entail starting a Chabad house in a new city. That has its own challenges and needs a particular character and talent.

All this has to be discussed. When our girls write they want someone who will go on shlichus, do they realize all the qualities that a person has to have to succeed? All the input they themselves will have to give? Do not use the phrase "going on shlichus" for a shortcut to a certain type of bochur. Spell it out.

Some girls, and boys as well, say they are looking for shlichus but what they are really saying is they want to be away from their parents, they want to be indipendent. Some girls say they want a boy who will go on shlichus when they mean they want a boy who is learning and serious about it. If that is the case say so!

Remember that couples who go on shlichus do so because they wish it with all their might and work hard to get a place. If you are "wishi washi" about it and not 110% dedicated you will not go on shlichus. In such a case you have dimished your chances of finding the right person and accomplished nothing. 

There are many boys out there who are over 23 and tired of doing nothing because they wait for their shidduch. Some go teach, some go learn a profession, some work. Many working boys are chassidish, have steady chavrusas, have good middos, are intellingent and good natured and all the good qualities one may want but because they are working they do not get the opportunity that a less qualified bocher has because he is sitting on a chair in 770.

Don't misunderstand. To those bochrim who are sincerely learning and utilizing their time before getting married to get in as much intense learning as they can now, because they know once married they will have responsibilities, kol hakavod. That is how it should be. But many do not have the "sitz fleish" for it, they do not have the drive, or whatever other reason. They just sit and half heartedly learn because it is the thing to do.

So to conclude: if you are looking for shlichus, sincerely and wholeheartedly, go ahead and stand by your decision. Find the bocher that will match your determination and I am sure you will be great shluchim. If you are just using "going on shlichus" as a buzword, then rearrange your thoughts, look at what qualities you are really looking for in a shidduch and spell them out. Then look at the bochrim that have those qualities, whether they are working or not.