Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Unfortunate Habit

It has become common for boys and girls to discuss with their peers details of the dates they have been on.
This is certainly forbidden and has no constructive value. If a bochur or a girl feels that someone he/she has gone out with may fit one of her/his friends, they should approach their parents, a mashpia or some other person who is capable to “redt” the shidduch and have them do so in the regular way. To simply gossip "discuss" the dates one has had is pure loshon hora with no redeeming qualities. An inadvertent comment may ruin someone’s shidduch, as that boy/girl will have a preconceived notion about the prospective shidduch which may be quite erroneous and therefore harmful.
In the matter of shidduchim, it is most necessary to conduct oneself with tznius and not advertise with whom and when one went out. Brocha only comes if things are done quietly and modestly, and this should be especially so with shidduchim.

There is an enormous amount of peer pressure, certainly among the girls, to share one’s experiences when one goes out, or to keep best friends “in the loop” when names are offered as possible shidduchim.
It is not correct for a girl or a boy to reveal any information about a prospective shidduch or what happens on their date, to a friend. Even if the friend might get offended because they are "kept out" this should not influence the boy or girl to disclose this information. It is unfortunate that friends feels slighted but it cannot be helped. Where is their caring for the friend's privacy? Girls do not realize that this is not another sleepover secret whispered under the covers. This is a time when you make life altering decisions. A serious matter, not something to be shared in girlish confidences. It will bolster our S/D if we, as parents, explain to them how any information having to do with shidduchim, either at earlier stages or even during dating, should not be given out.

There is a much debated Mishna which enjoins one not to talk a lot with a woman (“Al tarbe sicha im haisha”). Chazal say the language of the posuk for "talk" is sicha which is translated as light conversation, not an intellectual exchange of ideas or even general practical matters. This is conversation with no redeeming qualities, and no practical value. Some commentaries mention that the posuk expressively says ‘HaIsha’ (the woman) and the article “the” denotes a wife. So we are warned not to gossip even if it is just between husband and wife. Imagine how much more we are enjoined not to gossip among friends and acquaintances.