Thursday, May 21, 2009

How much research

Like every thing else, just mentioning the words “shiduchim research” in a group, will bring conflicting and contradictory opinions.

A popular story is the one of the Rov who was presented a case, and after the first side speaks, he agrees with him. Then when the second side speaks, he agrees with him, so the Rov's wife asks him, “How can they both be right?”, and he responds to her, “You are also right!”

So it is with research: there are those who say there is not enough research done and that is why later problems may arise, and they are right. On the other hand, there are those that say that research has gotten out of hand, and people ask questions that have no relevance to the character of the person in question--they are also right. I guess they can both be right.

Research can prevent all sorts of problems later on. Make sure the character presented is truly the character that is (as shown previously). When the couple does meets, it should be just to make sure they have a connection and are on the same wavelength. They should enjoy talking to each other and be able to relate to each other. Going out should not be about general research. All that should be done in advance.

That is how it is possible for a couple to go out 5 or 8 times and say yes. All that has to be discovered by the couple is if they have an affinity for each other. (I’ll return to the subject later when we discuss dating.)

On the other hand, overkill in research is not conducive to a good result. Often inappropriate questions are asked. Another example of an unsuitable question would be: What kind of car do the parents drive? It might indicate the financial level of the family, but there are better and more direct ways to find that out.

Everyone has a "skeleton in the closet" it may be more or less substantial but no one alive can bare their life and come out "roses". Peccadilloes abound. The thing is to know what are peccadilloes that can be ignored and information that will make a difference in our children's lives.

Heath issues, as will be written in a future blog entry, should be always checked out. Rumors should be taken as untrue but followed up to make sure. Stick to facts in all things, assumptions and gossip are not good information.

Someone said that unfortunately, we are living in a culture that makes more of defining a person by the subcategories of subcategories which they fit into than by the nobility of their character. This is indeed a sad state of affairs. And this is what we should avoid doing in our research. Don’t ask question to categorize people; ask questions that will reveal their personality and character.