Thursday, May 21, 2009

Researching basics

Whether you take a name out of the girls/boys list or someone suggests a possibility, research has to be done. There are various ways to do research.
One may do in-depth research straight away. Once all the facts are in and you and your child have agreed this offer is worth pursuing, then you advise the shadchan that they may tell the other family about your interest. Naturally, at this point you have to sit and wait. The other family must have time to do their own research.
When one family has done the research and it is your turn, please do not drag your feet. The other side is in “limbo” until they get an answer, yes or no.

In a different scenario, one may do preliminary research to see if the name suggested is what one is looking for. If it is and the shadchan advises that the other side is also agreeable in principle, more in-depth research is warranted. During research, some parents and children will often concentrate on the prospective spouse’s qualities and completely ignore the family he or she comes form. This is not a good idea as a person is part of a family unit, and therefore, we must make sure that our child will be able to integrate with the other members of this family. On the other hand, there are occasions when a friend or a family member will discourage a shidduch simply because of the family the prospect comes from. This is also wrong in principle. Do not categorically reject a shidduch because of the family. It may well be that the prospect is the perfect person for your son or daughter irrespective of the family he comes from. So as in everything else in life, both sides of the question have to be taken into account. Do not discount what you heard about the family, it may help in situations in the future. Do ask a Rov if what you heard should have an impact on the shidduch. Generally the Rov may tell you that one should not hold the children responsible for the "sins of the parents", but every case is different. Always keep in mind that forewarned is forearmed. Check out to see if your child will mesh with the other siblings and family members. If your research of the boy/girl shows they are what you are looking for but you do not like the family at large, do not “throw out the baby with the bath water.” Investigate the prospect further, and make a decision based on the good qualities of the prospect and on the Rav's advice.