Friday, June 12, 2009

Bochrim Questions

About a boy (some questions may not be appropriate in all cases):
  • Where did he go to yeshiva?
Besides the obvious, this question helps you know more about the general approach the boy has in life. For example, in the yeshivish world, if one hears a boy has been to Brisk, or Mir, or Chaim Berlin, one can tell by the yeshiva what approach the boy is comfortable with. In Chabad, if one hears the boy was in Tzfas or in Detroit, it would also give an idea of his derech.
On the other hand, it is also possible that someone went ot a particular yeshiva but does not ascribe to the derech of the yeshiva, but because of circumstances he went to learn there. Therefore do not make major assumptions because of the place the bocher went to learn at.
It is useful to know what he is doing now besides waiting for a shidduch to happen. Is he sitting in Yeshiva learning because he is really a lamdan, enjoys learning, and is gaining from it, or is he just wasting time until he finds a shidduch?
Is the boy who is "treading water" (staying in yeshiva just because of shidduchim) before he gets married and can go to work, a better choice than the boy who is now working (or studying for a profession) and learning on the side?
  • Is he helping out a shliach while he waits?
  • Is he learning a business, a career?
  • Is he working part time and learning part time?
  • Is he teaching?
  • Does he have Smicha? Is he interested in getting Smicha?
  • What did he do until now?
  • What did he do with his summers? This might tell you something about his character. If he was often a counselor in a camp, it might indicate he is gregarious, outgoing, and likes kids.
  • Is he a learner, or does he just learn because he is waiting for a shidduch?
    Yes it was asked before but as they say, if at first you don’t succeed... If you did not get a satisfactory answer to #2 and you wish to know if he is the kind of boy that is more laid back rather than pro-active, go ahead and ask straight out.
  • Can he give over a D’var Torah? This is not a measurement of his learning; many boys know a lot but would rather listen to others than talk themselves. Rather, this will tell you if he is a quieter boy or he is comfortable to stand up in front of people and expound. It might be important to some girls and not important to others. If he wants to go on shlichus, being able to stand up and give over a drasha is a useful, sometimes indispensable skill.
  • For a boy who is now in Yeshiva, you might want to ask if he goes on mivtzoim regularly.
  • If you are asking a friend or a Rebbi, ask about his learning if he is a masmid and if he is on time for Seder, if he learns Chassidus before Davening, and other such questions.
  • If you are asking a neighbor or another reference they might not know and guess.
Know what kind of questions to ask, depending on who you are talking to.
  • Is he enterprising or laid back? Give examples of what you mean (subjective question). Put the examples in the situation that is important to you. e.g., is he comfortable to go up to strangers for Mivtzoim or does he like to go to people he established a relationship with? Or maybe you want to know if he is the kind of kid who used to sell doughnuts in elementary, swept peoples driveways etc. Give examples that will be meaningful to you and will reveal a side of his character