Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Do we tell our kids about the names that are suggested?

Personally, I do not believe they need to hear every name that comes up oe even every name we are looking into. It is true that they may feel we are not doing anything or that no names are being suggested, and we can explain that names are being suggested and we are looking into them but there is nothing concrete yet.

In the case of a boy, if we believe a prospect is interesting enough after a couple of calls, then we might pass on the information to our son if he insists on being kept in the loop. I personally prefer not to say anything until it becomes much more of a real possibility and less of a probability, but it really depends on the kind of communicaton you and your son have.

With girls I truly prefer not say anything until I have done all the research and believe it is a definite as far as us parents are concerned, and it is then up to my daughters. My reasoning is that girls are easily hurt, and if they hear how many times a name comes up and either gets rejected by us or by the other side, they might get feelings of insecurity.

These feelings may come from either the possible rejection or the feeling that their parents are too picky and no one will get through their vetting. Those are my reasons for not wanting to mention everything that comes up to either my girls or boys. Ultimately, it is a decision the individual parent should make.

In the book, “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover”, a story is brought down about the search for a Chazzan by the town of Brisk. The leaders of the community came to Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik with the names of the finalists: one of them had yirat shamaim; another was a big lamdan; another had wonderful midos, and so on and so forth. Rabbi Soloveichik listened to all of them and then asked one question: “Which one knows how to sing?”

Sometimes in the search we get distracted. We forget what the important middos are. We get lost, asking questions that do not matter, and we get sidetracked by minor annoyances. Let us stay focused and let us not procrastinate. I have spoken to some older singles and others who married at a later age than usual. They all said how at the end there were so many things that they had thought were indispensable, but as time went on, they did not seem so important.
Ultimately, their partner only had one or maybe two of the requirements they originally thought they could not live without.

Why do we have to wait until our kids are older, until they almost despair of finding their mate?

Let us strip the requirements to the bare minimum right now. Let us be more accepting, less fastidious now, so we do not have do it later. Look for compatibility, shared goals, solid character traits and health. Hair color, nationality, money and weight are not essentials.

In previous blogs we have looked at all kind of questions: questions to ask our kids, questions to ask a shadchan, questions to ask ourselves, questions to ask people for references . All this was to give you an idea, a reference point, a map. You know the destination, where you want to go--what are the important things for you. I hope I made it clear that we should emphasize the important points, the essential qualities, and not the fluff.

In “Eternal Joy”, a sefer anyone who is looking into shidduchim should have, the Rebbe writes:

“Surely, it need not be stressed that though, on one hand, before one makes a final decision regarding a shidduch it is essential to give the matter long and hard thought, nonetheless, it is also important to know that one cannot be one hundred percent guaranteed in advance. We are to rely on G-d, Who conducts the world as a whole, as well as the microcosmic world of each and every person; surely, He will lead the person to that which is best for him or her.”
(Igros Kodesh, Vol. V, p. 269)
Another important point:
“It is patently obvious that with regard to a shidduch it is the young man's and young woman's task (to make the decision; how to go about making the decision; what to do [after having made the decision, etc.]).” (From a handwritten response of the Rebbe)[2] But let’s keep in mind that: “... It is obvious that with regard to a shidduch, a child should not decide on his own, without one of the parents being on the scene....”
(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXIII, p. 113)
One last thought that we should memorize:
“Marriage is the most important event in the life of a man or woman; it leaves an indelible imprint on one's entire life. Such a decision requires considerable thought and cannot be done in haste.”
(Igros Kodesh, Vol. IV, p. 272)


Anonymous said...

what if one was burned already with a shidduch in the past, like for example someone who got divorced and part of the information that was given during research was absolutely false and the boy wants to know whats going on because he got burned already once and doesnt want to get burned again and if he happens to knwo some people or friends that can help him in research is that still something that he shouldnt be in the loop on?

Basmelech said...

I would not specify the following only for a boy or girl who got previously burned but for any boy or girl in the parsha nowadays: First read the blogs on Loshon Hora from February and March.
It is true that there is withholding of information where it is absolutely forbidden to do so, and there is outright lying. Because of this I agree that the boys' or girls' network sometimes works better than the parents' network. Therefore as long as the boys network holds to the proper standards of Loshen Hora, know what is allowed to be said and what is not, they will often produce better and truer info. This is my personal opinion.
The important point here is the timing. Let parents do their research and come to a consensus that this suggestion is a good one. Then pass the name along and let the boy/girl ask their friends and then let the parents confirm whatever info the kids have unearthed. There is no point in a boy or girl to run and ask their friends about every name that is suggested. It just spreads unnecessary gossip. If a name is worth it, then that is the time to ask one's friends; as long as one follows the halochos of rechilus,etc.
As far as being burned because of misleading information, that is unfortunately too common. In fact I have recently heard of a case where the girl's parents were not told of facts which can destroy a marriage r"l.
To all of you out there giving references, if you are not sure to say or not, ask a Rov but do not make such decisions on your own, you may ruin at least two lives.

Anonymous said...

did u read the article written on collive today about the skinny girl with yichus please give us your take on the matter and your honest opinion.

Anonymous said...

check out this survey, someone just sent it to me.

Anonymous said...

just saw this survey on's articel of why am i not married in one of the comments looks pretty interesting to me.
this is the link

Basmelech said...

I read the article on COLLive. It is well written and she makes many good points. For example she writes "I do agree 100% that there has to be a physical attraction, but many don't understand that being attracted to someone comes with getting to know them, .... More often than not, one rejects a shidduch based on looks, without even giving it a chance to see if something can come from it."
That is so very true. We are influenced by pictures way too much even if we do not wish to be. A resume with a picture may sometimes be rejected where the same res without the picture may be looked into. Of course the opposite is true as well and unfortunately too many people will be adversely influenced by images, reading into them qualities that do not exist.
She writes: "It comes down to a bochur [who]can be dating an amazing girl and he knows himself she's everything he needs in a wife, but he will continue to dig further, convincing himself there has to be someone else better out there for him."
There is a phenomena of boys (and sometimes girls) looking for the next one up and not paying enough attention to what is in front of their noses NOW.

I find that the second comment does make an important point: "Tall, thin, yichus are are assets you luckily received for free, from Hashem, without any work."

Previous generations did not have lists. They wanted a good boy/girl. Someone who was normal and responsible and a good baal habayis/balabusta.
Have we considered that we are asking too much? We are trying to get people to fit into impossibly contorted forms that we build out of fantasies.
Let us look for a normal, responsible, mentsh or a capable supportive helper and all will find what they are looking for.
One last point - sometimes the besherte one is waiting for is just not ready, and one side has to wait until he or she matures, comes to their senses, grows in avodas Hashem etc. Let us keep in mind that the right time is not when WE decide but when the Aibishter does.

Basmelech said...

Regarding the survey:
to what end would one fill out such a survey? Do we need statistics? What we need is a central database of boys and girls that is accessed only by shadchonim or Rabbonim with a short description of the person and that is updated all the time. Instead of reinventing the egg, if all bochrim were required to fill in a profile on we would be ahead of the game. Most shadchantes comment on the fact that they have stacks of resumes for fabulous girls (middos wise) and no boys to match them with. Is that because there are no boys? NO! it is because the mothers of those boys wait for phone calls to come to them and do not bother filling out forms or going to shadchonim etc. That is why there is a "shortage" of boys.
So tell me what benefit does this survey accomplish??

Bochur said...

I personally do not think that chabadmatch is for everybody.
Please explain to me how them knowing how big my beard is and if i say chitas as to what type of husband im going to be?
i am a bochur and im on the shidduch scene but i dont know why i should sign up
I am looking to get married and i need someone who is not wishy washy, know what they are and what theyre looking for in someone else and in life in general.
Someone who is nice and sweet and intelligent and not high maintenance, like someone who needs to be showered with jewelry every few months and i need someone who has good chassidishe values and grew up in a good chassidishe homeand good family with loving parents and good siblings.
What is important to me as well is that girl be pretty and that she dress well and takes care of herself. and how she looks is important to her, she needs to dress tzniusly, no low neck lines and walking out of the house with a tichel. But i dont need her to be in to the latest fashions from the latest vogue magazine "dress to kill" and to dress in a provocative way. I need someone who cares how she looks but is very well aware that, that is not the most important thing in life.
So do you really think that there is somone out there for me on chabad match how from a profile can you know what the person is really all about?
I dont think its possible unless you tell me how.
Anyways thanks for your posts and have a wonderful shabbos!!

Basmelech said...

A gut woch,
Let's see if I can give you an answer b4 I have to go.
Basically you are saying you are looking for: "Someone who is nice and sweet and intelligent and not high maintenance, that she dress well and she needs to dress tzniusly."

I cannot imagine that if you go to and put in your age request you do not get at least 10 profiles that match your needs. Then naturally you have to find out details by calling the contact number and if it is still in the ballpark do further research.

The good thing about is that it makes you think about where you are holding and what you are looking for and that goes on your profile. It is not how big your beard is but if you cut it, pick it, etc. it that tells people how you hold in this chassidishkeit level. This is very important to some and not at all to others.

Read the blog in March on and it will explain how the site functions.

Bottom line is that people who see a profile from chabadmatch are 10 steps ahead. They have an idea about what the boy (or girl) wants, how they see themselves, characteristics that are important to them etc. That is a lot more than being thrown a name or 2 or 5.
GTG, hope this helped.