Friday, January 4, 2013

A reply to Rabbi Boteach

Rabbi Boteach wrote an article in the Algemeiner about the tired old refrain, that the system is broken and how are our children going to get married.

Here is a link to the article:

And here is my full  reply:

I am sure Rabbi Boteach, that you are familiar with the saying from our Sages: "There is nothing new under the sun." 

This system of matchmaking goes back to Avraham  Avinu. He sent Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak. Throughout the ages since, there have been times when shidduchim were harder than at other times, and naturally in our days, as we are so close to the era of Moshiach, this most holy endeavor is most difficult to accomplish. 

So you are right, it is not easy these days to make shidduchim. It is not easy for the parents, for the young men and women and for the shadchonim. 

But aren't we forgetting something? Isn't it G-d in final analysis that actually does the shidduchim? Does not the Medrash Rabbah (Genesis 68:3-4) quote Rabbi Yossi telling the Roman Matrona that since the six days of creation, "G-d sits and makes matches"? 

Things did not change that much, there IS nothing new under the sun, the system is not broken. We are!We are so influenced by Hollywood and Disney that we only look for the "Knight in Shining Armor", the "perfect match" etc. 

Since when are we or our children "perfect"? We do not recognize with our limited vision that the choice presented today is indeed perfect and custom made for our young man. No, we are looking for something better... 

And so by choice (because we have choice in all things) we say no again and again. And unfortunately the older we get the more difficult it is to match us, and for the majority, a slow descent in frumkeit follows, so our matched offers change, but sometimes our parents do not want to acknowledge our descent and still look for what would have been a match years ago, but no longer.

And why complain so greatly about shadchonim? The majority puts a lot of work into trying to match up couples. Most of the work is unrewarded and unappreciated. Most often the recipients do not even know the amount of hours a shadchan put in on their behalf, because the idea did not pan out. So do not be upset at the shadchonim, professional or not. 

You think Hashem has only shadchonim as messengers? The best shidduchim are made by family and friends, hopefully no one has a shortage of family, friends, acquaintances, teachers, Rabbis, neighbors, chance encounters etc. 

Before we throw our kids out in the very rough waters of "single events", let us fix our expectations and etend our search patterns beyond the shadchonim and tap into the larger circle of our friends, family etc.  

Last but not least, let us and our children increase our prayers and our charity. Let us articulate our requests, asking G-d again and again like a child to his father for what we need. G-d is still making matches all we have to do is let Him do His Job!