web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » Judaism

More On Shidduch Challenges


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Some readers may wonder why I’ve devoted so many recent columns to this subject. The answer is that finding one’s shidduch has become a problem that has reached crisis proportions in the Jewish world. And despite all the efforts of individuals and community leaders, the crisis shows no signs of abating.

In last week’s column I concluded that the first step in finding “that right one” is to know what to look for – something most singles, sadly, do not.

The one “must” quality on which no one should compromise is finding a soul mate with a good heart; if that’s lacking, the entire package will fall apart.

Often when I explain to singles their number one priority is to determine whether a prospective spouse is blessed with a good heart, they wonder how exactly they can do that. On a date it is so easy to become distracted by the superficial – looks, money, charisma, etc. – but that is precisely why, in the Torah world, parents investigate before their children ever meet.

I’m not suggesting these inquiries are always foolproof. There can be many glitches, but just the same we have to do our hishtadlus – put forth our best effort.

The first step in this process is to know his or her family background. For better or worse, we are all products of our past. Even if we intellectually reject the dysfunctional aspects of family life we witnessed in our homes, and swear we will never repeat the mistakes of our parents, many of us will eventually discover that not only have we become carbon copies of our moms and dads, but worse, in addition to their aberrations we’ve added a few of our own.

For example, if he comes from a family in which his father was never available, chances are he will see no necessity to make himself available to his own children. And if she comes from a family in which her mother was an absentee parent, it is likely she will neglect her children as well. Or if he comes from a home in which his parents resolved their conflicts through shouting or exchanging insults, he may well do the same. And this holds true with regard to an entire gamut of attitudes.

There are families in which everything becomes an issue, and there is constant squabbling and acrimony. Of course, conflicts exist in every marriage, but in a good home, where parents have kind hearts, they are respectful of one another – and, most important, resolve their conflicts behind closed doors without the children being aware of or drawn into them. Through their example they teach their children the art of establishing a good home.

But the investigation does not conclude there, for even in the best of homes there can be aberrations. There may be a son or daughter with serious character flaws, and so parents continue their inquiries with in-depth questioning of former and present friends, classmates, dorm partners, co-workers, rabbis, teachers, camp counselors, friends and neighbors.

Admittedly, even with all that we cannot possibly know whether what we hear is the truth, but here too Torah law helps us.

While we are not permitted to gossip or speak pejoratively about others, we are required to respond honestly to specific questions regarding marriage partners. But we have to know how to ask.

For example, instead of inquiring “Is he nice?” – which doesn’t mean a thing – we zero in on specific concerns that reflect character and values. How does he get along with his co–workers or classmates? Is he helpful to them? Does he lose his temper easily? Does he hold grudges? Is he moody? Is he dependent on medication in order to function? Does he think everything is coming to him?

Is he possessive and jealous? How does he handle money? Is he the type who is always borrowing? Does he give charity? (It’s not the amount that counts, but the manner in which he gives – grudgingly or with an open hand. And this doesn’t pertain only to money, but to all forms of giving.)

Is his word to be trusted? Does he have self-destructive habits? How does he relate to the members of his family? Does he refer to his parents or siblings pejoratively? Does he gossip and malign others?

Does he have what we call in Hebrew simchas hachayim – a positive attitude toward life – or is he moody? In the end, we never know where life will take us, and a positive attitude is one of the greatest attributes anyone – male or female – can have.

Observant families have an added responsibility, and that is to assess the potential partner’s religious commitment. Parents will not simply ask whether he attends daily minyan, they will also want to know whether he arrives on time and whether he davens or chats with others during the davening. If he’s no longer in yeshiva, they will want to know if he commits time regularly for Torah study.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “More On Shidduch Challenges”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Eleven people were injured by a motorist who plowed into a crowd in southern France. The driver yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked. Dec. 21, 2014
French Driver Shouting “Allahu Akbar” Plows into Crowd
Latest Judaism Stories
Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

When art and evil are intermingled, evil is elevated and made acceptable.

In BB, he said “You, my children are the angels of Shabbos and the licht are your beautiful eyes.”

Why does Hebrew refer to mothers-in-law as “sunshine” when society often calls them the opposite?

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

The call of the shofar is eternal. It is not musical. Its magnetic allurement cannot be explained.

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/more-on-shidduch-challenges/2012/01/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: