web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

Marriages don’t go sour over that which transpires at the UN, in Washington or in Jerusalem, but they do become battlefields over “little things” which in the end aren’t so little after all.

Our sages ask, “Who is wise?” They respond, “He who can foretell the future.” Obviously, they were not discussing prophecy. What they were referring to is the ability to project consequences. Given certain information, we should be able to estimate what sort of spouse or parent a person will be. Background checks therefore are vital, and this applies to both genders.

Marriage is the most important decision of one’s life and affects not only the individual but his or her descendants for generations to come. So we cannot be too careful and must pray for Hashem’s guidance.

(To Be Continued)

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.

Current Top Story
Stabbing at Gay Parade
6 Stabbed in Jerusalem ‘Gay Pride’ Parade by Haredi Repeat Gay Stabber
Latest Judaism Stories
Ahava=Love; Happy Tu B'Av!

Six events occurred on Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

Shmuz-logo-NEW

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo-NEW

Perhaps the admonition here is that we should not trivialize the events of the past by saying that they are irrelevant to the modern Jew.

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

The 10 Statements main point was not content but the encounter between G-d & His nation, Israel

Before going in, I had told R’ Nachum all of the things we were doing in Philly, and how it was very important to receive a good bracha on behalf of our newest venture, a Russian Kollel.

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

(JNi.media) Tisha B’Av (Heb: 9th of the month of Av) is a fast day according to rabbinic law and tradition, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE by the Roman army led […]

Devarim often parallels the stories in Bereishit but in reverse & can be considered as a corrective

‘Older’ By A Month
‘…Until The Beginning Of Adar’
(Nedarim 63a)

We realize how much we miss something only after it’s gone.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Money comes and goes but its love, commitment, warmth, and kindness that make a family a family.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Pesach bonds families and generations: “So that you may relate it to your son and your son’s son.

Amalek’s hate never dies; its descendants are eternal & omnipresent; Hashem is our only protection

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: