web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Shidduch Challenges: Nothing Has Changed


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

We have myriad matchmaking programs all over the world, from word of mouth to computerized, from well-intentioned individuals and professional shadchanim to singles organizations. And yet relatively few inroads have been made; the ever-growing singles population remains a daunting challenge.

We attribute it to this or that reason, all of them valid, and in forthcoming articles, B’ezras Hashem, I shall examine some of them, but for now I would like to make it clear that finding the right shidduch has always been difficult.

My husband, of blessed memory, related to me that prior to the Holocaust his father, the revered sage HaRav HaGaon HaTzaddik Osher Anshil HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, tried to make a shidduch for his daughter, my husband’s older sister. She was stunningly beautiful, bright, talented, and blessed with exemplary middos. Her chesed was of legendary proportions, but despite all these attributes there were terrible difficulties in making a shidduch for her.

The reason was simple enough – a prerequisite for a good shidduch in those days was for the girl’s family to offer a substantial dowry. As a rabbi struggling with a meager salary, my father-in-law had all to do just to support his family and could not offer the dowry that parents of outstanding boys were seeking for their sons.

Having no option, my revered father-in-law approached various members of his congregation, explained his predicament and asked for a raise in salary. They were all sympathetic and understanding of their beloved rabbi’s situation. The long-awaited night of the congregational meeting arrived – and, incredibly, the request was voted down.

You can imagine the terrible disappointment. Trying to understand what could possibly have gone wrong, my husband’s older brother, HaRav HaGaon Moshe Nossen Notte, Hy”d, quipped, “It’s like bassar v’cholov [meat and milk]: separately, they’re kosher, but when you combine then, they become treif!”

And so it was that my beautiful sister-in-law was taken to Auschwitz without having known the joy of going under the chuppah.

Why do I relate this painfully sad story? The answer should be obvious. Every generation has its own daunting shidduch challenges. Unfortunately, finding the right shidduch is not a new phenomenon, nor is it limited to our contemporary world. We, the Jewish people, have always been keenly aware of the overwhelming difficulty inherent in this search. No sooner is a child born than we bless the new arrival with an amazing berachah: “L’Torah, l’chuppah, l’ma’asim tovim – May this child live a life of Torah, go under the chuppah and be an embodiment of good deeds.”

Once, as this blessing was being pronounced at a bris, I happened to overhear a young women laughingly say to her friend, “We Jews are something else. The poor kid just came into this world and we are already worried about his shidduch!”

“Forgive me,” I said to her, “but I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. You are quite correct. From the very moment of birth we beseech the Almighty to guide our child to his designated soul mate, for that is the most daunting challenge to humankind – a challenge so awesome it can make or break a man and leave indelible marks on future generations.

“So it is that even as we wish mazel tov, we understand the wish must go with a prayer that G-d grant the parent the merit of seeing that child under the chuppah. It is a gift no Jewish parent takes for granted. The Torah itself testifies to this by relating in great detail the efforts of Avraham Avinu when he sought a wife for his son Yitzchok. Indeed, one might wonder why the Torah, the holiest of Books, in which G-d proclaims His Divine commandments, would dwell on a parent’s shidduch search, But the question itself is the answer, for the very fact that Hashem devotes an entire parshah to it testifies to its importance. There can be no greater priority for Jewish parents.”

Tragically, in our society parents have little if anything to say. Very often mothers or fathers quietly consult me to see if I can do something for their children, and they invariably add that their children are not to know.

Just consider this for a moment. I, a non-family member, can ask or recommend, but a mother or father has to remain silent. This is the culture we’ve created.

Our father Avraham was the wealthiest, most prominent man in his generation. He had vast holdings – real estate, livestock, servants, etc. The shidduch parshah opens (Bereishis 24:1) with the Torah relating that Avraham was on in years and had made his last will and testament. He called in the loyal executor of his estate, Eliezer, and charged him with the responsibility of carrying out his will. Amazingly, nothing was said of his material possessions. Avraham made only one demand of Eliezer: that he find a shidduch for Yitzchok in accordance with his specifications.

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.

3 Responses to “Shidduch Challenges: Nothing Has Changed”

  1. Avraham says:

    Part of the blame for the “shidduch crisis” belongs to the rebbeim. When I was dating (early 70′s), there were mixers, house parties and other low-pressure ways for couples to meet. A couple met at our wedding. Now, mixed seating at weddings is considered pritsus (sp), so my friends never would have had a chance to meet.

    Shadchanim can do a good job but the average ethics level is right up there with lawyers and used car salesmen.

    Until the rebbeim loosen up, start caring about singles and allow people to meet naturally, the shidduch cris with with us forever.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a government meeting.
Proposed Conversion Bill, Change in Local Rabbinate Power Nixed by Netanyahu
Latest Judaism Stories
God-and the world

The creation of the world is described twice. Each description serves a unique purpose.

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Lessons-in-Emunah-new

To the surprise of our protectzia-invested acquaintances, my family has thrived in our daled amos without that amenity, b’ezras Hashem.

Business-Halacha-logo

Shimon started adjusting the branches on the roof. In doing so, a branch fell off the other side of the car and hit the side-view mirror, cracking it.

I, the one who is housed inside this body, am completely and utterly spiritual.

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Shammai Did Not Follow Their Own Ruling’
(Yevamos 13b 14a)

If one hurts another human being, God is hurt; if one brings joy to another, God is more joyous.

I’m grateful to Hashem for everything; Just the same, I’d love a joyous Yom Tov without aggravation.

Bereshit: Life includes hard choices that challenge our decisions, leaving lingering complications.

Rabbi Fohrman:” Great evils are often wrought by those who are blithely unaware of the power they wield.”

The emphasis on choice, freedom and responsibility is a most distinctive features of Jewish thought.

The Torah emphasizes the joy of Sukkot, for after a season of labor, we celebrate our prosperity.

The encounter with the timeless stability of the divine occurs within the Sukkot.

Hashem created all human beings and it should sadden us when Hashem, their Father, does not see nachas from them.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

“There is nothing new under the sun” is as valid today as it was yesterday.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

What does Hashem want of us? That we should protect each other and the awesome heritage He gave us.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/shidduch-challenges-nothing-has-changed-2/2012/02/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: