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Even when a younger sister or brother would have good reason for marrying before an older one, permission from the older must be sought beforehand. That’s not so difficult to come by, we both agreed. After all, for the most part the older would not wish to be perceived as standing in the way, or of being resentful or bitter, and would generally grant his or her consent without hassle.

But who can really know what’s doing inside a person? Now that can be problematic. Feelings of envy can result in an ayin hara (a bad eye), and the heavy-heartedness of the skipped over older sibling may not bode well for the married younger. Thus chassidim try hard to avoid precipitating such negative energy fallout. Marrying children off in age sequence in the chassidish world is not simply the preferred method; it is a way of life. And since the likelihood of an eighteen year old “falling in love” is remote, their method has a high success rate.

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This insight into the modus operandi of the chassidishe approach should give us pause for reflection; things are not always as they may seem on the surface. As we know but need to be reminded from time to time, knowledge leads to understanding, which in turn promotes tolerance.

A special thanks to those who wrote with offers of possible shidduch prospects for Missed the boat; your messages have been conveyed. May Hashem facilitate the shidduch process for all singles and imbue them with the intuition to recognize their intended.

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