Dear Mrs. Bluth,
I read last weeks letter with bile in my throat, recalling the ordeal we lived through with our oldest son. He came home from his second year in Eretz Yisroel ready to begin dating. Most of his friends were already married and, when he saw a young lady at wedding who caught his eye, we set about getting a shadchan to intercede for us. Sadly, nothing came of it. Okay, that happens, we thought. However, after many more attempts that seemed to go “nowhere,” we began to suspect that there was someone giving erroneous information about him.
Just recently, my husband found himself davening next to the father of one of our son’s best friends. My husband shared with him our son’s difficulty in getting shidduchim and the father told him he knew exactly what was going in. He said that his son, now happily married with a child on the way, had experienced the same ordeal. He told my husband that when his son met his wife, the shadchan had warned him to make a large donation to the yeshiva, or the Rosh Yeshiva would not have good things to say when the other party asked for his opinion. My husband and I were dumbfounded and disgusted that the Rosh Yeshiva would capitalize on the bochrim in this way and even hinder their chances of getting married if a check was not forthcoming.
Our son is a wonderful young man, bright, talented and a good learner. His only drawback is that he doesn’t have rich parents who can “buy” him a “good” report. My husband and I both work and barely make enough to cover the bills of a large family. Baruch Hashem, we don’t owe anyone any money, we don’t borrow what we cannot return and we live within our frugal means. Mrs. Bluth, do you have any suggestions for us?
I can truly understand how sad and dejected you feel, and I wish I could say that I am surprised at the revelation that there are some rotten apples in the “clergy apple barrel’,” but I am not. As abhorrent as it may be, there are rabbis who will use anyone in anyway to bring in revenue for their institutions. Suffice it to say, these are people with little regard for the Torah they are supposed to represent.
That being said, there is a way out – bypass the Rosh Yeshiva. Find a rav in your community, maybe from his yeshiva or from his shul, who you can use as a referral for your son. At the same time, daven well that Hashem send you proper shluchim and may you soon write to tell us about the true zivugim you have found for all of your children.