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Dear Dr. Yael,

I was recently asked to redt a shidduch on behalf of a coworker’s son. It had actually been thought of by one of the young man’s friends who had gone out with the young lady. My involvement came about because the young man being redt was more comfortable dealing with an adult than a friend.


I spoke with the young lady’s mother and gave her information about the young man. When she said they were interested, I facilitated the first date. After that, the couple made their own arrangements. Within a few months they were engaged and I was invited to the l’chaim.

I introduced myself to the kallah and her parents and wished them mazal tov. I was surprised when the mother simply said, “Thanks for helping out at the beginning.”

Well, I thought, doesn’t every shidduch have a start? If there’s no beginning, there can be no end! And that is when I realized that she was making it clear that the family did not consider me to be the shadchan. Throughout the engagement period neither side displayed any gratitude, even with a simple a thank-you note.

To make matters worse, I was told by another coworker that a young person suggested the shidduch, but it had been given over to a professional shadchan to facilitate. It seems I got promoted to professional status; only professional shadchanim are usually acknowledged. I was not interested in tooting my horn, so I never mentioned it to them directly. I also felt my presence at the wedding infringed on their simcha, as the kallah‘s mother acted very awkward around me. I can only assume that she knew she had acted improperly and was therefore uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, this behavior is more common than I thought. I recently heard a number of similar shidduch stories. In one case, the shadchan only received the shadchanus money eighteen years after the couple got married. Another woman told me that a couple came five years after the wedding to say thank you. It seems after several years of infertility, a rav asked them if they ever acknowledged their shadchan. After making amends, they had a boy one year later.

I’m not the type of person who makes shidduchim for money or presents. However, I would hope that people who have been helped in any situation would express gratitude.

In addition, while I haven’t found a source, I do believe it is an inyan in halacha as well.



Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for bringing this important issue to our readers’ attention. Let me first address your last comment: paying a shadchan is a halachic obligation. While I am not a rav, the Rama (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 185:10) makes it clear that a shadchan is considered a broker and further (ibid. 87:39) says, “If a matchmaker claims the matchmaking fee and the other denies and says that he was not his matchmaker, or if there is any other dispute between them, the law is the same as any other monetary claim and they take oaths about it.”

Chazal tell us that making a shidduch is like Krias Yam Suf – it’s difficult and it takes a lot of work. I know some very successful shadchanim who are busy day and night on the phones. At the same time, we have a serious shidduch crisis and anyone who spends his or her time trying to alleviate it deserves our thanks.

I can only imagine the pain you felt at the lack of hakaras hatov. You were specifically asked to help set the couple up and, yes, there can’t be an ending without a beginning. Your involvement should have been acknowledged with a gift.


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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to [email protected]. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at