ChabadMatch Update

Teves 5777 Edition 8

Sensitivity Towards an Older Sibling

Rabbi Shabtai Salvaticki, Shliach to Antwerp, Belgium shared the following story during this year's Kinnus:

The custom of Chassidim is to write to the Rebbe to receive approval for a Shidduch, receive the Rebbe's Bracha, and only then complete the Shidduch. When R' Shabtai and his future wife were ready to get engaged, they wrote to the Rebbe. After one week, she received a reply from the Rebbe praising the Choson and approving the Shidduch. However, R' Shabtai didn't receive any reply, despite confirming with the Rebbe's secretary that his letter was passed to the Rebbe. 

After a month, the father of the Kallah sent a letter to the Rebbe asking if he should look for another Choson? The Rebbe replied: I already wrote to you that you have an excellent Choson, why search for another?

R' Shabtai and his father then came to the Rebbe and asked what to do regarding the Shidduch. The Rebbe asked if R' Shabtai has an older unmarried sister? They replied yes, and the Rebbe responded by asking if they had asked her if she approves of the Shidduch? The Minhag is to ask permission from an older sibling before closing a Shidduch. They replied that R' Shabtai's sister had given the OK. The Rebbe asked if they are sure that she gave the OK, and maybe they should send her another letter to ask again? The father replied that he will send a letter quickly now to get her OK. The Rebbe replied that it is necessary to write a long, respectful letter to her asking if she truly give the OK.

They went and wrote a respectful, convincing letter, requesting her permission. After she replied with her approval, they forwarded the request to the Rebbe, but still did not receive a reply. 

After 6 months had passed, the Kallah wrote a letter to the Rebbe stating that she can not continue to wait any longer. She could not understand how she received a Bracha and the Choson still didn't receive a reply and she wants to know if she should cancel the Shidduch. The Rebbe relied with the word: בקרוב (Soon) underlined twice.

They waited...

A week later, R' Shabtai's older sister got engaged. The next day a letter from the Rebbe arrived with the Rebbe's Bracha for R' Shabtai's Shidduch. 

Sometimes someone will say they are OK, but deep down they are not. The Rebbe could feel the sister's pain, and this story is a lesson for all of us, to develop more sensitivity to those around us. 

Rabbi Manis Friedman: How Do You Know if She's the One

Shadchan Up Close: Akiva Perl of Crown Heights

Q. How did you first get involved in Shidduchim?

A. It started with my friend from Elementary School in the UK, 27 years ago in a Succah. We invited him to our communal Succah and when he came to eat by us my wife thought that our next door neighbor could be a great match for him. Boruch Hashem that was successful, and one led to the next and I started getting more involved in Shidduchim. I am in the Data Recovery business, most of the work is performed at night, so that gives me time during the day to work on Shidduchim. My Mashpia encouraged this, and Boruch Hashem have seen much success in it.


Q. What Shidduchim do you focus on?

A. The 19-35 Chabad Anash age group. I focus on English speakers, as it's important to be able to connect with potential choson and kallah in their mother tongue and understand their mentality.

Q. What suggestions do you have for Shidduchim in the Parsha?
A. A decade ago, things were much simpler. A Shadchan would make a suggestion, the singles would go out, and there would be a few words from each side summing up the date. Today people are much more
inquisitive, and the process is more complicated.

The more the parents allow the Shadchan to be involved one on one with the singles, the more beneficial it is. Sometimes I find there being a
large generation gap between the children and the parents, in one recent case a mother said it's over and the girl said that it's still on.

Some Shadchanim will make a suggestion, and if there is interest, great, and if not, they see it is as Hashgacha Pratis and move on. This week I had made a suggestion where I knew both sides well, one
side was interested and the other side said no. I could have moved on, but it's important for me to understand what conveyed one side to say no considering the compatibility that both sides had.

Communication directly with the singles is also crucial. I recently had a couple go out, the girl said the date did not go well, and the sister of the boy said it went well and they would like to continue. I asked to speak to the boy directly and realized that he wanted to
continue because he felt this was what was protocol, but the date had not been a success. As parents it's important to let the Shadchan get involved directly with both singles, their experience should be utilized in closing the Shidduch and not just making a suggestion.

Another important subject that needs to be worked on is reference checking. Often times, a reference will embellish about someone so much that the other side may feel that this person is too great for them.
Had they been more honest as a reference, the other side would have had interest. It's also important for parent to learn what questions to ask and how to ask them, and this is a project that I'm working on
right now.

Akiva Perl can be reached at or 718-778-4766.

Dating Course

Use coupon code: Chabadmatch to receive a 60% discount on Rabbi Manis Friedman's 3-Part Teleseminar for Bochurim and Girls.


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