ChabadMatch Update

Tamuz 5780 Edition 47

Mayanot Connects

We are excited to partner with the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies in the launch of The site caters to Mayanot Alumni and utilizes the ChabadMatch and technology. We welcome all the new Shadchanim on board as well as the many new singles that have joined.

Shidduch at the Ohel

Michael Rosenberg* was 32. A nice, Modern Orthodox Jewish boy with an MBA in business, he had dated many girls but he just had not found the right one for him yet. Although his family had made Aliyah to Israel he lived in New York. Last September, the Israeli basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv was flown into New York to play the New York Knicks, in a fund-raiser for Yeshivas Migdal Ohr in Israel, a Yeshiva that takes troubled kids off the streets, provides them with all their needs, and gives them a proper Jewish education. Considering it a very worthwhile charity, Michael got very involved, helping to sell VIP tickets and raising thousands of dollars for the Yeshiva. At the game he struck up a conversation with a middle-aged couple sitting next to him, and pretty soon the nice lady was privy to all the major details of his life… “What? You’re not married? How come a nice boy like you isn’t married? You know, I’m not a Shadchan, but I do like to fix up people and I know so many girls… Would you like me to set you up with a nice girl? Talk to me a little so I can figure you out, know what you’re looking for, and I can probably give you a whole list of names of girls to call.” Mike had heard these lines many times before, but he figured it couldn’t hurt. So they had a nice talk, he gave her his number, and she promised she’d call him within a day or two. Days, weeks, a month passed, and he never heard from her. About a month later, one of Mike’s cousins became very ill, and his sisters were very worried. Mike called and suggested that they go to the Ohel to pray for their brother. “But we’re not Chabad,” they protested. “So what, neither am I. But if you were in Israel , you would go to the Kotel to pray for him; here in New York you go to the Rebbe’s Ohel. Daven. Say some Tehillim for him. What could it hurt? And you know what, even if you don’t go, I’m going!”  And he dragged them off to the Ohel to daven for his sick cousin. Michael went into the men’s section; his cousins into the women’s area. He said some Tehillim, a few prayers, and walked out. But his cousins were still inside, and he couldn’t reach them. So he drank a coffee, walked around a little, drank another coffee, started to get just a tiny bit annoyed. Then he thought – why am I just wasting my time? I may as well go in and Daven a little more. As he walked in he noticed a small pamphlet which said “Tefillah L’Zivug” (a Prayer to Find a Match). Well, as long as he was there already, why not say a prayer for himself as well, since he really would like to get married… As soon as he walked out of the Ohel, his cell phone rang. The lady from the basketball game was on the other line. She had a girl for him. She apologized that it had taken so long, but it had taken her a month to find for him the perfect girl. Michael joked “after a month, I would think you would have six names for me!” “No, only one, but I’m convinced that she’s perfect.” Later on, Michael related that as soon as he heard the woman’s voice, as he was walking out of the Ohel, he was certain that she had the right girl for him. The wedding took place in May.

*Name has been changed for privacy                              

Monthly Newsletter

Enjoy reading our monthly newsletter? Previous editions have now been uploaded here for your convenience.

Rebbe's Igros: Willingness to Concede to Better Mitzvah Performance

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXIV, p. 16)

In reply to your letters in which you ask my advice regarding a Shidduch in which there was an implication [from the other party] with regard to cutting your beard:

It is both self-understood and eminently plain that a Shidduch should be founded on the good determination and firm resolve to assist each other in all matters, and surely so [to assist each other] with regard to Jewish matters, the Torah and its commandments, as they are the foundation for the happiness of a Jewish man and woman in this world and in the next.

It is also self-evident that there are continuous ascending levels and degrees in matters of goodness and holiness. In the language of our Sages, of blessed memory, this is classified as Mitzvah, Hiddur Mitzvah, and Mehadrin min HaMehadrin [a) the basic observance of the commandment; b) “adorning” and enhancing the commandment by being scrupulous in its observance; c) being the “most scrupulous of the scrupulous”].

Even those whose level of observance — for whatever reason — is only that of “Mitzvah,” are also aware that the meaning of “Hiddur Mitzvah” simply means — as the term implies — additional adornment and enhancement of the mitzvah’s performance, though they themselves do not perform the mitzvah in this manner.

It is both plain and obvious that one’s daily proper conduct according to the Torah and its Mitzvos serves as the vehicle and vessel for receiving G‑d’s blessings in all that a Jew needs. It follows that when one needs and requires a special blessing, the manner of obtaining this blessing is by strengthening and enhancing one’s conduct of Torah and Mitzvos.

From all the above it is understood that even according to those who maintain1 that not cutting the beard is a Hiddur Mitzvah, G‑d forbid that this be done when one is in need of a special blessing from the Giver of the Torah and the Commander of the Mitzvos. This is particularly so when one is laying the foundation to the eternal edifice of marriage.

It is patently obvious that he who has conducted his life for many years according to the codifiers who maintain that not cutting one’s beard is a Torah commandment, G‑d forbid and Heaven forfend to change this manner of conduct even in an ordinary situation ([and] how much more so in a time such as this [i.e., prior to marriage]).

As mentioned above, even when one party has been educated according to the opinion that not cutting the beard is merely a hiddur, the first and foremost obligation is always to strengthen the second party’s superior observance of Judaism — even if it is a Hiddur Mitzvah.

Surely this is so when the other party has conducted his life in this manner, and how much more so when the other party maintains that this is a dictate and a commandment and not merely a Hiddur Mitzvah.

It is self-understood that all the above regarding cutting the beard similarly applies to many Mitzvos of the Torah, including aspects of conduct in one’s daily life. Therefore, before you finalize the Shidduch it is imperative that both of you are absolutely clear and certain of the above, that one party be able to forego their own opinion and stance when the other party considers [the issue] a matter of import, as this is [in his view] a Hiddur Mitzvah.

With regard to a shared life [of husband and wife], this concession must not be because there seems to be no other choice and thus one is compelled to concede — a concession made with a feeling of embitterment and antagonism, and so on and so forth. Rather, one makes this concession gladly and willingly.

As stated above, this applies not only to cutting the beard, but to all mitzvos of the Torah and their performance in a manner of Hiddur Mitzvah, as problems such as this one can potentially occur quite often. The resolution of this matter must be made in a spirit of goodwill and with joy and gladness of heart — something that is crucial with regard to all the above.

From the preceding you can well understand my view with regard to your question:

The two of you must assess and evaluate your own selves in as frank and candid a manner as possible: Are you ready to make concessions whose direction, as stated above, is always going to be one-sided: in the direction of giving more consideration to enhanced and adorned performance of the Mitzvos?

Your decision [regarding the Shidduch] should be based in conformance with the above assessment and evaluation.

Facebook Twitter