Lesson 122b Summarry of laws regarding shidduchim part 1
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Summary of laws regarding shiduchim
- I’m a bit confused as to what I’m allowed to say and what
I’m not, regarding shiduchim. Would you mind summarizing these laws?
- Not at all. There are 4 general categories. Each category
has its own set of guidlines. Today, we will list the 4 categories and
discuss the laws pertaining to category #1. The 4 categories are as
- Suggesting or advising someone to pursue a possible
- Advising someone not to pursue a particular shiduch.
- Responding to questions about a possible shiduch.
- Advising or responding to questions regarding a couple
who are already engaged.
- Suggesting or advising someone to pursue a possible
Important note: The
following are only general guidelines. Every situation has its own unique set
of circumstances which can sometimes have a bearing on these guidelines. What
you say or don’t say regarding these matters can have a major impact on the
life of others. Therefore, a competent halachic authority should be
consulted on how to proceed in each individual situation.
The following are the guidelines
governing category #1:
advising someone to pursue a possible shiduch
- You may not suggest or advise someone to pursue a shiduch
that you yourself wouldn’t pursue if you were in his/her shoes. Here are
If you know that the girl is interested in marrying
a serious Torah scholar, you may not advise her to pursue a fellow whom you
know does not meet her standards.
If you know that the fellow is interested in a girl
who is willing to sacrifice material comfort for spiritual growth, you may not
advice him to pursue someone whom you know is not ready for that kind of life
Naturally, if you know of any serious physical,
mental or psychological health issues, you may not encourage him/her to pursue
the shiduch (if it’s not in his/hers best interest) even if it would benefit
the other party.
- If it is beneficial for the one whom you are advising to
pursue the shiduch but harmful to the other party, you may not advice him/her
to pursue the shiduch, since by doing so you are causing harm to another
- Different, or even opposite personalities is not necessarily
a reason to not encourage a shiduch. Very often, dissimilar personalities
complement each other and make for beautiful marriages.
- As a general rule, when giving advise, you must put
yourself in the shoes of the one whom you are advising and only advise him
as you would choose for yourself if you were in his/her situation and had
his/her personality etc.
This section is
formatted as a conversation between Oded and Menaseh. Oded is encouraging his
friend Menaseh to be more careful in guarding his tongue from evil speech. The
thoughts in this section are primarily based on the sefer, Shmiras Haloshon.
Menaseh: You mentioned yesterday that since we are
constantly invoking the merit of our forefathers, it behooves us to attempt to
follow in their holy ways to the best of our ability. Can you give me an
example of their holy ways?
Oded: Sure. Bear with me though as I develop this
thought. What would you say was the most elevating deed performed by Avraham
Menaseh: I believe it was the Akaida; when Avraham
was willing to offer his son Yitzchok as a sacrifice to Hashem.
Oded: That’s correct. What though is so special
about the Akaida? In our day, if Hashem would come to someone and command him
to bring his son up as an offering don’t you thing he would oblige?
Menaseh: Well, if the creator of the world makes
such a request it’s hard to turn Him down.
Oded: So, why was this considered Avraham’s defining
Menaseh: That’s an insightful question; do you
perhaps have an answer?
Oded: The Rambam explains that the trial that
Avraham faced was not so much doing it but rather how he did it.
Menaseh: How did he do it?
Oded: With tremendous love.
Menaseh: How do we know that?
Oded: We see this from the fact that he arose early
in the morning to fulfill this most difficult commandment. He cut the wood
with his own hands and even waited 3 days until the place that he was to make
the offering was revealed to him. Along the way, the soton appeared before him
as a river in order to prevent Avraham from carrying out the commandment; yet,
Avraham prevailed and walked through it until the water came up to his neck.
When he could go no further he screamed out to Hashem: “Save me Hashem for the
water has come up to my soul!” From all this we see that not only did Avraham
fulfill the commandment, he carried it out with tremendous love. This great love
that Avraham displayed towards Hashem, was his defining moment.
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