Dating – The Hand of Hashem

Among the countless calls that I receive daily on a number of issues, I am often contacted by individuals from throughout the world about shidduchim (dating)The inquiries are from both parents and young people, at various stages of the shidduch process; the callers seek advice, or they have questions, ranging from the typical ones to the more difficult and unexpected.  Yet, unquestionably – obviously so or otherwise — the outcomes are all directed by the Hashgacha (Divine Providence) 
One day I received a call from a bachur, Eli, from Florida, who was seriously seeing a girl, Leah, from the West coast.  He explained that they had a serious issue, which they would like to discuss with me in person.  Indeed, each party flew in from his/her respective city to meet with me late one afternoon.  I was touched that the two of them were committed to consult on their issue, whatever it might be.
The conversation began on a lighter note, with each one giving me some background information.  Then Eli divulged that he had a specific medical condition which was totally under control, however Leah’s parents were not at all aware of the situation.  The two made it very clear that they were definitely interested in continuing with the shidduch, but they wanted to know how to proceed in the appropriate manner.  
Eli explained that his own doctor had an easygoing nature and could readily reassure Leah’s father about the prognosis of his condition if he would call.  However, the doctor had left on sabbatical and there was no way he could be reached.  His replacement, on the other hand, was a dour individual, who would only present the worst case scenarios to Leah’s father, and would surely guarantee the demise of the shidduch.   
I listened carefully to the various details that Eli provided concerning his medical history, the course of his illness, and the protocol for his care.  I then excused myself for a few minutes, while I went into another room to make a call.  I happen to be well acquainted with a renowned physician, Dr. W., who specializes in this very specific disorder, and I sought his expertise.  I outlined the situation and related the particulars as they had been given to me.  
He was compassionate and understanding, yet very professional, as he reviewed the information together with me.  “I would venture to say that the situation is not dire at all.  It is quite manageable and workable; there should be no difficulties,” he concluded, conveying wishes for the couple’s success 
I returned to Eli and Leah, who were nervously waiting in my study, and presented them with the following suggestion.  “Obviously, hashgacha has brought the two of you together from opposite ends of the country.  Give Leah’s father the information that you wish to share, but omit the fact that your doctor has left a replacement.  Just say that your doctor is currently out of the country and cannot be contacted.  Let him consult with whomever he wishes, and hashgacha will direct a favorable response.” 
The couple asked for a blessing, which I gave them wholeheartedly, and they each returned to their respective cities.
A few months later I received an invitation to their wedding, followed by a personal call that they wished to give me one of the brachos under the chuppah.  As I walked up towards the front when my name was called, I see someone turn around with a huge smile on his face.  It was none other than my friend, Dr. W. whom I had called for assistance in this shidduch!
After the chuppah, I looked around for Dr. W.   “How did you find out about whom I was talking?” I asked in amazement. 
“I am related to Leah’s mother,” he explained simply, without alluding any further to our earlier discussion. 
Out of all the experts and specialists Leah’s father could have called, he had reached out all the way to the East Coast to a relative who had already given his stamp of approval on the shidduch.   
When Eliezer met Rivka, he told her (Bereishis 24:27), “Hashem has guided me on the way to the house of my master’s brothers …”   What did Eliezer mean with these words? 
R’ Yerucham of the Mir explains that Eliezer’s trust in Hashem was absolute.  He felt as if Hashem was leading him from place to place, like one takes a small child by the hand and shows him the way. 
We learn that nothing amiss occurred on Eliezer’s trip.  He had kfitzat haderech (A shortening of the way), and a princess who had never drawn water in her life came out to the well.  Rivka didn’t know one thing about Yitzchak, yet she accepted to marry him.  R’ Yerucham notes that one who travels the road of life with open eyes will see for himself how every step is guided from Above. 
In recent months, there has been much discussion on the topic of shidduchim and its various vexations and challenges. I would like to point out that, contrary to much of the adverse publicity, I have been greatly encouraged by the many personal favorable experiences I have had with people in the process of seeking a shidduch
One should never be demoralized, discouraged or disheartened in this effort. It is imperative to always remember that Hashem is holding our hand.


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