Shidduch Saga

There are certain instances that remind us Who the ultimate Matchmaker is. I smile each time I recall how my shidduch came about. To me, it was evident that the circumstances surrounding my engagement were orchestrated by the One above. Despite my many efforts, I remained single for quite a few years. It was difficult to watch my childhood friends move on with their lives and build families of their own. Of course I was happy for them and participated joyfully in their simchos, but inside I felt a deep void. I so badly wanted to move on with my own life. I spared no effort in doing my hishtadlus. I met with countless shadchanim; I carried out every segulah I heard about and davened fervently at many holy sites. The years passed, though, and I was still waiting. The idea for my shidduch materialized on a frosty winter evening in the corner of a vibrant shul in Meah Shearim in Yerushalayim. My grandfather is a Yerushalmi Yid in his eighties. He has been learning at the same rickety table with the same chavrusa longer than anyone can remember. Because they have known each other so long, they are privy to all the details of each other’s lives.

Bar Mitzvah

My grandfather sighed as he opened his Gemara one night; it was obvious that his mind was elsewhere. “Oy, shidduchim these days—it’s not easy,” he confided to his chavrusa, shaking his head. “My granddaughter Tehilla, nebach, needs a shidduch very badly. I just spent Shabbos with her. The whole family is suffering terribly.” His chavrusa gave him a compassionate look. “I wish I could help you,” he said. A moment later, he perked up. Perhaps he could help. “Maybe we can do a shidduch; I have a grandson of marriageable age, you know.” My grandfather’s face lit up as his chavrusa described the grandson. “He is a very fine bachur, a true masmid and a baal middos.” “It sounds perfect,” my grandfather replied. “Exactly what Tehilla is looking for.” Coming directly from the boy’s grandfather, of course, the report was completely “objective”—but worth a try nevertheless. A mutual friend who was learning nearby offered to suggest the shidduch and serve as the shadchan. Were the two grandchildren remotely compatible? Did they share the same hashkafos? Would their personalities click? And what about the two families? Besides all that, I had been seeking a shidduch for quite a number of years, and the bachur in question was only just entering shidduchim, creating an experience gap.

Despite these concerns, the two men’s mutual friend was optimistic. “I’ll take care of it before Shabbos,” he promised. He slipped a pen out of his sefer and fished through his pocket for a piece of paper, and then wrote down the phone numbers and relevant information on the back of a crumpled Egged bus receipt. The wheels were in motion. My parents were taken aback when the elderly gentleman suggested the shidduch, but how could they say no? Within a few days the two of us met. Miraculously, we hit it off almost instantly. On an evening three weeks later, the small beis midrash in Meah Shearim was noticeably quieter. My grandfather, who never misses a nightly learning session, was absent because he was celebrating his granddaughter’s engagement. It worked out nicely, because his chavrusa was celebrating the engagement of his grandson on that very same evening, in the same hall.


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