Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Last Shadchan Standing

In the last few days my friend and I had the pleasure of "firing" a man and a woman that we had been trying to marry off for so long that they should qualify as dependents and we should be allowed a tax exemption for them. We've had our suspicions that these two didn't actually want to get married--not to each other and not to anyone else as well. My friend and I are both busy people with tons of responsibilities in our lives and we weren't willing any longer to put in time that was not going to see any results.

Fast forward to this morning and a posting on another blog that once again has shadchanim playing the fool's role in a farce. Keep in mind that by shadchanim I refer to anyone who might have an interest in fixing someone up with a date.

Go back just a moment. My friend and I seriously discussed whether we want to keep "dabbling" in shidduchim, although I'm not sure you would really want to call it dabbling when she has made 3 shidduchim and I've made 22.

Now truly fast forward to some date in the future. All the shidduch circles have decided to disband. Individual volunteer shadchanim no longer are involved in shidduchim. National organizations no longer have shidduch departments. The Internet shidduch groups no longer have shadchanim as mediators for the singles listed on the sites. Rabbanim have declared from the pulpits of every shul that strangers and those not directly related to singles are no longer allowed to approach singles with shidduch ideas. Shmiras Haloshon campaigns have strictly assered the discussion of singles. Daas Torah has given psak that only family members and only those who qualify as "best friends"--the definition being based on whether you would step in front of that friend to take a bullet meant for them--are allowed to present shidduchim to a person.

Daas Torah has made one exception: those who actually go into the shidduch redding business and take money for their services will still be allowed to red shidduchim for strangers. Of course, not too many people actually want to go into this type of business, so with less practitioners available, prices for services have skyrocketed into the $30K and up range.

At first singles are overjoyed. No more pesky strangers! No more strange interviews! No more intrusive questions! No more inane telephone conversations! No more questionnaires to be filled out! more shidduchim that are being red for them either. Dear Malka's best friend can't ask her brother about a possible boy because the brother is a stranger under the terms of the halacha and it is ossur for him to either talk about shidduchim or to approach anyone on a stranger's behalf. And he doesn't know the boys in his shiur that well anyway. Tante Rochel has no neighbors with possible boys/girls and so she asks around in shul if anyone has a boy/girl with the right qualifications for her niece/nephew. Only problem is the people in shul don't "do" shidduchim any more so she receives no answers.

Singles are being thrown onto their own resources, ONLY.......the other rules haven't changed. Machmir sects still do not allow mixed socialization between males and females. Some singles, realizing that there is no way to gain access to the other singles out there latch on to the first--and possibly only--shidduch that someone does red for them. The only criteria is, "If I don't throw up looking at him/her, it's a match." In desperation families make sure that at least one family member relocates to live in each borough of New York City and in Westchester County and Suffolk/Nassau County. In this way they can circumvent the "no strangers" psak. Some families are desperate enough that they also send family members to various other cities around the country. And many, many singles never get married because their family members and the best friend just don't know anyone shayich for the single.

And the singles, as they did in the past, curse out the volunteer stranger shadchanim who no longer red shidduchim. Because everyone knows that it is always the shadchan's fault.

Be careful of what you wish for--you just might get it!

And would the last shadchan still standing please turn off the lights as you leave the room.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you tell us how you really feel?!

G said...

Well said.
This just made my last hour and a half of work on a comment to said other blog useless, but well said :)

ProfK said...

Sorry G, but when I see red I write. And thanks.

Looking Forward said...

Well, what if you would take a bullet for anybody? (but mr. bush) :) (and even then since I might well be saving the killer's life too.)

ProfK said...

In that case Half you would qualify for best friend status. Just don't be surprised when no one else will answer any shidduch questions because it would be ossur.

Anonymous said...

Our shadchan had to be a stranger. Get sick just thinking of what it would have been like dating if all my family had known about it and were the only ones who could read me a shidduch. And she was a really strange stranger but she got the job done.

Anonymous said...

I was at a sheva brochos tonight and was interested enough to ask who got redd their shidduch by a stranger and who got redd their shidduch by family or a close friend. Out of 29 people including the new choson and kallah 20 of the shidduchim were redd by strangers.Maybe people are going to have to learn to stop complaining about the shadchanim or wht you write about just might happen.

Anonymous said...

The IRS doesn't stop collecting taxes just because everyone complains about them and hates them. Shadchanim need to get a thicker skin.

ProfK said...

Thank you anonymous. Your comment completed what has been a totally nutty morning already. Nothing like being compared to the IRS to give a girl goosebumps.

Anonymous said...

Spreading out the family doesn't help. We have mispochah in all of the boros and in 12 of the states and in 4 of the continents. All that And our shadchante was my shviger's shetel macherta.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, aren't shadchanim every wrong? I mean isn't it their fault at least some times?

Michelle said...

It's definitely interesting to see your perspective.

I am not annoyed by random people in shul who recommend guys. Only the Yentish ones who are simply doing it to be "involved," because they want to "know," and the ones who think a certain way about me and set me up accordingly.

I do not like most professionals, because they're out for the money, and have learned to treat people like objects.

The shidduch system is tough enough without these morons who treat us like idiots simply because we haven't found "the one."