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It looks so innocent — a large, calligraphy-enhanced envelope. But when you’re the one addressing them, you know just how difficult it is to find the balance between good intentions, social obligations, and financial reality.
They were the simplest of affairs. Family members were notably absent; elaborate dinners were but a memory. Bridal dresses were homemade; friends were the makeshift interfierers. Simultaneous emotions of happiness and mourning ran high. These were the postwar weddings, the bittersweet marriages of thousands of Jews who had experienced the horrors of the Holocaust. They were memorable; they were the unions that ensured the perpetuation of a treasured heritage. They were the cry of “Nachamu Ami."
Sherlock Holmes, move over! Make way for many a Yiddishe Mama and Tatte who can compete with Scotland Yard’s best when it comes to “checking out” a potential shidduch for their son or daughter. Parents around the world share their investigative methods — as well as their hardest, nuttiest, and best experiences, along with several experts who convey their own take on the information-gathering process.
It is the best of times; it is the worst of times. The period of engagement can set the foundation for a happy, stable marriage. Yet it may also sow seeds of anxiety that can later cause havoc. A seasoned therapist offers us invaluable tools for navigating the rocky waters of engagement.