| Family Diary |

Contagious Joy

So sorry, I typed back. I was rushing, and you have a very similar name to the girl it was meant for!


Shani Leiman with Zivia Reischer

Moish was 27 and so tired of dating.

“Especially this kind of shidduch,” he told me, as he described the latest suggestion. “The shadchan is my chavrusa — he’s 24 and got married like yesterday, and now he’s an old married man and is positive his wife’s BFF is perfect for me.” Moish paused. “The truth is that it does sound pretty good.”

“But…?” I asked.

“But the problem with these kinds of shidduchim is that they fizzle out because the shadchan doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s not going to be able to see it through to the end. I know how these things go.” He paused again. “Then again, that’s a dumb reason to say no to a girl who sounds like she might be shayach. So I guess what I’m calling to ask is, if this shidduch goes past two dates, would you be willing to step in and take over as the shadchan?”

Moish was certainly not the first person to reach out to an experienced shadchan with a request like this. I admire and respect anyone who works on shidduchim — I know what it takes — but I understood his point of view. Sometimes experience does matter. This is especially true in cases where the shidduch is complex, or involves singles with a lot of dating experience, or with a challenging background.

I assured Moish that I’d be happy to help if necessary, and he said he would be in touch if it reached a third date. He called his chavrusa, gave an official “yes,” and scheduled a date with Faigy Rosen for the following Sunday night.

On Monday morning, Faigy herself called me. She had no idea I’d spoken to Moish or even that I knew she was dating him.

“I’m calling because you coached my friend,” she explained, “and she told me how helpful it was. I’m dating this guy now, his name is Moish Samtowsky, I only went out with him once, but the shadchan is my friend who just got married.

“I love her and everything, she’s great, and I really appreciate her redting the shidduch, but…” Faigy hesitated, feeling like she was betraying her friend. “I’m just not sure I have confidence in her ability to run this. I was thinking it might help to have someone else involved.”

That was a cute twist: one thing they already had in common. As with Moish, I assured Faigy that I would make myself available if things progressed.

Moish called me promptly after the second date. “I want to go out with her again,” he announced. “I talked to my chavrusa already and explained why I wanted to use a more experienced shadchan. He’s cool with it. Can I give you Faigy’s number?”

I already had it, and I called Faigy right away. She was happy that Moish wanted to continue, but there was something on her mind. “I like a lot of things about him,” she said haltingly. “But there are also things that are bothering me and I don’t know how much weight to give them.”

“Faigy,” I said, “no one’s asking you to marry him yet. You only went out twice!”

“I know,” she said. “But…”

“Why don’t you go out a third time and see how things play out?”

“But Mrs. Leiman,” Faigy said, “is that, like, leading him on? I really might say no because of these things. But then again, it’s only been two dates…” She trailed off.

“Faigy,” I said firmly, “it is absolutely normal to feel this way after two dates. You’re getting to know a new person. Not only are you encountering male-female differences, you’re learning an entire personality. Of course things are bothering you, and of course you don’t feel like you have enough context yet. The goal is to keep dating until you have a clearer understanding of Moish and you can evaluate how these issues affect the big picture.”

“Okay.” She sounded relieved. “As long as I’m not leading him on, I’m happy to continue.”

I continued to manage the shidduch, which progressed relatively smoothly. Before their fifth date, Moish alerted me that he had planned a safari tour and picnic. Quickly I texted Faigy, He’s picking you up at 7, dress casually.

My phone dinged a moment later.

Faigy Rosner: Was that meant for me?


So sorry, I typed back. I was rushing, and you have a very similar name to the girl it was meant for! I didn’t really know Faigy Rosner, but she’d sent me her résumé a while back and somehow made it into my contacts. I felt bad about the snafu, so I added, While I have you here, catch me up. What are you up to and has anything changed about the kind of boy you’re looking for?

Faigy Rosner: Thanks so much! Can we talk?

I texted Faigy — the right one this time — and then I called Faigy Rosner to talk.

The safari trip went well, as did the following date (a restaurant), and the date after that (botanical gardens, another restaurant). Moish took Faigy to meet his parents. By the end of date number eight, they were unofficially engaged. Moish called me, flying high, to talk about the next steps.

“Mrs. Leiman,” he added earnestly, as we finished arranging the technicalities, “I’m so happy to be where we are now, but I don’t want to forget that there are so many others who are still waiting.”

He named a couple of close friends and asked me to keep them in mind.

“And one more thing,” he said. “There’s this girl who’s like a bas bayis at our house. She’s 23 and she really needs a shidduch. Would you meet her and see if you have anyone for her?”

“Sure,” I said. “Tell her to call me. What’s her name?”

Moish started to laugh. “I know it’s going to sound funny, but she has almost the same name as my ka— I mean, as Faigy Rosen. Her name is Faigy Rosner.”

I laughed, too. Thanks to his soon-to-be kallah, Faigy Rosen, I had actually had a long conversation and gotten to know Faigy Rosner pretty well recently. And now that he mentioned it, I had met a boy last week — Mordy Fried. It just might work…

Moish and Faigy Rosen got engaged in an explosion of glowing joy the next Sunday night.

Sometimes I wonder if happiness is contagious. Or if there’s really such a thing as a mistake. Six weeks later, Faigy Rosner was engaged to Mordy Fried.


Ring Me is going on a hiatus.


Shani Leiman is a teacher, shadchan, and dating coach. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 754)

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