I, on the other hand, hoped that my tone didn’t convey my disbelief at her naiveté
Shadchan and dating coach
Providence, Rhode Island
I made my first shidduch more than 40 years ago. The thrill and excitement of helping bring couples together hasn’t worn off. I relish the simchah and find the experience energizing, even when a shidduch requires a lot of work and hand-holding.
I eat, sleep, and breathe every shidduch. I help each side sift through the fears and anxieties, to analyze and scrutinize the “he said” and “she thinks.” And when, in the best interests of both parties, the shidduch needs to dissolve, well, I do that too.
My name is on various shadchan lists, so I get calls from all over. But I wasn’t prepared for a call from Aliza Duer* of Argentina. She was sweet and respectful and hoped I could help her. I, on the other hand, hoped that my tone didn’t convey my disbelief at her naiveté. How could I help her when she wasn’t even planning a trip to the US?
Wanting to preserve her dignity, I dutifully took down Aliza’s information — she had to be really desperate if she was calling me, and the last thing I wanted to do was discourage her. But I knew there was nothing I’d be able to do for her.
Except one thing. I could daven that she finds her zivug. Before we ended the call, I asked for her name and her mother’s name and stuck it in my siddur.
I did daven for Aliza for a while, but I stopped when I replaced my siddur. Somehow, the post-it-note on which her name was written didn’t get transferred.
About a year later, I chanced upon the post-it-note in my old siddur. I scanned the list to determine who still needed tefillos and yeshuos. There was Aliza’s name. I sincerely hoped she was married. Still, I decided to put her back on my list — everyone can use tefillos for hatzlachah.
It was a few months after I began davening for Aliza for the second time. The day was dark and dreary, and it matched my mood. When the phone rang and Aliza was on the line, my heart sank. Two years had passed, I hadn’t done a thing for her, and here she was calling me again. Hashem yerachem!
When Aliza asked me if I remembered her, I responded by sharing the name I used to daven for her.
“I’m calling to let you know that I’m a kallah,” she responded.
“What?! Mazel Tov!” I screamed.
I was choking up and my eyes were brimming with tears; the day suddenly seemed so much brighter. I couldn’t believe she’d taken the time and made the effort to call me. After all, we’d spoken just that once, two years before, and I’d never done anything for her. What had prompted her to call?
“You told me you’d daven for me,” Aliza said simply, leaving me speechless.
I still get overwhelmed each time I tell the story. I’m awed by Aliza’s faith in the power of tefillah and stunned at the hashgachah of the events.
P.S. Her wedding invitation is in my keepsake box.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 760)
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