| LifeTakes |

The Writing on the Wall

Her zeal is contagious; the women assist her in trying to crack the mystery of the hapless bochur’s identity

She spots the message while waiting outside her daughter’s classroom for her PTA appointment.

After all, other than peek through the window every three minutes to let the teacher know she’s there, what else can she do but stare at the walls — quite literally — and admire the decor, searching for her daughter’s face or name among the countless others.

There, among the pictures of little girls davening and the accompanying adorable slips of paper with various requests, are the words, “I want my brother to find a shidduch and get married.”

Our waiting mother actually dabbles in shidduchim, and the words begin flashing in neon lights in her brain. She scrutinizes the little piece of paper for a clue as to the identity of the eligible bochur for whom this sweet fifth grader is davening.

Finding no hints at all, she studies the other supplications along the wall:

I daven for the war in Eretz Yisrael to end and for all soldiers to come home safely.

… that my cousin should have a refuah sheleimah.

… that my sister should find her bashert already.

But of course! Her brother. Her sister. Heaven-sent!

Rubbing her hands together, she searches frantically, but unsuccessfully, for a name.

She looks to her right.

She looks to her left.

Who can help her make this obviously bashert shidduch happen?

The names on display are unfamiliar — these aren’t from her daughter’s class.

She peeks into the classroom next door, but the teacher is busy conferring with a parent.

And then, to her relief, her neighbor and her daughter’s friend’s mother approach from opposite directions. She pounces upon them, telling them about this couple so obviously destined for each other. Wouldn’t this make such an incredible shidduch story?

Her zeal is contagious; the women assist her in trying to crack the mystery of the hapless bochur’s identity.

“Well, look here!” says daughter’s friend’s mother, peering behind the paper tacked to the wall.


“I don’t know them!” she wails.

“You probably know the sister-in-law,” says Neighbor. “Bilstein. They daven in my shul.”

She doesn’t recognize that name either, but she refuses to despair. She memorizes the names to share with her husband; resolves to ask her daughter about the girl who wrote the note.

All three women heave a sigh of relief when the classroom door opens and the set of parents who went beyond overtime finally — finally! — exit the classroom. But despite this delay (she’d made back-to-back appointments with the other teachers), she is at ease because — clearly — this is bashert.

“You know you have a potential shidduch outside your door, right?” she asks the teacher as she waltzes into the classroom.

At the teacher’s bewildered expression, she shares the entire tale until the almost-happy ending.

And then she remembers what she actually came for and proceeds to discuss the progress of her lovely daughter.

When she returns home, she finds her husband in the garage, tinkering with some junk.

“Do you know the Dorfmans?” she asks.

“No,” he mutters from underneath a peculiar piece of metal.

“What about the Bilsteins?”


She goes in search of her daughter, but not before regaling her unenthused husband with the details of this Divinely-ordained shidduch.

She summons her daughter from a neighbor and sits her down at the dining room table.  The little girl eyes her warily.

“Did you notice the pictures of girls davening on the wall outside your classroom?” she asks, sipping a tea.


“Who is the teacher of that class?” Sip.

“It wasn’t a class. Anyone could write. I just didn’t have time.”

“Oh.” Sip.

“Why?” her fifth grader asks curiously.

“There was a girl who wrote about her single brother looking for a shidduch.”

“Oh, I know her!”

She places her teacup on the table and she waits breathlessly for her daughter to continue.

“Who? Who is she? More importantly, who is her brother?!” 

She can hear the strains of Od Yishama playing in her mind. She sees the silhouettes of chassan and kallah swaying under the chuppah.

“Oh,” Daughter laughs.  “She wants her brother to get married already.”

What’s so funny?

“But,” Daughter says, “he’s only ten.”


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 895)

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