I know a grand total of zero chassidish boys, so I told her I didn’t think I’d be a great resource
often hear stories of wild Hashgachah pratis, with twists and turns, almost-happened, and near misses. And then the pieces fall into place and behold — a shidduch!
These stories of miracles disguised as coincidences get me emotional every time.
But what if you’re supposed to be the miraculous happenstance who kicks off a shidduch everyone can’t believe they didn’t think of themselves? (Okay, if we knew that for certain, we’d all be redting shidduchim because we’d love a starring role in a Hashgachah pratis story that will be retold for generations.)
I’ve got a story.
A few months ago, I was on the phone with a lovely shadchan, thanking her for her efforts redting someone to a family member. Before I got off the phone, she said, “By the way, I have a daughter who just started shidduchim. Could you please keep her in mind?”
I know a grand total of zero chassidish boys, so I told her I didn’t think I’d be a great resource, but I’d have her daughter in mind should I come across anyone eligible.
“Would you mind if I sent her résumé?” she asked.
“Not a problem,” I told her. “By all means send it over.”
Shortly thereafter I received her daughter’s résumé. She did sound like a wonderful girl. Unfortunately, due to my lack of access to a chassidish boys dating pool, I felt unable to help.
The next day I was planning on hopping into an Uber to attend a bar mitzvah. When I mentioned my plans to my friend Shifra, she told me she was planning to go as well, and I could get a ride with her instead of using a car service.
Here’s the thing: I’m pretty careful to use my babysitter’s time efficiently. If I’m getting a sitter, I wait for her to arrive, call a taxi, and off I go. I don’t attempt to coordinate rides with anyone, because I know we all have complicated schedules.
But inexplicably, I told Shifra I was planning to leave at 8:00 and would love a ride if she was leaving around then.
She said she was.
And so it was arranged; she would pick me up at 8:00.
Well, 8:00 p.m. rolled around, and my babysitter showed up, but my ride did not. I called her at 8:10, and she was, “Out the door!” Touched base with her 15 minutes later, and she was, “On my way.”
For reasons I don’t understand, at no time did I tell her thank you so much anyway, I’ll catch an Uber and see you there. I just chilled with my babysitter until Shifra showed up at 8:45. Nothing about this situation was typical of me, but off I went, getting into the car as my friend was talking on her phone. She nodded to me when I got in, paused her conversation for a minute and said, “Sorry, I’m just on the phone with my aunt. Her son just entered the market. He’s a great boy, and every time a shidduch gets redt, she calls me to see if I know the girl. So far, nothing has sounded right, but I’m just talking to her about it now.”
Wait a minute!
A chassidish boy who just hit the market?
“Let me have the phone,” I told her. “I know a great girl looking for a great boy.”
My friend looked at me doubtfully. “You know a great girl? Looking for a chassidish boy?”
“Yup! What are the chances? Quick, let me talk to your aunt before we get to the bar mitzvah.”
So while in this car I never should have been in, I redt a girl who I’d never met to a boy I’d never heard of.
And guess what?
I was involved in that shidduch for a couple of weeks, on the phone with both mothers daily. In the end, it didn’t work out, even though both sides were very impressed with the other, and everyone agreed this was very close to what they were looking for.
They thanked me for my efforts, and we all wished each other hatzlachah going forward.
Ohhhhh… you thought the story ended with an engagement?
I totally understand that. But an engagement isn’t the point of the story.
This is: You don’t need to be a professional shadchan to redt a shidduch. You don’t need to be best friends with the girl’s mother or have gone to high school with the boy’s sister. You don’t have to know them well, and you don’t have to convince anyone to do anything. You just have to mention names to both sides and let them see for themselves if it’s shayach.
There are too many young men and too many young women waiting for what feels like forever for a name to even be mentioned. And there’s you, me, and everyone else with a dozen reasons why we can’t be the ones to pick up the phone to suggest a shidduch.
While I was in the middle of this particular shidduch, in between phone calls back and forth from the mothers and the references (total strangers, I remind you), I remembered I’d committed to giving a class to the women on my block.
After the class was officially over, I told my neighbors about the unlikely matchmaking situation I was in the middle of. Of course, I didn’t want to use the actual last names of the people involved, so I used generic aliases as I told them how it came to be that I was the shadchan for the Levy boy and the Miller girl.
“Ladies,” I said, “it doesn’t matter if this couple gets married or not. What matters is that for reasons that aren’t decipherable to me, I was meant to redt this shidduch. Maybe you’re meant to redt shidduchim too. We all know people who are single. We all know people waiting for someone to suggest their bashert. Maybe it’s you who those people are waiting for. What’s stopping you?”
“Well,” one woman answered, “what if I’m so off the mark they get insulted?”
“I’m not a professional shadchan, maybe I won’t know what I’m doing,” said another.
I thought for a minute before I responded. “I can’t imagine the people waiting endlessly by the phone for a shidduch to be suggested will be insulted. I’m quite sure they’ll thank you for thinking of them, even if the suggestion isn’t for them. Do you know how hopeless it must feel for a single to believe no one even remembers she or he exists? And if someone does get insulted, don’t take it personally. Your job is just to do this tremendous chesed. If you feel like you won’t be able to handle the shidduch going forward, all you need to do is suggest a name to both sides, and if they’re interested, get another shadchan on board to see it through. If everyone here just tries to redt one shidduch, who knows how many people might meet their bashert?”
We spent another few minutes talking about it, each woman realizing she did know a single man or woman (or two or three) who she could dedicate a few minutes to thinking of shidduch suggestions for.
As we gathered up our things, a quiet woman came over to me and asked, “In the story that you told, are those their real names? Is it really a Levy boy and a Miller girl you’re redting to each other?”
“Absolutely not,” I answered. “Why?”
“This will sound crazy,” she replied. “But I know a Levy family with a boy in the market and a Miller family with a girl in the market and this story made me realize they would be a terrific shidduch for each other!”
I never followed up with her to see if that couple got engaged. Because as you know by now, that’s not the point of the story.
It’s that every single single on the market has their own Hashgachah pratis story waiting in the wings.
Maybe what they’re waiting for is you.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 822)
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