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Monday, 1 February 2016

Become a shadchan!

Daf Yomi Gittin 50

A Roman noblewoman once asked Rabbi Yossi bar Chalafta, ‘What does your G-d do since He created the world thousands of years ago?
‘He is busy making marriage matches,’ replied the sage.
‘Seriously?’ she responded mockingly.  ‘You don’t need to be G-d to make matches.  Why, I have a thousand manservants and a thousand maidservants.  Tonight I shall pair them up myself!’
The next morning she arrived to find them all battered and bruised.  Not one of the matches had worked.  She immediately called Rabbi Yossi and exclaimed, ‘How great is your G-d!’

If one acts as a guarantor for the kesubah monies, all authorities agree that he is not legally bound by his guarantee.  What is the reason?  He acted for the purpose of a mitzvah, and she did not lose anything.
Rashbam explains: He is merely striving to make a shidduch and does not intend to pay the guarantee.  He simply knows that by offering a guarantee on the kesubah, it will motivate them to get married.  And after all, she does not lose anything thereby, for a woman desires to be married; and thus his intentions were for her benefit.

Helping people get married is an enormous mitzvah.  Anytime you assist another person in the fulfilment of a mitzvah, you are credited with the mitzvah.  How much more so, when we are talking about the very first mitzvah of the Torah!  How much more so, when we are talking about a mitzvah that enables people to bring life into the world!

Rabbeinu Nissim explains that the word shidduch means tranquility.  In other words, when you help someone find a marriage partner, you are tranquilizing them!  As anyone in a good marriage can attest to, there is no greater joy and tranquility than a life spent in married bliss.  Someone who is single doesn’t always have a loved one to lean on, to talk to, to endure the vicissitudes of life alongside.   What’s more, their soul is constantly yearning to join its other half.  And so they are never truly at peace.  Helping them meet the right person offers the gift of tranquility to their souls. 

What are you doing towards the mitzvah of helping people find their spouse?  Remember how lonely you felt when you were single?  You are very fortunate if you have merited to meet your basherte; now you need to do whatever you can to help others find theirs!

Do you know a single person whose status doesn’t keep you awake at night?   Do you have a list of single people you know?  Everyone should have a list.   Not just single people.  Not just shadchanim (matchmakers).  Every person who wants to be involved in G-d’s work should have a list of all the singles they know.  And periodically you should call the people on your list to see where they’re up to.   Or make a Shabbat dinner just for singles at your home.

I recently attended a wedding of a couple who met at a BBQ.  It wasn’t just any Sunday afternoon BBQ.  They were invited by their university professor who teaches at Touro College, in both the men’s and women’s divisions.  One day, he invited each of his classes (the men and the women) over to his home for a BBQ, without letting them know that he had invited the other class.  You can imagine their shock when they showed up expecting an all-male or all-female event!  But sure enough, at least one shidduch came out of that afternoon!

Forty days before conception, marriage soulmates are handpicked by Hashem.  What are you doing to assist half-souls find their predestined other halves?  May you merit joining the Almighty in His great task of reuniting those souls!

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