Is it okay to tell a young couple redding a shidduch that you are interested in the shidduch, but that you want to have an experienced shadchan redd it to the other side?
The obvious downside is that it makes these wonderful people, who are constantly encouraged here and elsewhere to think of shidduchim, feel like they will never be taken seriously, so why should they bother at all? On the other hand, some of them are not equipped to redd the shidduch effectively, and the shidduch’s chances of coming to fruition seem higher if a seasoned shadchan redds it.
What do you advise?
Boruch Hashem, there are many young couples who do their utmost to redd shidduchim for their friends and relatives, making this is a very common occurrence. It appears to me that the most crucial points in navigating through this scenario in a way that is most likely to prove beneficial and successful for all parties, are sensitivity, open and honest communication, and a willingness to work together.’
The goal in this situation is two-fold. Firstly, to successfully redd a shidduch and for the shidduch to be moved along by someone who is most capable of doing so. And secondly, to continue encouraging young couples to redd shidduchim, and to develop them into competent, capable shadchanim in their own right. To do so requires involving all parties in the most appropriate way. While what is most appropriate will vary to some degree in each case, I think the general format would work as follows.
Instead of telling the young couple that you would like someone else to redd their idea, state that you would like an experienced shadchan to help them redd the shidduch. It may seem like nothing more than semantics, but there is a huge difference between telling someone to step aside and let a professional take over, and telling someone that you value what they have to offer and would like someone with more experience to help them to accomplish what they have set out to do.
One of the greatest advantages of bringing in an experienced shadchan, is that it lends credibility to the idea. As such, there will unquestionably be a higher likelihood of getting a “yes” from each side when they hear the idea from a person they recognize, trust and respect. However, in keeping with the goal of helping the young couple, and not cutting them out, the shadchan that is brought in should take careful notice to keep the young couple in the loop, and involve them when necessary and appropriate.
This accomplishes two things. In regards to the shidduch at hand, there are often times where in order to move a shidduch along, either in getting a yes to begin with, or for the couple to continue dating, certain things need to be conveyed in a frank and straightforward way. More often than not, not only can a friend or relative more comfortably present these matters, there will be less of a chance that what is said will be taken the wrong way, or with offense, than when conveyed by an experienced shadchan who may not know the young man, young woman, or their families, on a personal level. Simply put, someone you know can say certain things to you that need to be said, that a stranger cannot. In regards to future shidduchim, keeping the young couple involved will give them invaluable first hand experience in redding shidduchim. This will provide them with the knowledge and encouragement they need in order to continue redding more shidduchim, and to be able to so with greater and greater success.
The final point, is shadchanus. It should be made clear from the onset that this is a partnership, and with an understanding that both parties are going to be instrumental in making this shidduch take place. Therefore, should the shidduch result in an engagement, b’ezras Hashem, the young couple must receive an amount that is commensurate with both their being the maschil and for any subsequent efforts. If necessary, a Rav or posek who is proficient in this area should be consulted. For the young couple to receive any less than what they rightfully deserve, completely undermines the message we are trying to give over to them. Namely, that we are taking them seriously, and that we do want to see them continue to step forward and redd shidduchim. V’hakesef ya’aneh es ha’kol. A person can tell someone all the nice things in the world, and do everything else right, but what one says with their money can remove all the credibility from what they just said or did.
May Hakadosh boruch Hu continue providing our young couples with the insight to redd shidduchim. May He ensure that they find the encouragement and assistance to follow through with them. And may He continue to bring zivugim to all the children of klal yisroel, b’mihairah ub’karov.