My husband and I often come up with shidduchim suggestions for singles we know, but we aren’t comfortable or experienced enough to serve as the shadchan. As such, we prefer to pass on the shidduch to more experienced, well-known shadchanim to handle the shidduch. Would it be better for the shidduch for us to hand it over to very well-known “big name” shadchanim or an experienced shadchan who is not as famous/high volume who would thus be able to dedicate themselves more fully to that particular shidduch?
Before commencing with a response, I must commend your exemplary dedication to the many single men and women you are so clearly endeavoring to support; your impressive aspiration to build Jewish homes; and the unmistakably attentive and conscientious manner with which you are approaching the enterprise. Such dedication evinces a true hergesh for serving the Klal, and is deserving of universal acclaim.
With respect to selecting the appropriate shadchan to follow through with a proposed suggestion, it is my feeling that the primary determining element must be a thoughtful evaluation of who appears to be overall most befitting with regard to meeting the unique needs of each shidduch. Essentially, choosing a supremely suited shadchan is the shidduch before THE shidduch. And to make such a discernment, I believe it is the following three considerations which are central, and which one should predominantly be mindful of.
1. Given the nature and personalities of the daters and their parents, which “type” of shadchan will best satisfy their interests, needs, and comfort level?
2. Knowing the style and disposition of the potential shadchanim to be engaged, who is liable to be interested and able to get the suggestion off the ground, and subsequently direct it from its infancy in a hotel lobby to its maturation under the chupah?
3. Are there any accompanying factors which would have a notable impact when it comes to ascertaining who maintains the greatest likelihood of bringing the shidduch to fruition?
That said, in order to elucidate the theory, and bring it from the domain of the conceptual to that of the practical, let’s delve into a few sets of circumstances, and how they should perhaps be conducted, utilizing each of these three questions as our guiding methodology.
Firstly, and even within a normative spectrum, some parents or daters have a rather selective predisposition, and thus require a bit of additional convincing before committing to entertain an idea. As such, the weight and credibility of a renowned shadchan’s opinion and approbation may be required to garner a yes. And if such is not feasible, the approval of a shadchan whom that family has worked closely with in the past, and whom they trust implicitly and respect deeply, may be enough to achieve the same outcome, even if they do not carry the same celebrated prominence.
Conversely, there are parents and daters who are a bit more easygoing and open to ideas that may not resonate on all levels at first glance. And when that is the case, it may be prudent to employ a shadchan whose door is not otherwise bursting at the hinges with demands of attention. This is not to say that such families are any less “deserving” of a prestigious shadchan. However, the reality is, the more illustrious the shadchan, the more people clamor for their services, and if those services are not indispensable for a shidduch to flourish, alternative routes can be equally as effective. Lack of fame should never be confused with lack of competence.
Secondly, and again, even within a comparatively common continuum, some shadchanim simply have more time and patience than others, and have the capacity to progress at a more leisurely pace, while others function at a snappier stride.
Consequently, for parents that tend to ask a plethora of questions, or daters who are prone to extensive lucubration and necessitate significant time spent in conversation after each date, a shadchan who preserves a healthy dose of imperturbability ought to be retained. Contrariwise, for those parents or daters who prefer to operate at crisper speeds, a commensurately paced shadchan is probably the better fit.
Lastly, and plainly put, there are some people who are of a distinctly mercurial temperament, and who just have to be spoken to in an unequivocally frank manner when an imperative message is not penetrating, whereas others get the picture without any sort of brusque dialogue. And when that how the stage is set, if the most important component becomes a matter of how much leeway the shadchan will have to speak candidly, it may be a friend or relative of the family – and one who has some experience in shidduchim – who needs to be brought in. Similarly, a shadchan with a particular set of skills, and who possesses a knack for conveying challenging information, could also be called upon to complete the charge.
Of course, these are but a sampling of innumerable potential scenarios. Nonetheless, from a keen understanding of the general rules, one will hopefully be able to extrapolate their relevancy to the specifics of any given situation, and apply an astute and apposite assessment.
Parenthetically, and to add one final point, there will certainly be times when one is either unable to decipher which shadchan is apt for the job, unsuccessful in gaining that person’s interest and attention, or lacks a working knowledge of whom to reach out to. In any of these conditions, one should not be deterred from pursuing the shidduch themselves, or going with whomever is available and willing. It is always better that someone try than no one at all, and with siyata dishmaya, anything is within the realm of the possible.
May the Karov Likorav confer sechel tov to all those who toil to emulate His ways in being moshav yechidim baysah.