Our daughter is ready to begin shidduchim and we met with some shadchanim. Now what? Do we just sit and wait for the phone to ring? Do we go to meet with even more shadchanim?
Is there any additional effective hishtadlus that you would recommend that we do, other ways to come up with possible suggestions for our daughter?
As I understand it, there are two preeminent components of hishtadlus, and as is not uncommon, the primary element is often left undervalued, underappreciated, and unrecognized.
Of course, as human beings who exist in a physical world wherein HaKadosh Boruch Hu has established a functional and working realm of nature, a not-so-insignificant feature of our endeavors is to effectuate outcomes. If one does not go to work, they will most likely not make a living. If one does not make attempts at raising their children, they will most likely have uneducated progeny. We must do our part to achieve the goals we seek in this earthly province.
And yet, far more importantly, we must bear in mind that whatever it is which we hope to attain in life, comes from Hashem. It is He Who truly delivers us that which yearn and strive for. Our incipient hishtadlus may be a precondition of His beneficence, but it is limited to only that, and if that. We labor with great intensity as we aim to fulfill our requisite degree of effort – a measure which only the Borei Olam can deem completed – and then we wait and hope for Hashem to release and send forth His eternal kindness. What are not privy to, however, is whether our hishtadlus bucket, so to speak, must be brimming for us to receive our longings, or whether our yeshuah is meant and destined to arrive in advance, and irrespective, of our hishtadlus. The work falls squarely in our hands and in our domain, while the timing remains solely in His.
That said, there are indeed many vehicles we can employ. Davening is always most essential and vital. Before, during, and after we have exercised our hishtadlus, it remains the most impactful tool Hashem has placed at our disposal. Additionally, following up with shadchanim is vital, networking with friends and relatives however we are able is vital, identifying strong advocates who can work on our behalf is vital, meeting more shadchanim when we feel a need for enhanced exposure is vital, joining a database for expanded attention is vital. Every last bit of exertion is vital, regardless of our ability to comprehend or distinguish what exactly any given task produces. Each phone call, each text message, each meeting, every mile traveled, every dollar spent, and every undulant emotional expedition we experience is vital hishtadlus. Accordingly, each one of us must do our utmost to properly assess and evaluate where, when, and how we are best served vis-à-vis the direction, quantity, force, and focus of our energy.
We do this because we are mortal beings living in a material world, and it is our responsibility to actively pursue our objectives. But much more crucially, we do this in order to satisfy the obligation of hishtadlus which Hashem has set upon our shoulders, while we faithfully anticipate the advent of His shefa bracha v’hatzlacha, whatever and whenever that may be, emanating from His sphere to ours.
May the Marom Nedar B’Koach U’Givurah turn to our toil and bestow us with all that we need, b’nachas, b’kavod, ub’revach.