Suggesting a Shidduch: The Balance

In light of the prohibition of misleading one’s fellow, one may be reluctant to suggest shidduchim (marriage matches) altogether; others may feel it necessary to mention every possible shortcoming of the person so as not to be guilty of misrepresenting the truth.

Few acts of chesed (kindness) can compare with that of helping to build a Jewish home. One who thinks that a certain young man may be a suitable match for a certain young woman is not responsible to investigate the two and their families before proposing the match. That is the responsibility of the parties involved and their parents.

However, the prohibition against misleading one’s fellow requires that one not suggest a shidduch unless:
(1) He believes that given what he knows of their personalities, the two could be a good match, and he is unaware of any reason the relationship should cause pain to either one.
(2) In his opinion, there is reason to believe that their meeting will ultimately result in an engagement. (It is wrong to waste a person’s time, energy and emotions!)
(3) He is not aware of any medical, emotional, or character deficiency that would render one party unfit for marriage.
(4) He does not feel that either party will have a negative influence upon the other.
(5) He is not aware that one party lacks something that the other is insistent upon, or has something to which the other has explicitly expressed strong objection.

Should there be any doubt as to whether any of these conditions have been met, the counsel of a talmid chacham should be sought.

Sefer Chofetz Chaim, 25 Kislev, Page 218 and 409


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