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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Shidduch (Hebrew: שִׁדּוּךְ‬, pl. shidduchim שִׁדּוּכִים‬, Aramaic שידוכין) is a system of matchmaking in which Jewish singles are introduced to one another in Orthodox Jewish communities for the purpose of marriage.

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  • How to Identify Your Shidduch (soulmate, match)
  • The Shidduch Hour - Oorahthon 2015
  • Shidduch crises
  • Shidduch talk


Do you know for sure what is your future? Do you know for sure what God (Hashem) really wants from you? You don't know. You can be happy with or without all of the things. Just you need to become to be yourself. You don't look to find a good shidduch (match), you go to find your wife. Search for your wife. Not for a good shidduch (match). Not for a rich match, not for a successful match, Not for a .. I don't know what kind of match. Go look for your wife. And when you will see her accept that that is your match. And if you imagine to yourself that you are a higher class than her so life is going to show you that you are not. And you don't want that. You should rather be rebuked by yourself than life will rebuke you. And when you will take your match, your real wife, and you are going to love her, and you will honor her, and you will respect her, you are going to find in her points that you will be very humble and you will understand that you are a lot lower than her. Like it is written on the righteous people that in the world to come - the crowns on their heads, and the gemara explains that those crowns are their wives. They are going to sit on your head in heaven. yes! that's what is going to be. That is your world to come. No I'm kidding. At the place where your height finishes, that is your level, that is your height. That is where your wife starts! Sarah was higher than Abraham our father in prophecy. she would talk to God more than Abraham. she saw god in higher levels, clearer, than Abraham. when Isaac and Rebekka were praying so it was true, it was written over there that God answered the prayer of Isaac. in the Gemara we see a story that is different. why are those stories different? because the Gemara is teaching you the truth. the torah is coming to tell you that your ancestors are holy. they are bringing you to see the light. But the Gemara that comes from the exile, is the tractates that was crying tears on our exile in Babylon. We were crying and the Gemara brings us to humility. The Gemara brings you to understand your job now in the exile. Its true, you have a potential as a man. To be something great. But now today you are in the exile. As a man you need to work on your humility. You need to learn how to respect your wife.


The practice

In Orthodox Jewish circles, dating is limited to the search for a marriage partner. Both sides (usually the singles themselves, parents, close relatives or friends of the persons involved) make inquiries about the prospective partner, e.g. on his/her character, intelligence, level of learning, financial status, family and health status, appearance and level of religious observance.

A shidduch often begins with a recommendation from family members, friends or others who see matchmaking as a mitzvah, or commandment. Some engage in it as a profession and charge a fee for their services. Usually a professional matchmaker is called a shadchan, but anyone who makes a shidduch is considered the shadchan for it.

After the match has been proposed, the prospective partners meet a number of times to gain a sense of whether they are right for one another. The number of dates prior to announcing an engagement may vary by community. In some, the dating continues several months. In stricter communities, the couple may decide a few days after originally meeting with each other. Also the age when shidduchim start may vary by community. In frum circles, especially among Hassidim, eighteen is the age when shidduchim start and shadchanim take notice.

Those who support marriage by shidduch believe that it complies with traditional Judaism's outlook on Tzeniut, modest behaviour in relations between men and women, and prevents promiscuity. It may also be helpful in small Jewish communities where meeting prospective marriage partners is limited, and this gives them access to a broader spectrum of potential candidates.

If the shidduch does not work out, then usually the shadchan is contacted and it is he/she that tells the other side that it will not be going ahead. If the shidduch works out then the couple inform the shadchan of its success.

In recent years, a number of shidduchim sites have appeared on the Internet.


The prospective partners either date each other or in stricter communities they go to a "bashow"[1] or sit in. A typical bashow scene is that the young man with his parents goes to see the young woman in her house to see if the prospective couple are compatible. Both sets of parents talk to each other, and then when the setting is more relaxed, they go into another room, leaving the man and woman in the living room to speak among themselves. Some use this opportunity to actually ask each other pertinent questions, while some just want to see if they like each other, relying more on the information they got from the shadchen or from other people. The number of bashows prior to announcing an engagement varies, as some have many bashows while others have as few as one, which is typical among the children of Hasidic Rebbes.


Bashert (or Beshert), (Yiddish: באַשערט‎), is a Yiddish word that means "destiny".[2] It is often used to refer to one's divinely foreordained spouse or soulmate, who is called one's "basherte" (female) or "basherter" (male). It can also be used to express the seeming fate or destiny of an auspicious or important event, friendship, or happening.

In modern usage, Jewish singles will say that they are looking for their bashert, meaning they are looking for that person who will complement them perfectly, and whom they will complement perfectly. Since it is considered to have been foreordained by God whom one will marry, one's spouse is considered to be one's bashert by definition, independent of whether the couple's marital life works out well or not.

Biblical matchmaking

The first recorded shidduch in the Torah was the match that Eliezer, the servant of the Jewish patriarch Abraham, made for his master's son Isaac (Genesis Ch. 24). Abraham gave him specific instructions to choose a woman from Abraham's own tribe. Eliezer traveled to his master's homeland to fulfill Abraham's wishes, arriving at a well. After a short prayer to God for guidance, describing how a virtuous woman might act toward a traveling stranger at the well, Rebekah appeared on the scene and did everything described in Eliezer's prayer. Eliezer then went with Rebekah to her family and appealed to them for permission to take Rebekah back with him to be Isaac's wife. Once this permission was granted, Rebekah joined Eliezer on the road home to Isaac. Even so, Isaac gained his own impression of her before agreeing to marry her (Rashi, commentary to Genesis 24:67).

However, when Eliezer proposes to take Rebekah back to Isaac in Canaan, he is told by Rebekah's family: "Let us ask the maiden" (i.e., Rebekah). This is taken as an instruction for Jewish parents to weigh their child's opinion in the balance during an arranged marriage. Regardless of whether proper procedure is followed, this is not the end of the decision - it is believed by Jews that the final say belongs to God, who may have different plans (compare with the match of Jacob and Leah).

Talmudic references

The Talmud (Bavli Kiddushin 12a, first version) states that academy head Rav would give corporal punishment to a man who would marry without shidduchin, that is,[3] without prearrangement by the couple. The text gives three versions of Rav's practice; the other two versions disagree. Some authorities rule according to the first version,[4][5] while others rule according to the other two versions.[6][7]

In Kiddushin 41a states that a man should not marry a woman he has not seen, lest he come to violate Love your neighbour as yourself.

The etymology of the words "shidduch" and "shadchan" is uncertain. The Medieval Rabbi Nissim of Gerona (commonly called Ran) traces it back to the Aramaic word for "calm" (cf. Targum to Judges 5:31), and elaborates that the main purpose of the shidduch process is for young people to "settle down" into marriage.[8]

The Bat-Kohen

Although Torah law allows for a bat-kohen to marry a challal, convert, or freed slave (Hebrew eved meshukhrar), the Midrash and Talmud cite Rabbi Yochanan's view that a daughter of the kohen is best off marrying a kohen. Rabbi Yochanan maintains that in the event a bat-kohen marries a non-Kohen, undesired results for the groom are likely to surface, such as poverty or the demise of the groom. An exception to this taboo is if the groom is a Talmid Chacham.[9]

Medical aspects

Considering the prevalence of a number of genetic diseases in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities, several organisations (most notably Dor Yeshorim) routinely screen large groups of young people anonymously, only handing them a telephone number and a PIN. When a shidduch is suggested, the candidates can phone the organisation, enter both their PINs, and find out whether their union could result in critically disabled children. Although the implementation has been controversial, there has been a sharp decrease in the number of children born with Tay–Sachs disease and other genetic disorders since its inception.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Rabbi Forsythe on Finding Your Zivug - Bashow Minhag
  2. ^ Yiddish Dictionary Online entry[permanent dead link]; retrieved December 29, 2006
  3. ^ Rashi Kiddushin 13a, Bedishadich (בדשדיך)
  4. ^ Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Women, Laws of Ishut, 3:22 and Sanctity, Laws of Prohibited Relations, 21:14
  5. ^ Rabbi Yosef Karo, Shulchan Aruch, III:26:4
  6. ^ Hagahot Maimoniot on Mishneh Torah, Sanctity, ad. loc.
  7. ^ Rema on Shulchan Aruch ad. loc.
  8. ^ Nissim of Gerona. Commentary to Alfasi's Halachot, Shabbat 5b s.v. ein meshadchin. 
  9. ^ Yalkut Shimoni to Leviticus p. 738 (HaMaor edition), TalmudPesachim p. 49a
  10. ^ Leiman, Yehoshua. "Yosef Eckstein - Trailblazer in Genetics for the Jewish World and Beyond". Personal Glimpses, supplement to Hamodia, Pesach 5766 (April 2006), page 24-27.


  • Shani Stein. "The Survival Guide to Shidduchim". New York, NY: Feldheim publishers, 1997. ISBN 1-56871-132-8.
  • Leah Jacobs, Shaindy Mark. "Shidduch Secrets". Shaar Press, 2006. ISBN 1-4226-0220-6.
This page was last edited on 25 August 2018, at 17:36
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