(photo credit: Illustration: Pepe Fainberg)
Since shadchanim [matchmakers] and shidduch [matchmaking] groups as a whole have been doing such a remarkably efficient and successful job, our community and its leaders continue to tout more of each as the primary solution to the "shidduch crisis." Also recommended is for singles to prepare a "shidduch rÃ©sumÃ©" and to keep one handy that they can whip out in case they meet a potential shadchan. (If you don't have a shidduch rÃ©sumÃ©, just copy someone else's and change the references; they're all pretty much the same, anyway.)
Since we're all being so forward-thinking here, I thought I'd suggest a bold new idea to make it even easier for singles to meet the perfect shadchan, that special shadchan God had in mind for them all along: the shadchan rÃ©sumÃ©.
Shadchanim and singles would exchange rÃ©sumÃ©s at the first meeting to help them decide if they are right for one another. This will also streamline the many glatt kosher-super mehadrin-gadol endorsed events where single men and women can go to separate rooms to meet shadchanim.
I humbly submit the shadchan rÃ©sumÃ© with hopes that it will make a difference. If it makes it easier for even one single to meet one shadchan, then it is worth it, regardless of any collateral damage to those for whom it doesn't work.
Instructions: Please complete this form as briefly as possible and as truthfully as necessary. For questions with multiple choices, please select all appropriate answers. If none of the choices fits you, just select one anyway. There will be two lines at the bottom for you to clarify any important personal details, but, again, please keep it brief. There are thousands of shadchanim out there and no one has more than a couple of minutes to spend on you. Just being frank.
Contact Information: -----------------------
Stamp yourself with a label that accurately describes your Jewish beliefs, your relationship with God, and your adherence to His Torah: ------
1. How many shidduchim have you made? ------
2. How many times have you failed?
a) Never - it's always worth a try!
b) Never - it's always the fault of the singles if it doesn't work out
c) Never - every bad date is one step closer to the right one
d) Every time it doesn't work out I feel some responsibility and am anxious about possibly having put two vulnerable people through an unnecessary negative experience
3. What percentage of the time that you set singles up do they actually get married?
a) Less than 1 percent
b) More than 1 percent
c) A monkey could do just as well
4. What are your qualifications for being involved in this most personal aspect of people's lives?
a) My husband is a rabbi or rosh yeshiva
b) I have good hunches
c) God inspires my suggestions
d) I've been married for ---- years and have ---- children
e) It's a mitzva and everyone should do it
f) No one could ever be qualified enough for this endeavor, but I sincerely try my very best with humility and awe for the consequences of negligence
5. When is it appropriate to say lashon hara [gossip] about someone?
a) What does lashon hara have to do with this?
b) When there is a to'eles [practical reason] - determined by me
c) It isn't lashon hara if it's true
d) If the person really deserves it
e) If I just imply it without saying it
f) Other (please explain)
6. When is it appropriate to lie or "stretch the truth"?
a) As long as the truth doesn't snap
b) If it will make a shidduch
c) If I find a rabbi who says it's okay
d) If everyone else is doing it (they expect me to lie anyway)
e) Whenever I feel it's appropriate. Don't they say shidduchim have to
f) Relationships are built on trust - not only between potential spouses, but between singles and shadchanim. Therefore, I steer clear from any falsehood or misleading information.
7. Why do you want to be a shadchan?
b) People respect me
c) People fear me
d) High reward, low risk investment, like those radio commercials: costs almost nothing to get started, but you can earn thousands working from home!
e) First crack at shidduchim for my own kids
f) It's a mitzva (even if it doesn't work out!)
g) It gives me something to do and makes me feel good about myself
h) Shidduch groups are quite interesting and fun for me and the ladies
i) I really don't even consider myself a shadchan. God is the only true shadchan, and I just make introductions when I feel it really makes good sense. The rest is up to them and God.
8. When singles decline your suggestion, how do you react?
a) They are too picky
b) How dare they turn me down? Do they really think they know better? Then why are they still single?
c) Fine, let them stay home and not go out on any dates
d) They're obviously not serious about getting married
e) Maybe it wasn't such a good suggestion after all; I'm sure they will figure out what's best for them, and I respect their decision
9. What do you tell singles over the age of 25 (or 35!) when it doesn't work out?
a) You need to settle
b) Look in the mirror
c) You're not getting any younger
d) You should see a therapist
e) You're obviously doing something wrong if you're not married yet
f) You've probably missed your bashert [soulmate]
g) It's not my place to judge singles or make disparaging personal remarks. If they want my input they can request it, and if I feel I need to tell them something I should first ask if they want my opinion. If they do, I should offer it sensitively and respectfully, not like some guru on top of a mountain. Who really knows why some people are married and some people aren't, anyway?
10. What do you do if one person wants to continue going out and the other doesn't or isn't sure?
a) Push the shidduch! Make the sale! Get paid!
b) Instill fear in them about missing the boat (see 8 and 9 above)
c) Offer to discuss any concerns with them discreetly and respectfully. But they are adults and can decide this on their own.
11. What do you do if after a first date they wish to go out again?
a) Inform them that it was mutually acceptable and that they are free to speak again. Arrange a second date for them if they want.
b) Eagerly inform everyone you know that you're about to make a shidduch and this is so exciting
c) Wish them the best of luck and stay out of it. They're adults.
12. When is it appropriate for singles to get upset with a shadchan or to take issue with something?
a) Never. I'm doing them a chessed. No matter what my methods are or how things play out, it's always a mitzva and it's always a chessed, and they better appreciate it!
b) Never. I'm married and they're single, so what do they think they know?
c) Never. I'm just trying to help. Even if I'm not really trying that hard, it's still trying and it's still helping. And even if it isn't, they need me and others like me, so they should just be nice and quiet.
d) Never. I've made --- shidduchim, so if it doesn't work out it's obviously their fault. I know what I'm doing.
e) If a shadchan says or does something that wouldn't be appropriate in a different professional or personal relationship, it's probably not appropriate here, either. Singles have every right to expect the same respect and professionalism from a shadchan that they would from an agent (if the shadchan expects to get paid) and caring that they would receive from a friend (if the shadchan is truly doing this for a mitzva).
I am confident that shadchanim will embrace the idea of this rÃ©sumÃ© so that they can better serve the singles they care so much about.
The writer is the founder of EndTheMadness (www.endthemadness.org). email@example.com