In Jewish circles, the word “Shidduch” is often used to describe one's match or marriage partner, but what does the actual word even mean? Quite interestingly, the word is a derivative from the Aramaic word “Shadach,” which means ‘to rest’ or ‘to experience tranquility.’ For those of you who are interested in etymology, we see the word taking on this meaning in a Torah commentary such as the Targum Yerushalmi (see Bereishis 8:1 and 27:44). Now, this is well and good, but how did the word “Shidduch” come to be used in the context of marriage, as it is today? Some suggest that this is derived from the Book of Ruth (see 1:9) where Naomi said to her two daughters-in-laws, “May Hashem grant you tranquility (Menucha), each in the home of her husband.” Since the word tranquility/Menucha was used in the context of marriage, “Shidduch” thus became an appropriate Aramaic equivalent!
Sasha Bracha Bregman is a Rebbetzin, matchmaker, writer, and creative consultant. She is the Co-Founder of the Elite & Discreet Matchmaking Service and serves as Director of the Jewish Executive Learning Network. She and her husband, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Bregman, live in the NYC area. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.