Rabbi Braun: How Many Shidduch Dates Are Enough?


    Rabbi Braun: How Many Shidduch Dates Are Enough?

    Halachic Q&As on shidduchim and marriage from Halacha2Go.com by HaRav Yosef Yeshaya Braun shlita, Mara D’Asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights • Full Article

    Q. Is there any issue in looking into a shidduch of an individual whose parents are Baalei Teshuvah, meaning that the grandparents of the prospective shidduch didn’t keep Taharas Hamishpacha? Is there any chumra not to marry such an individual?

    A. There are pros and cons to every situation. I have a bit of a bias in this matter as my grandfathers married into such families: one married the daughter of a thief, one the daughter of a murderer. I’m referring to Yitzchok and Yaakov Avinu…

    Regarding the issue of Taharas Hamishpacha, there is indeed a “pegam” with a child of a niddah. However, one shouldn’t push away such a shidduch nowadays, especially when there is no clear knowledge of not keeping Taharas Hamishpacha.

    Certainly, if the prospective candidate exhibits fine traits, one should prefer such a Shidduch.

    Of course, one must ascertain that matters of yichus are in order, i.e. the candidate is Jewish. There are usually no reason to have concerns of mamazeirus ch”v.

    When marrying a Kohen there are other issues we need to contend with. See more below. #5036*

    How Long Does a Couple Need to Meet Before Deciding to Marry?

    Q. I’ve heard people recommending to consider that since a couple getting married in their early twenties can expect to spend sixty years together—which is about five hundred thousand hours—they should therefore be spending at least fifty hours getting to know their potential spouse before marrying them. Fifty hours is the equivalent of ten five-hour dates and would only be one ten-thousandth of the time that they can expect to spend together. Does the rav approve of this?

    A. I don’t approve. Aside of the Hashkafah issues, there are some technical flaws in the logic here. Couples don’t spend 24 hours a day together. That reduces the number of hours significantly.

    There is also no solid evidence that getting to know someone better, or for more time before marriage has bearing on the success rate of the marriage. Even if it does have a bearing, as some argue, it’s obvious that serious commitment and shared goals are the ultimate influences on the durability of the marriage.

    It should be noted that in many other circles they hardly see each other before marriage and they have a high success rate of lasting marriages. Historically, our ancestors who hardly “dated” also have a history of longer-lasting marriages. #4543*

    Beis Moshiach

    Q. Is it yichud to travel in a car with a girl for a shidduch meeting at night, in the city when there are still plenty of people out, around 7:30-9:00pm?

    A. There is no problem if the streets are well-lit and there is a steady stream of traffic which should be the case at this time of the evening. #6174

    Chosson-Kallah Posing for a Picture

    Q. What is the Rebbe’s opinion regarding the chosson and kallah posing for a picture during the engagement? What about without officially posing just someone taking a picture that both are near each other?

    A. The Rebbe was very much not in favor of a chosson and kallah posing together for a picture before the wedding for the lack of tznius it entails, and asked that his disfavor be publicized in his name.

    Being in a picture together with other family members or someone snapping a picture of them next to each other without them posing for it would not be the same issue. #12557*

    Paying a Shadchan

    Q. What are our financial obligations to the shadchan? When is payment due? Actually, which people involved in making the shidduch are in the category of “shadchan”?

    A. What: A shadchan who arranges a shidduch should be paid a brokerage fee for their work, as any other type of broker. The amount to be paid is determined by minhag ha’makom (local custom), according to the going rate in that community. Moreover, when one asks a shadchan to arrange a shidduch, the shadchan acquires the halachic status of an employee and should be paid the rate of a similarly-employed worker.

    Who: The requirement to pay a shadchan applies to anyone who makes a shidduch, not only a professional shadchan, but even a friend, a colleague, or the like. In fact, if a suggested shidduch works out, the shadchan is entitled to shadchanus gelt even if neither party approached them for help nor offered payment in advance.

    When: It is customary to pay the shadchan after the shidduch has been concluded. (Even if, chas v’shalom, the engagement is subsequently broken, the shadchan does not have to reimburse the parties; if the parties have not paid the shadchan previously, they should pay now, as they have been the recipients of the shadchan’s services, despite the fact that the shidduch later fell apart.)

    More: If more than one person was involved in making a shidduch, the custom is to divide the shadchanus gelt (money) equally among them. For example, if three people were involved, the one who initiated the shidduch, the one who helped the couple during the meeting process, and the one who helped conclude the shidduch, each of them should receive a third. However, only someone who actually did work to bring the couple together should be paid, not someone who simply made a suggestion. Nonetheless, a person who came up with an idea for a shidduch that was concluded should receive something in appreciation. AskTheRav Wedding Guide


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