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    In Parshas Chaya
    Sarah we can
    study all about shidduchim. One of the
    primary lessons is to know that shidduchim are arranged by Hashem. It’s not
    because I chose, or because that person
    said, or because this or that happened, etc.
    The shidduch went through because
    Hashem wanted it to happen. Avraham
    Avinu said to Eliezer, “Hashem, the G-d
    of the heavens… will send His malach
    (angel) before you, and you will take a
    wife for my son…” (24:7). Hashem sends
    His malach and sets up all the steps necessary to enable a shidduch to be finalized.
    The truth of this matter is so evident, that
    even the resha’im, Besuel and Lavan, recognized that shidduchim are arranged by
    Hashem. When Eliezer spoke with Besuel
    and Lavan, and asked them whether they
    agree to the shidduch, they replied, “meiHashem yatza hadavar lo nuchal dabeir
    aleicha ra o tov — it was destined from
    Hashem. We cannot speak to you bad or
    good” (24:50). The Rashbam writes,
    “[Besuel and Lavan said to Eliezer] to
    build or to destroy [the shiduch] isn’t up to
    us. We are forced; whether we want to or
    not, HaKadosh Baruch Hu Who has the
    power, does.” The Gemara writes, “[We
    can prove] from the TaNaCh (acronym
    for Torah, Navi, and Kesuvim) that Hashem arranges marriages. In Chumash it
    states ‘Lavan and Besual said, ‘meiHashem yatza hadavar — it was destined by
    Hashem’ (Bereshis 24:50). In Navi it
    states ‘His father and his mother didn’t
    know that it was from Hashem’ (Shoftim
    14). And in Kesuvim (Mishlei 19), it
    states, ‘A house and wealth is the inheritance from parents, but a wise woman [to
    her husband] is arranged by Hashem’”
    (Moed Koton 18). The Vilna Gaon zy”a
    was once a guest in someone’s home.
    When he was ready to leave, his host
    asked him, “How was it in my home? It’s
    a nice home, isn’t it?”TorahWellspringsChayeiSara The Vilna Gaon thanked him
    and said that it was a very good achsanyah
    (apartment). Then the Vilna Gaon said,
    “There was one thing that I noticed while
    staying in your home, that I wanted to ask
    you about. I saw that you prepare a coffee
    for your wife, every morning, even before
    you made your own coffee. I was wondering why you do this. Is it because of what
    Chazal say, ‘michabdaso yoser megufo
    — one should honor his wife more than
    he honors himself’?” The host said, “The
    answer to your question is the story of my
    life. When I was thirteen years old, I was
    a prodigy, already well-versed in Torah,
    and a wealthy person chose me for his
    chassan (son-in-law). The chasunah was
    scheduled for seven years later, when I
    would be twenty. In the meanwhile, my
    future father-in-law hired private tutors,
    so I could grow in Torah. For the next
    seven years, I learned with these tutors
    and became a talmid chacham. When I
    turned twenty, and it was time for the chasunah, my future father-in-law lost all his
    money. “Personally, I wanted to continue
    with this shidduch, because I had hakaras
    hatov (appreciation) for the seven years
    that he supplied me with tutors, but my
    father didn’t permit the marriage. He refused to allow his son, who had become a
    talmid chacham, to marry a poor girl.
    “Another shidduch was suggested, and I
    married a girl from a wealthy family.
    Soon after the marriage, we discovered
    that I have a mum (an illness). My fatherin-law spent a lot of money to cure me,
    but in the end, the doctors said that there
    was nothing they could do; there was no
    cure. This was a very hard moment in my
    life. My father-in-law asked me to divorce his daughter, and I obliged. “First a
    broken shiduch, then a divorce… I felt
    that my life was in shambles. Depressed,
    I began to live with other lost souls
    in the hekdesh. (The hekdesh was a
    communal ‘room and board’ for
    the homeless.) Someone I knew
    saw me in the hekdesh and was
    shocked. He said, ‘You have so
    much potential in Torah; how did
    you end up here?’ I told him what
    happened to me. “Some time later,
    this man returned, and offered me a
    shidduch. ‘The girl has the very
    same mum as you have,’ he told
    me. “We met and we married. After
    the chasunah, she said, ‘You were
    born with your mum, but I was
    born healthy. I developed the mum
    later on in my life.’ She told me that
    she was once engaged to marry a
    Torah scholar, but because her father lost his money, the shidduch
    was called off. She was so depressed that she became ill. “I
    asked her some questions, and I
    discovered that her original chassan was me! She was my first shidduch and she became ill, on my
    account! Doesn’t she deserve a cup
    of coffee each morning?” The Vilna Gaon was very happy that he
    heard this story, and exclaimed, “If
    I came here only to hear this story,
    it would also be worthwhile,” because it demonstrates Hashem’s
    Hand in shidduchim. If a shidduch
    is destined to be, it will happen.
    (Obviously, the first shidduch was
    also from Hashem. Everything
    happens as Hashem plans it.) In
    parashas Bereishis,
    the Torah tells us,
    “vayapel Hashem
    Elokim tardeimah
    al ha’adam vayishan vayikach achas
    metzalosav… —
    Hashem cast a sleep onto Adam, he slept,
    and Hashem took one of his ribs…[and
    created Chavah].” This is how the first
    shidduch came to be. Bederech tzachus,
    this reminds the older singles, who are
    worried about when they will find their
    shidduch, that they need not worry, because Hashem is taking care of them. The
    Torah tells them, “Just go to sleep – don’t
    worry and don’t disturb. Everything will
    be taken care of. Hashem is working for
    you, arranging your bashert from heaven.” Someone once came to the Chazon
    Ish, to ask information about a bachur,
    whom he was considering for his daughter. “How is his learning?” “It could be
    better,” the Chazon Ish replied. “Is he a
    masmid?” “It could be better.” “What
    about his middos? Does he get along
    nicely with people?” “It could be better.”
    “And yiras shamayim… Does he have
    yiras shamayim?” The Chazon Ish repeated his rephrase, “It could be better.”
    The shidduch was made. The father chose
    this boy for his daughter. He misunderstood what the Chazon Ish was saying.
    He thought that the Chazon Ish meant
    that the bachur was very good, only he
    could be better. The father thought, “Well
    of course he could be better. Who can’t be
    better? There is always room for improvement. Even the greatest of scholars
    can always improve.” The Chazon Ish
    repeated this episode to his sister and concluded, “If a shidduch is destined from
    heaven, nothing can stop it from happening. I know the father; he is an intelligent
    man and I think it was quite clear what I
    meant. But Hashem took away his sechel,
    so the shidduch should go through.” In
    the shtar tena’im (engagement document)
    it states at the top of the document, “vayafek ratzon mei’Hashem hatov — [the
    shidduch] came forth according to Hashem’s will” , to remind everyone that the
    shidduch was from Hashem. Vayafek can
    also mean takes out or removes. The original words of the tena’im can therefore be
    translated, “Hashem removes people’s
    will.” Because when people seek a shidduch they generally have a basic idea of
    what they are looking for (what type of
    family, goals, personality, etc.) But often,
    people end up marrying someone who
    doesn’t fill the criteria, at all. Somehow,
    when the right one (the one destined from
    heaven) comes along, people forget their
    plans, and they agree to the shidduch.
    This is hinted to, in the shtar tena’im,
    “vayafek ratzon mei’Hashem – Hashem
    took away people’s ratzon (desire) to
    make the shidduch happen.