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    The Mitzvah
    There is a great
    mitzvah for one to be
    involved with making
    shidduchim between a
    boy and girl. Hashem
    was the first shadchan
    in the world who made
    the shidduch between
    Adom and Chavah. The
    Chozeh from Lublin
    is quoted as saying one who is involved
    with making shidduchim will merit having
    children who are talmidei chachumim.
    Therefore, it is important for one to try to
    match people up with each other even if one
    is not sure if it will work. One is permitted
    to arrange a shidduch on Shabbos, and if
    necessary even to speak about financial
    We all know that a person who is involved
    with trying to pair up two individuals is
    called a shadchan. However, where did this
    term come from and what does it mean? The
    source of the word shadchan means peace
    and harmony which the wife will have when
    she finds her match and establishes a home
    with her husband. The Aruch says the word
    shadchan comes from “tying” since the
    person involved with pairing up two people
    is tying them together as one couple.
    Paying a Shadchan
    Just as in other business dealings, a shadchan
    must be paid a fee for arranging a shidduch.
    There is no difference if the shadchan
    was asked by one of the parties or if he
    volunteered his services on his own. Even a
    non-professional shadchan must be paid for
    his services. Furthermore, a shadchan may
    ask bais din to force both parties to pay him.
    Where the shadchan said that he or she does
    not want to get paid, no money is given to the
    shadchan by any party, even if the shadchan
    later changes her mind and decides she
    wants to get paid. Some Sefardisha circles
    have the custom not to pay a shadchan for
    her services. If the shadchan told the boy’s
    side that he does not want to accept money,
    this does not exempt the girl’s side from
    giving money to the shadchan.
    Who Is Obligated to Pay the Shadchan?
    There is a discussion in the poskim as to
    who is obligated to pay the shadchan for
    the shidduch that was made. Some say since
    the favor was done for the boy and girl,
    they are both obligated to pay the shadchan.
    However, others say that the boy’s and girl’s
    parents pay the shadachan, and this is the
    overwhelming custom today. In a situation
    where the parents did not pay the shadchan,
    the boy and girl are still not obligated to pay
    the shadchan.

    The Fee
    The amount to be paid to the shadchan is
    based on the local minhag of each specific
    place. When the fee is agreed upon, the
    shadchan may not ask for additional payment
    for costs he may have incurred during the
    process of making the shidduch. If one side
    cannot pay the shadchan then he has no right
    to go to the other side and ask for the money
    due to him from the first side who could
    not pay. A shadchan who did not discuss
    a fee before arranging a shidduch may not
    demand an extraordinary high fee (out of the
    ordinary) when the shidduch is completed.
    There is a discussion in the poskim if a
    shidduch was made between people who live
    in different countries which local custom one
    must follow when paying the shadchan.
    When to Pay
    There is a discussion in the poskim when is
    the correct time that the shadchan should be
    paid. Some are of the opinion if there is no
    custom when to pay the shadchan he should
    be paid after the wedding. Those who have
    the custom to make a t’nayim should pay
    the shadchan after the t’nayim is completed.
    Those who do not have the custom to make
    a t’nayim should pay the shadchan when the
    shidduch is completed, although some have
    the custom not to pay the shadchan until
    after the wedding is over. If the shidduch
    was broken, the shadchan does not have to
    give the money back as long as he did not
    give false information about the boy or girl
    which caused the shidduch to be broken. In
    a situation where the money is not given
    until after the wedding the shadchan does
    not get paid if the shidduch was broken. If
    the shidduch was not completed then the
    shadchan does not get paid even if he spends
    a lot of time trying to put the boy and girl
    The Importance of Paying a Shadchan
    It is stated in the name of the Chazon Ish that
    one who does not have children for many
    years after their marriage it can possibly
    be because the shadchan who made their
    shidduch was not paid.
    Using Masser Money
    In most situations one may not use masser
    money to pay a shadchan for his work
    regarding the shidduch.
    Many Shadchanim
    The poskim are in dispute in regard to
    dividing payment in a situation where more
    than one person was involved in a shidduch.
    There is a discussion in the poskim on how
    much has to be paid if one shadchan started
    the shidduch and another one finished the
    shidduch. This issue has many details and
    one should consult with a Rav when this
    situation arises.
    Making a Shidduch between Non-Jews /

    Non-Observant Jews
    It is preferable to avoid
    making a shidduch between
    two non-Jews. One may
    make a shidduch between two
    non-religious Jews if there
    would otherwise be a risk of
    intermarriage and one will be
    getting paid for his services.
    Can a Shadchan be a
    Relative or Friend?
    Many times a relative or
    friend wants to make a shidduch between
    two people and the question arises if doing
    so is permitted. The custom is that a relative
    or a friend can be a shadchan.
    Mentioned a Shidduch
    Many times it can happen that a person
    mentions a prospective boy to a girl’s family
    or vice versa and they are not interested at
    that time. Then as time passes another person
    mentions the name. If the second person
    only knew about the boy and girl because
    of the first person then they both get some
    amount of money. However, if the second
    person thought of it on his own then the first
    person who mentioned it does not receive
    anything (unless the reason they are going
    out is because it was red by two people).
    “It’s not For Me but for My Friend”
    It happens very often that after a boy goes
    out and it does not work he suggests
    shadchanas since he did the work to make
    sure they go out.
    Being a Witness
    A shadchan is permitted to be a witness
    by the t’nayim or kiddushin (if he is not a
    Many questions one gets about a prospective
    boy or girl can involve loshon hora. Is one
    permitted to tell derogatory information for
    shidduch purposes? Below we will discuss
    some things which may be said and other
    things which may not be said.
    The poskim say that one may tell an interested
    party about a serious physical or mental
    illness, a lack of religious observance,45 if
    there is an adoption,46 or the party’s financial
    status. The reason why revealing this type of
    information is permitted is because if the
    other party would find out this information
    they may hold back from going ahead with
    the shidduch.
    Information which is not so important
    should not be told over to the other party.
    This includes information regarding a minor
    illness or physical weakness. One who is
    specifically asked information must tell the
    other party the information (unless it has
    nothing to do with the shidduch).

    Serious information should only be told if
    it is to benefit one of the parties, it cannot
    be exaggerated, and there must be a good
    chance that the information will be taken
    seriously and acted upon.
    One who was not asked a specific question
    does not have to answer anything he was not
    asked. For example, if one is asked “does the
    boy wears a hat in the street”? he may say
    for davening yes, but for going to the mikvah
    he doesn’t.
    One who is asked if a boy is nice looking
    may answer honestly because the girl can see
    for herself anyway.
    Whatever may be permitted to say in regard
    to a shidduch must be said only to a person
    who has wisdom, and one who will not
    spread the information to other people.
    There are a lot of other cases which can
    arise regarding this inyun,54 and anyone
    who is unsure whether to give over certain
    information should speak with a halachic
    authority beforehand.
    Lying about Age
    A question arises if one is permitted to tell
    a shadchan he or she is younger than their
    age in order to facilitate a shidduch.55 Some
    poskim say if one of the sides is already
    looking for a shidduch and is having a hard
    time finding one then he or she may lie about
    their age. Horav Elyashiv zt”l says that one
    who is twenty can say he is nineteen.57
    When this question arises on would discuss
    it with his Rav.
    “Younger before Older”
    Many times when a shadchan presents a
    shidduch to one party they say that it is a nice
    shidduch but it is not our custom to give the
    younger child before an older one, and we
    have an older child that has to get married
    first. This idea is what Lavan said to Yaakov
    when he gave him Leah and not Rochel,58
    and is brought down in halacha as well.59
    However, some say that there is no concern
    of a younger child getting engaged before
    an older one.60 Nonetheless, one should
    discuss this issue with his Rav.
    It should be pointed out that when dealing
    with questions of shidduchim one should
    consult his Rav.