16 Nov SHIDDUCHIM ARE BASHERT
Although Hashem’s hand is often concealed, everything that happens to us is bashert, destined, and planned. We believe that everything is from Hashem, but we don’t always see it.
However, when it comes to shidduchim, Hashem’s hand is clearly revealed. The Gemara (Moed Kattan 18:) brings proofs “from Torah, Nevi’im, and Kesuvim” that shidduchim are destined from heaven. The Torah (24:50, this week’s parashah) states, ויען†לבן†ובתואל†≠†ויאמרו†מה’†יצא†≠†הדבר†לא†נוכל
דבר†אליך†≠†רע†או†טוב†, “Lavan and Besuel
said¨†‘The†matter†is†from†HashemÆ†We†can’t tell you good or bad.’” Lavan and Besuel were big resha’im, but even they recognized that the shidduch was destined from heaven.
Rashi explains that Lavan and Besuel said, “We can’t say no to this shidduch… because it is clear that Hashem arranged this shidduch” since Eliezer told them that while he was davening for the right shidduch, Rivkah came (see 24:45).
The Rashbam writes that Lavan and Besuel said, לא†הסתירה†ולא†≠†הבניין†תלוי
ברצוננו†, to break the shidduch or to make it
isn’t up to our desire. כי†על†כרחנו†≠†רוצים†או
לא†≠†רוצים†, it will happen, if we like it or
not. כי†הקב”ה†עושה†זאת†≠†שהיכולת†בידו†, for
Hashem is making this shidduch, and He has the ability.”
The Gemara also proves from Navi that shidduchim are made in heaven and arranged by Hashem. It states (Shoftim 14:4) regarding Shimshon, ≠†ואביו†ואמו†לא
ידעו†כי†מה’†היא†, “His father and mother
didn’t know that it was from Hashem.”
Also, in Kesuvim it states (Mishlei בית†והון†נחלת†≠†אבות†ומה’†אשה†≠†משכלת†,( 19:14
, “A house and wealth are the parents’ inheritance, but an intelligent woman is from Hashem.’” With these proofs from Chumash, Navi, and Kesuvim the Gemara attests that shidduchim are from Hashem.
The question is, isn’t everything from Hashem? So why does the Gemara specifically†mention†shidduchimø†The†Chazon Ish’s zt’l answered that the Gemara teaches us that the hashgachah pratis seen by shidduchim surpasses the general hashgachah pratis.
Generally, Hakadosh Baruch Hu leads the world under a cloak of teva, nature, but when it comes to shidduchim, Hashem’s hand†is†clearly†evidentÆ†If†you†want†to†find†Hashem in this world, analyze what happens by shidduchim, and you will be amazed at the revealed hashgachah pratis you will discover.
The Chidushei HaRim zt’l teaches:
When it comes to shidduchim, people seek different things. Some look for yichus. For some, the primary criteria are good looks. And others seek money in shidduchim.
Usually, people get what they look for. They think that they got their desires because they searched for them. The Gemara we mentioned above proves that it isn’t so. Whether you sought yichus, good looks, or wealth, the shidduch happened because it was Hashem’s plan.
Avraham†instructed†Eliezer†to†find†a†bride†for Yitzchak from his family, etc. The primary criterion was yichus. And, indeed, Rivkah, who is from Avraham’s family, married Yitzchak. But don’t think they found yichus because they looked for it. The Torah tells us מה’†יצא†הדבר†the shidduch
happened because Hashem wanted it to happen.
Shimshon married a beautiful woman. But¨†once†again¨†the†Navi†clarifies†that†he†married the woman Hashem had destined for him. It wasn’t because of his efforts. As it states, , ואביו†ואמו†לא†≠†ידעו†כי†מה’†≠†היא
“His father and his mother didn’t know that it was from Hashem.” And for those who seek wealth and end up marrying someone wealthy, the pasuk in Kesuvim reminds us that it happened because that was Hashem’s will. As it states (Mishlei בית†והון†נחלת†אבות†ומה’†≠†אשה†משכלת†,( 19:14
, “A house and wealth are the parent’s inheritance, but an intelligent woman is from Hashem.’”
What does Hashem do if a shidduch is bashert, decreed forty days before the child’s formation in the womb, but over time, the boy and girl become very different from one another? How does the shidduch transpire then?1 Such an episode happened to a chassid of the Imrei Emes zt’l. A poor chassid constantly requested that the Imrei Emes zt’l of Gur bless him with wealth. The Imrei Emes didn’t want to give him that brachah, but since this man kept on insisting, the Imrei Emes obliged. He blessed him, and the words of the tzaddik took effect. He became rich. Shortly†after†he†became†rich¨†his†eighteen≠year≠old†son†was†involved†in†an†accident¨†thereby injuring his feet. Due to the injury, the†only†fitting†shidduch†the†boy†could†find†was a girl from a poor family.
The father came to the Imrei Emes and lamented that he had to settle for a poor shidduch and that he didn’t do a wealthy, prestigious shidduch, as he had hoped for. The Imrei Emes told him, “Forty days before your son was formed in the womb, a bas kol announced that his shidduch should be this girl from this poor family. At†that†time¨†the†shidduch†was†very†fitting†because both your son and the girl came from poor families. But you insisted that you want wealth, and indeed, that’s what happened. Nevertheless, the shidduch that was bashert and decreed for your son had to take place. You wouldn’t agree to it if it weren’t for the accident; therefore, it had to occur.”2
The Midrash states:
A queen asked Reb Yosi ben Chalafta, “How long did it take Hashem to create the world?”
“And from then until now, what does Hashem do?”
“He makes shidduchim.”
This Midrash is well known, but there is another version (girsah) to it. It says that Reb Yosi ben Chalafta told the queen that from the time of Creation until today, “Hashem is making ladders. He raises some and lowers others. As it states (Tehillim 75:8), כי†אלקים†שופט†≠†זה†ישפיל†וזה
ירים†≠†, “Hashem is the judge, He lowers
this one and raises another one.’”
We can explain that both statements are the same. Hashem makes shidduchim, but to enable the shidduchim to occur, Hashem sometimes needs to raise the poor and make them wealthy, or He needs to lower the rich and make them poor. Because only that way will the destined shidduchim occur. Yaakov Avinu saw a ladder in his dream†while†en†route†to†Charan†to†find†a†shidduch for himself. This is because ladders symbolize shidduchim, as Hashem raises some and lowers others to bring them to fruition.
The Sefer Chassidim (216) teaches that at times we see a reshaim doing shidduchim with tzaddikim. They merited making these good shidduchim because they had righteous ancestors or because people embarrassed them. Hashem makes these resha’im wealthy because otherwise, the tzaddikim wouldn’t agree to be meshadech with them.
The Resha’sh (Reb Shalom Shtershon) zt’l ran a moneylending gemach, and he was cautious about marking every transaction down. But one day, the Reshash took out a Gemara from the bookcase¨†and†he†found†an†envelope†filled†with money inside. He immediately recalled an incident that occurred.
Someone returned a loan, and the Reshash, so engrossed in his studies, accidentally left the money in the Gemara and forgot to mark that the debt was paid up.
The Reshash immediately contacted the man who paid back the loan and said, “Now I remember that you told the truth. You did pay back the debt. I was wrong for suspecting you, and I apologize. Please forgive me.”
The man replied, “Your apologies don’t help me because my reputation was ruined. People say that I tried to steal money from the gemach. One of my sons ran away from Vilna, because he was so embarrassed.”
The Reshash replied, “I’ll tell everyone that it was my mistake.”
The†man†wasn’t†satisfied†with†that¨†eitherÆ†“They’ll say that the rav is just saying so to help me, but they will still suspect me.”
The Reshash said, “Then we’ll do the following: I have a daughter, and you have a son. We will be meshadech, and then everyone will believe your innocence.”
And that’s what happened. According to the world’s natural laws, it wasn’t conceivable that the renowned Reshash would make a shidduch with this person. But the shidduch was meant to be, and therefore Hashem arranged it so that it would happen.
Here’s a recent story:
There was an older bachur who was about to get engaged to an older girl. The boy and his family came to the girl’s city for Shabbos and stayed in a hotel. The vort would be motzei Shabbos, and then the shidduch would be announced and become officialÆ
On Friday afternoon, the mother of the bachur had second thoughts. She explained that the girl was a few years older than her son. She knew that before, but now she was concerned about it.
Secondly, the girl had older siblings who weren’t engaged yet. “I know that they will give her permission to marry before them, but there might be hakpados and bad feelings, and I don’t want our son to marry under those conditions.”
The girl didn’t know about it. She was expecting to get engaged motzei Shabbos, but the boy’s family considered calling the shidduch off. What did Hakadosh Baruch Hu do? Friday night, her husband brought home from the beis medresh a “Torah sheet¨”†a†divrei†Torah†leafletÆ†The†Torah†sheet addressed precisely the two issues the mother was concerned about. The writer eloquently explained that a girl being older than a boy isn’t a reason to stop a shidduch. And older single siblings are also not a valid reason to stop a shidduch. Motzei Shabbos was the vort. The kallah didn’t even know that the shidduch almost fell through and that it was saved with siyata dishmaya over Shabbos.