From the Anash.org Inbox: Hundreds of unmarried bochurim and girls in our community continue to seek their shiduch as they climb into their thirties. Could this answer from the Rebbe provide a solution?
By Moshe K.
We are all well aware of the shiduch crisis in our community. Hundreds of unmarried bochurim and girls continue to seek their shiduch as they climb into their thirties.
Over the years, various suggestions have been made. But recently, someone shared with me some novel advice from the Rebbe that I think could help with the much-needed solution.
But before reading it, it’s important to preface:
On many occasions, the Rebbe expressed his strong concern about the preoccupation of singles – or their parents – with secondary, and certainly superficial, preferences in shiduchim:
“If the most important matters are in order, then quite often it is proper to overlook minor matters that don’t seem to be in order.”
“Emphasis must be placed on those matters that are most vital, i.e., Yiras Shomayim and Torah and mitzvos, for ultimately, this is the entire purpose of man.”
“Of greatest importance is that it be built on a firm foundation, that foundation being Torah with Yiras Shomayim. The opinion of ‘pedestrians’ who pass by the house regarding its external beauty … is superficial in comparison to that which is of greatest importance.”
And lastly this sharp response:
“In a shidduch one must focus on essential qualities, and he insists on focusing on tofel detofel (utter trivialities)!”
In that light, the Rebbe encouraged the marriage of Sefardim and Ashkenazim at a time when there were significant cultural differences between them that went beyond food and dress. Still, the Rebbe considered that insignificant in face of two fine young people building a bayis ne’eman b’yisroel.
In the famous letter that the Rebbe would send to every young couple, the Rebbe writes that the most important thing is that the home is established “al yesodei haTorah vehamitzva,” on the foundations of Torah and mitzvos. That is what will provide the couple with years of joy and inner happiness.
With this, we can understand the Rebbe’s directive recorded in Yoman Shnas Hakhel 5741 (p. 112):
One of Anash asked the Rebbe regarding a shidduch for his daughter. The Rebbe replied, “Isn’t my opinion on this matter well known?!” The Rebbe continued, “You don’t know? My opinion is that it is possible to make a shidduch with someone who is not yet Lubavitch and through this bring them close to Lubavitch.”
The Rebbe told this father that the power of Chassidus is so great to captivate any sincere person who is exposed to it. Therefore, whatever Chassidus values the Lubavitch spouse has will inevitably influence the other spouse as well. The current affiliation of a frum and kind person should not be an impediment to a suitable shidduch.
What if it’s not the values that bother them, but the different dress, accent, or other cultural dissimilarities?
That, said the Rebbe, is tofel detofel, utter triviality.