Tzirel Frankel, veteran shadchanit from Los Angeles, gave a seminar in Crown Heights about how to talk a shidduch on Thursday, February 19. A group of 15 aspiring shadchanim gathered at the home of Mrs. Leah Barber to hear tips from a pro and stories from Ms. Frankel's 25 years as a shadchan. She stressed how important it is for anyone involved in helping a shidduch along to really get to know their subjects, understand where they're coming from, and to care, be able to invest your time, and to listen. The talk is forthcoming shortly on Torah Cafe.
Simon Jacobson from The Meaningful Life Center hit the nail on its head. I couldn't have said the noted above better myself.
The more shidduchim I am involved in, the more coaching I realize is needed especially in the department of prioritizing and bringing clarity to one's thoughts, wants, aspirations etc This is not just shidduchim related but in fact life related.
Boruch Hashem, bochurim/girls and parents are valuing the importance of coaching; especially when there is a lack of focus and clarity.
Clarity of what marriage is supposed to be.
Clarity of who they themselves are (self awareness).
Clarity whom they are seeking as their ideal spouse.
Clarity what circumstances are deal breakers and what are negotiable.
Clarity as to what needs to be addressed and accomplished with each date.
How many times do we as shadchans or parents hear:
Getting married is making most probably the most important decision of one's life to date. So don't trek alone. Use the resources at one's disposal like professional coaches, mentors, mashpiim, people who can offer an objective, common sense opinion.
The antidote to being overwhelmed or indecisive is CLARITY.
I'm here to help if you feel I can.
How many dates are over before they even start? The bochur or girl hesitate to “open up”
because they don’t know where it’s all heading. They would rather wait for the 5th or 6th
date before sharing any personal information or thoughts. Problem is, they may not get to
the 2nd or 3rd date let alone the 5th or 6th date; which is so often the case.
There seems to be a misunderstanding as to what “opening up” is. “Opening up” does not mean sharing personal , private, sensitive information. “Opening up” means being conversational, show genuine interest, be engaging, share thoughts that are neutral and not intruding , and discuss generic topics of interest. “Personal information” does not need to be discussed unless you feel comfortable doing so and feel there is serious potential for marriage with the one whom you are dating.
Treat each date as if it’s the last. Give it all you’ve got. There may not be a second chance!!
I often hear if one is dating someone of Sephardic descent, that they needn’t test with Dor Yesharim. Recently I attended a workshop with Dr. Zev Zlatopolsky, M.A., Director of the Dept. of Pre-Implantation Genetics at the Reproductive Genetics Institute, Chicago, who is consulted daily by Rabbonim, Shadchanim and individuals worldwide, who debunked this notion and strongly encouraged a Dor Yesharim test for all individuals regardless of being Sephardi or Ashkenazi. He offered a number of reasons; the two main ones being:
[a] No one knows for sure if in their Sephardic ancestry there was no marriage with an
Ashkenazic person. Therefore an Ashkenazic gene could be present and therefore would need testing. [b] Even pure Sephardic Jews need testing for there are a number of genetic diseases they may be carriers of. Screening for Cystic Fibrosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy are recommended for persons of all backgrounds. They are included in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic and Mizrachi disease lists.
For a more comprehensive list of genetic diseases based on one’s background, see:
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