February 8, 2016 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #617199
When is it permissible to give negative information about a shidduch candidate? Always? If only under certain circumstances, what are the qualifying circumstances? Can it – or, even, should it – be given unsolicited if not asked? Why or why not? If asked, should one offer more than asked? If it is permissible to give negative information why should it matter whether it was solicited?
How should negative information be related – in its full negative glory or couched in softer terms? Need it be hinted or may it be blunt?
What if there is strong reason to believe the negative information is accurate even though your certainty is a bit less than 100%? What if you have an axe to grind with the shidduch candidate or his family, should you refrain from relating negative information about him/her even though you might be the only source who could save the other side from the shidduch going through with an inappropriate shidduch?
What if you know a certain shidduch candidate is not, and never will be, a good shidduch for anybody, due to his/her negative character traits. Should you make it your business to inform every potential shidduch of that person the information to insure the person never marries?February 8, 2016 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #1142771golferParticipant
If you are asked to give information, and you know there’s a problem that can have a negative impact on a marriage, tell the person inquiring you’ll get back to them shortly, and call your Rav. If you know in advance you might be called, even better- you can ask the shayla ahead of time.
You’ll be asked by the Rav to describe the problem to him, tell him how you know about it, and other details.
Then, simply do as you’re told.February 8, 2016 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #1142772
If you are asked to give information, and you know there’s a problem that can have a negative impact on a marriage, tell the person inquiring you’ll get back to them shortly, and call your Rav.
You realize that telling that to the caller might almost be the same as telling him the answer entails negative information, but you need to check if you can tell it to him. You more or less told him, before the shaila, that the answer is in the negative.February 9, 2016 1:10 am at 1:10 am #1142773
Does a person have a halachic obligation to relate negative information when appropriate, even if his inclination is to wiggle out of answering the question? What if it relates to a close friend or relative?February 9, 2016 3:58 am at 3:58 am #1142774apushatayidParticipant
Excellent questions. Its a good thing you have a Rav to ask when the situation arises.February 9, 2016 5:48 am at 5:48 am #1142775Sam2Participant
See the recent book about this (and other Lashon Hara issues) by Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman.February 9, 2016 7:46 am at 7:46 am #1142776Torah613TorahParticipant
Joseph, if someone calls me for shidduch information about you, I’m definitely going to feel required to tell them about your yeshiva world shenanigans.
Also, I’m going to insist that they read every one of your posts before they agree to date you.February 9, 2016 8:43 am at 8:43 am #1142777kapustaParticipant
A few general points from a single:
If you have information which you are not sure about (such as a medical issue), ASK the single/family when you are first asked to be a reference or you can broach it gently later on (“I’m very happy to answer questions, I’m sometimes asked about ______, is there anything specific about it that I should know?” or you can ask them to update you about several general things, and include that particular issue in the list).
I once had an idea for a shidduch and was aware of sensitive information on both sides (one side pertaining to the single, other side to the single’s family). I asked a shaila about what to say and while on the phone, I asked if it would be ok to give the name and info to the side I know better (the side with more sensitive info, relating to the single specifically). He was very happy with that idea until I got to the next issue, that I was unsure if they would say everything. He was very uncomfortable at that point and did not give me the go ahead.
Any friend (or other reference) wants the single in question to be happily married. Discovering a bottle of pills, cigarettes etc during Sheva Brachos is not generally helpful in starting a happy, healthy marriage. Despite any temptations to “help” someone by not giving info correctly, you are providing an extreme disservice and finding a great way to hurt them (as well as likely going against Halacha).
Note to singles: If you’ve been in the system for a while, you may want to check or change your references.February 9, 2016 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1142778
WB Kapusta! The mazal tov thread is still active and ready to be activated at anytime. 😉 What was the end result in the situation you related above?
T613: Being non-Sephardic, my spouse prefers I not date others.February 9, 2016 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #1142779
This has always puzzled me, iif you can’t provide confirmed “negative” information ( I.e. multiple broken engagements, ), then why bother with the whole calling process? A friend had his son’s wedding annulled within a month when he learned the kallah had mental issues the had been controlled by medication. She stopped taking them right after the wedding and the symptoms returned. A number of people actually had the chutzpah, after the fact , to tell him that they knew about it but didn’t disclose it prior to the chuppah because they didn’t want to ruin the shidduch!February 9, 2016 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #1142780👑RebYidd23Participant
Some information is neither positive nor negative in general.February 15, 2016 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm #1142781kapustaParticipant
Thanks. The side I’m closer with has since gotten married B”H (to someone else). I was not involved in redting or giving information.February 15, 2016 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #1142782
LC -“A friend had his son’s wedding annulled within a month when he learned the kallah had mental issues the had been controlled by medication. She stopped taking them right after the wedding and the symptoms returned.”
What are you talking about? Xtians do annulment, we do divorce!
And what does marriage have to do with medication? Either you need it or you don’t?!?February 15, 2016 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #1142783flatbusherParticipant
The joke in the entire shidduch process is that resumes contain references and no one is going to use a reference who will give anything but a glowing report. Sadly, the way the issue of negative information is dealt with has resulted in disastrous marriages or divorces.February 16, 2016 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm #1142784dovrosenbaumParticipant
Anyone involved in shidduchim needs a rav who’s an expert in the halachos of lashon hara. Each situation is different and requires expert analysis.February 16, 2016 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #1142785ABS-SAParticipant
In these matters one should bend over backwards to be as positive as possible about anyone they are asked about. This is a simple manifestation of Ve Ahavta L’Reacha Kamocha.
This being said, there are situations where their are substantive issues such as drug abuse, violent temper etc. that need to be disclosed, which can also be a manifestation of Ve Ahavta L’Reacha Kamocha!
When asked about a shidduch, the moment they say that they are inquiring about so and so, if serious issues immediately spring to mind, play for time. Say something like, “I know who they are but am not too familiar myself. Ask me your questions and I will ask around for you and come back to you”. Then, recheck the facts, discuss the issue with a neutral Rav, and only then revert and give the negative report.
I hope this or some variation of it helps.February 16, 2016 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm #1142786golferParticipant
When I call a Rav with a shayla, the least of my worries is whether I’ll be getting an honest, unbiased, truthful answer.
But here comes ABS-SA, who says,
“discuss the issue with a neutral Rav, and only then…”
What exactly is a neutral Rav?
What sort of Rav is that?
Are you saying that there is also a Rav who is NOT neutral?
Are you saying it’s not enough to call your trusted possek for an answer?
And if there does indeed exist such an entity as a “non-neutral Rav” whom I cannot trust in inyanei shidduchim, can he be trusted in Hilchos Shabbos? Hilchos Ribbis? Bassar be’chalav?
Are we doubting his ne’emanus in dinei lashon hara and lifnei ivver, but giving him a pass on other issues?
Are we doubting his ne’emanus only when parties involved are his acquaintances or relatives?
Please advise.February 16, 2016 3:24 pm at 3:24 pm #1142787
Health, A. The CIVIL marriage was annulled. B. The woman didn’t like taking the medication and only took it to make a shidduch and hide the truth about her illness. Once married she refused to take the medicationFebruary 16, 2016 3:42 pm at 3:42 pm #1142788
Health, we annul religious narratives too. In the case of agunas, there are recognized poskim who for years have tried to find legitimate reasons ( such as invalid witnesses ) to annul a marriage toFebruary 16, 2016 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #1142789
ABS-SA -“In these matters one should bend over backwards to be as positive as possible about anyone they are asked about. This is a simple manifestation of Ve Ahavta L’Reacha Kamocha.”
With my marriage, not only did they speak LH, but they added their own opinions. Eg.- “You should divorce him.” This is a simple manifestation of the Chet of the Meraglim!February 16, 2016 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #1142790
LC -“Health, A. The CIVIL marriage was annulled.”
Sorry, No such thing! I’m still going to court after 6 years of divorce. From previous -“Xtians do annulment (Catholics), we do divorce!”February 16, 2016 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #1142791👑RebYidd23Participant
Divorce is when a valid marriage is broken. Annulment is when it is declared not valid.February 16, 2016 5:38 pm at 5:38 pm #1142792
Health, a divorce is not an annulment. Annulments are , under the proper circumstances, are granted.February 16, 2016 7:01 pm at 7:01 pm #1142793
LC -“Annulments are , under the proper circumstances, are granted.”
In which state are they granted & what are the circumstances?February 16, 2016 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #1142794
New York grants annulments under five different scenarios.
1. Either spouse in incurably unable to consummate
2. Either spouse was not 18 st time of marriage
3. Either spouse was mentally insane
4. Either spouse could not give actual consent or understand the nature and consequence of marriage due to mental incapacity or deficiency
5. Either spouses consent to marriage was obtained by force, duress or fraudFebruary 16, 2016 9:38 pm at 9:38 pm #1142795ExcellenceParticipant
The Artscroll Chofetz Chaim A Daily Companion blue book hasa section at the back on shidduch speech – read it.February 17, 2016 7:25 am at 7:25 am #1142796ABS-SAParticipant
Golfer. All I meant was that in my experience it is better to go to a Rav who does not know either side in the potential shidduch, as it can save the Rav from being placed in an awkward position. It was merely said out of sensitivity to the Rav and was most certainly not meant in any way to cast aspersions or bring anybody’s integrity into question. Obviously, one is free to see it differently.
Nevertheless, the fact that you launched into a tirade against me, without bothering to find out what I actually meant and to compound matters imputed the most odious connotation possible to what I posted without considering any more favorable alternatives, speaks volumes.
Moreover, the fact that you paint Basar ve Chalav sheilos and Shidduch sheilos with the same brush, also speaks volumes. People are not objects!February 17, 2016 11:33 am at 11:33 am #1142797BarryLS1Participant
I know of a case where a Rosh Yeshiva proposed a Shidduch between a Talmid and a frum girl whose father was niftar. 2 children later , the chosson decided he did’t want to be frum anymore. The girl’s mother called the Rosh Yeshiva and said, “how can you do this to me.”
The Rosh Yeshiva answered, “We thought that when he got married, he’d straighten out.”
Bottom line, take what anyone says with a grain of salt and use your own judgement and instincts. If you know a of serious problem that could affect the person’s life, you should tell. Ask a Shaila of a Rov who isn’t nogeah b’dovor. When in doubt, don’t speak irrelevant Loshon Horoh, but you should look at it as if it were your child.February 17, 2016 2:46 pm at 2:46 pm #1142798
Barry, you nailed it perfectly. Treat the information as if the shidduch was being proposed for your OWN child. It’s much easier to be melamed zchus and bend over backwards when the child being put at risk is someone else’sFebruary 18, 2016 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #1142800ExcellenceParticipant
Whoa! I feel for the lady! I know someone here that happened to. He disrobed his yiddishkeit. Luckily the lady remarried. I know the family.February 19, 2016 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #1142801flatbusherParticipant
Part of the problem is people rightfully are reluctant to ask direct questions, and the halachic requirements. If someone asks if a person is on medications, and the person asked knows, should they lie? In some of the responses above, there is a certain amount of misleading going on when you know the answer and say “I have to get back to you.” But quite honestly, especially when it comes to mental problems and/or character traits, I think people just are not that acutely aware of what they may be observing as being a problem. When I was dating I was ultrasensitive about bad temper, and even the slightest hint used to turn me off. If you like someone, you may rationalize that certain traits such as stinginess are not a big deal, but after marriage the may loom large.March 17, 2016 2:04 pm at 2:04 pm #1142802
The Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation has a Shidduch Guide, and they have been sending out portions in their daily email. I thought it might be beneficial to paste here. I’ll bl”n post each email as a separate post.
This article was written by Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Lowy, Rav of Agudath Yisrael of Toronto and the posek in Toronto for halachic inquiries concerning Shmiras Haloshon. This article was approved for halachic accuracy by HaRav Hillel Zaks, Shlita.
A Guide to Getting and Giving Information
Since each and every one of us may be called upon at any time to divulge information about an individual or a family in regard to a shidduch, it is obligatory for us to become acquainted with the halachos of what is permissible for us to say and what is not. Furthermore, it is essential to know how to properly transmit those details deemed halachicly appropriate and how to obtain critical information ourselves when the need arises. Finally, it is imperative to know when to convey information. What is permissible to relay in the early stages of the shidduch process may actually be prohibited further along in the procedure without permission from a rav.March 17, 2016 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #1142803
When one is asked for information regarding a shidduch, one must be sensitive to the power wielded by every detail conveyed. Your words could easily be the sole cause of the shidduch being abandoned. Alternately, withholding crucial information could allow a shidduch to proceed, which might trigger great pain for all concerned.March 17, 2016 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #1142804CTLAWYERParticipant
Marriage and divorce laws vary by state, they are not set by federal statutes.
As I’ve stated before I practice family law along with wills, trusts, estates.
A number of years ago, here in CT the decision was made that any civil marriage dissolved by the courts during the first year is deemed to have been annulled. No divorce decree is granted by the court.March 17, 2016 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #1142805
CT, I clearly stated I was quoting the law in New York. I never said it was Federal.March 17, 2016 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #1142806oomisParticipant
A very fine young man I know well, was being redt shidduchim in the community. I was getting all the “reference” calls about him and his family. People all agreed that he is wonderful, but they had a sensitive question about a family member. I was not comfortable with answering their question directly, but was able to actually turn the negative into a positive. I cannot explain here in this forum, how that was possible, but I was able to do it, especially since I knew this negative had no bearing whatsoever on the wonderful young man’s character, learning, and viability as an appropriate shidduch for some lucky girl.
He did not end up with this girl, but with another terrific young woman. My point is that someone should be very careful with these enquiries, and try to bring out the zechus whenever possible. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be sure your information is 100% accurate. And check with a Rov before dispensing potentially unpleasant information.March 17, 2016 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #1142807CTLAWYERParticipant
I’m not correcting you. My point was for general education of the CR. Many are NY centric.March 17, 2016 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #1142808
Oomis, the problem with saying “ask a rov” for this is that when you get a call, if you push it off, it may give off a negative impression. Better to have a decent working knowledge of the relevant halachos in advance, to avoid that when possible.March 17, 2016 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #1142809
Asking Questions for a Shidduch
Since each and every one of us may be called upon to divulge information about someone for the purpose of a shidduch, it is crucial for us all to become familiar with the relevant halachos.March 18, 2016 4:20 am at 4:20 am #1142810
We mentioned that one must declare his intention. Even though one feels that his chances for ferreting out the type of information he is seeking might be compromised by this declaration, he is obligated to announce his intentions.
The reasons for this are twofold:
1. Correct Intent:
2. What to Say, What Not to Say:
Another reason for specifying the intent of your question is so that the person who answers will know how to phrase his answer so that it meets the requirements of speaking for a constructive purpose.
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