Shidduch Priorities

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    What should a Ben Torah(whether a long term learner or not) prioritize with when he is looking for a girl?

    Please choose the most relevant:

    1.A Bas Talmid Chochom

    2.A Baal Tzedakah(Rich man who gives)

    3.A Yichus,

    4; The daughter of a Prominant Askan

    5. Never mind the surroundings, just look at the girl and if she’s amazing, that should be enough

    I know the ideal would be the whole nine yards, but lets assume you can only choose one,


    #5 is subjective, but if applied appropriately I’d say certainly go with that.

    Aside from #5, #1 is by far the best choice (from the first 4.)


    Just curious to know why a Talmid Chochom is a better choice than a ‘Klall doer’.

    Dont forget, the girl takes what she sees at home and because middos are a priority for a girl, she would make a better wife with an example like that. If her father knows how to learn, its a wonderful thing, but how will that benefit her as a wife and mother??


    As far as nos. 5 BEING SUBJECTIVE, lets assume that for the first four choices the girl is Very Good,

    The last choice is a SPECTACULAR girl but without any of the other benefits.


    Chazal specifically teach to look for a Bas Talmid Chochom. Another aspect Chazal teach, is to look at the midos of the girls brothers (as it will reflect how her children will be.)


    Actually, I think that #5 is the most important. After all, you’re not marrying the girl’s father or her Yichus… you’re marrying her. You have to make sure that *she* is someone whom you can live with. You have to make sure that *she* has the middos that you want in a future spouse, that *she* shares the same hashkafah as you, that *she* is someone whom you can get along with and that *she* is someone with whom you want to spend every day of the rest of your life.

    Having a father-in-law who is talmud chochom or a ba’al tzedaka, or a prominent askan, or her having an important yichus may all be a nice bonus, but the bottom line is that you have to look at the girl first. Everything else is just gravy.

    The Wolf


    1, but only if the guy thinks 5 is true.


    The problem is that there is no way to assess #5, and certainly not on shidduch dates. Therefore, we use eitzos to help us figure out which girl is #5 (referring to nameless’ choices, not wolfish’s). Look at her father, look at her brothers, look at this, that the other. We’re really just trying to gauge #5.


    ‘Actually, I think that #5 is the most important.’

    Is it better for a girl to be way above average without any influence at home rather than just to be a good Bas yisroel with the other fringe benefits? I wonder,,,

    I stressed in my last post that considering the girl is of good quality,,,


    re gavra at work: I like that.

    The single most important thing is what do *I* need to build a bayis neeman beYisrael?


    #5 for sure! But there are so many different priorities within the #5! What “amazing” means in High school does not necessary mean “amazing”. I know many “amazing” girls who were in my class in high school who I would not want to touch with a 10-ft. pole (nor would i want my 5th cousin to!)

    priorities #1-75 is middos!

    #76-100- is a relatively decent amount of brains.

    obviously there are many sources from chazal that say that the other choices are VERY important as mentioned above. So it’s not just nonsense. I’m just wondering if it is a GIVEN that you would look for a girl with fine middos and qualities and then once that is established check out the brothers, father, cousin’s cat’s neighbor’s friend’s wife.


    squeak: Please explain why #5 can not be assessed on a date, and if not, what is the purpose in dating? If you do not think your future spouse is amazing, why are you marrying her/him? (hopefully not due to the shver’s wallet!)

    Mz. Tzippi: Thank you and agreed, but you still have the precondition that you feel your spouse is amazing (and attractive, which goes together).



    Chazal also teach us;

    Kol Mi sheosek Bitzorchei Tzibbur, HkBh Yishalem Sechoroi,,,,,


    nameless, absolutely. But what I quoted above from Chazal, they said specifically regarding the inyan of Shidduchim.

    Aishes Chayil

    I think this is an excellent topic. Why dont we think practically and logically?

    You know what they say ‘ver hot de maya hot de daya’

    The Baal Tzedakah(2), if serious, can be all the rest as well.

    He has the time, so he can be mekayem the mitzvah of Koveah Beitim,

    He gives tzedakah, so that sort of makes him and askan as well, and he will be able to support his son in law in learning for as long as he wants,which is a zechus as well!

    If he happens to have th yichus and a good girl, well then thats what it takes.

    The other three on the other hand, are beautiful attributes, but they stand alone and cant neccessarily be included with the others.



    I understand that but the point I wanted to make is that if an individula like that is entitled to zechusim, that can affect his children as well and will be an appealing criteria for a



    Gavra_at_wrok – My thoughts exactly. To quote, “Please explain why #5 can not be assessed on a date, and if not, what is the purpose in dating?”

    Mr. Nameless – not every girl is a 1, 2, 3 or 4.

    The purpose of the date is to find ot how #5 she is and if thats compatible with your level and goals.

    Mr. Wolf’s words are worth repeating, as he put it so eloquently, “you’re marrying her. You have to make sure that *she* is someone whom you can live with. You have to make sure that *she* has the middos that you want in a future spouse, that *she* shares the same hashkafah as you, that *she* is someone whom you can get along with and that *she* is someone with whom you want to spend every day of the rest of your life.”



    Torahis1, you forgot to ask what color tablecloth they use for Shabbat.


    Its MRS; Nameless FIRST OF ALL,

    Secondly,lets scratch 5 and assume that its a great girl in any case, what would be the next priority of the 4 choices?


    If you are asking about the REAL world, and not some make-believe, fantasy world, then the answer is obvious: GO FOR THE BIG $$$$$$$$$$


    One thing is unfortunately true.

    When there is MONEY then;

    1,A broken home, suddenly is not so ‘broken’

    2,If there is a

    prob in the family that would normally be an issue, becomes LESS of an issue

    3,A parent who was once shady in business or in other areas, is not so bad.

    HOWEVER , these cases are more carefully taken into account EVEN if the father is a TCH or an ASKAN or a Miyuchas.

    Why is that ?????


    To GAW and great aspirations:

    #5 cannot be assessed on a date to a sufficient degree. This is because most of what goes on during a date is superficial at best. Don’t tell me you don’t know that, unless you’ve never dated. And don’t tell me that there aren’t surprises after getting married, or you’ve clearly never been married!


    Squeak: I thought when we were dating, do think now, and will always think/feel my spouse is amazing (no matter the surprises). I feel sorry for those who do not, and do not understand why someone would marry (if you are) a spouse who they do not feel is amazing (with the exception of an arraigned marrige).



    The point is to feel that your spouse is A LOT MORE AMAZING now after years of marriage than she/he was whe you were dating. If you dont feel that, than its just as sad .

    As far as the ‘surprises’ are concerned, they are certainly not evident while dating.

    These are normally faults which you accept because at this point, your happy all around. But it IS possible that had these faults been obvious at the beginning, one might have terminated the relationship, so SQUEAK makes agood point!


    To Mrs. nameless:

    cc squeak:

    point 1: of course.

    point 2: of course.

    Still not sure where you are going. #5 (spouse is amazing) is still the only thing that is meakkev. If one feels #5 is not true, why are they getting married? (execpt for Yussel’s svarah)


    Thanks, nameless and GAW. I agree with you both.

    My point is that #5 alone is too hard to judge. Yes you can think that the other person is amazing (and you should) but that doesn’t prove that he/she is! It should, but it might not. Hopefully, GAW’s experience is the norm. But I bet that your feeling that she was amazing was not enough at the time. I bet you did some checking anyway.

    My point about surprises was that there are elements of personality that are hidden. Whether or not they detract from your feeling that the other person is amazing is moot, because it is possible that it will detract. If it is possible, but never shows up during dating, then #5 is a worthless indicator.

    I’m just trying to say that #5 cannot be eliminated (it is necessary) but at the same time, it is not enough to preclude #1-4 (or some other forms of checking that weren’t brought up).

    Bais Yaakov maydel

    i recently learned perek chaf daled in sefer bereishis, which describes how eliezer went about looking for a shidduch for yitzchak. the Torah is timeless, so listen carefully:

    When eliezer got to charan, he said a tefilah to Hashem–it duznt say that outright in the passuk though that vayispallel elizer….it just says vayomer. Seforno and the Kli Yakar, and many others including the Ibn Ezra state that what he is doing is davening to Hashem, and that THE FIRST STEP IN LOOKING FOR A SHIDDUCH IS TO DAVEN.

    now the question is what should you daven for?

    this Q is answered by the same meforshim: when eliezer asks in his tefillah for a girl that will do “yoter mimah she’shual mimenna,” more than what shes asked to do (meaning, shell gove water to eliezer AND his camels), he is asking for a girl that has the MIDAH OF GMILAS CHESSED and NEDIVUS(generosity). step #2= LOOKING FOR MIDDOS. the Kli Yakar also explains that when it says that Rivkah ran back and forth to draw water, it shows us her middah of ZRIZUS.

    after that, you can base it on your numbers

    good luck


    This comment is addressed to this specific question posed previously.

    “Just curious to know why a Talmid Chochom is a better choice than ra ‘Klall doer’.

    Dont forget, the girl takes what she sees at home and because middos are a priority for a girl, she would make a better wife with an example like that. If her father knows how to learn, its a wonderful thing, but how will that benefit her as a wife and mother??”

    The girl has a mother too. Surely she would learn from her mother how to appreciate a Talmid chacham (or a klal doer) and how to help her husband continue to grow in learning (or klal doing). If you want to be a talmid chacham then marry the daughter of whoever it is, perhaps even Joe the Plumber, that will help you reach that goal. If you want to be a klal doer, marry whoever it is that will help you reach your full potential. If you want to be a plumber, marry the one that will help you reach that potential as well.


    Yussel: What a sad existence you must lead. I don’t care about money or status symbols and I never will. Are you seriously saying that money is the deciding factor for you when choosing a partner for you and a mother to your children? How pathetic.


    R’ Avigdor Miller Ztz”l has a tape about what to look for in a girl.I heard it a very long time ago, but if my memory serves me correctly he said

    #1 Health

    #2 Character

    Also on his list was “Not a prattler”.

    No offence to all the prattlers out there but that’s what he said.


    I think the issue here is that #5 is not worded well. Much of the argument that has come up has arisen because of this wording. Obviously, it is impossible for a man to assess after one date whether or not he thinks the woman is “amazing”. So how does he decide whether or not to see her again? (After several dates, he might think she’s amazing- but the issue is how to get there.) However, replace “amazing” with “good middot” (which is how most of the posters here seem to have interpreted it) and now it works. Clearly, middot come first, and I would be shocked if anyone here thought otherwise. And, as The Wolf said, a man marries a woman, not a father-in-law. It’s certainly very important to build a good relationship with the woman’s father, but he should not be cross-examined as a precursor to deciding whether or not to date or marry her.

    I am not in the shidduch world, but if I were, it seems I would have a problem. Since everyone is so worried about the woman’s father being a talmid chacham, baal tzedakah, etc. how would I find a shidduch, being that my father is deceased? (And even if he were living, he was a baal teshuvah and a college professor of modest means, so he would lose on both counts! Of course, he learned and gave tzedakah while he was alive, but if it were a contest of who learns the most or gives the most tzedakah, he would not win for the reasons stated above.) But does any of this really reflect so badly on me? I don’t think so.

    Despite what some of you may think of me based on my modern opinions, I will humbly submit that I believe I am basically a good person and a good Jew. Of course, I have my faults, as does everyone, but at the core I do everything I do in life for the sake of serving Hashem, and isn’t that what really matters? Do you think it would be fair for someone to turn me down as a potential shidduch just because my father is no longer alive, or because he was not the biggest Talmid Chochom around?

    I actually believe that I have become a stronger person because of the ordeal that Hashem put me through as a child (I was ten when my father was diagnosed with cancer and twelve when he died.) I take life more seriously now and am more contemplative rather than just “going with the flow”. I also have more sensitivity to others’ feelings and more faith in Hashem. My deeply rooted belief in and love of Hashem developed during those two horrific years, as I saw that my family and I endured despite the fact that we seemed on the brink of collapse. I was so young, I didn’t yet have the inner reserves of strength that my mother seemed to draw on, so how did I possibly make it through the hell that became my life? Even more so, how did my brother, who is 5 1/2 years younger than I am, get through it? Only with Hashem’s help (and, of course, as I later realized, it was He who guided my mother through the experiences that gave her those reserves of strength which He knew she would later need!) So of course I would do anything to have my father back in my life, but since I have to accept that he is gone, I also recognize that losing him helped me to grow as a person, and I have noticed that it is sometimes difficult for me to relate to girls my age because, having gone through this test, I have come out of it a different person with different priorities. It’s not c’v that I think I’m better than they are; it’s just that we are coming from very different places. I was forced to grow up a lot quicker than is normal since I had an adult experience as a child. It just puts me on a different playing field than everyone else- I matured early, so I might stand out in that regard compared to other girls my age. The point of all this is that, if I’m not mistaken, maturity should also be something that a man looks for in a wife, as well as ahavat shamayim, yirat shamayim and deep emunah. As I described above, I believe that I have these qualities as a direct result of my father’s death. So if you look at it this way, a man might reject me without realizing that I should be at the top of his list!

    I don’t know how any of this is coming across and I really did not mean to make this about me, it’s just that the subject touches a raw nerve. I’m sorry to have gone on for so long about something so personal, and I hope no one is offended in any way by this. I just think that there is something seriously wrong with the shidduch scene if it’s more important to ask who the girl’s father is than who she is.


    None of the four Imahos was a bas talmid chochom.

    It seems pashut to me that gavra at work has the right answer on this one & I’m assuming that Joseph agrees with this as well, because obviously if the girl is not a good girl or is just not suitable for the guy the fact that she’s a bas talmid chochom really doesn’t help anybody.

    The Chofetz Chaim’s daughter was not frum – would you want to marry her anyway? I think not.

    Therefore, clearly the most important thing is a good girl & once you’ve got a good girl it’s good to get a bas talmid chochom. I think this is what Wolf is trying to convey as well.

    JF02 – I think this should help you out as well.

    BTW It doesn’t say that the Talmid Chochom has to still be alive. I would posit that having been raised in the home of a Talmid Chochom is the point here.



    The Gemara (pesachim 49b)clearly says that a person should (even) sell all his possesions to marry a bas talmid chochom & IF HE CAN”T FIND ONE than he should marry the daughter of Gedolai Hador. R’ Aharon Kotler pointed out that from here we see that the Gadol Hador does not have to be a Talmid Chochom. (He was referring to Mike Tress).

    Mind you, the Gemara still says to first look for a bas talmid chochom.


    Actually, I believe, having dealt with a lot of different married women, that Middos is THE MOST IMPORTANT. It’s hard for someone single to imagine the concept that you will be LIVING with this person. Its NOT like your seminary roommate, for one yr. and then u go home for pesach and each person to his own home, and then at the end of the yr. u wave good bye. You are marrying someone that will have to love u and tolerate under all circumstances. Not just when u date hom and look beautiful. It is something that CANNOT be fathomed by someone single. Remember when u date, that looks, humor, …are a bonus…Fine Middos is priority. Dating is nice, but u must also find out information, How is he when he is angry, does he have refined speech (on the dates he will surely be on his best behavior), is he sensitive towards other boys….

    BTW I do think it is important to marry someone in ur family background, not a priority but it makes life smoother especially when it comes to raising children.


    JF02, I am really so sad for the tzaar you have experienced at such a young age. I am in total agreement that the middos of the person, male OR female, are more important than yichus, learning, money, or anything else. It seems that in spite of your losing your father at such a tender and influential age, that he raised a fine daughter in the short time he had with you.

    I think that it is equally important for boys and girls to watch how their prospective in-laws interact with each other, before making a final decision whether or not to get married. Children often imitate what they have seen in the home Does the father treat the mother with respect, do the siblings seem to love each other, are they comfortable whent hey are all together , these are the things I want to know.


    All this is very nice except there are still a million (well maybe not a MILLION!) guys out there who won’t consider a shidduch before knowing how much support they’ll get. And they sincerely believe it’s coming to them. My brother even told me that Rabanim tell the “best boys” to marry rich girls so they could stay in learning. That’s beautiful, but they forget the fact that rich girls are not necessarily the ones who help their husbands learn in torah. Sometimes (NOT ALWAYS!) they are spoiled and their husbands end up going to work faster than girls who were raised more simply. But realistically speaking, money IS usually a big deal. And it’s kind of nausiating.


    for all those who are saying that money should not be a factor: say you have two girls of equal caliber. Both have great middos, are smart and pretty fine girls who do chesed and are careful in their actions. Both come from ehrliche families and have learned fathers. The only thing distinguishing the two is that one is from a wealthy family, and one is not. Is it ok then for a boy to go for the money first?


    I was taught that when chazal said to look for a “bas talmed chocham” for a wife, it meant someone who emulates one and not necessarily is one. For example, there are plenty of fine girls out there whose parents are not necessarily talmedei chachamim or from yichus, but by looking at them you would think that their father is the Rosh Hayeshiva. On the other hand, many of those who are from yichus/father in kollel are not always the ones with the best middos/desire to have a torah home/ personality/ brains…

    look at the individual girl. If she is ok, then look at wealth, yichus, family ect. Many first disregard perfectly good girls or girls who would make wonderful wives and mothers but are tossed aside because of who their father is or how much money he makes. What makes a girl suitable is who she is and what she makes out of herself from the platter that she was alloted in life. Some people may not have had the easiest childhood or experiences but that could of made them who they are! Many girls are different than their siblings/parents so just because their brother/father/uncle is wxy or z doesnt make them any less of a “catch”. It does not matter as long as who is in the girls yichus as long as the girl is ok.


    grappling: granted, but lacking those specifications described, going for the money is bound to lead to trouble and regret.


    I don’t think there’s a right and wrong. It’s natural for a guy (or his parents) to lean towards the prettier/easier picture. But just realize that it doesn’t necessarily mean life will be easier.


    let’s not kid ourselves, be honest, Hashem did create some people with more Chein than others. In fact we daven ” Shenimtza Chein V’sachel Tov beinei Elokim V’adam” It is natural while dating to be attracted to someone with nice looks. It is also natural to be enticed by someones Yichus, or by the fact the father is a Talmid Chachem etc. The point is to faocus on priorites, and to keep the points that REALLY matter on the forefront.


    “let’s not kid ourselves, be honest, Hashem did create some people with more Chein than others. In fact we daven ” Shenimtza Chein V’sachel Tov beinei Elokim V’adam” It is natural while dating to be attracted to someone with nice looks. It is also natural to be enticed by someones Yichus, or by the fact the father is a Talmid Chachem etc. The point is to faocus on priorites, and to keep the points that REALLY matter on the forefront. “

    Can’t argue with that.


    But yichus has no effect on the girl! As I said before- some girls act like their father’s are roshei yeshivos when they are baalabatish and some do not. I mean that those without the yichus were the ones getting the midos awards ect and the ones with the yichus were the trouble-makers in the class. Same with the boys! Some budding talmedai chachamim are from non-yichus families while those with yichus sometimes are the lazy/not so smart ect. Look at the individual child!


    Yichus is not everything, but there is something special about having chusheva Zeidas. Picture having a Seder with a Zeide that has been at the Seder of the Chazon Ish ZT”L or of the Steipler ZT”L. I would certainly not put Yichus on my “looking for” list, but it something very special.


    re heimisheyid: many people have “chashuve” zaides but they have to go back many generations, or don’t know.

    And if being at such a seder does make one chashuv, then so does davening consistently with neimus and kavana, and doing chesed, and having exemplary middos, etc. So if that’s your definition of yichus then there’s hope 😉


    My children’s Zaydie on their father’s side was a chashuveh zaidie, and he had no yichus whatsoever, as far as we know. He was not even frum. But he singlehandedly took care of my mother-in-law for over 32 years until her death, when she had a stroke and was bedridden for most of that time, and he would not allow anyone to do for her, because he felt it was his zechus for all that she had done for him when she was well. During that entire time he managed to also raise two wonderful children, plus help support his family members who were out of work, took in two orphaned nieces, helped take care of his in-laws by allowing them to move in (this was before my m-i-l had the stroke) until their deaths, and taught his family the meaning of bein adam l’chavero and kibud av v’em. He is gone now, after being a baal chesed of unsurpassed quality for 95 years, and I will stack him up against any of the chashuveh zaydes you can think of. That is the type of yichus I want my children to marry into. The learning is icing on the cake.




    The only characteristics that are important are:

    1) Height over 5’4′

    2) Size no more than 2 so that weight is no more than 110 (that is pounds).

    3) Shabbos tablecloth is white

    4) Father of kallah wears same style and same brim size hat as chosson; it is even better if they have the same head size (what is in the head is of no consequence so long as the hat matches on both sides).

    5) Father has a Lexus; doesn’t matter if he is in the red every month on lease payments and definitely does not matter if he is involved in stuff that could land him a 10 year shteler as the rosh koilel at Otisville.

    6) TV only in closet

    7) Internet filter but not at the office.

    8) Went to the right sem and therefore can cook a chicken properly and make kugel in the same (Litvish, Poylish, Oberland, Ingarish etc) style that the chosson’s mother cooks in.

    9) Mother wears same head covering that chosson’s mother does (again remember only the covering counts).

    10) If you need any more criteria like this, I feel sorry for your daughter-in-law!



    You might have posted with your tongue firmly in cheek, but that is eerily similar to things I have actually been ASKED!!!!!!!


    Itzik…. unfortunatly, many people find these things real and “musts”.

    I have heard that people will not use colored tablecloths or plastic on them and they wont have their daughters/sons marry into families that do.

    What is the problem with today’s world? Many people really do look for these things, but when not in the market or have a child in the market they criticize those who do want these things. People are hipocritical. When looking for a chosun/kallah- remember a basic rule that I think should be asked before rejecting outright (before the first date)-Is there anything major that should prevent the couple from living a Torah lifestyle and having a happy marriage? cooking styles or size of hat brim really do not make a difference in the end, IY”H 30 years down the line. (ie- are they from the same basic spot on the hashkafa spectrum and i do not mean exact same but if they are around the same area- that is whats important.)

    One question tho… please explain , “definitely does not matter if he is involved in stuff that could land him a 10 year shteler as the rosh koilel at Otisville.” is that a prison?


    One question tho… please explain , “definitely does not matter if he is involved in stuff that could land him a 10 year shteler as the rosh koilel at Otisville.” is that a prison

    YEP, and unfortunately there is a solid minyan there at times.

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