To Redd or not to Redd?

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  • #618602

    flatbusher
    Participant

    This is jump off from a different thread. Should shadchanim/friends set up people who have obvious mental/emotional problems? We hear of so many couples that break up because of a suddenly discovered mental or emotional issue.

    #1188714

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    That’s a very good question. The other side of it is that there are people with psychological issues who do have good marriages. I can think of at least one person I know like that – someone whom I thought could not possibly get married and would never have considered setting up.

    It seems to me that it might be a bigger problem if you are setting this person up with a friend of yours as opposed to if you are an official shadchan setting someone up. When you set up a friend, they are trusting you that you are only setting them up with someone who doesn’t have issues, a quality person whom they would set their own child up with (or go out with themselves). When a shadchan sets you up, you don’t make those assumptions.

    #1188715

    Joseph
    Participant

    People with emotional or mental health problems need (and have a chiyuv) to get married. You wouldn’t try to stop someone with physical health problems from getting married and nor should you here.

    #1188716

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    If their problem is something that renders them “unmarriageable” then you definitely should NOT set them up. There are people who can’t get married. For example, people who are retarded or autistic, etc. usually can’t get married.

    #1188717

    Joseph
    Participant

    If a person wants to get married a third-party shouldn’t be taking it upon themselves to decide the person who wants to get married shouldn’t.

    #1188718

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “It is absolutely forbidden to suggest someone as a possible employee, business partner or marriage partner if one is aware that:

    1. Objectively speaking, it may not be good for the people involved, 0r

    2. it does not satisfy the subjecive needs and tastes of both parties.

    Not only is it cruel to subject people to situations that are bad for them, it is also wrong to involve the unsuspecting in relationships they would not have wanted had they known the facts.”

    “Chofetz Chaim, A Lesson A Day” by Rav Shimon Finkelman and Rav Yitzchak Berkowitz, Day 82.

    #1188719


    Participant

    Everyone has issues. If you think it is a good match despite the issues go ahead, but just don’t hide the issues.

    #1188720

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “..However, the prohibition against misleading one’s fellow requires that one not suggest a shidduch unless:

    1. He believes that given what he knows of their personalities, the two could be a good match, andhe is unaware of any reason the relationship should cause pain to either one.

    2. In his opinion, there is reason to believe this meeting will ultimately result in a n engagement. (It is wrong to waste a person’s time, energy and emotions!).

    3. He is not aware of any medical, emotional, or character deficiency that would render one party unfit for marriage.

    4. He does not feel that either party will have a negative influence upon the other.

    5. He is not aware that one party lacks something that the other is insistent upon, or has somethign to which the other has explicitly expressed strong objection.

    Should there be any doubt as to whether any of these conditions have been met, the counsel of a talmid chacham should be sought. (ibid, Day 85).

    #1188721

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    What I have a hard time with is #4 above. Sometimes I want to set someone up with someone else, but I know that one is Frumer than the other, so I’m not sure if it’s a problem to set them up. Usually, one person is Frumer than the other, and when you’re “older”, most people say that you shouldn’t not go out with someone who is more modern than you, which would imply that maybe it is okay to set someone up with someone more modern than them.

    But the question is at what point is it a problem? Clearly you shouldn’t set someone up with someone whom you feel will have a negative effect on them ruchnius-wise. But how would one define that? Also, a lot of people would probably say that it is more important to just get married, no matter who you marry.

    I had this issue recently when I was debating whether or not to suggest a girl who wears short skirts to a certain boy. I did anyhow, and it turned out he had already gone out with her, so it didn’t matter anyhow.

    #1188722

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “If a person wants to get married a third-party shouldn’t be taking it upon themselves to decide the person who wants to get married shouldn’t.”

    That’s not the issue. The issue is whether or not YOU should be setting the person up with your friend.

    #1188723

    Joseph
    Participant

    lilmod, the OP asked about shadchanim too. Shadchanim should be redting appropriate shidduchim to Yidden who have emotional or mental health issues that wish to get married.

    #1188724

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    True. I was focusing more on friends. In terms of shadchanim, it sounds like a big sheilah. On the one hand, as you say, who are they to determine that the person CAN’T get married. But on the other hand, wouldn’t the above halachos apply to them as well?

    I suppose it would depend on the nature of the problem. For example, if she knows that the guy is physically abusive, then she probably is not allowed to set him up. A know a girl who went out with someone and then found out that he was being tried for the murder of his first wife. If the shadchan had known about it (and knew there was a good reason for the accusation), she probably would not be allowed to set him up.

    #1188725

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “Shadchanim should be redting appropriate shidduchim to Yidden who have emotional or mental health issues that wish to get married.”

    I guess the key word is “appropriate”.

    #1188726

    flatbusher
    Participant

    Joseph said: Shadchanim should be redting appropriate shidduchim to Yidden who have emotional or mental health issues that wish to get married.

    YOu mean shadchanim should set up people with such issues with others with like issues? SOunds like a recipe for disaster

    #1188727

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I think there are shadchanim who specifically deal with people who have issues. Obviously, a lot of seichel and caution has to be used in figuring out what issues go with which other issues. It may not make sense to set up someone who suffers from depression with someone else who does, but let’s say the girl suffers from depression and the boy is emotionally very healthy but has other issues that are making shidduchim difficult for him, he may be willing to marry this girl. I knew a shidduch like that that worked very well.

    Of course, there are some people whose problems render them unfit for marriage altogether, so if someone knows that, they shouldn’t set them up.

    It seems (as per the halachos quoted above) that the shadchan is halachically obligated to use caution and not suggest a shidduch if he has a real reason to believe that it will be harmful to one of the parties.

    #1188728

    flatbusher
    Participant

    I wonder how many people are aware of issues and say nothing and then the marriage ends up in a divorce shortly after the wedding. In an effort to be halachically correct, how many lives have been altered in a terrible way?

    #1188729

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “In an effort to be halachically correct, how many lives have been altered in a terrible way?”

    No one’s life can ever be “altered in a terrible way” through keeping the halacha. There are situations in which a person is allowed to say something and situations in which one is not.

    Everything comes from Hashem. He is the one who makes everything happen. We just have to follow His rules. He made the rules and He determines the results of your actions. He will never make you lose out for following His rules, although it may seem like it sometimes.

    Even if not speaking Loshon Hora will seem to lead to someone’s having a bad marriage, one must believe that he will not lose out ultimately for having kept the Halacha.

    That being said, generally speaking, keeping the Halachos of Loshon Hora also includes speaking when you are required to as well as refraining from speaking when you are not allowed to. So generally speaking, if you really do know for a fact that it would be harmful for person A. to marry person B, you are probably required to do so.

    Of course each situation is different, and one must ask a sheilah. But the fact is that it is generally almost impossible to know how things will turn out. There have been many marriages that seemed perfect and ended in disaster and many marriages that one would have thought would be disastrous and they turned out to be nearly-perfect. There are plenty of people with serious issues who have wonderful marriages. There is usually no way for anyone to know how things will turn out.

    On the other hand, if you know that one of the persons really has a very serious problem that would clearly make him unfit to marry the other person, you probably do have an obligation to say something and to try to prevent the person from marrying him (but you have to make sure your facts are correct, and you should probably ask a sheilah before saying anything).

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