The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 19 May 2012 / 26 Iyyar 5772

The Plot that Failed

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

It was one of the matchmakers rare successes and he rejoiced at the thought that both families were pleased with the shiduch he had initiated and that he would soon be collecting his shadchanut fee. But before the climax was reached, he received a call from a friend from abroad who was coming to Israel with his daughter in search of a shiduch for her. The sum he offered the shadchan if he succeeded was far beyond anything he had ever received in his career, and temptation overcame him.

He was convinced that the boy whose engagement was soon to be celebrated would be ideal for his friends daughter. In order to make him available, he rushed off to his father and maliciously lied to him that the girls father was spreading terrible stories about him. He then did the same with the girls father and thus succeeded in breaking up the almost certain match.

This unscrupulous fellow was not so successful when he tried pairing the boy with his friends daughter. But the story did have a happy ending thanks to the initiative taken by the girls father. After his initial anger at his prospective mechutan, he began to have doubts about the accuracy of the shadchans report that he had maligned him. He went to see him and asked why he had spoken against him, and was surprised to hear that the same lie had been told to him. They then embraced each other and the original shiduch finally came to fruition.

When the malicious shadchan had the gall to ask for his fee, since he was the initiator of the match, the local rabbi told him that he would have him publicly ostracized for such behavior and that he had no claim to a fee since he demonstrated that he did not want the original shiduch to succeed.

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