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Doing Chessed With Chessed

 I was recently approached by two shadchanim at a friend’s vort. I really appreciate their efforts to help people find their zivug, but one thing that disturbed me was their approach in doing so. At the vort, I was situated in middle of a crowd of people and they came over to me and, without hesitation, began to interview me. One of them even had a small pad of paper on which she was jotting down my information. Also, later on, one of the shadchanim approached me in front of my friends and mentioned a name of a girl. I must say that I felt a bit uncomfortable. Again, I understand their desire to help others, but all I ask is that they do it in a more private setting.

Your comments on this matter would be appreciated.

You are totally validated for being disturbed and uncomfortable with the incident you describe.  I’d be equally annoyed if the same would occur to me.  The good news is that you must appear to be a very sought after Shidduch prospect if more than one Shadchan had to nab you on the spot in public!  That is the flip side that can ease any discomfort that you may have endured.  I commend you for realizing and acknowledging the Shadchanim’s good intentions despite the occurrence.  However, the lesson to be learned is that the gloss of doing Chessed, is to do it  ‘with’ Chessed!  This attitude should be applied to any type of Chessed that we do.

Unfortunately, the sensitivity to privacy and discretion has become something of yesteryear, and we see it playing itself out in every facet of life.  This occurrence is just one of them.  The secular world today encourages unlimited openness.  Sadly to say, this has a tremendous affect even on our insulated  society.  Like the Old World Yiddish saying goes, “Vos Christalled zich, Yiddeled zich!”.   Trends and attitudes that evolve in the secular world, eventually affect Yidden too.

I would advise you to take this matter further by calling the Shadchan to thank her for the Shidduch suggestion.  Sincerely express to her how in the future you’d appreciate it if she went about it more discreetly by calling your parents or reaching you on your cell.  Even though her aggressiveness may have accomplished at times, she has to know that by and large this kind of behavior is not appreciated.  Your call to her may prevent another incident like this from happening again.  In the Z’chus  of doing Chessed with Chessed, may we be Zocheh to Simchadig Simchos!

T. Rubinstein

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