Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make me a Match…Do We Still Need the “Shadchan”?
Most observant Jews use a matchmaker – or a shadchan – to find a spouse. This traditional method of
dating has been the primary way Jews have searched for a marriage partner since the times of the
Torah. But in recent years, many have voiced dissatisfaction with it. I’m often asked if this approach if
Recently someone wrote to me: “For five years I’ve been in touch with numerous shadchanim and I
haven’t received a call from a single one of them. Do you think the shadchan system needs to change?”
Others ask about Shabbat retreats and events held for a mixed crowd of men and women. Perhaps, that
would be a more effective. What can we do to make it easier for singles to get married?
In truth however, the way in which we find a spouse is a total mystery. Sometimes one finds a match
through a matchmaker. Sometimes a match is made through a friend or a relative. At other times it
seems to come about by accident. How it happens and when it happens is something we’ll never
understand. Only G-d knows.
The key thing to remember is that it is G-d who arranges matches.
No one else. This is the mindset you must have when searching for your better half.
All you need to do is put in a little effort. G-d will take care of the rest. You don’t have to figure it all out.
Put your best foot forward and let G-d take it from there.
Because how you find your “bashert” is not up to a shadchan. The matchmaker does not have any
control over when or how you’ll meet your spouse and neither do your friends.
Unfortunately, it’s common for people to blame their prolonged state of singlehood on the
matchmakers. But the matchmakers are not in charge. They do not run the world. Of course, they may
think they run the world, but we know they don’t.
And guess what. Finding your match doesn’t even depend on your behavior. So blaming yourself or
others or your circumstances is not the answer. In fact, it’s completely counterproductive.
You have to believe that every single match is a miracle.
The fact that two halves of one soul manage to find one another in this big, crazy, mixed up world is
nothing short of miraculous. But matchmakers don’t perform miracles. That is not their job. They merely
do what they have to do to help the miracle come about.
Jewish tradition teaches us that the one you are supposed to marry is the one you will marry. No
shadchan – no matter how bad – can stop that from happening.
You are not dependent on a matchmaker. You call them only because you are supposed to make an
effort. You’re just doing what you need to do, but ultimately matches are made in heaven.
Very often, we see matches that seem to make little sense. And that’s because they don’t. Marriage is
not something that “makes sense.”
Matchmakers employ their own logic and reason to figure out whom to set up. But in reality there is no
sense nor discernable rhyme or reason to explain why two people end up together. People marry
exactly who they are supposed to marry simply because that is how it supposed to be. G-d decides who
each of us will marry and He arranges events so that predestined matches take place.
And then even after we get married, we might fail to appreciate that it is G-d who makes matches.
Sometimes we may feel we that have found the perfect match. And at other times we may feel that we
married the wrong one. Perhaps we made a mistake!
This is nonsense. Who we’re supposed to be with is not determined by what we think or how we feel. G-
d knows exactly what He is doing. So let go and trust Him.