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November 22, 2012 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-11-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Women gather in Oak Park to learn
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atchmaking (shidduchim)
isn't relegated to Fiddler on
the Roof It's alive and well as
a way of life and love among Orthodox
Jews worldwide. To that end, nearly
100 local mothers and marriage-age
daughters gathered at Oak Park's Dovid
Ben Nuchim synagogue on Sunday,
Nov. 4, to learn about it.
Elana Bergovoy opened the "Evening
of Chizuk (empowerment) and
Inspiration" with
encouragement and
spiritual advice for
making shidduchim
work. Co-founder
of the Chicago
Shidduch Group
and the Shidduch
Elana
Group Network
Bergovoy
International,
Bergovoy stressed the
importance of maintaining a positive
frame of mind.
"Give tzedakah — 18 cents [the
numerical equivalent of chai, life] —
every day, especially to a hachnasas
kallah (bridal assistance) fund," she
suggested. "Say Tehillim (Psalms) and
daven for each other, especially at spe-
cial times like Shabbos candle lighting.
Learn Torah, do mitzvot, and connect
and network with other women. These
things will help singles find their
match:'
Rabbi Sender Babayov, head of Oak
Park's Congregation Ahavas Yisrael,
spoke about the concept of beshert
(one's intended). Citing the Rambam
(Maimonides),
Babayov taught that
one's mate is not
pre-ordained, but
is rather the result
of one's b'chirah, or
freewill choices made
throughout life.
Esther Gendelman,
Rabbi Sender
elementary
school
Babayov
principal of Oak

Park's Beth Jacob School for Girls and
a successful shadchan (matchmaker),
addressed the nuts and bolts issues of
shidduch dating.
Shidduchim are not typical "boy-
friend/girlfriend" dating relationships.
Potentially compatible young men and
women are suggested to each other,
usually via their mothers, who then
"look into" the prospective match. If it
seems appropriate, the two meet.
This first meeting is a serious time,
almost like a job interview. The object
is matrimony, and the time together
is spent talking, getting to know each
other, trying to ascertain if the couple
share the same goals and if their per-
sonalities "click:' If so, they continue to
date, refraining from physical involve-
ment until after marriage.
If the couple decides they are not
right for each other after two or three
dates, they tell the shadchan, who
breaks it off. If things go well for anoth-
er few dates, however, the relationship
gets serious. An engagement might be
announced as early as the eighth date,
with the wedding typically just a few
months after.
Gendelman stressed that there is no
specific procedure, however, and that
all relationships are different because
each couple and person is unique.
"Don't brush away red flags," she
warned — citing temper, family prob-
lems, bad character traits and inability
to connect emotionally as some issues
to beware of.
"It has to feel right to you," she said.
"You need to share your hopes, your
dreams, your goals. Don't be afraid to
be vulnerable' She spoke about appre-
ciating the other person and having
realistic expectations in marriage.
Her plan for success in finding a
mate included prayer, networking/
going to shadchanim, checking out the
suggestions and putting forth your best
effort dating.
"Do you like him? Respect him? Can
you be your best self with him? Are you
compatible? If yes, take the leap!" she
advised.



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