Halacha » Shidduchim


Parashat Chayei Sarah is known to be the Parasha
of shidduchim, and one who reaches the
parasha of shidduchim knows very well how
many questions of Lashon Hara arise after every
date. Today we would like to explore some of
these questions and see what the Poskim have
to say about them.
What is a Shadchan permitted to say to each
party and what must be kept secret?
A parent who finds out negative information
about the other side. May they share it with
their spouse, and can they tell the child, or
must they keep quiet instead and just say some
excuse to stop the dating?
Does a person who knows about
faults of the candidate have to
reveal them to the other side or
may he keep quiet?
It’s the dilemma of every shadchan,
parent and friend, and
indeed a valid cause for concern.
On one hand, exposing the
other party’s faults might be
Lashon Hara, while on the other
hand, not saying it is covering up
important information which
may lead to a terrible marriage and sometimes
divorce, thus falling into the violation of
.לא תעמוד על דם רעך
draws the lines (ציור שלישי( The Chafets Chaim
of when a person must generally inform the
other and when he is permitted not to.
Extreme faults: Let’s say a girl is meeting or
about to meet a boy and someone knows the
boy has extreme faults, such that if this would
have been known they wouldn’t continue the
shidduch. This information may be told even if
בחפץ חיים נראה שיש ) . no one has actually asked
לגלות אולם בשלמי שמחה עמוד נג כתוב בשם רש״ז
אורבעך שזה רק רשות ולא חובה(.
But there are few conditions
which must be met
before speaking:
Faults must be real faults—but whatever one
might view as a fault might not necessarily be a
fault. For example, if the boy is very ’simple’
and doesn’t joke around and ’hang out’ with
others as all his classmates might do, one isn’t
allowed to speak about that with a negative
Saying over such things would be straight out
Lashon Hara.
But if there is indeed extreme fault such as an
internal sickness which isn’t visible, one must
reveal it and doing so wouldn’t be violating any
Another concern with the boy that must be told
is if he has wrong views in religion
or if he regularly commits
However, one shouldn’t jump to
say whatever he suspects before
verifying its accuracy, and he
shouldn’t decide quickly that it’s
a negative thing before thinking
it over well and consulting a
competent Rabbi.
Once he tells the information
over, he should be very careful
not to exaggerate at all and say
things precisely.
His intentions must be clean and honest to do
the right thing and not in any way to avenge a
hatred he has.
If he has other avenues with which to achieve
the same results, one should do so.
One must also make sure that through revealing
those things the other side wouldn’t suffer a
greater loss than just stopping the shidduch
שלמי ) from going forward. Rav Aurbach wrote
that before saying over one (שמחה עמוד נב
should warn the other that he shouldn’t spread
it over and that it should stay as a secret.
Sharing the information with family members.
The halacha we spoke above does not necessarily
apply to family members who are discussing
the shidduch and trying to make a decision
if they should go forward with it. In this case,
“It’s the dilemma of
every shadchan,
parent, and
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P a g e 2 S h i d d u c h i m
one should say over everything he knows and feels
(obviously without degrading the other side and keeping a
serious manner).
Especially when one is a relative, there is more obligation
to help one another and not hide any information, this
.ומבשרך לא תתעלם falls under the mitzvah of
.)תשובות והנהגות ח״ד סי’ שיב(
Shadchan sharing negative information.
Since both parties rely on the shadchan, Rav Chaim
said he must be very (מבקשי תורה כה עמוד שלד( Kanievsky
honest and open, and say all that he knows (obviously with
the parameters of Shmirat Halashon).
That being said, he must not change the age of the parties
The person himself however, .(שלמי שמחה לגרש״ז אורבעך(
may say he’s a year or two younger if it really makes a dif .(
תתן אמת ליעקב פרק ה’ סי’ לח( ference
Concerning the looks, the Shadchan may describe the parties
a bit favorably as it is something that will be known
regardless as soon as they meet, and many times, as beauty
is in the eyes of the beholder, features one may find unattractive,
may find favor in another’s eyes.
Is a boy/girl dating obligated to tell the other party about
their faults?
If it’s a medical problem such as a sickness or psychological
concern (such as a person who might be on treatment),
although one doesn’t have to inform the other party prior to
commencing dating, before things get serious, they must
be open and explain their situation. If it’s a small concern it
can wait for a later time and sometimes a hint about their
problem could be sufficient. Of course it’s hard to outline in
this short article all the guidelines, but whenever one
comes to such important crossroads, he should consult his
Rabbi or contact the Rabbis at our Bet Horaah.