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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 23:01:57 -0500 (EST) Subject: RE: Leshon Hara and Shadchanim I just wanted to add some comments to the excellent postings on Shadchanuth and Leshon Hara in recent issues (eg Volume 29,#99). 1. Is the shadchan responsible for poor criteria To echo the cases discussed in V29n99, if a Yeshiva Bochur says he only wants a non BT, and the shadchan says "But I know BT who have been religious for 13 years and you can't tell they are BT" and the bochor says "So they have a share in the next world but I don't want to marry them"--then the Shadchan is NOT violating Leshon Hara if he tells the bochur that certain girls are BT. In other words the problem is with the bochor not the Shadchan 2. Is classification wrong when you don"t know the people Obviously if the boys and girls "grew up" in the same neighborhood for 10-20 years and everyone knows each other it is wrong to "classify" people. But if a shadchan matches people from far communities which the shadchan doesn't really know then ALL the shadchan can go by on an initial assessment are external classfication schemes. 3. Refocus on social events and criteria for marriage; not leshon hara I would summarize the above two points by suggesting that the evils of shadchanuth that have been discussed can not be remedied by only observing leshon hara but rather can best be remedied by (a) continually teaching children (from a young age) the true values that make a good marriage and (b) by all Jewish communities carefully creating a wide variety of social events where members of the opposite sex can meet with dignity. (In passing one of Rebetzin Jungreis's stated goals in making hineni several decades ago was exactly that). In summary while I hear a great deal of anguish in these postings I really think that the problems lie in poor values and lack of social mixing opportunities in the community. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA rjhendel@juno.com http://www.shamash.org/rashi