Diabetes: Enough to Break a Shidduch?

Is a diabetes diagnosis enough to break a shidduch? For one Jerusalem family, the answer was yes.

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Candies (illustration)
Candies (illustration)

The moving story of two brave young individuals was made public this week by Rav Naftali Nussbaum, as part of his effort to make their situation known to the public.

A young woman born to a respected Jerusalem family was reportedly diagnosed with diabetes at just ten years old. Due to the details of her condition, her medication and necessary equipment cast a heavy financial burden. As she grew into adulthood, the family’s financial struggle, combined with her condition, made shidduchim seemingly impossible. It was a painful and humiliating process for an otherwise lovely girl. Little did she know, the young man she was destined to marry was experiencing his own struggles nearby.

Born to a completely secular family, he made the decision to leave it all behind and pursue knowledge of Torah and mitzvot. Before long he was living a frum life in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, his family was not supportive. His father had passed away, and his mother disapproved of his spiritual journey. He was alone.

Now that the two have met, it is clear that they have found their soulmates. Making a wedding and a home, however, seems a practical impossibility. Rav Naftali Nussbaum, talmid chacham and community leader, has urged them to keep their details private for the sake of tzniut, and has chosen instead to take personal responsibility for helping them to get married.

“I know this family personally,” the Rav writes, “and the kallah struggles each day with her disease. It is a great mitzvah to help her to marry. And all who help should be blessed to see no disease in their home.”

In the meantime the chassan, kallah, and kallah’s family are praying that the Rav’s support, together with the couple’s story of suffering, bravery, and hope will move members of klal yisroel to help them. With the days until their scheduled wedding drifting quickly away, and basic supplies still needed, they have no other options left.