Rabbi Yoni Lavi
Rabbi Yoni Lavi Noam Asoulin

Get this!

You don't need an academic degree and you don't need experience-

You don't need to hear a heavenly voice nor even to be married-

What you need is good will and the willingness to invest a bit of time.

And what do you get in exchange, you ask?

Forget about that extra portion of the World to Come, let's talk about the here and now

Do you have any idea what a fantastic feeling it is to stand under the chuppah, in the midst of hundreds of joyous people and know that it all began with one short telephone conversation of yours?

And this is without mentioning the happiness when the first child is born.

You feel a bit like a grandparent, although you may not yet even be thirty years old.

So ladies and gentlemen, here is the Abridged Guide for the Novice Matchmaker!

Seven easy steps which will allow everyone (yes, you) to join the fantastic game-changing league which acts to lower the flood level of the 50,000 unmarried religious adults in our sector.

The first step: Create a basic database

It seems that we all know many more people searching for a mate than we realize: In our extended family, among our friends, at work, in the neighborhood. It is easiest to start with the ones we know, but most of the time it takes a short phone call to a mutual friend to obtain information about another single.

Important tip: Keep adding relevant information. If you meet a nice single at a party, add him or her to the list.

Even if you do not have someone who suits him or her on your list at the moment, who knows, maybe next week you will be happily surprised to meet a lovely person who suits him or her perfectly.

2. Methodology

Divide the database into male and female adults, pick a name from one of the groups and quickly scan the list made up of the other gender to find possible matches.

Try to take into account as many points in common as you can between the two you want to suggest to one another. Not, for example, that they are both tall, or that you have no other ideas for either of them and "what is there to lose." Some singles are burned out from fruitless dates. Remember the goal is marriage, not random experiments.

Take factors like these into account: religious and intellectual level, type of personality (uncomplicated/complicated, friendly/introverted, quiet/highstrung and also some external factors (height, age, appearance) and of course - preferences brought up by the candidate.

On the other hand - don't get carried away! Those trying for perfect correlations will find themselves without any ideas. As my grandmother used to say: Pairs that match perfectly can only be found in stores that sell socks.

We do not have to write a doctoral thesis on each candidate, the responsibility for a deeper investigation is theirs. We just need a basic correlation in order to begin to get the idea rolling.

Important tip: Work hardest for the older candidates on your list and for those who are shidduch-challenged. It's no great shakes to work only on the brave and the beautiful. They usually have lots of suggestions and are less in need of our help.

3. Keep your eyes on the prize

When talking to singles about themselves we asked them to tell us four things that characterize them and four main things they are looking for in a spouse. Write the information down.

Is there someone for whom you have absolutely no one who seems like a good suggestion? It's worth asking friends (especially those who know everyone) if they have an idea. If not, tell them to let you know if they hit on something.

4. The date!!

Many of us turn to the young man first and ask the young woman only once he has agreed.

If the response from the prince is that he is "dating someone," ask to be told if there is any news, and in addition, send him a message two weeks later to check if things have changed.

Crucial! When you describe the candidate to the other side, be enthusiastic, sincerely enthusiastic (some people can turn you off marriage in general when you hear them describe someone) – but be honest (a wedding is a wonderful objective, but it does not permit lying).

It is a good idea to add the phone number of one or two people who know the other side well so they can check things out.

Important tip: If he says they have met already and it didn't work, do not give up right away. Ask tactfully when that happened, which side wanted to end the relationship and why.

It seems people develop with time and their outlook can change.

Who knows, maybe it is worth giving the past connection another chance.

You have no idea how many couples there are who clicked on the second try!

5. Expect failures, lots of them!

The greatest matchmakers will tell you that for each successful shidduch there are tens that did not work. Our Sages were not joking when they said that matchmaking is as hard as splitting the Red Sea, and they didn't even have to deal with our complex and complicated generation…

6. Lessons learned

He rejected the suggestion out of hand? She broke off the relationship after three dates?

Do not accept an amorphous answer like "it's not the right one." Tell them that you want to understand what did not suit them so that you can suggest a better choice next time.

In addition, ask them to think whether they know someone who might suit the person they just stopped dating (one thing for sure – he is free to hear suggestions now!)

Another important tip: Never, ever give out any unnecessary information about candidates and do not tell others about their dates.

7. A Second Chapter

We have been discussing those who have never married up to now, but there are also plenty of wonderful divorced and widowed people who long for another loving relationship. Let's not forget them!

Another important tip: Don't be rigid - someone widowed or divorced can suit someone who has never been married and it is quite possible that singles of a certain age will be open to the suggestion and might build a lovely marriage with someone who has been married before.

And last but not least:

If after all is said and done, it turns out that you are a total failure as a matchmaker, and every one of your attempts fails miserably after the first date, don't take it hard.

G-d has blessed you with talents to benefit humanity in other fields, it seems.

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Let's end with a story, a true one. A young woman from Givat Shmuel (upscale neighborhood near Bar Ilan University) goes out with a young man from Eli (a community located well inside Judea and Samaria) .

She, urban to the hilt, worrieds about her date returning home at night to the dangerous area in which he lives, and asks him to give her a ring when he gets home so she can be sure he arrived safely.

He, naturally, forgets all about it, and goes to sleep without calling her.

The hours pass, and when she does not receive any signs of life from him, she begins to worry and calls him over and over, getting no answer.

When he awakes the next morning, he sees twenty unanswered messages. "Why is she so uptight?" he asks himself and then discovers a message from her that he reads:

When will you be my husband?""

Now it is his turn to worry... (Except that the Hebrew word he read in the message can be read "be-Eli", in your home in Eli, or "ba'ali", your husband – and maybe Freud would have something to say about which reading he chose!)

Rabbi Yoni Lavi is one of the heads of the Kehalim Organization, and a popular speaker, columnist and broadcaster who wrote the (Hebrew) set of books: Hi Rabbi. He is rabbi of Congregation Young People of Hadar Ganim, Petach Tikva.

Sent to Arutz Sheva by the writer, translated by Rochel Sylvetsky