Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Ultimate Matchmaker

As the baby of the family, my little boy is not always very responsible. He's carefree and doesn't worry about details. He is not taken very seriously by his older siblings and is immature in some ways.

But he's smart and sophisticated. He has an incredibly mature sense of humor and a keen understanding of some adult issues.

His faith is so pure and innocent, I can only dream of having that level of emunah. He's taught me some profound lessons, and I sometimes wonder who is raising whom.

My little boy comes home every Friday with a 'question of the week'. It's a voluntary assignment, and anyone who has the correct answer on Sunday is entered into a raffle. The rebbe gives the boys some sources, tells them which seforim to use and where to look for the answer. But, even with that, the questions are difficult, and usually only a few boys will have the answer on Sunday.

My son refuses any offers of assistance. He wants to do this himself. He sits at the table surrounded by seforim, squinting through his glasses, searching for the answer. Sometimes he finds it easily, and sometimes he struggles with it for a long time, but the satisfaction and pride he feels in his achievement makes it all worthwhile.

Every week, my little boy comes to school on Sunday with the answer, and every week he is entered in the raffle, but his name is never drawn. I worry that he will become discouraged - that he will lose his motivation. But he doesn't seem bothered by it, and I wonder about that.

This week, the question was exceptionally difficult, and it took him the better part of the afternoon to find the answer. That Sunday there were only two boys with the correct answer. Only two boys to be entered in the raffle that was going to be drawn the next day.

I was apprehensive. He was not.

"A raffle for just two boys?" I asked, concerned. "But...that's not really fair, is it?"

"Sure it's fair." He seemed surprised by my question. "Whoever's min hashamayim. It's not really any different than when there are twenty boys in the raffle. It's all min hashamayim."

Having a child in shidduchim consumes an enormous amount of time and energy. As parents, we network, we talk to shadchanim, we follow up on suggestions, we call references. And we worry, of course.

And then, every once in a while, we are reminded that we are not in control.

My daughter's friend was called as a reference. She was asked a question about my daughter, and not being quite sure of the answer, she made some assumptions, and she got it all wrong. I was upset. What if she ruined my daughter's chances at this shidduch because of her inaccurate response? What if they decide against it based on that erroneous information?

I thought about calling the next person on the reference list and making sure she knows the answer so that she can clear it up if she is called. I thought about calling a mutual acquaintance and having her repair whatever damage may have been done. I thought about asking the shadchan to clear up the misinformation.

And then I let it go.

It's all min hashamayim.

When it sometimes seems difficult or frustrating, when the phone doesn't ring as often we'd like, when we're being portrayed all's min hashamayim. All of it.

We can do our hishtadlus. We can daven. But when all is said and done, the ultimate goal is beyond our ability to reach on our own. We are not in charge. It is a wish which only Hashem can grant.

It's min hashamayim.

May the ultimate Matchmaker grant our wishes.


  1. Wow! That's amazing that you took such a strong lesson from your son!

    And it has to come from somewhere! I am SURE it comes from his home!!

    So did your son win the raffle?

    It's such an important lesson - sometimes we try to do all we can to make things happen, and then we realize with a boom that Hashem is in control so all those thoughts were for nothing...because only HE can make things happen!

    Thanks for the inspiration - I needed to hear this now!

  2. Your son has bitachon down pat. I hope you're proud :-). Let's hope that his bitachon never wavers and that it stands by him in all the inevitable ups and downs of life.

    Great post with a great message! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Devorah...

    Thank you!
    He did not win. And he's completely ok with that. :)


    So, so proud.
    Amen...and thank you!

  4. MW-it's because you can see that at this point your son is not doing it for the prize but for the satisfaction he gets out of delving into the depths and figuring out the right answer! What's the prize anyway?

  5. Amazing post. I've learned the lesson over the years. There are things we just must accept.
    My friend's daughter was found to be pregant with a seriously "mutated" baby. Rabbis said she could abort. She and the husband refused. They accepted what happened. The baby lived two months, two months longer than the doctors had predicted. May G-d reward them with good health and healthy children.

  6. You've got it right. Hakol min hashamayim.Bashert as we say in mamaloshen. However in shidduchim (and even more so inmarried life if the shidduch works out)th hishtadlut is crucial, we cant blame fate if our own shortcomings spoil our bashertige shidduch.