Below is an archive of a
series of postings from Hakhel's daily emails on the topic of Shemiras HaLashon in
Shidduchim, provided to us by Rabbi Dovid Weinberger, Shlita, Rav,
Congregation Shaaray Tefilah, Lawrence, and the Mechaber of many renowned
Word of Caution
I will attempt to delineate many of the halachos that pertain to Shemiras
HaLashon in the realm of Shidduchim with appropriate sources, nonetheless,
due to the complexities involved and minutia that change the Halacha
drastically; Shailos must be asked from appropriate poskim.
Conduct in Seeking Information about a Prospective Shidduch.
Halacha is very clear that a person may request information from as many
people as he would like in order to obtain accuracy and comfort regarding
the prospective individual that he is inquiring about. Although
certain inquiries perhaps would seem to be absurd in certain people’s
eyes, nonetheless, if this information is vital to the inquirer, one may
inquire about it. Additionally
it is prudent to not be reliant on hearsay, and to make proper inquiries in
order to avoid problematic situations later, including separation and
spite of the Halachic permission one has to inquire, one must initiate the
inquiry by stating that he is seeking information for a Shidduch. It
is generally not allowed to accept any derogatory information as fact, but
only to be concerned about it as a possibility of truth insofar as its
relevance for the Shidduch.
there are those individuals who when told that it is for a Shidduch might
not be honest with their information and the inquirer would prefer not to
mention that fact so that they will get accurate and true information,
nonetheless, it is forbidden to do this and one must expressly mention at
the outset that this information is relevant to a prospective Shidduch.
a person is able to get the information without using an intermediary that
would be preferable in order not to involve additional people in hearing the
information. In the event,
however, that he believes that he will not get correct information and the
Shaliach will, e.g. his Rav, his uncle, etc. then he may ask a third party
to obtain the information on his behalf.
the Shadchan or anyone else deviate from the actual age of a prospective
1.In regard to this question, there are differences of opinion amongst
the Poskim. Clearly, without a
Halachic directive, one may not just assume that he could lie about the age
of a prospective Shidduch.
2.HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliyashiv, Shlita permits a slight deviation of
approximately one year.On the
other hand, HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach, Z’tl did not permit any
Binyomin Zilber, Z’tl ruled that this issue is dependant upon what the
norm for people to be makpid on
was.It is hard to be able to
put this ruling into effect as different countries have different norms and
there are different concerns at different ages. Thus, a Shaila should be
asked of a competent Morah Hora’ah prior to making a decision on applying
3.Numerous talmidim of HaRav Aharon Kotler, Z’tl have stated that Rav
Aharon allowed a 30 year old to say that he was 28.
4.Clearly, if a woman is above 40, it would be prohibited to say that
she was younger, due to the possibility that she may no longer be of child
5.Notwithstanding any of the above, if a person tells you that he is
unequivocally makpid on age, he
has the right to know the truth, and you may not deviate one iota.
If it is known that the girl is older than the boy by a number of years, and
one was not asked about it, there is no obligation to relay this
Sources:Sefer Titein Emes LeYaakov,
Siman 38; Sefer Chelkas Yaakov
1:177; Sefer Doveir Mayshorim13; and Sefer Chavetzeles HaSharon 63.
Guidelines- Inquiry Regarding a Shidduch
We are all Dayanim when being asked regarding a Shidduch. We must
understand the seriousness of our response realizing that we are dealing
with people’s lives. As long as we are following Halacha, it is not our
obligation to worry about the outcome, because we are doing what we are
mandated to do according to the Torah.
My advice when being asked about a particular party is not to just
offer information, but rather to tell them to ask you specific questions and
that you will try to respond as best as possible. The
reason for this is quite clear; when we are reflecting on someone’s
life--their present and their past--we could very easily say something that
Halachically should not be said and can become an actual detriment to the
such, tell the person to ask you pointed questions and you will do your best
to answer correctly and with integrity. In
offering responses, you must bear in mind the prohibitions of Lifnei
Iveir Lo Sitein Michshol–not placing a stumbling block in front of the
blind, which in this case refers to the one seeking the information. Additionally,
we must also be cognizant of the Torah prohibition of Lo
Sa'amod Al Dam Rei’echa–not to stand by while your brother’s blood
is being spilled, which sometimes might necessitate a response that will
negate the Shidduch in order to save a
person from a horrific or very difficult marriage.
If you who are being asked do not really know specifics, itis best to say that you really don’t
know than to respond with bits of pieces of information that ultimately
could be more hurtful and can give off negative impressions when in reality
you just don’t know either way. Just
because you’re asked, there is no obligation to respond--especially when
you really do not know the person well.
Even where you do know but you do not want to get involved, you may
tell the inquirer to ask someone else who might know them better. The
Steipeler Rav, Z’tl, used to tell people when they didn’t want to
respond to particular inquiries about a certain family, that they may say in
a friendly manner:"I am
sorry, I am not the Lishkas Modi’in - the information booth!"
details to follow in next segment.
Some additional rules for the Shidduch Inquirer:
Do not ask about a number of candidates if you are really only interested in
one of them, in order to hide the person you are truly looking into.
Although you are not permitted to believe the information you hear as being
absolutely true, you may act on the basis that it MAY BE
Never ask a person for information who is known to have had a disagreement
either with the party you are asking about or his/her family, or a
Specific Details-Inquiry Regarding a Shidduch
person may ask numerous people until he feels comfortable that he has
inquired sufficiently. One may
also ask any question that he feels a need to.Although, unfortunately many questions border on the absurd,
nonetheless, a person has the right to ask whatever it is that he feels he
needs to know about a family or prospective boy or girl.
must be cautious however and realize that certain terminologies that are
used by the inquirer might mean different things to the respondent. This
is especially true when we are dealing with different countries, cultures
and backgrounds, i.e., litvish, chassidish, sefardi.For example, the response given to an inquirer who is from a more
modern background has a very different connotation than when given to a
person an inquirer of a “yeshiva” or “chassidic” background.Furthermore, the question such as “Is he a
Masmid?”, “Is he a Ba’al Chesed?”, or “Is he a Ba’al Kishron?”,
are questions that to one individual might mean that the prospective
shidduch learns Bain Hasedarim; while to someone else it may mean that he is
Makpid only on the time during the Seder that he is learning.Unfortunately, all too often when the responder does not fully
understand or is not on the same wavelength as the inquirer, the answer can
mean the end of a potential Shidduch.
The solution really is that people be
very careful about what they are asking and not use generic terms, and
rather be very specific about what they want to know. Instead
of just asking: “Is he a
Masmid?”, ask if he learns, during Sedarim, Bain Hasedarim, after night
Seder.In regard to a Ba’al
Chesed one should ask very pointedly for examples of situations with his
friend where he sees Chesed demonstrated etc.
In another scenario, many parents have
a very strong belief that their son is a tremendous Ba’al Kishron and
therefore deserves an extremely bright girl to match up to his intelligence.You ,the responder, are aware that their son is but average, i.e.,
you are his Rebbi or past Rebbi, may say that the girl is of equal caliber,
although she is just average. The
reason for this, says the Chofetz Chaim, is that the parents are fooling
themselves into thinking that their son is more advanced or intellectually
on a higher level than he is, unfortunately quite possibly ruining their
child’s zivug--while in reality this young lady’s intelligence is on par
with their son’s.
Specific Details-Inquiry Regarding a Shidduch
An extremely important area of
consideration is when parents are very involved with the children’s shidduchim
and sometimes are not are not necessarily looking out for the interest of
their child as much as their own interest.Examples of this would be marrying into an affluent family, a mishpacha
with great yichus, etc.It
is difficult to delineate explicitly what areas should not be an issue to
consider, as sometimes the aforementioned examples are indeed appropriate.
Each family must have a Rav with whom
to discuss issues of shidduchim beyond the attributes of being bnei
Torah, yirei shomayim, people of integrity, alleh middos,
etc.We have unfortunately seen
parents who have sometimes ruined appropriate shidduchim for their
children due to nonsensical and inappropriate desires.
Specific Details-Inquiry Regarding a Shidduch
speaking, issues regarding a prospective boy or girl that are visible and
can be seen by the other party should not be told up front.Rather, the person should see for themselves if this issue bothers
them or not.
in this category are issues such as height, weight, other physical features
such as a slight twitch, a slight limp, etc.These issues could bother one person and yet not another, and if
mentioned right at the outset it might be imagined as being far worse than
reality, and the person would have no interest in going out.
however you are being asked explicitly if the person is tall, short, heavy,
slim, etc., you are obligated to be honest and respond accordingly.Nonetheless, in all situations you should attempt to expound on the
positive virtues of the individual so that people are not caught up in minor
or sometimes seemingly insignificant aspects of one’s physical appearance.
the event that the question is being asked by a relative or very good friend
and you know that they would be very upset if you did not tell them
something about the person’s physical appearance, you may offer the
information even though you were not explicitly asked.
Specific Details-Inquiry Regarding a Shidduch
We had mentioned previously that an
individual may ask any question that he so desires regarding a prospective
shidduch, and the respondent should respond
to the best of his ability.However,
the only time one is allowed to offer
information when they are not asked is in regard to a serious impediment
in the person which the shidduch
will not see on his/her own, or a matter which would constitute a serious
impediment to the marital
relationship.An example of
the latter would be when you know the girl to be extremely soft and
sensitive, and you know that the boy is harsh, strong, and somewhat crass.
Due to the fact that this may not come out or be discerned on a date, and
you know the two personalities well, you
may offer this information even if you are not asked--or if possible
simply state that you do not recommend the shidduch.
We had also mentioned in a previous
lesson that blemishes which will not impede on a marriage or will be seen
should not be offered in advance unless the inquirer is a relative or close
friend who you know would be makpid.. However, Poskim recommend that even then it would be best if the
prospective shidduch would relay this information on their own after a
number of dates. Then, you are absolved from saying anything at the outset.In the event that they are not planning on doing so, then you have an
obligation to reveal that information at the outset.The following would be included in this category: serious medical
illnesses both physical and psychological, genetic diseases where there are
at least two or three of the relatives that have the same genetic problem,
adoption, addictions and serious aveiros of recent activity.
In regard to a Ba’al Teshuva most
Poskim are of the opinion that one should be told that the prospective
shidduch has come to Yiddishkeit on his own.However, it should be stressed that the Gedolim of the past
generation have looked very favorably on Ba’alei Teshuvah, who exemplify
wonderful Middos and Yiras Shomayim.
Details-Inquiry Regarding a Shidduch
As mentioned previously, illnesses both
medical and psychological that are of a serious nature that would be not
known otherwise and will not be told by a prospective boy or girl should be
told to the person seeking information.We must bear in mind that psychological issues are of a wide range,
sometimes simple medication can allow for a normal and healthy marriage.Thus, there is a difference between an individual who is taking
medication for a slight neurosis and perhaps temporary in duration, versus
an individual diagnosed with a serious personality disorder, psychosis,
bipolar, etc.Additionally, in
regard to medical issues, understand that a person who has hay fever or
allergies is not considered an illness comparable to an epileptic, diabetic
or serous asthmatic, etc.
Av VaEim Regarding a Shidduch
The Halacha states (Shulchan Aruch,
Yoreh De’ah, end Siman 242; Noda B’Yehuda 2, Evan HaEzer Teshuvah 45)
that a child does not have to listen to his/her parents in regard to a
Shidduch. Nonetheless, it would
be prudent and wise to generally follow their advice and guidance.In the event that the prospective shidduch is an appropriate one, and
the parent is negating it for inappropriate reasons, i.e., not prestigious
or wealthy enough, then the child may exercise their right not to listen,
but should do so with the guidance and advice of a competent Rav or Posek.However, if the individual that they seek to marry is indeed
inappropriate, and would cause the parent much shame and tza’ar the child
is obligated according to Halacha to listen to the parent (Bais Hillel Yoreh
De’ah Siman 240; Maishiv Davar, Yoreh De’ah Siman 50).
to the halacha it is generally forbidden to negate a shidduch without both
parties agreeing. This is based
on shame and embarrassment that the other party will suffer, as well as
financial commitments that have been made previously. This
prohibition exists even if formal tenaim were not made. In certain circles,
there is even an issur cheirem to
break an engagement, whereas other poskim are of the opinion that the cheirem does not apply today. According
to numerous poskim, the one who breaks the shidduch is obligated in a
k’nas (financial fine based upon the Beis Din evaluation). This
issue is one that has many stipulations regarding kabalas kinyan (a formal
tenaim document, etc.), and requires halachic guidance from a renowned posek.
There are numerous circumstances
in which one is permitted to break a shidduch. Some
of those situations are where the boy or girl have deteriorated spiritually
in the interim, or one of the families fooled the other family regarding
information that was concealed until now. The
particular types of issues that fall into the aforementioned category
require the input of a competent Rav or posek. The poskim differ regarding
situations, such as a previous engagement that the other party was unaware
of, differential in age or in the boy’s financial ability, or negative
information that comes out at this point and had not been known previously.
a shidduch is broken, gifts of the chasan and kallah given to each other as
well as gifts from the respective parents are returned. This
is true even in a situation where it was an inappropriate basis to break the
engagement. Generally speaking
the one who broke the engagement is obligated to pay the other side for any
unreimbursed wedding expenses that they may have to date. Due
to the complexity of this matter, a competent posek must be consulted.
is customary that a shtar mechila is written and signed by both sides. No
shtar mechila is necessary when one of the sides fooled the other as we had
mentioned earlier. It is still
best to obtain such a document even in that circumstance.
a shidduch unfortunately is broken the one who ended it should not reveal
any derogatory reasons to others but rather say that it just did not work
out. It is permissible however,
for the other side to state that “we were willing to go ahead.”
Rules for the Matchmaker
1. Do not suggest a
Shidduch if, objectively speaking, it is not in the best interests of each
of the parties involved. Put yourself into their respective positions. You
are doing a great chessed, not playing games of chance.
2. Generally, do
not be guided by what you believe
is best for a person but by what that person feels is important to him/her.
3. Do not overly
“investigate” the two and their families before proposing the match.
This is the responsibility of the parties and/or their parents.
4. Do not suggest a
(a) You believe,
based upon your current knowledge, the two could be a good match, and you
are unaware of any reason the relationship could cause pain to either one or
could result in one party being a negative influence on the other.
(b) There is reason
to believe their meeting will ultimately result in engagement.
(c) You are unaware
of any medical, emotional or character deficiency that would render one
party unfit for marriage at the present time.
(d) You are unaware
that one party lacks something subjective that the other is insistent upon,
or has something subjective to which the other has explicitly expressed
One final note:If you are not sure whether to redt
the Shidduch based upon the above circumstances, call the Shemiras HaLashon
Shailah Hotline (718-951-3696, between the hours of through , Eastern Time),
and a qualified Rav will guide you.
Attributes in Searching for a
Z’tl, as well as many other Gedolim, did not feel that regarding a boy one
should look for the biggest baal kishron or iluy, rather the ma’alah
should be of one who is a ben aliya. The Chasam Sofer writes that a
zivug hagun that a girl should seek is a bochur who is a yorei shomayim and
ba’al midos as well as a masmid in learning.
Sofer in a letter to Rabbi Akiva Eiger, his father-in-law, informs him of
the engagement of one of his daughters to one of his talmidim in his
yeshiva. He states that the bochur is still young in years and is an
average talmid at present, but has the potential to become an outstanding
talmid chochom in the future. He is a yorei shomayim and a tremendous
masmid. The Steipler in the Sefer Peninei
Rabbeinu Kehilas Yaakov, vol. 1 page 14, responds to an inquiry
regarding what one should look for in a shidduch and says: “You do
not need many ma’alos except for three things: diligence in
learning, a clear seichel, and good midos”.
The Bach, as
well as many other achronim, said that many prominent people and gaonim were
not makpid if a family member of the prospective boy or girl was a ba’al
aveira or even a meshumad. Their main focus was the particular person
in terms of yiras shomayim, midos, etc. (TeshuvasBais Chodosh Hayeshanos).
Attributes in Searching for a
The famous Mashgiach, Rav
Eliya Lopian, Z’tl, states that “Middos Tovos are the foundation to
build oneself and to reach all other lofty madreigos. Very negative
character traits are an illness that very few are able to cure themselves
of.” It is for this reason that many Gedolim stress the aspect of
Middos as the most important element of Shidduch as is borne in the Torah
with the choice of Rivka as the Shidduch for Yitzchak.
Similarly, the Chazon Ish
says the most important conditions are Taharas HaLev, Ahavas Torah, and good
middos. The Meiri (Shabbos 11A) rules that in addition to
checking into the Yichus and the relatives of the prospective girl, one
should be exceptionally thorough in the investigation of Middos, because
negative traits can destroy the entire marriage. Rabbeinu Bachya (on
Parshas Chayei Sara) tells us that children are drawn after the middos of
the mother’s family, just as the taste of wine follows the vessel in which
it is stored. Thus, Chazal were particularly mindful of a mother’s
The Steipeler, Z’tl, once
told a boy that money and looks is a good thing, but only if the Shidduch is
going in a good direction. However, regarding proper Middos, one
cannot be Mevater in any which way, because a women without proper
Middos is considered Gehenoim in the house. The Steipeler repeated
this numerous times.
Rav Moshe Shternbuch,
Shlita, in his Sefer Teshuvos VeHanhagos brings from the Chazon Ish
that the Ikar Middah to be most concerned about is that the girl is not
stubborn, for stubbornness can be a tremendous impediment to life together.
Rav Elyakim Schlesinger (Bais
Av Al Hatorah, ) says that the Chazon Ish was accustomed to saying
the following four middos are essential in regard to a Shidduch: lev tov,
easygoing middos, Ahavas Torah, and Histapkus--satisfaction with what one
1.It is a mitzvah to be involved In the process of helping to arrange
shidduchim. and one may do so on Shabbos and Yom Tov, even though there will
payment for such services.
2. There is an
absolute obligation to pay a shadchan, just as one must pay any broker who
renders a service.The shadchan
may seek recourse in beis din in order to collect what is rightfully owed.
Great poskim have said that shadchanus is “the most kosher money.”
3. Shadchanim are
entitled to payment whether they acted of their own accord or whether they
were brought into the process by one of the parties.
4. It is generally
accepted that the parents of the chassan and the parents of the kallah
evenly divide the payments to the shadchan, even if the shadchan was more
involved with one side or worked longer with that side.
5. Unless otherwise
specified In advance, the shadchan’s fee is determined by the normal fee
paid in the location of the chassan and kallah, regardless of the amount of
time and effort the shadchan invested.If
the chassan and kallah live in different places, and the normal amount paid
in one’s location is different than that of the other, a Rav acceptable to
all parties should be asked to determine the fee.The payment to the shadchan is assumed to include reimbursement of
all the shadchan’s expenses.In
the event that those expenditures exceeded the normal fee, the shadchan is
reimbursed for those additional expenses as well.
6. The accepted
custom is that the shadchan is paid at the time of the engagement, If the
engagement Is broken, the shadchan must still be paid.
7. Unless otherwise
stipulated at the outset, the shadchan does not receive any payment or
reimbursement, if the proposed match did not lead to the couple’s
8. If more than one
shadchan was actively involved from the start, the normal payment is evenly
divided among them.
There are different customs as
to how the payment to the shadchanim
should be divided when numerous individuals were involved.One common arrangement is
that the shadchan or shadchanim
who initiated the shidduch and
the ones who completed it equally divide the normal fee.The others who were involved receive a token payment.The practice in some communities may be different.
When there are two shadchanim, one of whom dealt with both the chassan and the kaIlah and
one of whom worked with only one of the parties, one common arrangement is
that payment is evenly divided between them--even if the initial idea for
the shidduch came from one
of them, who then involved the second person.Here too, the practice in some communities may be different.
One may not interfere and try to
serve as a shadchan to
advance a shidduch if
someone else is already effectively involved. Similarly, it is improper for
either side to involve a second shadchan
if the first shadchan is
prepared to continue his involvement.If
there is a problem in dealing with the initial shadchan,
a Rav should be consulted.
If someone suggests a shidduch which was rejected, and that same shidduch
was later suggested by a different shadchan
and it was then accepted and brought to a successful conclusion, one
common arrangement for dividing the payment is:
If the second shadchan knew
of the first shadchan’s suggestion,
the first shadchan receives
between 1/3and 1/2 of the
If the second shadchan was
unaware of the first shadchan’s suggestion,
the second person receives the entire payment.
to the complexities of these halachos,
a prominent Rav should be asked for advice.
Any questions or disputes
regarding the payment of shadchanus
must be resolved by a Rav acceptable to all the parties or before a beis
The Steipeler was once
asked regarding a shidduch that was suggested and then pushed off--should
one try to reintroduce the shidduch and pressure the individual to
reconsider. He quoted the Sefer Chasidim, Siman 514 that showed that one should not
do such a thing. On yet another
occasion he responded to a similar inquiry and said that if one begins the
shidduch process and sees that it does not go forward, he should not do
hishtadlus to push it, because most probably this is not the right shidduch
(Orchos Rabbeinu p. 264).
There are times that a
person worries about what their neighbors and friends might say about their
children or themselves regarding a shidduch. A
young man once came to the Chazon Ish and poured out his heart seeking the
Gadol’s advice. The bochur
said that his neighbor has a tremendous hatred and ruins every potential
shidduch that comes his way when he is asked for information. The
Chazon Ish responded and told him: “Don’t worry about your neighbor,
when the right zivug will come about, either your neighbor will not be
asked, or he will be quiet, or his words will have no influence. All
of his efforts thus far, were only regarding shidduchim were not your proper
zivug and therefore he was successful in ruining it--for
Medrash (Bereishis Raba 68:4) relates the famous Chazal that Hakadosh Boruch
Hu sits and makes shidduchim constantly announcing bas ploni l’ploni.
Chazal say that Hashem sometimes matches them baal korchum, even
against their will. The sefarim
explain that the concept of a zivug is not in the realm of nature at all,
but rather completely and totally in Hashem’s hands. Although
we are enjoined to do our hishtadlus in the realm of teva (nature), one will
not be successful if their zivug has not been ordained by Hashem. This
is what Chazal mean when they say Kasheh
Zivugo Shel Adam Lefnei HaKadosh Baruch Hu KeKriyas Yam Suf (Rashi (Sotah
Daf 2a) comments and says that just as the laws of nature from creation were
changed at the time of krias yam suf so too the shidduch of a person is
above the laws of nature and does not follow normative rules). The
Ran in Moed Katon (18b) adds that although it is decreed from Heaven who he
will marry, if someone else comes along, who is not the proper zivug and
davens to Hashem to marry that particular person, it could be that his
Tefillah will be answered. So
great is the power of Tefillah (it is for this reason that we do not daven
for any particular individual, but rather that Hashem allow us to find our
proper zivug). If a person prays
and is successful in derailing Hashem’s decree of bas ploni l’ploni, the
Ran says that at the end, the decree will be maintained through either
divorce or death so that the proper individual will marry his or her bashert.
The Steipeler, Z’tl, was asked about a bachur who went out with his
first shidduch numerous times--and although everyone was pleased, his
parents were concerned that maybe he should go out with others.The Steipeler responded that if he had doubts then he should go out
with others; however if everything seemed to be correct and proper in his
eyes, then he should not push away this shidduch just to see what other
girls might be like.He said
doing so would be causing tza’ar to someone else for no reason. If
someone does this, he will suffer terribly throughout his life.
The Shidduch of Younger Sibling before an Older Sibling
The Chazon Ish learned about a mother holding back her younger son from
going out because an older brother was not married.He sent a message to her that it is totally permissible for the
younger one to go out before the older one.The Steipler explains the Shach (Yoreh De’ah 244) on this topic to
mean that it is a father’s chiyuv to be MeShadeich his older son first,
but a younger brother is allowed to get married first, especially if the
older brother has difficulty with shidduchim.Similarly, the Steipler says there is no hekpeidah on a
younger sister getting married before an older brother.He states that he himself married off a daughter before a son,
according to the P’sak of the Chazon Ish. In regard to whether a
younger sister can get married before an older sister, it would appear to be
a Machlokes Achronim.According
to many opinions, the older sister should be Mochel and allow the younger
sister to get married before her (see Bach Yoreh Deah 244, Igros Moshe
Rav is quoted in Bava Basra
(110a) as saying that when looking into a particular shidduch, one should
first look into the woman’s brothers. Chazal,
after deriving the source for this statement from the Torah, teach Rov
Banim Domim L’achei Ha’Aim--most children are similar to the
mother’s brothers. Rabbeinu
Bechaya (Bereishis 24:3) says that most children are drawn in their middos
to the nature of the mother’s family because the nature of wine is that it
carries the taste of the vessel or barrel in which it is placed. As
such, the child growing in the womb of his mother will absorb the nature of
her and her family by extension. Rav
Shach, Zt’l, in his sefer Michtavim
says that this concept only applies to middos, not to hashkafa, so that even
if the brother of the mother has corrupted dei’os,
that is not a reason to negate a particular shidduch due to the fact that
hashkafos have to do with bechira--and each and every child has their own
freedom of choice.
The Steipler, Zt’l, was
also lenient in this regard (although unlike Rav Shach, he was concerned
with their hashkafa as well, not just the middos) and said that if there are
a number of brothers that are proper, even if one is not, who is to say that
your children will go after the inappropriate brother as opposed to the
proper ones. Additionally, he
says that people look primarily at the specific child in question and this
is an accepted norm in K’lal Yisroel to which we could apply the concept
of Shomer Pesa’im Hashem. Additionally
the Steipler points out that it is quite possible that maybe the brother
went off the derech before really receiving a proper Torah chinuch and is in
the category of aTinok She’nishba.
Finally, in Orchos Rabbeinu
(Volume 1, p. 265) he quotes the Steipler, Zt’l, that the issue of
checking into the mother’s brothers is referring to a time when the
environment and the communities where yidden lived were proper. In
such a setting if a brother went off the derech, it was a real chashash of a
p’gam in the family. However,
in our times, when the environment is polluted and people have brought into
their homes inappropriate material, the fact that a child goes off the
derech is not a proof of a serious blemish in the family--and as long as the
young lady is a proper Bas Yisroel, one should not be concerned with the