Reb Yaakov Goldberg of Lakewood, NJ recently wrote a letter to Matzav about the shidduch crisis entitled “Telling the Rough Truth About the Shidduch Crisis.” In it, he made two primary points. 1) Parents who act picky when it comes to suggestions offered for their boys should not complain when they face difficulty with their daughters. 2) The policy of “no dating for three months” is a big part of the problem. Much can and has been said (as we all know) about this topic in general, but, for the moment, it is important to make a particular point.
While the input of shadchanim is most certainly important in addressing the challenge of the shidduch crisis, it is not fitting for a shadchan to make a statement that essentially accuses people of committing a “gezeiras Paroh.” Even were we to accept Reb Yaakov Goldberg’s argument (which is certainly debatable), it seems to be an unacceptable act of disrespect to voice that opinion publicly, and certainly in the manner that it was expressed.
If institutions employ a “no dating for three months” policy, doesn’t it behoove us to at the very least give them the benefit of the doubt that they have good reasons for instituting and enforcing that policy? Isn’t that the very least that is demanded of us as Torah-true Jews?
Is this to say that they are necessarily infallible? That if something seems questionable we should not even bother to ask? HaGaon Rav Yaakov Weinberg zt”l held not. He stated, unequivocally, that an individual’s status being amongst the rank and file is not a reason to withhold voicing one’s concerns, questions, or even suggestions.
However, and this is the operative point at hand, common courtesy mandates that this be done in a respectful manner. Without accusations. Without arrogant assumption that “I know better.” And certainly without public proclamations of condemnation. Rather, humble-toned, private conversations are the right way to go about bringing up one’s concerns, questions, or suggestions to just about anyone.
Although it is evident that Reb Yaakov Goldberg was speaking out of genuine concern for Klal Yisroel, it seems that his empathy for the pain of all those struggling with the shidduch crisis brought him to speak in a manner that he probably did not intend.
Ramat Bet Shemesh