Questions the father of the bride- to- be should ask

By Rabbi Baruch Lederman

Rabbi Baruch Lederman

Rabbi Baruch Lederman

SAN DIEGO– A man once came to Rabbi Shmuel Rozovsky (1913-1979), the rosh yeshiva (dean) of Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, regarding a boy in the yeshiva who had been proposed as a match for his daughter.

He asked the rosh yeshiva how many hours a day the boy learned; was he punctual and did he spend his time diligently. Did he come to prayers on time and did he actively participate in the lectures? Did he ask relevant questions and did he understand the answers?

After receiving a favorable report, the father thanked Rabbi Rozovsky for his time and began to leave. Rabbi Rozovsky asked the father, “Until now you asked me questions; do you mind if I ask you a few questions?” The father agreed.

“You seem happy with the information I gave you about this boy. You obviously think that all your daughter needs to know is whether he arrives to his study sessions on time and if he knows how to learn Torah. But perhaps your daughter would like to know if he is a mentch.

“It seems to me that you ought to be asking, ‘Is he pleasant to be around? How does he behave at mealtimes? Does he occasionally go into the kitchen to thank the staff for preparing the food? Does he get up and fill the empty water pitcher, or wait for someone else to do it? When he arrives in his room after a late-night learning session, does he do so quietly so as not to wake up his roommates? Does he make his bed and keep his things neat?

“I think,” continued Rabbi Rozovsky, “that you need to check these things out. If he comes home and doesn’t like the food your daughter worked hard to prepare, his face will crumple in obvious dissatisfaction. Will your daughter then be happy that her father checked the boy out with the rosh yeshiva who told him that he is familiar with much of the Talmud? Will your daughter say, “It’s true that he has no manners and no social skills, but I respect him anyway because he knows the intricacies of the difficult sections of the Torah?”
[The foregoing story is documented in the Denver Kollel Torah Weekly]

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Rabbi Lederman is the spiritual leader of Congregation Kehillas Torah in San Diego. He may be contacted via [email protected]

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