A Historical Look at LIFE in ALEPPO

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Ponder the following question: What if you knew exactly when you were getting married?  Imagine you knew that January 2, 2023 would be your wedding date. How would you act differently? Would you relax about the whole shidduch question? Possibly you would not date as much or care as much. If you knew when you would stand under the chuppah maybe your focus would be somewhere else – such as on college, seminary, or a year in Israel. Possibly you would not feel pressured to attend parties, or make phone calls to inquire if someone might know anyone appropriate for you.

Of course, none of us has a crystal ball, so we do not know the answer to when it will be our turn.

If we know, however, that Hashem has already decided 40 days before we were born who will be our life’s partner, then why do we worry? Possibly it is because we feel like we want some measure of control in deciding who we are going to marry. After all, this is one of life’s most important decisions.

Let us consider another question. When do members of our community start to be concerned about when they will get married? For some,  this may happen in high school or when one’s friends begin to get engaged. For others it may be when they have their first date.

At some point people are  certain that everyone in the family is looking at him or her and thinking, “When are you getting married already?!” And as the years go by aging singles may constantly think, “When is it ever going to be my turn?” 

Having an Open Mind and Heart

Let’s avoid bad scenarios. Let’s encourage community members who are dating to keep an open mind, and be open to who Gd send’s their way. If someone is interested in going out with you and they don’t seem to be your type, or you never heard of the family, or they don’t seem like they could support the lifestyle you were expecting, you may refuse even one date! Let’s put so many conditions and worries on the side,  and put our trust in Hashem.

Of course, we all have standards. And every unmarried person should have standards. But at some point we must recognize that we’ve lost our sense of perspective. Many dates are now refused for reasons  much less consequential than people considered reasonable in the past.
Let us choose to be secure enough in hashgacha pratit, Hashem’s Divine intervention, that we believe that at the right time we are going to marry the right person who is meant for us. We should then be more open to dating to try to discover who that person may be!

Let’s stop worrying about what we think everyone else may be thinking, and agree to go out on the date! And when we do go, let’s try to look at the one we’re dating as a special person who Hashem created, who has lots of great qualities. It is so easy to criticize and find faults, but we can make the effort to discover their many special qualities. This date does may not be your right spouse, but we have nothing to lose and everything to gain if we try and give it a real chance!