Feb 15, 2014
Aftereffects of a Broken Shidduch

The story of a man who broke off an engagement, how it came back to haunt him some 30 years later and what he did about it.

Rabbi Yeheskel Lebovic, Likrat Shiduch Matchmaking Service

A wonderful story came our way recently.

David (not his real name) was 21 years old and part of a famous music band touring Europe. He is of Sefardic background and, though not frum at that time, he was urged by his older brother to get married.†Under that pressure, he got engaged to a Jewish girl, Avigail.

The engagement party was well attended, with his parents flying in. But he felt that he wasnít ready for marriage and saw it as a deterrent to his touring the world with the band.†So he broke up with her.

Years passed. He became a chassid, got married and settled in the USA. He once heard a speaker relate a person asked the Rebbe during the Sunday dollar line: "Rebbe, I was engaged but I broke up. Please, Rebbe, give me a bracha to find the right shiduch." To which the Rebbe immediately reacted: "Did you ask her mechilah?!"

David didnít listen to the rest of that story, as these words pierced his heart, realizing that they were directly addressed to him.† For he had eventually found out that Avigail had married a non-Jew after he had broken up with her.

He had at one time spoken to her about it, she saying: "Don't worry, I'm a universalist." But deep down, he felt guilty about it, always wondering what if he hadn't broken up with her. Thus, suddenly becoming aware of the need to ask mechilah in any such instance, and certainly so in his case.

He instructed a friend of his traveling to Europe to look Avigail up and officially ask her mechilah on his behalf. What motivated him to do so was because over the years, David had difficulties marrying off his daughters.

Shortly after his friend asked mechilah from Avigail on his behalf, one of Davidís daughters finally became a kallah!

But he had other daughters too, and the shiduch scene was shlepping. David felt that he had not done enough. He managed to once meet Avigail in person and asked her mechilah in person, in a very heart-felt manner. She of course granted it, but in between the lines, he could sense that she had been deeply hurt when he had dumped her.

David married off some more of his daughters, but still had one having passed age 30.

He sensed that, in his case, he needed in addition some kind of tikkun. With Hashemís help, the tikkun came his way.

He became acquainted with a serious would-be convert, having prepared for giyur k'halacha for a long time and just about ready to convert. During one of their talks, he suggested that she adopt the name Avigail upon converting. Somehow, she ended up accepting his suggestion, and is now a full-fledged Jewish chassidic woman.

David now feels a lot better: Though one Avigail somehow had gone off the way of Jewish marriage through his indirect involvement, another Avigail had joined the Jewish fold and eventual Jewish marriage.

David interpreted this as his missing tikkun and is looking forward to soon see his remaining single daughter becoming a kallah...

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Opinions and Comments
Kol hakavod for doing the right thing and repairing your mistake. Now it is up to Hashem, and IYH your daughter will find her bashert very soom. bsuros tovos!
(2/15/2014 10:03:13 PM)
i heard it too from the REbbe
i know first hand that the rebbe urged asking for mechillah from anyone who may have broken off a shidduch or even a potential shidduch that had not been finalized... in the spiriti of ahavas yisroel and maybe to help the many many unwed singles in our midst...let's examine our hearts and see if there is someone we need to ask mechillah from...
simchas only
(2/16/2014 1:12:47 AM)
Amazing story! Thanks for sharing!
(2/16/2014 4:45:48 AM)
BS"D great story and hope he marries off his daughter but excuse me for saying I am bothered by the suggestion for a name based on the persons own needs, rather than the thought of the convert
(2/16/2014 9:18:33 AM)
Not a Shadchan
Perhaps someone can find a way to connect with David & come up with some suitable older man for his daughter. Who knows how far this story can go?
(2/16/2014 9:29:51 AM)
Don't understand
So every man should ask mechila? If he dident do anything wrong ? The rebbe said it to this person for his own reason. Dosent mean the rebbe wants every guy that broke off with a girl to ask mechila!
(2/16/2014 10:26:48 AM)
chabad only?
Are you looking for someone who is chabad or can it be an Israeli not chabad. His family is chasidish belz but he has such good midos.
(2/16/2014 11:31:47 AM)
to 6:you miss the pint
they were ENGAGED!!!
(2/16/2014 12:09:41 PM)
to 6
whenever we may have hurt someone we should ask mechilla- which part is unclear?
(2/16/2014 1:55:38 PM)
Maybe she didn't think of it like that.
(2/16/2014 2:08:52 PM)
let every person enjoyhappiness in their own life and the life of their children.
Always think positive especially at the time difficulty.
(2/16/2014 6:38:04 PM)
to everyone
we should ask mechila and be freindly with everyone,not just in the breaking off of a shidduch case
(2/16/2014 7:06:16 PM)
to #6
Of course the Rebbe wants every person who broke off an engagement to ask mechila. Specially women who take things to heart
(2/16/2014 9:43:48 PM)
to #13
and us men don't take things to heart ? we also have feelings
(2/17/2014 1:27:12 PM)
It might seem easy
And self interested to ask for mechilah in that situation. But having had to ask for mechilah, it takes a lot of humility and it is harder than it seems.
(2/18/2014 11:28:15 PM)
she WAS hurt
'He managed to once meet Avigail in person and asked her mechilah in person, in a very heart-felt manner. She of course granted it, but in between the lines, he could sense that she had been deeply hurt when he had dumped her.'
(2/20/2014 9:45:09 PM)
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