Dec 1, 2014
"I'm Probably the Mom You Hate"

Op-ed: A mother who married off a few children responds to "Why Am I Not 'Shayech'?:" "I am sure that there are people who think I am a snob and a nasty one, too."

By Menucha

I've always thought of myself as a nice person. I'm the type who will let someone with one item to buy go in front of me at the supermarket line, the type who will walk out of the room rather than argue. Yet I am sure that there are people who think I am a snob and a nasty one, too. Why? Because of the shiduchum search.

Having married off a few sons and daughters, and working on the next in line, I keep praying that I won't hurt someone's feelings, but it seems impossible to avoid. On the one hand, I don't want to insult anyone, but on the other hand, I can't let my child meet someone just to avoid hard feelings. If I don't give a reason- the other side assumes that I am a snob, if I give a reason, then nine times out if ten, they will be terribly insulted.

When I first started on the shidduchim search for my children, rejections would upset me. Now that I am more experienced, rejections don't bother me. I just understand that it is Hashem Yisborach's way of saying that this is not the right one. Of course this is difficult when your child is getting older and you don't see any salvation in sight. But isn't the right person later better than the wrong person now?

Some of the things I've learned from experience (and believe me, I'm still learning in the job) are:

1. When making inquiries, avoid labels or derogatory questions. Don't ask if he's lazy, ask if he likes to be busy.

2. Try to ask open-ended questions.

3. When saying no to a suggestion, first give a compliment. Think before giving a reason for no, or don't give a specific reason.

Shidduchim are as difficult as splitting the Red Sea, and needs the same level of bitachon to cross. It's no easier for the boys than for the girls. As a friend once put it: Looking for a shidduch for my daughter, I felt like I was lost in the desert. When I started looking for my son, I suddenly found myself lost in the forest!

The One Above should help each of the singles to find his/her true match, without causing any bad feelings to anyone.

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Opinions and Comments
"Not Shaich"
When I was looking for a Shidduch for my child, I was told to say 'not shaich', instead of hurting the other person's feelings.
(12/1/2014 8:33:58 PM)
not really
not shiach still means he is not for your daughter ....doesnt sound any nicer However have to have bitachon that turned out this way because he is not the right one,,,,doesnt make it easier
(12/1/2014 8:40:57 PM)
a little push never hurt
was told not shayach gave a little push and now We are happily married for over 3 years
(12/1/2014 8:50:36 PM)
Spot on!
(12/1/2014 9:12:11 PM)
Sounds english spirited if you want my opinion. Not ill spirited
(12/1/2014 9:27:27 PM)
right on the mark!
(12/1/2014 9:40:42 PM)
over-involved mothers
are part of the problem.
(12/1/2014 9:50:12 PM)
to #3
a little push usually on the girls side really helps, later the boy appreciates (it is kind of annoying in the begging when going on)
(12/1/2014 9:50:46 PM)
Thank you
I think your article is well written and I thank you for it. Important food for thought.
(12/1/2014 10:23:24 PM)
just say no
if people cant respect a no thats their own problem
(12/1/2014 10:47:02 PM)
by any chance
do you have a boy available, I'm looking for my daughter. She is beautiful and smart, we have lots of $ and a huge lubavitch family. I'm sure she can't be "not shayach"
(12/1/2014 10:54:22 PM)
take it easy and be b'simcha
no need to kvetch

(12/1/2014 10:56:24 PM)
I agree
I think using the terminology "not shayich" is a nice way of saying a polite no because giving a reason can be insulting and disputed. But if the other party still feels they would like to push the Shidduch anyway "Gezunnterheit"! May we have many many Simchos!
(12/1/2014 11:11:05 PM)
No 11.
Plenty of boys and mothers will not be interested, unless your daughter has her values and priorities straight.
(12/1/2014 11:23:51 PM)
No, 10
You must be from NY. Good grief.
(12/1/2014 11:46:54 PM)
Move Along...
Ignore #11, it's probably a bored teen looking to make life exciting....
(12/1/2014 11:48:12 PM)
not true
I find that when people say "its not shayech" it means that they are saying no for no valid reason. For some reason it seems like shadchonim accept that reason without asking for more details so it works well if you dont have a reason
(12/1/2014 11:59:12 PM)
not shayach
'not shayach' is insulting
its better to say were thinking about it or she or he are busy right now.
saying "not shayach" leaves the person thinking 'and why is it not shayach?' then starts thinking of any faults they or the family may have, i don't think its nice
(12/2/2014 12:09:12 AM)
I made B"H a few chasunas lately, and I didn't really think that the "dates" were exactly what I was looking for. For some reason we both said yes to each of them, and they worked. One I was going back out of, but was too embarassed, so I said to myself that I won't make the child go on a second date. I was sure she wasn't going to want to continue. To my surprise she did and they got married!
(12/2/2014 12:13:19 AM)
Old world dating
You can eliminate all the red tape and try jswipe
(12/2/2014 1:09:57 AM)
To #11
Money & yichus are the criteria for getting married??? Wow.
(12/2/2014 1:30:22 AM)
Just give the date a chance

You need to lighten up. Why are you so quick to dismiss a potential date? After all, it is just a date. It doesn't mean you are marrying the person.

A first date gives you a glimpse into a person beyond the resume and photo.

If people gave their fellow human beings a chance and got to talk to them we might have way more shidduchim,

Get out of the box people. Broaden your horizons, let go of your family's expectations, let go of your exceptions. Most of all, when you decide to date or not date a potential date, make sure its for the right reasons and not because of some emotional baggage that YOU YOURSELF have. ,
(12/2/2014 2:55:10 AM)
No 11
I am not sure if you are joking or not but would you really want someone to marry your daughter because you have money or even because of outer beauty? BH, I have a very special son but I get nervous about families with lots of money... Not because I do not want my son to be comfortable, but because we feel that Middos are the most important. We have learned by experience that many times the two do not go hand in hand. I apologize for this comment to those who BH have money without attitude and just use their money to help others.
(12/2/2014 3:15:48 AM)
To number 11;
She was only joking! putting some humour into it all? Thats not always a bad thing
(12/2/2014 4:18:17 AM)
Great Post
Author of this post has very valid points. If you want to see a very funny animation about shidduchim check this video out,
(12/2/2014 4:20:08 AM)
B"h we have ghashmiyous beshefa the shadhonim are running after us all the time the only thing we're looking for is holy levushim which unfortunately we can't find
(12/2/2014 4:27:55 AM)
There are hundreds of reasons for "being not shayach". There's no need to go into every detail and provide reasons with each name that comes up. With today's method of shidduchim, it became an acceptable way of saying, "thanks, but no thanks." DO NOT TAKE "NOT SHAYACH" AS NEGATIVE. It simply means not for me - not, I'm better, not I didn't hear positive things.
I have a few wonderful and beautiful ka'h red haired children. When my oldest got married, the machutonim told me that they were asked if "red is a problem". They were shocked by the question, but even with reds in our family (kids, cousins...), I didn't want to marry (30 years ago) a guy with a red beard. It's just something I don't like - to this day. I love my sons, but not the color of their beards. Nothing wrong with this - or even shallow. To me it's a turn-off. Not shayach - greatest guy or not. Some bochurim don't like "kinky" hair - despite the fact that the majority of the time it will be covered and many kinky haired girls look gorgeous in straight sheitlach.
I have a relative that turned down a great bochur because she couldn't imagine herself with his last name. She said, "She isn't a 'Horowitz'". B"H that simple thought was put in her mind to spare her going out with a few wrongs and to wait for Mr. Right, which B"H came along not too much later.
These are not 'shallow' reasons or explanations to be argued about. Hashem puts our thoughts in our minds for reasons specifically tailored to each individual. Magically, when the right one comes along - somehow we see things differently.
R' Manis Friedman tells the story of a girl who told him the date wasn't shayach because he was slightly bald. The next set-up he told the bachur to keep his hat on the entire evening. After the date, he asked the bachur if he followed his instructions. To his disappointment, the bachur had removed his hat in the car and forgotten it there. When the girl called to tell R' M. that she'd like to go out a second time, he asked, "but what about the receding hairline?" "I never noticed" was her reply.....
May all be zoche to find their basherts quickly and easily.
(12/2/2014 5:21:09 AM)
Top bocher
I don't want brag here. I just want to say one thing. I was a head counselor last year in a very very prominent camp I'm lubavitch. And I excelled in the "system" bochrim want one thing. DRESS MODEST. and maybe you will stop being rejected by the bouchrim.
(12/2/2014 6:41:39 AM)
No. 11
I have a younger brother who may be interested!
(12/2/2014 7:43:32 AM)
Great advice
This is a very important advice. It's practical but we forget during this exciting but a little difficult time. It is our children livesthat we are shaping and it's heart rendering . This will help. Thank you
(12/2/2014 7:46:00 AM)
to #22
We are out of towners. When our son dated, it meant plane tickets, car rental, eating out for every meal, sleeping on some couch somewhere or renting a room. And miss learning and working. It had to be very shiach before we could make such an investment.
(12/2/2014 8:51:08 AM)
#11 is winding you all up!!
What a good joke - unfortunately , like all the best jokes it has more than a grain of truth in it.
(12/2/2014 9:41:48 AM)
bochurim shape up
not every bochur out there looking so concientous and frum really is.
the girls are much more than the boys. the girls are up and out of the house by the latest 8.30 am , responsible for jobs, not just sitting and officially learning , ,and being supported by parents, wife...
i wish i would of known this years ago. .. The wife gets up and runs to work, and offically the husband runs to kollel...
i dont want to take away the joy of the young married is not what she expected half the time.
(12/2/2014 9:44:35 AM)
Not everyone is shayech for everyone. I have married children and love all my sons and daughter in laws. They are all great but not every daughter in law would fit each of my sons and not every son in law would fit every one of my daughters. So it is not shayech. What is wrong with that? Should we say not shayech or is it nicer to say my son is looking for someone with more brains or more personality? Please.
(12/2/2014 10:41:22 AM)
Its all very nice to say it's from Hashem
But, at the end of the day, you are talking about parents here. When their child is turned down, for whatever reason - and possibly a good one! - there is going to be an emotional response to the sting.
The key for the parent is to recognize that their child's good qualities have nothing to do with the other person's acceptance or rejection. Easier said than done...
(12/2/2014 12:31:18 PM)
to #28
Most BOCHURIM don't pay attention to tznius and levels of tznius. I've spoken to many and a lot of them have no idea if stockings makes you chassidish etc. It's the MOTHERS not the boys saying no.
(12/2/2014 1:02:22 PM)
to #25
so so true! You all need to see this!!! ONLY simchas by everyone :)
(12/2/2014 2:00:52 PM)
i dont know anymore
My daughter is average looking-but brilliant with great middos.The "great guys"say they want very pretty.That was a "forget it"from me.It's ok that they want that.But so many things I see on a resume-yuck.
(12/2/2014 2:10:06 PM)
Bottom line
Whatever language is used, it's very hard to say no to a shidduch if you're a sensitive person, and it's very hard to be turned down. I never thought I'd learn to get over the sting of the rejection, but now that B"H several children are married, it has become easier. Ask Hashem to help you cope with "the parsha." In addition, I continue to daven for the still-single young people we turned down (or whom my kids turned down after dating them), and I am genuinely happy whenever one of them becomes engaged. This year, may an unexpectedly huge number of people find their zivug!!!
(12/2/2014 2:20:06 PM)
pretty versus being attracted to someone
I find that a lot of guys (and their mothers) want the girl to be very pretty. This usually to compensate and validate the boys(and sometimes their mothers) self perceived weaknesses. I find that pathetic and shallow. You can and should be attracted to your spouse, but that doesn't mean they have to be a supermodel. As long as the boy is subjectively attracted to the girl, that is all that matters....
(12/2/2014 4:51:53 PM)
to number #5
mind your manners
(12/2/2014 5:08:58 PM)
Saying we're busy when you're really not can cause someone false hopes and they might try again in a month. Just be honest.
(12/2/2014 5:58:14 PM)
Shmuel Cohen
a lot of money helps people to decide to marry a child to someone they would not consider otherwise
(12/2/2014 6:20:55 PM)
I think its obvious...
As a mother who is in shidduchim, and married off 2 so far, I can say this: you know when they person is snubbing you vs a sincere 'not shayech'. You can tell if they really checked or just scrapped your name bec of any of the shallow reasons, ie yichus, money, etc etc.
(12/2/2014 6:23:47 PM)
How about: "I don't think that my child is what you're looking for. I don't feel that _______ is one of his/her strong qualities."

Also, in many situations where people are in the same city maybe let go of the expectations like many have said, and just go on a date.
(12/2/2014 6:24:52 PM)
What are you really looking for?
In shiduchim it's not about the best player winning the cup, it's about which person seems to have the matching half to your winning ticket.
(12/2/2014 6:34:00 PM)
to #45
I don't think it is wise to point out your child's weak points.
(12/2/2014 7:31:50 PM)
to #36
As others have commented in other articles many Bochurim know and care about Tznius, but even if they wouldn't G-d forbid, the parents have every right to say no to a girl who is not Tznius. It is often/always a reflection of other things including confidence. You can dress really well and still be Tznius.
(12/2/2014 7:32:15 PM)
Accepting a "no"- Gracefully.
When a shadchan or middle person says "Not Shayich" or any other related "excuse" word - its a No.

No need to be offended. Move on !!! Chances are - You've said "no""or will say "no" in the future.

Its sometimes wise to ask the middle person if a reason was given, only to ascertain that it wasn't a misinformed decision.

Part time Shadchan.
(12/2/2014 7:48:17 PM)
Wow what was the point of the article all you said is how much we hate you... Now I know idespise a certain menucha...

Thanx for your inspirational and intelligent words
(12/2/2014 8:05:23 PM)
#42 Busy
"Busy"" is the trickiest answer. What do parents infer when they receive a "Busy" answer? Are they just simply "Busy"?
Was your child's name mentioned not with standing?
Is the shadchan just pushing off the inevitable "No"?

Best to tell the Shadchan upfront that you always want hear a no answer if that is what is being given. Otherwise you'll be chasing people that have said "'No" for ever.

Part time Shadchan.
(12/2/2014 8:08:07 PM)
"not exactly the same type" is a nice way to say no
well lets be honest everyone rejects if they think is not for them, and tries the best for their children!!!
(12/2/2014 10:00:32 PM)
If the parent feels it is not for their child why meet? Why waste time and emotional stress for nothing. Just to make the other person happy for a few minutes? Find out if you can why they said no so you can clarify wrong information. We had that 20 years ago. They are happily married. We heard something we didn't like, they clarified it, and we said ok.
(12/2/2014 10:57:25 PM)
Do you really want to know why?
As a mother of sons I can tell you why we say "not shayich" and we do tell shadchanim this but I doubt they pass this on.
Mainly it's Tznius. That's right, if your daughters knees aren't covered when she sits down then our answer is "not Shayich , due to tznius".
Please don't advertise your daughter on her resume as tznius when she doesn't cover her knees, collarbone or wears skin tight clothing. That's not tznius.
(12/3/2014 7:40:24 AM)
Red Flags!
1. Parents Divorced
2. Ethnic
3. Too heavy
4. Age

Who are you fooling? The Bochur or Maidel may be chassidishe, tzinusdik, excellent midos, but do not FIT in due to NO fault of their own either because of genetics or other natural means which Hashem endowed them with or as a result of their background - yet - they will still be "not shayich"!
It is per pressure, what will others say!
Feel free to respond!
(12/3/2014 12:54:04 PM)
A handsome bocher
I am a handsome Chassidisher bocher (yes that does not have to be a contradiction), and i'm looking for a pretty Chassidish girl. I don't believe there is a problem, with me looking for a pretty girl. It says in the torah, that sara, rivka, leah, rochel, were all beautiful( and it means begashmiyus.) the ramabam says you can look at a girl to see if you are attracted to her.
"Not shayich" does not always have to be about looks or things like that. But that is just the way I feel.
(12/3/2014 6:08:11 PM)
To comment 56
There is a difference with being attracted to the girl and wanting an objectively pretty girl.
The former is for yourself, the latter is to boost your fragile ego.
(12/3/2014 8:42:51 PM)
say "not shayich"
She/he is dead set on shlichus, the other side is very family oriented and already working in the family business. It's not shayich.
He has $$ and wants a stay-at-home wife and mother raising his kids. She adamantly won't give up on the shiksa nanny. It's not shayich!
She is very frum, tznius, careful with kashrus, and what she watches and reads. He enjoys mixed camping trips and a Saturday night movie. It' just not shayich.
Oh, one more. There is a serious medical or mental health issue that really should have been mentioned. But the parents didn't want to tell the other side because they knew that for this shidduch it wasn't shayich, But the other side wouldn't take that for an answer, and insisted on knowing why. Somehow the shidduch went through. A baby came along, the parent snapped and now they are divorced and their darling baby is growing up in 2 homes.
If it's not shayich, say thank you and move on. Don't force a situation, the consequences are just too painful.
May you find your shayich match immediately.
(12/3/2014 10:09:26 PM)
Well maybe that's what I need, to boost my fragile ego. We all can use a boost in our ego. Thanks.
(12/3/2014 10:47:50 PM)
To #58
Because you make such a good overall point, because you seem to grasp a big picture that differentiates between conflicting values and one of these two people is just not right, because you wrote such a beautiful comment (overall,) because you write with wisdom... Please don't mess it all up with dismissive language like "shiksa nanny." Please consider... 1. Not everyone is cut out to be a stay at home mom. Some women are excellent mothers while fulfilling their need for a career. 2. There are all sorts of circumstances under which household help can be a lifesaver. 3. When I was a child, we had a nanny, a beloved, sweet, patient nanny who had a name and was a part of our family. Until I read your comment, it had never occured to me that she was "the shiksa nanny," somehow less deserving of full personhood because of her job or religion. We continued to visit her as adults. None of us ended up Methodists. But I'm grateful to say that we absorbed daily lessons in kindness and generosity.
(12/4/2014 1:30:37 PM)
point well taken but...
can't we find an expression other than "not shayich" ? the words are totally vacuous, leave the refused party with absolutely no clue as to why the shidduch isn't suitable, and feeling pretty much rejected after all.
(12/4/2014 5:39:08 PM)
to # 60 from 58
i was trying to bring out how 2 very nice people may not be for eachother. As you say, not everyone is cut out to be a stay at home mom. So if Mr. A wants a stay at home wife, and she wants a career, or if she wants her husband to sit and learn while she works, and he wants to run a huge international corporation, don't you see it's just not meant to be?
BTW, if a non-Jew (who is still deserving of respect and personhood - remember Hashem created the non-Jews and gave them the 7 noahide laws, and enjoins us to treat them well) is alone in your home with only young children, and all the more so, if he/she is cooking there, you have major kashrus problems on your hands, aside from hashkafa issues. Please contact your local orthodox Rav for more info.
(12/5/2014 3:38:08 PM)
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