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 wasn’t 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 didn’t 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 David’s 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 Hashem’s 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…