By Rabbi Yosef Braun, member of the Badatz of Crown Heights
If a shidduch (proposed match) is suggested with a good girl who has yiras Shamayim (fear of G-d) and is a ba’alas midos tovos (possesses good character traits), but her parents were mechalelei Shabbos (desecrated Shabbos), or weren’t generally frum (religious), some people may mistakenly consider it grounds for rejecting the shidduch.
This may be due to the concern that her parents’ marriage might not have been halachically in order, or that taharas hamishpachah (family purity) may not have been observed.
However, marrying such a girl is actually preferable to marrying a girl from a frum family who does not have those qualities.
In fact, Sefer Chassidim implies that it’s often better to marry a giyores (convert) than someone from a Jewish family; a baalas teshuvah (a girl who became frum) is likewise on a higher plane than tzadikim gemurim (those who have always been on the highest level).
Therefore, the order of priority is:
Giyores, then a ba’alas teshuvah—provided they both have yiras Shamayim and are of upstanding character, and then a girl from a frum family who does not possess such sterling qualities.
Originally published on halacha2go.com