By Shmuel Rabinowitz
I’m still in shock from the untimely passing of R’ Yonah ben Reb Meir Avtzon. I merited davening in the same minyan with him daily in Merkos Avrechim in the last few months of his life. After davening, we would sometimes talk about shidduchim. After all, it’s no secret that he was the most successful shadchan in Crown Heights.
I was interested in hearing what made Reb Yonah so successful as a shadchan. As we know, making a shidduch (match) is one of the few things that even Hashem calls difficult. “Making a shidduch is as hard as the parting of the red sea”. If it’s hard for Hashem, I wondered, how could a single individual be so successful at it?
R’ Yonah told me the answer very simply. “I’m ready to do whatever it takes to make a shidduch happen.” He indeed put tremendous effort into every single shidduch and that is what brought him success.
I am now turning to every individual who has single friends and asking them if they have done whatever it takes to help them in shidduchim.
R’ Yonah shared with me that if every couple would make 1 shidduch every 2 years, we would not have a shidduch crisis. He said that on average it takes 10 suggestions for one couple to agree to date.
More often than not, we give up after 6 to 7 suggestions. But for all we know, maybe the next suggestion is the one that’s bashert. As the Rambam says, “A person must always look as if his one deed is the deed that will bring salvation to the whole world.”
I now turn to all the singles and ask if they have done whatever it takes to be open-minded and excited about every shidduch that comes up. Have they made sure to take care of their emotional needs and be open-minded to the person and to real commitment?
Lastly, I turn to the Crown Heights community as a whole. Reb Yonah shared an idea with me to solve the shidduch crisis. He said that the community should hire full-time shadchanim to meet the needs for all aspects of the community i.e. one frum shadchan, one more modern shadchan etc. so that everyone would feel comfortable with whichever shadchan they would meet.
We also need to ask ourselves as a community if we are doing enough programs to guide and encourage our singles to help them with this task.
“V’Hachai yitein el libo”, “and the living should take to heart.” Let’s each internalize R’ Yonah’s words, give whatever it takes and make even one more shidduch happen this year.