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Judaism 101: Is matchmaking marriages justified today?

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Do matchmakers have a place in the world today?


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Many criticisms have been made of the use of matchmakers in the Jewish community for Centuries.  In Fiddler on the Roof, an entire song had been devoted to exposing the obvious flaws that could occur in using a shadchan (Hebrew for matchmaker) to select a marriage partner, but the statistics speak for themselves.  The same community criticized for utilizing such archaic means for marriage also entertains a 80% less divorce rate than those who do not.  How could that be? 

Divorce rates predict that one in every two marriages will end and the problem lies in an unhealthy understanding of love and a tendency to romanticize rather than maturely consider compatibility.  Many would like believe the villain is the media, but that’s unfounded.  Besides the obvious differences in technology, costume design and what’s considered appropriate topics of discussion in everyday conversation, not much has changed in the media for ages.  The fact is that humans have always enjoyed a sappy love story.  Shakespeare didn’t become famous only when Leonardo DiCaprio played Romeo.  Yet, divorce rates didn’t start shooting skyward until the second half of the 20th Century.  What gives?

The modern concept of love has altered substantially since the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and dating habits also shifted.  Now people meet in bars and nightclubs and expect love to flourish while shaking it up to the beat of a sexually perverse song.  Shadchanim even the stakes and level the playing field.  It allows two people to ensure they have suitable goals and compatible personality traits even before the couple meet.  With fundamentals accounted for, the romance is kept where it belongs: in the first few moments of meeting.  Love at first sight is possible; if you have a background check first.

For more information regarding shadchanim go to www.sawyouatsinai.com or follow any of the links in the link box on the right hand side of this page to locate one of Cincinnati's warm and generously capable Rabbi's.

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