With much appreciation to Hashem we saw the marriage of our second daughter last month, just a little over a year after our first daughter was married. Last year when I wrote here about the marriage of our first daughter I wrote in the comment section, ” Stay tuned, my next daughter will be going a more “Yeshivish” route, which could prove more challenging.” Well I’m very happy to report that the only real challenge was to some of my pre-conceived notions. Here’s the story…
About a year ago, just a little before Pesach, our then 18-year-old daughter who was still in her post high school year of seminary approached us with trepidation. She wanted our permission to begin dating after Pesach. Since she is a Bais Yaakov girl this clearly meant that she could theoretically get married before the summer and before she even turned 19.
Prior to this my thinking was that she should begin dating a year later. She was going to be attending a one-year program in Jerusalem where she would learn computer graphics and web design. My rationale was that if she got married toward the end of the following year she would be in a better position to help support her husband in learning.
Of course she pulled the Aliyah guilt card. She said that since we put her at a competitive disadvantage by bringing her to, what she always jokingly refers to as, a third world country in the middle of a hot desert, I should let her get a head start by starting the dating process early. She also felt that another disadvantage was that she was looking for an American Yeshiva boy who wanted to settle in Israel. (Something, which in the end may have actually been an advantage.) Compelled by her logic and our Jewish guilt my wife and I agreed. We also knew that just getting the process started would take some extra time here due to our smaller network.
After Pesach we put together her Shiddach resume (I kid you not), started putting out feelers and talking to Shadchaniot (matchmakers). In the end things didn’t really get rolling until the end of the summer with her first date occurring in September.
Knowing that the dating process could be relatively short and having heard some horror stories, we made it a priority to meet the boy on the first date. Since we live in Beit Shemesh and most of the boys are learning in Jerusalem it is not uncommon for girls to go to Jerusalem for their dates. In a scene out of a Woody Allen movie we arranged that my wife and I would meet the boy first while our daughter waited in the car for the green light. So here was this poor yeshiva boy sitting in a hotel lobby being grilled by his date’s parents. We gave the go-ahead. After several dates they decided it was not a match.
In December we got the name of a young man from my daughter’s seminary principal. I was given two references to call. One was a Rebbe of his from Mir who turned out to be the brother of a close friend of ours. The other, the Rosh Yeshiva at the yeshiva where he was currently learning and working as a dorm counselor, was a Rebbe of mine 27 years ago when I learned in Ohr Somayach for a short time. Things were looking good.
Their first date was in early January. Our young man had tickets to go back to America in mid-January. After the second date he cancelled his tickets. Now keep in mind, when my daughter began dating I told her I had a hard rule that she couldn’t get engaged in less than two months of dating. After all it was important for her and us to get to know her potential spouse. Well, Mr. Tough Guy over here ended up giving them permission to get engaged after just three weeks!
It’s not just that I’m a softy and I caved. Our new son-in-law did few key things that allowed us to feel comfortable. For the first date, instead of making us schlep to Jerusalem, he rented a car and came out to pick up our daughter. After another of their dates he came back with her to the house and sat and schmoozed with us. And one Motzei Shabbos he came for a Melava Malka with our whole family. Insightfully, one of the things that the Shadchanit saw in this match, aside from the compatibility of the couple, was that the young man would fit nicely with our entire family; BT’s, MO’s and all. Something to keep in mind when you’re in the “Parsha”.
They got engaged on January 24th and the wedding was March 21st. During that time we got to see that our daughter had found a terrific young man who will make a wonderful husband. Once again we were fortunate to have gotten great Machatanim (in-laws) who are well known and respected and who are very supportive of their children living in Eretz Yisroel.
The wedding was magnificent and very Leibedik (spirited). (You can see pictures and a short video at www.lipkinfamily.com.) We feel very blessed and thankful to Hashem, and we pray that our children will build a Bayis Ne’eman B’Yisroel, and as I always add, B’Yisroel!