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Matchmakers don't have to be yentas
From my email: "We're seeking outgoing Jewish religious
matchmakers. If you are outgoing,
personable and have a good network of Orthodox singles, please email us for
Here's my objection to the description: Why outgoing? The assumption here is that outgoing people will be better at making matches, but I beg to differ. Outgoing people tend to talk more, but the flip side is that they will often listen less. To be more effective at making matches, one should be willing to remain quiet so as to get a good sense about what really makes the single tick. Outgoing types are less likely to tolerate silence and so either will fill it in with their own talk or quickly dismiss the quieter type as dull, slow, or uninteresting because s/he was never given enough of an opportunity to open up about him/herself.
I happen to be on the quieter side myself, but people find me incredibly easy to talk to. I've learned a lot more than I care to sometimes from the fact that people go on and on in my company or on the phone. That doesn't mean I never say a word but that I am willing to let the other person take the lead in the conversation. Consequently, I learn quite a bit about the other person without having to ask direct, probing questions.
So if I were to ask for what a shadchan should be it would not be "outgoing" but a good listener. And don't be so quick to write off the quiet ones.
There is, indeed a perception that Jewish men are good husband material. It certainly seems to be assumed by nonJewish women who actually seek out romantic attachment to Jewish men. What do they have to say for themselves?
In her autobiography, Crossing Ocean Parkway, Marianna De Marco Torgovnick, an Italian-American who became an English professor identifies her selecting a Jewish husband as one of the keys out of the locked environment she found in her own ethnic group. That is not to say that she married for money or even status, but for someone from a culture that would foster her academic aspirations. I am not sure if a WASP would have been perceived as beyond reach, while the Jewish man -- still rooted in an ethnic group -- was considered more attainable. But she clearly found a Jewish husband to be more compatible with where she wanted to go than a fellow Italian-American.
But, on the flip side, my husband recently declared that his coworkers put him to shame (just don…
At the end of her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain puts in "A Note on the Dedication" that explains why she selected her grandfather for that honor because he "spoke so eloquently the language of quiet." She doesn't identify him by name but drops a number of hints, like "Brooklyn neighborhood where he served as a rabbi," "as a widower he'd lived alone for decades," "when she spoke the congregation swelled to standing- room-only," and "he died at the age of ninety-four, after sixty-two years at the pulpit."
She also gives a couple of clues to her family by identifying her father as "a dedicated physician" and the size of her family, which included one sister and one brother. So these were what I had to go on to make the connection. Well, actually my husband took over the Google search when he arrived at http://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/18/nyregion/rabbi-is…
If I were giving the advice, I''d keep it much simpler: Be a mensch. As Hillel told the prospective convert who wanted to know all of Torah on one foot -- what is hateful to you, don't do to another.(see http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2012/02/all-you-need-is.html) The rest is all commentary. The same holds true in this case. For example, isn't it obvious, if a guy gives you options, that he wants you to respond with what you would prefer?
Anyway here's the list of tips.
Preparing for the Date: If the male has called twice with no response and left a voicemail, then at that point the female should be courteous, and either return the call, or text the male to let them know when they will be available to speak. If th…