Thursday, January 7, 2010


A friend of mine emailed me the other day, clearly hysterical (we communicate via email *all* the time, so I can tell by the "tone") to say that a Rabbi (also happens to be the shadchan who made her shidduch) cursed her marraige.

That's right. The Rabbi CURSED her marriage.

At first I started cracking up hysterically, because, why the hell would a Rabbi curse a marraige, and even if he did, who really cares? Any man with the ability to give a "real" curse (if there even is one), wouldn't be an a$$ enough to actually do it.

Anyway, I asked her "so, whats this about?"

Here goes:
A few months before she and her chatan met, her chatan knew the Rabbi/shadchan very well and agreed to help him out with something. He (the chatan) spent hours researching information, free of charge. After a few months the Rabbi/Shadchan got what he needed, and said to chatan "thank you soooo very much, you're such a nice boy, I will now make it a big deal to find you a nice girl to marry"

A month or so later, my friend (Kallah) walked into the Rabbi's life, by joining a group he had, where he gave speeches and led discussions. He got to know my friend, and he realized that she would make a good match with the guy who helped him. He set them up... 2 months later, they're engaged!

During the engagment period, the chatan walked into the Rabbi/Shadchan's office, and handed him a shadchan gift of $500... Rabbi through the envelope back in chatan's face, and said "I charge $2000 from the grooms side and $1000 from the brides, what you gave me is pathetic. He who doesn't pay his shadchan is he who has a cursed marraige"

and so... my friend was totally flipping out, becuase seh was totally superstitious, and generally, as a soon-to-be married person, that's something completely unpleasant to hear.

I told my friend "the rabbi is an a$$, ignore him. He's a Rabbi not a magician"

And so...she see's a curse in everything now. The apt is roach infested, people keep declining the wedding and that up's the price per plate (yes, I know, she shouldn't have guaranteed so many people), and so many other things...

I can't help but think that this guy is such an a$$ to go and curse the couple. Even if he were upfront about the fee's (which he wasn't), and even if the chatan never helped him with anything, one has to be an a$$ of a Rabbi to throw money back at the couple and CURSE them as well...


Jessica said...

People who believe in curses and superstitions seriously need to re-evaluate their faith in God because they obviously have very little.

And you're right. If that story is true, that rabbi is a complete jackass.

frumskeptic said...

if she didn't lie to me, the story is true.

mlevin said...

Is that the rabbi who is going to marry them? If yes, they should change immediately.

frumskeptic said...

nope. another rabbi is marrying them. I don't think they ever intended this one to marry them, but now, they want nothing to do with him.

Anonymous said...

ayin hara is one of those things that effects you only if you let it, and ultimately the source of all blessings will bH bless them and they should be happy. On the other hand stories like this really tick me off and have me reevaluate many many things, but not my belief in HKBH just his "chosen ones"
fav. anony :(

Jessica said...

I'm not saying she lied, but sometimes people embellish with their stories. Not necessarily that she's the one embellishing, but the one who told her may have.

frumskeptic said...

dunno...maybe. either way the guy cursed them, and it was her chosson that told her and she told me.

oh...and I agree..people who are superstitious should reevaluate themselves.

G6 said...

Perhaps she would feel better and less 'cursed' if she confided this issue with another rov.
It is customary to show appreciation in a tangible way to a shadchan, but nowhere is there a price set.
I'm sure that if they offered such a generous sum of $500 and were rebuffed in such a harsh manner, any competent rov would reassure them that they fulfilled their responsibilities and that they will surely have a blessed marriage.
She needs to put her mind at ease and move forward.

fave commenter said...

There is an inyan in gemarah(?) of paying the shadchan as a segulah for shalom bayis. And I've heard stories of people who were having shalom bayis issues, and their rav told them to make sure they paid their shadchan - and it worked.
However, while I'm not fluent in gemara, I don't think it was referring to the shadchan demanding a set amount or else (like what if they couldn't afford it? do they then not deserve to have a happy marriage either)...and while I'm def not one to put down rabbinical authorities with ease, that part really bothers me too...

Anonymous said...


On Her Own said...

Seriously?! This makes me so sad.

I don't understand how people think of the money given for a successful shidduch to be required. (Unless, I suppose, they are a professional shadchan who accepts people as clients.) Isn't it supposed to be a gift of thanks?

This rabbi's attitude disgusts me. I hope your friend decides not to take his curse seriously.

Off the Derech said...

What bothers me is that there's nothing to do about rabbis like this one. If he was a doctor and violated his ethical obligations, there would be a committee to report it to and he could then lose his license. is there any code of ethics rabbis must adhere to? Do they answer to anyone other than imaginable deities? Is there any way to police them?

The sky is the limit for this kind of insanity.

lars shalom said...

so funny

Moshe said...

What The F?!
You really should post the name of the "rabbi".
Should've told the jackass that he'll pay him $2k, when he'll pay him what he owes for the research done.
Absolutely disgusting.

no one said...

There is nothing in the gemara about schar shadchanut however it is a regular subject in shalot and teshuvot. even if that rabbi is a ##$$%%^^ (as are all rabbis that I am aware of) still I would recommend the sum to be paid.--and think on the positive side of things there is nothing more important in life than finding the right zivug--considering the importance of the inyan the price is right. Being offered a shiduch is big thing I only wish someone had offered me a shiduch during these last twenty years

frum single female said...

what if no one actually set up a couple? what if they just met? do they have to find someone to pay so they have shalom bayis?
seriously folks, i have a friend whose shadchan wanted more money than the parents could afford , but by then the couple was engaged. the shadchan told the father he was going to break them up because they couldnt pay up. the father managed to calm down the shadchan , but this was truly ridiculous.

Anonymous said...


The couple is being cursed with roaches in their apartment for giving the slightest consideration for thief who is trying to steal their money.

G-d is very angry with the husband for offering money to the man and second, for giving a shred of thought that he might be 'cursed' for paying a bribe to a man who didn't do anything.

Just curious, does this 'shadchan' have a guarantee that if your husband or wife doesn't fully please you that he pays the child support for 18 years?

It's a bad thing to have such a quid pro quo, and giving any credence to this extortion is no less than idol worship.

Next he'll be knocking on wood, throwing salt over his shoulder, and wearing a little statue on a chain to ward off bad 'luck'.

Or, he can just trust in G-d.

Mystery Woman said...

There are all sorts of stories about married couples who were having difficulties, and were told that it was because they never paid their shadchan. As soon as they gave a gift, everything was fine.
While the stories may or may not be true, there is a very strong custom of showing appreciation to the shadchan. But there is no set amount. And it does not necessarily have to be money.

Moshe said...

Stories are what they are, stories. And in this case, the shadchan was offered money but refused.

frumskeptic said...

FSF- wow wow!! the shadchan was gonna break them up?


OTD- Thats the problem, these Rabbi's have no one to answer to. They think they're all high and mighty.

Anonymous said...

It is a very dangerous game to threaten to break up someone's marriage.

I wouldn't do it, I'd be afraid I'd be put in a box by the victim of my threat.

Human beings have done far worse for far less.

The man might want to re-think his precarious position.

Maybe he's retarded or something.

Either way, he's playing with fire.

SubWife said...

I would LOVE to personally meet a couple with sholom bayis problems that disappeared upon bribing their shadchan. It is hard to imagine a sholom bayis problem disappearing over night. but hey, if it's cheaper than couple's therapy, let's put those therapists out of business and drown our shadchanim in gifts! Seriously, people need to use their heads before believing everything they hear. (I am sure majority of these stories are made up by money hungry shadchans.)

I feel truly terrible for the girl though. She is in the middle of the very emotional period of her life, and to have this thrown at her is just horrible.