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Is there a custom in which a man approaches his Rav to act as a liaison between himself and a lady he is interested in in order to start the dating/courting process? Someone recently recounted to me how she and her husband met. She stated that after someone in the community suggested the match to her now husband, their dating was initiated through the Rabbis. I am trying to ascertain if this is an established custom.

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    I don't understand your question. – Double AA Oct 6 '14 at 18:59
  • Hope it is clearer now? – Malka S Oct 6 '14 at 19:29
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    Sounds like the Rabbi was acting as a Shadchan, but if you feel comfortable specifying the community involved, someone may know something specific about that particular community. – Yishai Oct 6 '14 at 19:41
  • @Yishai This is in a Modern Orthodox community. The Rabbi himself did not make the match - the gentleman was already interested in the lady. Is it considered improper if a man directly asks a lady out on a date? – Malka S Oct 6 '14 at 19:49
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    @MahaliaS, in Modern Orthodox communities it may not be a problem. In other communities it is considered improper. However, a Shadchan - as in someone who actually helps negotiate the courtship, not just comes up with the idea - is always a good idea, and many Modern Orthodox avail themselves of it. With your specific identification, I'm certain they were essentially using him as a Shadchan. But a Shadchan doesn't need to be a Rav, he just happened to be in this case. – Yishai Oct 6 '14 at 19:57
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In my (limited) experience, this is a fairly common thing.

Rabbis often meet many different people in the course of their work, and person A might be a woman who has been looking for a match, while person B might be a man looking for a match.

Many derivatives of this exist, such as "person A has brother/sister looking for a match," etc.

In this case, the Rabbi is acting as a shadchan, a match-maker. Generally, most people are qualified to suggest matches (but not every suggestion equals a match), but due to rabbis often being in contact with many more people than the average person in the community, it is sometimes easier for them to suggest potential matches.

Hope that helps.

  • Thank you for your response. The Rabbi himself did not make the match - the gentleman was already interested in the lady after someone else suggested the match. Is it considered improper if a man directly asks a lady out on a date? – Malka S Oct 6 '14 at 19:55
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    That's really difficult to say, it heavily depends on the community and the accepted local custom. Usually, the shadchan also acts as a middle-man/middle-woman to facilitate needs of both parties. If the man is very interested in the lady, but the lady doesn't feel very interested in the man, the shadchan will usually be the one to facilitate the communication between the two about these matters. – Naftuli Kay Oct 6 '14 at 19:57

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