In Yoreh Deah 240:25 says the following,

אִם הָאָב רוֹצֶה לְשָׁרֵת אֶת הַבֵּן, מֻתָּר לְקַבֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָאָב בֶּן תּוֹרָה. תַּלְמִיד שֶׁרוֹצֶה לָלֶכֶת לְמָקוֹם אַחֵר, שֶׁהוּא בּוֹטֵחַ שֶׁיִּרְאֶה סִימַן בְּרָכָה בְּתַלְמוּדוֹ לִפְנֵי הָרַב שֶׁשָּׁם, וְאָבִיו מוֹחֶה בּוֹ לְפִי שֶׁדּוֹאֵג שֶׁבְּאוֹתָהּ הָעִיר הָעוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים מַעֲלִילִים, אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִשְׁמֹעַ לְאָבִיו בָּזֶה. ‏

If a father wishes to serve his son, it is permitted (for the son) to receive (the service) from him, except (in a case) when the father is a Ben-Torah. A student who wishes to go to another place (to learn Torah), so much so that he is certain that he sees it will be a sign of blessing in him learning in front of a Rabbi who is there, and his father protests him doing so because he is concerned that in that city there are non-Jews who are lawless, he (the son) does not need to listen to his father regarding this

The Rama comments on this halacha the following:

. הַגָּה: וְכֵן אִם הָאָב מוֹחֶה בַּבֵּן לִשָּׂא אֵיזוֹ אִשָּׁה שֶׁיַּחְפֹּץ בָּהּ, הַבֵּן אֵין צָרִיךְ לִשְׁמֹעַ אֶל הָאָב (מהרי''ק שֹׁרֶשׁ קס''ו‏)‏

And similarly, if a father protests against a son not to marry a certain woman that the son desires, he does not need to listen to the father (Maharik, Shoresh 166)

My Question

Based on the above information given, there is a practice among many involved in Shidduchim that the parents do research on their children's potential matches.

That being said, is it permitted for parents to turn down potential matches presented for their children without the children actually knowing about the idea in the first place? If yes, why? If not, is such a practice thus improper?


After some conversation with DanF in the comments it is to be noted that the Rama is stating such a halacha when the woman is already decided upon by the son.

The question that I have (as stated above) is different in that the son has is unaware of such an offer which was rejected by his father. Is the such a concept a "loophole" within the confines of the law? If so, is it within the spirit of the law?

(Please provide sources for answers)


  • 1
    If it's not permitted then it's pretty clearly improper...
    – Double AA
    Sep 21, 2016 at 0:18
  • I'm assuming "normal" circumstances. For example, I think it would be absolutely proper for the father to discourage the match if the son's wife would be a dangerous person, e.g., a terrorist, or someone who would harm him or a family member. A vague area, that's quite practical, occurs frequently when the future wife has severe mental or physical problems that MIGHT be harmful to marriage stability or if she has a harmful genetic trait that could be carried to their future children. I have heard of many such sits where parents refused the shidduch. Can't say if this is permitted, halachically
    – DanF
    Sep 21, 2016 at 16:09
  • @DanF the question is if it is permitted for the child to be uninformed about the offer when the parent rejects the perspective match or is the parent transgressing halacha in his/her doing so? Sep 21, 2016 at 16:13
  • 1
    OK, I'm more confused, now. I read the Rama. I understand from that that father can protest but son doesn't have to listen. Here, the son has decided on someone. Are you asking about father researching a shidduch, and he himself refuses and doesn't tell son anything about his research? How would such a case be similar to what the Rama stated?
    – DanF
    Sep 21, 2016 at 16:28
  • @DanF based on what you said. Does that imply that a father can reject potential matches for his son regardless of what his son thinks being that he is not aware of them? It seems to me like this is a halachic "loophole" which, for some reason, is offsetting for me. Sep 22, 2016 at 3:26

1 Answer 1


Once a Parent forgos not "working for a child" and agrees to serve as a go beteeen for shidduchim they have the responsibility of any agent, to fulfil the service for the subject, the child, in good confidence. Once an agent has accepted an agency they have a responsibility to fulfil it, similar to taking an oath. Since a child's choice in mate is independeny of Parents' objection, appointing a Parent as an agent does not therefore automatically create some caveat or condition to the agency (shadchaning), as a Parent has no authority in the matter.

Furthermore: When a parent communicates with a prospect or their agent as though they are one who has accepted agency they thereby take on the responsibility to follow through, not to mention failure to do so constitutes interference with the performance of the Mitzvoh to marry, on one end or another.

To conclude: a Parent may refrain/refuse from being involved before the fact and reject calls or information on the subject altogether, but once they agree to accept/receive information written or verbal they thereby take on agency and must follow through without interference and deliver the information unless the child agreed to their interfering/filtering. And the Parent responding after hearing/receiving information with a refusal as if they have been given the authority to do so by the child is ethically corrupt.

  • This could be greatly improved with sources
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:10
  • As much as I agree with the answer I would be interested in seeing sources to back this up. But thanks for the contribution!! Jan 3, 2017 at 19:32

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