Thursday, 30 October 2008

Questions and Answers About Our Shidduch Service


As can be seen by some of our other posts, we offer a comprehensive Shidduch service. Recently, there have been a few questions and issues raised regarding this which we would like to clarify.

1) How does one register or obtain assistance from us?

ANSWER: The process is easy. Send an email to shoshanah.s@gmail.com and we will send you our detailed questionnaire for you to complete. As soon as we receive the answers together with the nominal registration fee, your details will be put on our database and we will begin to work to help bring you to chuppah.

For those who have difficulty completing the questionnaire we offer one-on-one sessions to assist you. We also have workshops to work through the questions and various issues that arise when completing the questionnaire. These workshops are aimed to assist singles to grow in the process and to ease the path of searching for the right life partner.

For those who are interested we also have a World Wide Tehillim Group together with davening at Kivrei Tzaddikim (graves of the righteous). Please see the relevant posts on this blog related to these services or email for further information.

2) Why is the questionnaire so detailed and lengthy?

ANSWER: In years gone by, shidduchim were arranged by our parents, and communities were closer together, making the search process much easier. All of Am Yisrael was focused on making sure that effective shidduchim were formed and that Jews married from 13 years to 18 or 20 years of age. "Older singles" was a rather rare phenomenon.

In today's time Am Yisrael is scattered across the globe and society has changed so that we are typically in high school in our teens. Once leaving high school, one progresses to Yeshiva or College or University. More and more, singles get caught up in life and before they know it they are into their twenties and older and are not yet married.

In times gone by, the types of interests and pastimes, work and study that Jews were involved in were quite specific. Men were mostly studying Torah and were involved in either medicine or a trade or business to bring in their livelihood and spare time was spent engaged in Torah.
Today things are quite different. Since the Haskala movement (the enlightenment movement), Jews began studying all manner of secular subjects. The approach to Torah and Judaism began to change and with it, the thoughts and ideas of each Jew expanded.

In years gone by it was easy: You either followed Moshe Rabeinu or you did not. You either followed Yehoshuah or you did not. In days when the tribes were still clearly identifiable, Jews knew to which tribe they belonged and their path in their service of Hashem was clear. Even more recently, one was either Ashkenazi or Sefardi; then came the difference between those who followed an approach in keeping with the teachings of the Gaon of Vilna or of the Baal Shem Tov. The path to serving Hashem was still quite specific.

Today however, Am Yisrael has developed so many differing paths and groups that we hardly recognise or remember what it is to be a Jew. As a result, if one were to take a single Jewish girl and a single Jewish guy and put them together, that does not work as easily as it somehow did in the past. While some Jewish women are open to any Jewish man and will take on his chosen path in service of Hashem, there are other women who are very specific that they will only marry a man who is the same path as they are. Both from religious homes or both from secular homes, both Ashkenazi, both Sefardi and an array of other avenues amongst these.

Some want a home that is open to guests while others want a home that is private. Some like shiurim in their home, some prefer to socialise and have games evenings and only study Torah if they go to a shiur or when attending Shul.

Some want to raise their children with a very natural diet and approach to health, while others will only consider alopathic medicine.

Since there are so many varieties of options open and since somehow we seem to have become a lot more selective as to who we will or won't marry (provided they are Jewish), it becomes necessary to be absolutely clear about what kind of home one wishes to create and build and who the most appropriate life partner for this home would be.

We recognise that Hashem gives each person their own unique set of interests, likes, dislikes, strangths, weaknesses, tests and experiences. Our aim in shidduchim and in helping our fellow Jew to get married, is that we help them to marry the right person and to chose their life partner for the right reasons. We aim for the marriage to be a successful, lasting and strong one. For this reason we have taken the time to apply a lot of thought and effort to compile a questionnaire that will both give you clarity of what you are looking for and help us to know what kind of person would be best suited to match you with.

We understand that the answering of a detailed questionnaire takes time to complete. However, it is better to invest a little time before marrying and to marry the right person than to be pushed into something that would be wrong for you without your knowing it and suffer more later.

We do hope that this clarifies all questions as to why our approach is as it is. If you have any other questions, please do email us.

If you are a friend or relative who is single, please email us and begin the process so that we can work together to help them to come to Chuppah and build a Bayit Ne'eman b'Yisrael.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Torah + Prayer + Charity = Salvation


There are several people who have requested for names to be kept on our Tehillim list indefinitely. This poses a problem as at the blink of an eye, Hashem can send a Yeshuah or major change resulting in there being no further need to daven for the person.

We do, however, acknowledge that there are situations that cause us to be concerned about our loved ones. We want to do all we can to effect a change from above. If you find yourself in this situation, whether someone has been given a difficult diagnosis, or is in a problematic relationship, or has a difficulty with work or Parnassa, (income) - whatever the situation, there are other ways in which you can partner with us to make a stir from below, thereby making a statement that we want a change for the better from above in the merit of the person concerned.

These are the areas in which we can help:

- For $18 per name submitted, we will go and daven at the graveside of a Tzaddik. Which Tzaddik we go to will be determined in part by how much you contribute, as there are costs involved for transport etc. We are currently closer to the Imrei Emes and Pnei Menachem (Rebbes of Ger), Kever Rachel (and possibly even Chevron) than we are to Meron, Tiveria or Tzfas. We are very happy to Daven at each of the Kevarim but need the transport costs covered.

- Contribute $9 per day and we will do an hour’s Tehillim and Tefillah (prayer) in the merit of the loved one for either a month ($270) or 40 day period ($360).

- We will study Chassidus, Kabbalah or Mishnayos at hourly periods in the merit of a loved one – one hour during daylight $18, or for an hour after Chatzos at night (i.e. after midnight) – $36. Likewise, for an entire month i.e. 30 days would be $270 for daytime learning or $540 for night-time learning. Please feel free to select the amount of days to learn consecutively. Many people prefer 40 consecutive days.

- Sponsor an article on http://dwellingplacebelow.blogspot.com or http://leivesther.blogspot.com for $100 in the merit of a Refuah or Yeshuah for a loved one (or for an Aliyat Neshama.) If you have a special topic, we are happy to research and write regarding this issue.

Your contribution has the double merit of creating an awakening from below to affect an awakening from above, as well as supporting Torah scholars wishing to further their own Torah learning and settle and be successful in living in Eretz Yisrael.



Monday, 6 October 2008

Charity Saves One From Death


We have mentioned before the importance with living with the times. We are now in the 10 Days of Repentance, the special days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. During these days we are taught that increasing in doing acts of kindness and in giving charity help to nullify any negative decree.


The Gemara in Bava Basra discusses in great detail the power that giving charity has in changing a decree and even in saving one from death. By way of illustration, the Gemara provides various stories. In the Gemara of Shabbos (156b) certain stories are offered to demonstrate how Am Yisrael is above the effects of the stars, one of these concerns Rabbi Akiva.


Rabbi Akiva had a daughter. Various astrologers had predicted that this daughter of the great Rabbi Akiva was destined to die on her wedding day. As the day approached, Rabbi Akiva understandably had mixed feelings, joy for the Simchah while being aware of the predictions for his daughter.


The day following the wedding, Rabbi Akiva was joyously surprised to hear from his daughter. It appears she had lived, despite predictions, so he asked his daughter to describe what she had done the day before. It turns out that his daughter had placed a hair pin or broach in a crack in the wall prior to going to bed that night. On inspection it was discovered that this pin had pierced the eye of a snake and thus caused the death of the snake. This particular snake was a poisonous one that had been destined to bite Rabbi Akiva’s daughter, an act that would have been fatal.


In further discussion with his daughter, Rabbi Akiva discovered that at the wedding feast, his daughter (the bride) had noticed a beggar had entered and was not yet served. She took her own plate and gave it to the beggar. It was this single act of kindness and sensitivity to a fellow that had saved Rabbi Akiva’s daughter. As he declared when hearing what had transpired, “Charity Saves one from Death” (Proverbs), both from Gehinom and from an unusual death in this physical world.


As Yom Kippur is fast approaching, join us in spreading acts of kindness to our fellow Jew. You can make a donation towards any of the following:


- To repair a special Sefer Torah of 150 years old that will, G-d willing be used to begin a minyan and later a Shul.

- To assist a 2 year old to heal from a nasty keloidal scar by contributing towards her Kelocote. Kelocote is a silicone gel based ointment that helps with the healing process of scars, especially keloidal scars.

- To assist an orphan who has no living family able to help. The orphan needs help to cover costs for the Yomim Tovim and also to pay off a loan taken amounting to US$1000.

- To assist a Torah Scholar with purchasing a new pair of glasses

- To assist a widow to pay back a loan amounting to US$3000

- To help an Oleh Chadash repay certain expenses incurred from a health problem amounting to US$ 4500

- To assist with the progress of Yeshivas Dira BeTachtonim

- To assist a Jew with a visual disability to successfully make Aliya

- To assist a Jewish woman who is soon to retire and is struggling to make certain monthly payments.


You can participate or assist by either sending a donation via PayPal or if you live in Israel, you can mail a cheque. Contributions via PayPayl can be done easily by clicking on the donate button. When doing so please indicate to which of these projects you are giving.


You can send a cheque made out to Rebbetzin Shoshanah Shear to

P.O. Box 1796; Main Central Post Office, Jerusalem, 91017


If you are unable to give in terms of money, you can also participate in our spreading of goodness and kindness.


We have a Worldwide Tehillim Group for Women. Please take a look at the postings regarding this group on the blog or email shoshanah.s@gmail.com for further details.


You can assist by giving of your time towards the various projects we are involved in. If you live in Eretz Yisrael, you can also help by inviting a group of your friends to join in a motivational talk or evening sharing chizuk stories. Proceeds from these evenings will go towards the above projects.


In the merit of your charity and acts of kindness, may all decrees for you and indeed for Am Yisrael be sweetened.


Please note, with guidance of an orthodox rabbi competent in Hallachah, that a percentage of monies donated is used to cover the bank charges and handling fees incurred in processing your kind and generous donations.


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