We get a lot of comments come in regarding appropriate age difference for Shidduchim especially if the man wants to have children or to have more children (in the event of second marriages). Many get angry to consider that a man over 40 or even over 50 is wanting more children. Of course, the more the man is over 50, the larger the age gap will be.
Here is a story that is food for thought.
In Hungary there was a rabbi who became a very major influence in the Litvish world. His name was Rabbi Akiva Eiger and he lived 1761 - 1837. Rabbi Akiva Eiger married at the right age and had 4 children with his wife. Sadly she died when they were in their early 30's. When he was 34, he married a second time to a woman who was just 16 years old. That gives an age difference of 18 years.
Rabbi Akiva Eiger and his second wife had 13 children together. I don't know much of who the 13 children were but one of the children from the first wife was a daughter who married the Chatam Sofer and from whom the whole lineage of the Sofer family descended.
What does this have to do with trouble makers? There were those who tried to prevent the Chatam Sofer from marrying the daughter of Rabbi Akiva Eiger. They came up with various problem they perceived in the daughter of Rabbi Akiva Eiger. Was it because she was orphaned from her mother? For those who know the great rabbis who came from this couple, stopping that Shidduch would have been a great loss to all of Am Yisrael.
Today, I doubt a day goes by without someone learning something from Rabbi Akiva Eiger. The Chatam Sofer and his children also made a very great contribution.
There is much, much more to Shidduchim than we as mere humans could ever come to understand. All we can do is put in our effort and do our best not to prevent good Shidduchim from happening. Of course, since Shidduchim really are all made in Shamayim, it is important to put in our effort practically to meet Shadchanim, go on dates, work on ourselves etc and also to Daven daily and increase in Torah and Mitzvos.
We hope you have enjoyed the story. Do you have a story to share? Do comment below or be in touch to send us your story.
This post is prepared for you by Shoshanah Shear from Chessed Ve'Emet