Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Made in Heaven

Gittel Chany Rosengarten

A wedding in the rebbe’s court isn’t just about sending out invitations and booking a p hotographer. It’s a joyous affirmation of the continuity of the court, a veritable Yom Tov for the chassidim who attend in their Shabbos best — chronicled in the memoirs of the chassidus for years to come. With Shavuos heralding the start of the summer wedding season, a look behind the scenes at the dedicated chassidim involved in orchestrating an affair on par with any major stadium event.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Some upper-tier rebbishe shidduchim are unofficially arranged when both chassan and kallah are still in the cradle. But many require the services of a shadchan. And while anyone can suggest a shidduch to a rebbe’s family, the successful rebbishe shadchan needs a good knowledge of the fine nuances in dynasties and courts, since most rebbes marry off their children and grandchildren to children of other chassidic courts. Some shadchanim have established their niche in this rarefied milieu, but regular folks brave enough to take the initiative can also try their hand. “It’s not for the fainthearted,” says one professional shadchan who arranged several of his rebbe’s shidduchim. He contrasts his position with that of a shadchan outside of the chassidus. “For someone else, it’s just another shidduch within a specific niche. For me, it meant working for my rebbe. I had to be a neutral outsider on one hand, but I wanted what was best for my rebbe on the other hand. The diplomacy I use with balabatish shidduchim is small talk compared to the delicacy I needed here.” If a rebbe’s grandchild is of shidduch age, a wedding date may be scheduled before the formal engagement is made. Rarely does this date need to be canceled in the absence of an actual shidduch, and scheduling the wedding ensures that gabbaim and askanim can plan and strategize in advance. In fact, the upcoming wedding date for the Belzer Rebbe’s second grandchild was set by the Rebbe before the shidduch was announced. It’s the same date, 12 Sivan, as last year’s wedding of his oldest grandchild. In Belz, the Rebbe prefers to be meshadech his grandchildren within the ranks of his chassidim. When the time came for the oldest grandchild to consider marriage, the Rebbe’s son, Rav Aharon Mordechai, together with his rebbetzin, compiled a list of candidates from the Belz Beis Malka seminary whom they deemed suitable, and presented the list to the Rebbe. Rabbi Moskowitz, from the Rebbe’s inner circle, was dispatched to suggest the shidduch. With that, Belz chassidim began planning the grandiose wedding.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Not a Newspaper
Shoshana Friedman A deeper difference between newspapers and magazines
Services in Shards
Rabbi Moshe Grylak “Such a painful, malicious lie!”
The Pittsburgh Protests: All Politics All the Time
Yonoson Rosenblum The old rule — “no enemies on the left” — still applies
Danger: School Crossing
Eytan Kobre The hypocrisy of YAFFED’s assertion is breathtaking
Real Laughter and Real Tears
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger The two sides of a life lived with emunah
Work/Life Solutions with Eli Langer
Moe Mernick I was proud to be “that guy with the yarmulke”
Is Ktchong! a Mitzvah? When Prayer and Charity Collide
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman These cannot both be done effectively at the same time
An Honest Shidduch
Jacob L. Freedman “Baruch Hashem I’m cured, and this will be my secret”
A Blessing in Disguise
Riki Goldstein “I never thought the song would catch on as it has”
Ishay and Motti Strike a Common Chord
Riki Goldstein Bringing together two worlds of Jewish music
What’s your favorite Motzaei Shabbos niggun?
Riki Goldstein From the holy and separate back to the mundane
Rightfully Mine
Faigy Peritzman Don’t regret the job you didn’t land; it was never yours
Growing Greener Grass
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Nurture your blessings and watch them blossom
My Way or the High Way
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt We know what we want — but do we know what He wants?