Question:

My daughter is living in New York for three years. She works and is very happy (works for very religious people), but she didn't get married yet. What should I do?

Answer:

It's good that your daughter is working for religious people and is happy. Has she approached her employers about keeping an eye out for her for a proper shidduch?

A few more suggestions:

  1. A buzzword in the financial world: networking. Consider your daughter a highly desirable commodity. Network with people you know. Tell your rabbi, members of your synagogue, co-workers, family and friends that she wants to get married. Maybe they know a cousin, a friend, a neighbor, a business contact to whom they can introduce her. Ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for any eligible prospects. Practically speaking, encourage her to look her best before she goes out on a date. Stress to her the importance of being pleasant and friendly even if she feels the man is not for her. You never know – he might have a friend…
  2. Part of marketing: there are a number of matchmaking websites out there that are reliable, and that have produced many matches. I can recommend Mitmazel.com, sawyouatsinai.com, and frumster.com. Check them out. Your daughter has nothing to lose, and a partner to gain.
  3. On the spiritual side: a couple of mitzvot can’t hurt. Specifically, charity to help poor brides get married – either here or in Israel. If there’s no organization of the kind in your community, I can recommend Ten Yad (www.tenyad.org) in New York. They really do wonderful work, and they do it sensitively and graciously.
  4. The Mincha – afternoon – prayer is especially associated with finding a match. Daven Mincha for your daughter, and let her do it herself as often as possible (only once a day, please). If you are the mother, the most propitious time for prayers is when you light the Shabbat candles. Make sure to light eighteen minutes before sunset and to put at least a few coins in a charity box before lighting. Then, once you’ve lit, say a prayer from your heart for your daughter.
  5. It never hurts to get some saintly intervention. It is an ancient Jewish custom to ask tzaddikim – holy men – (both living and those who have passed on) for a blessing. You or your daughter can ask a blessing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, OBM, by either faxing or emailing the office at the Ohel (the Rebbe's resting place): fax number -(718) 723-4444; email address - ohel@ohelchabad.org. Any letter that you send will be read on your behalf there, and there is no charge for the service. Of course, if you are near the New York tri-state area, you can visit the Ohel yourself. All the info you need is at www.chabad.org/ohel.

Good luck, and may we hear good news soon.

Chaya Sarah Silberberg