Marriage — An Imperative That Meets With Success

You write that you have heard from many people who say that after marriage many problems and difficulties arise.

The fact of the matter is that these problems and difficulties do not apply to a large percentage of marriages; on the contrary, they only occur in an extremely small percentage (and even according to R. Meir, one is not apprehensive about a minority of a minority1 ). It is only that nothing at all is spoken about those marriages that do not have problems, as this state of affairs — [i.e.,] lack of problems, etc. — is considered the norm.

That marriage is important (and indeed, necessary) is explicitly stated in the Torah (Bereishis 2:18) and is observed in actuality as well. We observe this from the fact that those who do not marry — an old bachelor or an elderly maiden — are generally viewed with derision.

When you will contemplate your past, you will surely see how you were saved from many travails in an almost supernatural manner. To the contrary [of your opinion]: this manner of reflection — if it be but truthful — will strengthen your bitachon, your sense of trust [in G‑d].

In contradistinction to what you write — up until now you have not tried hard with regard to shidduchim. You have merely endeavored to demonstrate ([not only to others but] to yourself as well) that you possess the ability to make a good impression.

However, whenever it came close to a decision and finalization of a shidduch, you disengaged yourself (in order to remain unencumbered, so that you would not have to shoulder responsibility).

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXII, p. 330)

Follow the Rebbe’s Instructions Implicitly

In reply to your letter of the fifth of Teves in which you describe how you have yet to meet with success in the various business ventures into which you have entered— and it seems [from your letter] that you wonder why this is so:

Actually, at the very outset of your letter, you have already provided an ample response to your own question, and it seems that you failed to realize this.

For you begin your letter with the statement that, without any action on your part, you received a letter from my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory, and you even quote from the text of the letter: “To enter into a good shidduch and occupy yourself in a business that you have a talent for.”

Immediately after quoting this text, you explain to me how you went into business, etc. This, when the Rebbe clearly wrote to you to first engage in shidduchim and then occupy yourself in business. You, however, began with the second matter — business — without making the proper preparation thereto, at variance with the instructions of the “tzaddik of the world” and Nasi Yisrael.

In general, one need not seek proofs and reasons why my father-in-law, the Rebbe, connected the two matters and moreover began with the matter of a shidduch, and only then mentioned business.

However, this may be understood according to the saying of our Sages,2 of blessed memory (quoted as well in Likkutei Torah, conclusion of Parshas Berachah3 ), that a man is blessed because of his wife — see there the reason.

Although many individuals receive their sustenance in any case, or [receive their sustenance] in lieu of their future marriage, [when one is in need of] a blessing [for sustenance, this] is specifically [received] because of one’s wife.

It is thus clear that you should have followed the directive of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, to enter into a good shidduch — in keeping with the saying that “It is the manner of man to seek a wife,” and the word chassan stems from “chos darga,” “descend a level,” [i.e., “descend and seek”].

The words of a tzaddik endure forever. Since he instructed you to enter into a good match, then surely, if you do not ruin this with your freedom of choice, G‑d will arrange for you an appropriate match.

Afterwards, there will surely be fulfilled for you the saying of our Sages4 on the verse, “to place a blessing within your house,”5 [that blessing resides in the merit of one’s wife].

I surely need not tell you that you should immediately begin adding to your learning of the revealed portions of Torah as well as Chassidus. This will act as an additional channel and vessel to receive G‑d’s blessings in all the above.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XII, p. 149)

The Appropriate Mate and the Means
Of Meeting Him or Her Truly Exist

You conclude in your letter that you seem to find neither an appropriate person nor an appropriate venue for a shidduch. It goes without saying that both your points are entirely fallacious, for as our Sages have said,6 “Daughters of Israel are beautiful” — both in a physical as well as a spiritual sense.

The appropriate venue is for you to act as do other G‑d-fearing young men in your situation — through an intermediary.

It is as I have already written to you a number of times, that it appears that you are somewhat lax in searching for a shidduch. And in accordance with the nature of people who find themselves in such a situation, the longer one tarries, the more difficult it is to free oneself from this trait.

But ultimately, one must fulfill the directive of our Sages7 that one need seek one’s mate as one seeks a lost article. As known, the words of our Holy Torah are not meant to turn a pretty phrase, but rather are entirely appropriate to the theme that is being invoked.

Here, too, the intent is that you should know that lacking a shidduch is a matter of loss; every day that goes by without a shidduch means that one is lacking in a certain measure.

Our Sages have already expounded at length in the Tractate Yevamos8 that “whoever resides... [without a wife, resides without blessing”].

I eagerly wait to hear glad tidings from you [regarding the above] at the earliest possible opportunity.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XII, p. 195)

When One Lacks Resolve Because
One Knows Not What the Future Will Bring

I acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated July 27, in which you describe your standing with regard to Judaism. You also add that you hesitate to take upon yourself a firm resolution, since you don’t know what the future holds in store.

I would like to emphasize here, as I have already done in my letter of the third of Tammuz, that it is well known that to a certain extent a person’s future lies in his own hands. This is especially true with regard to you.

As I have previously written to you, if you emphatically and truly resolve to conduct a Jewish home, observe family purity, [maintain] a kosher kitchen, observe Shabbos, and [emphatically and truly resolve] that it simply cannot be otherwise, then this itself will hasten your finding your destined mate.

This will also obtain the result that your future mate will be one who will also keep all the above, or at least you will be able to convince him to do so. Your vacillation regarding this matter, however, serves to weaken the above points, both [with regard to] the shidduch itself, as well as that the shidduch come to pass with an individual who will meet these criteria.

There is absolutely no need for you to apologize for failing to take upon yourself these resolutions, for this is something that affects you far more than any other person in the world.

Merely, it is regretful and painful when one sees that you have the ability to effect a change in your future in a good and positive direction, and you do not grab this opportunity with both hands.

I also understand that it is hard to rationally understand how your resolution would have this effect on both above-mentioned points. However, upon due reflection, we clearly see how we understand but little of this world with our intellect; concerning most of the things that we do, we must rely on G‑d.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VII, p. 188)