I have a daughter who just got engaged. My older but not yet married daughter has been looking for some time already to get married, but with no success. As a result, there is so much jealousy, hurt and pain. No one is talking to each other and there is a lot of crying in the household. As a parent I can't take it anymore and am losing my mind. Please help me reach the best solution for this problem, before it's too late.


In the book Eternal Joy,1 there is a translation of a number of letters from Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, dealing with this emotionally charged issue.

The Rebbe advises that in such an instance, before proceeding with a shidduch (engagement) for a younger daughter, agreement from the older daughter should first be obtained. If and when acting upon this agreement, the younger daughter is to seek "forgiveness" from her older sister. The Rebbe goes on to suggest that in the case of engagement, the celebration should be restrained and muted, and the wedding date should not be rushed.

In your case, therefore, I would suggest that no effort be spared in obtaining agreement and forgiveness from your older daughter (especially if such agreement and forgiveness was not given by her before the shidduch with the younger daughter was pursued).

Interestingly, the Rebbe points out further:

"We do not know the wondrous ways of Divine Providence. It is possible that your older daughter's overcoming her natural inclination to envy her sister, and forgiving her [for preceding her in a shidduch] with a perfect heart and true joy, will remove the final obstacle and impediment, and she will find her shidduch very speedily."

Perhaps explaining this idea to your elder daughter will make it easier for her to find it within her heart to sincerely share in the joy of her younger sister.

May the marriage of your daughter take place in a good and auspicious hour, and may G‑d bless you so that you will very soon celebrate the engagement of you older daughter, too.

Rabbi Eliezer Danzinger for