Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: Over the past few years a lovely girl worked as my assistant pre-school teacher, and I was satisfied with her in every way. Over time, I became aware that she’s “taking medication,” though this is not noticeable nor does it create a disturbance in any manner. Lately, I was approached about her regarding shidduchim, and I am wondering what is permissible and what is forbidden for me to say.

A: “Taking medication” is a very broad and general statement. In principle, one must differentiate between medicine that is intended for improving concentration, etc., and pills that are actually for mental health.

One should not rush to share information about medication for concentration, even if the subject takes it regularly. Even if the girl takes sleeping pills at night, which is rare, one shouldn’t tell. If, however, it is a matter of medicine for mental health, and the subject requires it regularly, one should inform the people inquiring.

One must, however, take caution, even in this situation. This means that if the person inquiring is not familiar to you, and he calls and asks about middos and yiras Shamayim, etc., and it is presumed that the boy also has some issue perceived as negative in a shidduch (that would be similar to the girl’s issue), then one should not rush to share the information, because it is a chazakah (common belief) that decent people would not go ahead with a shidduch in such a dishonest fashion.

Since they did not inquire about mental health, one should not rush to share the information. If, however, one knows the questioner, and it seems that it is a matter of a totally healthy boy, then one should inform the questioner regarding the medicine the girl is taking.

One should emphasize if the matter of the medicine is only a rumor (of course, only if the rumor is worthy of mention), and one should say so explicitly.

It must be understood that each situation requires caution and consideration, and only the main ideas have been outlined here.

The questions and answers above were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The views expressed are of the individual author. Readers are encouraged to consult their own posek for guidance.