I found the letter from the shadchan to be very telling.
Indeed, shadchanim work very hard, often with little to show as far as monetary gain, and they doubtlessly deserve our gratitude.
At the same time, as a parent with children of [shidduch] age, I have an important message for shadchanim as well.
When my oldest daughter entered the “parshah,” I approached one popular shadchan.
Before even asking me my daughter’s name, what she does, or anything about her, he got right to the point: “Are you ready to provide generous support?”
Cognizant of my financial situation, I tried to evade the question.
“Listen,” he told me, “there are 50 good girls for every good boy. Nowadays, even in chassidishe circles, parents have to be ready to pay top dollar for a top bachur. So if you don’t have the money, you have to be realistic in what you are going to get!”
I tried my hardest not to show it, but was absolutely devastated. It took a lot of work to strengthen myself in emunah and bitachon. Baruch Hashem, my daughter eventually married a wonderful bachur who is a real learner, whose parents chose my daughter’s inherent qualities over my financial status.
Granted, we did “look away” from some external aspects that for some would have been enough reason to turn down a shidduch. But I am quite convinced that we would have done the same even if that shadchan would not have made this unfortunate comment.
My plea to shadchanim is a simple one: Yes, I am well aware that in the yeshivishe community parents who don’t have financial means struggle mightily, and even in the chassidishe community it has begun to be a serious issue. By all means this is a subject that must be addressed and dealt with. But at the same time, please remember that the Ribbono shel Olam is the mezaveg zivugim, and while “realism” and “looking away” from the frivolous and unimportant is key, no parent should be told that they must be mevater the essentials of Torah and yiras Shamayim because of a lack of funds.