Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q:A friend approached me to inquire about a neighbor of mine who was suggested as a shidduch for her son. My friend emphasized that she was relying on my information and I felt obligated to tell her everything I knew about the family. I included in my report that years earlier the parents had shalom bayis issues that necessitated intervention from neighborhood Rabbanim. As soon as my friend heard this, she dismissed the whole idea. As much as I tried telling her that the situation is now rectified and that the children are doing well and are very successful, she wouldn’t change her mind.

I’m feeling very guilty since that conversation, and I’m concerned that the information I revealed was unnecessary and may have ruined my neighbor’s future.

Did I indeed transgress? If yes, how can I correct my wrong?

A:The question of whether or not to pass on information about parents’ shalom bayis issues with regard to shidduchim depends on the severity of the problem. There are situations where the relationship is totally unstable, sometimes to the degree that the couple is waiting to get divorced after they marry off their children. If that would be the case, there is a strong possibility that it would be permissible to inform the relevant party thereof, because an unstable home isn’t really a home, and it would be considered a serious fault. However, because this type of information is usually heard by word of mouth you should therefore point out while giving information that you heard this and did not witness it yourself.

From your question it seems that this wasn’t a severe case, that the issues were ironed out, and the situation is now stable. If the case was such, then it seems that the information should not have been passed on, especially if you only heard about it from someone else and there was no clear evidence.

Since you’ve already revealed this information to your friend, b’di’eved, there is room to say that this would be considered a rather significant fault, and therefore passing on the information wasn’t a very serious transgression. You should nevertheless take it upon yourself to be careful in the future. May Hashem, in His mercy, send your neighbor’s daughter a suitable shidduch.