Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: Someone called me to inquire, for purposes of a shidduch, about a bachur who went to yeshivah ketanah with me. The main point that bothered the people inquiring was his outer appearance — they heard that he was overweight.

Since I did not know what was permissible for me to respond and what was prohibited (the bachur in question is indeed overweight, though not obese), I preferred to evade the question, and I said that it has been years since we learned together and I didn’t know exactly.

Did I do the right thing? How should I have answered such a question?

A: If the people inquiring specifically ask if the boy is overweight (or something similar), it is clear that for them, this is a substantial drawback. Therefore, one certainly must answer truthfully, particularly since it is no secret and the people asking could even see it for themselves. Their intention is only to save themselves the trouble of going to see him (officially or unofficially). But, one should tell them the minimum possible. For example, if the boy is obviously overweight, it is enough to say that he is “rather heavy”; and if he is not extremely overweight, say “a bit heavy,” so as not to stop the shidduch altogether, because it could be that if they meet him, he will appeal to them in spite of the flaw of his being overweight.

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 opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hamodia.

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