Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav – November 22, 2013

Q: I read with interest the question posted recently about divulging information regarding a family that suffers marital discord, for a prospective shidduch. The Rav answered that at times, in severe cases, it is permissible to share the information.

I wanted to clarify a point because of a similar situation in my parents’ home. Both my father and mother are upstanding, agreeable people, who suffered from a difficult relationship. Knowledge of their personal challenge was never very public, and on the surface it seemed that our house was running smoothly.

I am, baruch Hashem, married, and my husband and I are building a beautiful home. There is no question, however, that had my husband’s family been aware of the situation, they wouldn’t have agreed to the shidduch. I think that my experience demonstrates that children from homes with even more difficult backgrounds are capable of building stable homes, and that when people divulge information with “good intentions” they can destroy the future for these prospective shidduchim.

A: There is no doubt that children from homes where the parents’ shalom bayis is less than ideal, or children from divorced or very unstable homes, can go on and build beautiful lives. Furthermore, children with difficult backgrounds often develop an unusual sense of maturity and are capable of coping with challenges that others can’t handle.

However, parents generally consider these situations as faults and are reluctant to take a chance to place their children into such families because of the obvious deficiencies in the prospective’s background. We therefore detailed in the abovementioned response, when and in what way, it is permissible to divulge the information, and conversely when not to say anything.

May all of us merit building a bayis ne’eman in the ways of Hashem and His Torah, and the fulfillment of the words, “samchaynu kiymos inisanu — gladden us as in the days of our anguish.”