by Riva Pomerantz
The front door closed. Zalman Schneider glanced at his wife Mimi, and they both smiled. This was the fourth meeting between their exceptional daughter Hudi and Boruch Greene, an outstanding ben Torah. It looked like the shidduch was perfect. But when the shadchan called the next day there was an odd note in her voice.
“I’m sorry,” she said uncomfortably. “The other side needs a little time to think things over.” “What happened?” the Schneiders asked in disbelief. “Everything seemed to be going smoothly!” Reluctantly, the shadchan told the distraught parents that she had been given negative information about Hudi. They pressed her to tell them everything. “The boy’s family was told from a firsthand source that Hudi is not a quality girl and that she hangs out with the wrong crowd in well-known places where boys and girls meet, if you get my drift,” the shadchan finally admitted.
The Schneiders hung up the phone with trembling hands. “What’s wrong?” Hudi asked, seeing her parents’ expressions. “Hudi,” her mother began gently. “Is there something you want to tell us?” She gazed significantly at her daughter. “Have you been making different friends lately and perhaps visiting places you know you shouldn’t be going to? You can tell us, Hudi—don’t hide anything from us.” Hudi looked from one searching face to another, dumfounded.
“I—I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she stammered. “You know exactly who my friends are and the places that I go. Why would I hide anything from you?” Her simple honesty and genuine shock was enough to remove all doubt. Wearily, Zalman explained to his daughter what the shadchan had told them. Now Hudi herself looked as though she would faint. “But it’s a lie!” she protested. “How could anyone say that about me? I’ve tried so hard to always serve Hashem and also to make a good impression on others.”
Resolutely, Mimi called the shadchan. “The accusations are 100% false,” she asserted. “We need to know where the information came from so that the record can be set straight.”
The shadchan promised to research the information source. “The woman who gave the information happened to be at a pizza shop on a Motzoei Shabbos not long ago. The store was crowded with boys and girls who evidently used it as a hang-out. There, smack in the middle, was your daughter Hudi! She instantly drew conclusions and marked Hudi as a ‘problem’ girl. It was that information that she conveyed to the boy’s family,” she told the Schneiders. “But Hudi was only in the pizza store because we had asked her to run an errand for us!” Mrs. Schneider protested. “She was completely uninvolved with the scene there.”
“I really apologize,” the shadchan said sadly. “The other side can’t get past the information and they have decided that the shidduch is over.”
A frum, upstanding girl innocently went to pick up a pizza for her family, never dreaming that a thoughtless observer would carelessly mislabel her and destroy a promising shidduch without so much as taking a moment to be dan l’kaf zechus. How careful we must be before we speak!