1. The Mishnah in Pirkei Avos1 states: “age 18 for chuppah2. The Alter Rebbe in Hilchos Talmud Torah3 explains this to mean that the age at which begins the mitzvah of Pru Urvu is 18,4 for even after marriage a person can learn Torah for two or three years5 without too much responsibility and the burdens of earning a living — with only a small family — and then at the age of 20 one reaches the age at which to pursue a livelihood.6

2. The Chabad custom is for young men to start looking for shidduchim in their early twenties.7


3. Before entertaining shidduchim, a person must make sure that any suggested partner is; a) fully Jewish, and there are no questions of a non-halachic conversion in their maternal lineage, b) if the chosson is a Kohen, then it must be made sure that the suggested kallah is not a convert nor has she had a previous relationship which would disqualify her from marriage to a Kohen, c) they must be aware of any previous marriage (even civil). Any questions or doubts in this area must be presented before a competent Rav.8

4. Today blood tests are available that ascertain whether or not a suggested shidduch is genetically compatible, or as a result of a common gene shared by both parties their children may be susceptible to genetic disorders chas vesholom. As soon as one seriously begins to entertain the compatibility of a shidduch, their respective blood types should be checked to see if they are compatible.9

Preparations for a Shidduch

5. Singles should pray that Hashem brings them to meet their correct mate.10

6. In order to build an everlasting edifice, the foundations need to be strong. The best foundation for marriage is to dedicate oneself to the learning of Torah and the performance of mitzvos behiddur.11 This applies both to men and women.

7. Young men should endeavor to receive semichah (rabbinic ordination) in Rabbonus before the wedding.12

8. There are those who claim that they do not wish to entertain a shidduch until they have sorted out a means of livelihood. However, they are not mutually exclusive. Once one has reached the age of marriage — and certainly if being single presents a nisayon/challenge in one’s yiras shomayim — then one should look for a shidduch and often a suitable parnassah will be found simultaneously.13

Segulos for a Shidduch

9. There are a number of things that are a segulah14 for a shidduch:

a) To make a firm decision that when Hashem will eventually present one with a partner, that one will build a true Jewish home on the foundations of Torah and mitzvos, keeping Taharas Hamishpochoh, Kashrus and Shabbos.15

b) To designate fixed times for studying Torah, both Nigleh16 and Chassidus.17

c) Giving Tzedakah before prayer.18

d) Learning Chitas.19

e) Having a positive influence on others, especially in the area of Chinuch.20

f) Hafotzas Hamayonos.21

g) To check one’s Tefillin.22

h) Lighting Shabbos candles is a segulah to find a husband who is a Talmid Chacham.23

i) If there is an older brother or sister, one must make sure that they give their full consent (mechilah) for the younger sibling to go ahead with a shidduch. This consent is in itself a segulah for the older sibling to find a shidduch.24

j) Working in one of the Rebbe’s institutions.25

The Search for a Shidduch

10. When one has reached the age of shidduchim, one should search for a shidduch as if looking for an object one has lost.26 One must be proactive in this issue and not just await a suggestion.27

11. One should not be deterred by any difficulties or disappointments. Indeed there is no cause for depression if things are not working out, rather one should increase in one’s simchah28 in doing this mitzvah, for a true match is made in Heaven. One need only make a firm resolve that one will seek to fulfill this mitzvah as any other of the mitzvos. Hashem does not come with unreasonable claims to His creations, and since Hashem has commanded that one perform this mitzvah, then it is entirely possible. One needs to be persistent and conscientious to bring it to fruition.29 Strengthening one’s bitachon is in itself a segulah for a shidduch.30

12. It says that “G‑d will bless you in all you do.” This means that the blessing of Hashem comes when a person makes an effort — hishtadlus. So too in a shidduch, a person must make all the necessary efforts and hishtadlus in the natural manner to find a shidduch.31

13. The custom is to arrange a match through a shadchan.32 If the shidduch works out, it is very important to pay the shadchan.33

14. It is very important to have the right attitude towards a shidduch. The search for a partner is not merely to satisfy one’s physical desire, rather one is searching for a partner to build a true Jewish home on the foundations of Torah and Mitzvos, and to raise and educate children al taharas hakodesh.34

15. Searching for a shidduch and the establishment of a true Jewish home is a preparation for the Geulah as the Talmud35 states; “the son of David will only come once all souls have been brought down into a body.”36


16. Parents are obligated to search for a suitable shidduch for their children.37

17. Hanhalahs of Yeshivos should also try to find shidduchim for their students.38

18. In general, parents search for a shidduch for their children. However, where this is not the case, and a shidduch has been suggested directly to the children, then at least the parents should be informed and asked to give their consent.39

19. It is incorrect for parents to pressure their children into a certain shidduch.40 If a young man is intent to continue his Torah studies, and wishes to continue learning with great diligence until such time that he is ready for a shidduch, then parents should desist from pressuring him into a shidduch.41

20. In the vast majority of cases, parents who are searching for a shidduch for their children should preferably not discuss with the children the fact that they have started looking for a shidduch, and the various suggestions they have. Rather, they should wait until they have a serious suggestion and only then discuss this suggestion with their children.42 The reason for this is that undoubtedly, the various suggestions which may not be serious, may disturb the young people, and since they are not serious suggestions, this disturbance is for no reason.

Criteria and Information

21. If a person is faced with a number of equally suitable suggestions for a shidduch, and does not know which to pursue, then one should start with the first suggestion.43

22. It is important to find out as much information as one can about a suggestion. When faced with a number of suggestions, one should take parental advice44 and go for the suggestion about which one has gained the most accurate information and which seems to be most suitable.45

23. Regarding the question of entertaining a shidduch to which the parents are adamantly opposed — a Rav should be consulted.46

24. Details about any prospective shidduch may be found out from close friends and references. A person who is asked for a reference for a shidduch must be extremely careful about what they say and how they describe the person. Their answers should be accurate and without any Lashon Hara or Rechilus. There are many halachos appertaining to this topic, and it behooves everybody to be aware of these halachos, and if in doubt as to whether one should inform or disclose certain facts in reference to a shidduch, then one should consult a competent Rav — see Appendix.

25. It is completely incorrect to hide and not disclose a serious mental or physical illness when suggesting a shidduch. In any case of doubt, one must consult a competent Rav as to whether one needs to disclose an issue or not.47

26. In a case where there is illness in the family and it is a cause for concern, one should consult a competent Rav.48

27. If two people are well suited, the shidduch should not be put off due to financial considerations.49

28. The fact that the parents of a shidduch suggestion did not keep Taharas Hamishpachah should not hold one back from pursuing such a shidduch if all other factors indicate compatibility.50 The same is true if the suggested shidduch has parents who are divorced.51

29. Yichus/pedigree is a factor in choosing a shidduch, especially if either party comes from a prominent Yichus family.52

30. There is no problem in pursuing a shidduch with a cousin or other permitted family relative.53


31. It goes without saying that for a couple to get married there needs to be an emotional attraction54 between them.55 Nevertheless, the most important factor in determining the long term stability of the relationship is the compatibility of the couple. There should be maximum compatibility in terms of similarity of background,56 education, hashkafah57 etc., matters which will ensure inner peace and harmony, long after the initial emotional excitement has faded.58

32. There should not be more than a ten year age difference between the two.59

Yiras Shomayim and Good Middos

33. Most important is to ascertain the Yiras Shomayim, as it states (Mishlei 31:30), “It is a G‑d-fearing woman who is to be praised.” Yiras Shomayim is a pre-condition that is vital, for it is this attribute that will decide the daily conduct of the home.60

34. As a pre-condition for giving his consent to a shidduch, the Rebbe would say that the couple must decide to establish their marriage on the firm foundations of Torah and mitzvos.61

35. Before a decision is made to make the shidduch, each must be convinced that the home will be run on the principles of Torah and mitzvos permeated with Yiras Shomayim. It should be a home where there will be daily Torah study and the daily conduct will be according to Shulchan Aruch62 and thus a home where the Shechinah will rest.63 Furthermore the intention should be to create a vessel for Hashem’s blessings, and to be fruitful and multiply and be blessed with sons and daughters who learn Torah and keep mitzvos.64

36. The greatest and truest wealth is one who establishes a home together with a Ben Torah (or Bas Talmid Chacham) who has learned in a Yeshivah (or Seminary) permeated with Yiras Shomayim.65

37. External beauty alone should not be the main deciding factor when considering a shidduch, rather the decision should be based on Yiras Shomayim, good middos and compatibility.66

38. When considering a shidduch, one should realize that nobody is perfect, and there is no such thing as perfection. Therefore one’s consideration should be based on the things that really matter such as Yiras Shomayim and good middos rather than on matters that are not so important. One reason why many people find it hard to find a shidduch, even though they are actively looking, is that they are focusing on non-important details.67

39. It is quite impossible to ascertain the full character of a person until one has lived with them for many years and observed them in varying circumstances. Therefore, in a shidduch, one needs to look at the main things of Yiras Shomayim and good middos, compatible hashkafah, tznius etc., and then have a certain measure of bitachon.68 There may be some small bothersome matters, which may be worth overlooking if the main things are in place.69

Place of Residence

40. As to where the couple should live when they are married — this is an issue that should be decided by the couple themselves.70

Same Names

41. In the Tzavaah of Rabbi Yehudah Hachassid it is written that a kallah and her mother-in-law should not have the same name. Therefore, in a case where a woman is presented with a shidduch and her name is the same as the suggested future mother-in-law, then an additional name should be added to the kallah.71

42. This name should be added in an official ceremony with a Mi Shebeirach by the Torah.72 This should preferably be done 30 days before the engagement.73 Furthermore, care should be taken that the name added is not forgotten and the kallah should be called either with both names together or with the new name.74

43. However if the kallah has two names and her future mother-in-law only one name (or vice-versa) then this is not a problem and the names can remain as they are.75

44. The same would apply in a case where the name of the chosson would be the same as the name of his future father-in-law.76 If the names are literally the same, and the shidduch is favorable, then an extra name should be added to the chosson.77 The additional name should be chosen with the advice of the local Rav,78 and the man should be given an extra name with a special Me Shebeirach and be called up to the Torah with that name. He should also sign with the additional name.79

45. If however either the chosson or his future father-in-law have an additional name, for example, one is called Avraham and the other is called Avraham Mordechai then no name changing is necessary.80

46. If the names of both the mother of the chosson and of the kallah are the same a Rav should be asked as to whether it is necessary to add a name.81

47. As regards adding a Hebrew name to a woman who does not have a Hebrew name — see footnote.82

Older Siblings

48. As regards a younger sister getting married before an older sister:

a) The older sister must give her consent, and this should be done either in writing or before two kosher witnesses.83

b) The engagement should be made quietly without too much fanfare.84

c) They should not hurry to make the wedding.85

d) Great efforts should be made to find the older sister a shidduch.86

e) In addition to gaining the consent of the older sister, the younger sister and the parents should put aside some money to pay for the wedding of the older sister before the engagement of the younger sister.87

49. As regards a younger brother getting married before an older brother:

a) The younger brother should ask for the consent of the older brother.88

b) The very fact that the older brother consents is a segulah that he too should soon find a shidduch.89

50. As regards a younger sister getting married before an older brother:

a) She should ask for his consent.90

b) She and her parents should set aside some money for the wedding of her older brother.91

51. As regards to a younger brother getting married before an older sister92:

a) he should ask for her consent,

b) he (and his kallah) should set aside some money for the wedding expenses of the older sister,

c) the wedding should be without too much fanfare.

Marrying a Bas Kohen

52. As regards the marriage of a Bas Kohen — the daughter of a Kohen — to a Yisroel (or Levi), the chosson should learn at least one Tractate (Masechta) of the Talmud fluently93, even if it one of the minor Tractates such as Maseches Kallah. He should also make an effort to increase in Torah study in general so that he aspire to the level of a Talmid Chacham.