Truthfulness With a Shadchan
QUESTION 57: TRUTHFULNESS WITH A SHADCHAN
How truthful must one be when talking to a shadchan
(match-maker) - or anyone helping to find a shidduch
(match) - about the age of a person? Is there a distinction
here between what men and women can say? For example, if
a woman says she's 33, won't people automatically assume
she's a bit older, so isn't 'being honest' really giving
the wrong information? If understating is allowed at times,
at what point should the person being dated be told the
truth? How about regarding information regarding yichus
(family), or medical history?
There is a whole discussion devoted to this topic, in the
second section of the Chafetz Chaim. How much information
do we give? Sometimes we can't reveal everything, because
doing so may risk invalidating the person immediately.
People do assume that everything that's told to them is
inflated. If you say a person is 31, the listener may
think it most probably means 35. If you say they have
this and this fault, the listener will think it's much
worse than it is. Therefore, if you want to present the
'truth', you could subtract a little from the information.
Downplay everything, unless it's an alarming characteristic.
Issues are typically exaggerated and inflated. Certainly
if you make it into an issue they'll exaggerate and inflate
it even more. Always remember, however, that the goal is
to convey an honest picture.
NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION 58: RETURNING A BORROWED BOOK
If I borrow a book from someone, and both of us forget about
it, is that a transgression? How much an obligation do I
have to go through my bookshelves to find books that I
borrowed, and return them? After a certain amount of
time, let's say a year, can we assume the original owner
has despaired of it, and that eliminates my need to return
it? Can we assume that most people are fairly casual about
this, or is it an area that people should be much more
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