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Since it is considered to have been foreordained by God whom one will marry, one's spouse is considered to be one's bashert by definition, independent of whether the couple's marital life works out well or not.The first recorded shidduch in the Torah was the match that Eliezer, the servant of the Jewish patriarch Abraham, made for his master's son Isaac (Genesis Ch. Abraham gave him specific instructions to choose a woman from Abraham's own tribe.Eliezer traveled to his master's homeland to fulfill Abraham's wishes, arriving at a well.After a short prayer to God for guidance, describing how a virtuous woman might act toward a traveling stranger at the well, Rebekah appeared on the scene and did everything described in Eliezer's prayer.The Talmud (Bavli Kiddushin 12a, first version) states that academy head Rav would give corporal punishment to a man who would marry without shidduchin, that is, In Kiddushin 41a states that a man should not marry a woman he has not seen, lest he come to violate Love your neighbour as yourself.The etymology of the words "shidduch" and "shadchan" is uncertain.This is taken as an instruction for Jewish parents to weigh their child's opinion in the balance during an arranged marriage.Regardless of whether proper procedure is followed, this is not the end of the decision - it is believed by Jews that the final say belongs to God, who may have different plans (compare with the match of Jacob and Leah).

Usually as the couple see more of each other the shadchan backs away and lets the couple manage it themselves.Also the age when shidduchim start may vary by community.In frum circles, especially among Hassidim, eighteen is the age when shidduchim start and shadchanim take notice.After the match has been proposed, the prospective partners meet a number of times to gain a sense of whether they are right for one another.The number of dates prior to announcing an engagement may vary by community. In stricter communities, the couple may decide a few days after originally meeting with each other.The Medieval Rabbi Nissim of Gerona (commonly called Ran) traces it back to the Aramaic word for "calm" (cf.

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