History of Jewish Matchmakers

June 18, 2014 by admin

Pair of gold Jewish Wedding Rings MatchmakersIntro is a professional matchmaking service in Ireland

We pride ourselves on our ability to find a perfect match for everyone. We recognize that the practice of matchmaking has been around for centuries. Today, we’d like you to learn about the history of Jewish matchmakers.

One of the longest traditions of matchmaking is in Jewish communities within Eastern Europe and Russia. Jewish communities tend to believe that, “Marriages are made in heaven, but we need the Jewish matchmakers here on earth”. A Jewish matchmaker is referred to as a shadchan. It is said that the very first shadchan is God, as he matched up Adam and Eve. In the Torah, Eliezer is a shadchan who finds Abraham’s son a bride. As well in the Torah, it is stated that people must pay fees to their shadchan.

In traditional and Orthodox Jewish communities, the shadchan was integral to their lives. Jewish law prohibits the sexes to intermingle, which led to the shadchan being responsible for the pairings. As well, when Jews lived in isolated communities, the shadchan would risk traveling long distances to discover the potential matches that existed in different communities. The further the distance traveled, the more money that a matchmaker would receive. Payment did start to corrupt the practice of matchmaking as early as the 16th century. Previously, rabbis or scholars were exclusively the shadchans, but then brokers looking for money began to pop up.

Jewish matchmakers first came into popular culture in 1964 due to the Broadway hit, Fiddler on the Roof. This popular theatre show was then adapted for the screen and became an Academy Award winning film. Many people today are familiar with the popular song, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.”

A popular matchmaking feature amongst today’s crowds is speed dating. This was actually created by a Jewish rabbi. Everyone is given 8 minutes with the opposite gender and then moves along to the next person. Another popular way for Jewish matchmakers to work these days is using dating sites. They will sift through the many profiles online to find a perfect match for their client.

Here at Intro, we think it’s important to look to the past, as we move into the future. Knowing the vast history of matchmakers around the world assists us with providing a better service for you. Contact us today to begin your journey towards finding a perfect match.

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