Monday, September 7, 2009

Shiduch Question

A certain bochur got to be of marriageable age and met a girl that he wished to marry but was suddenly plunged into a quandary since he had an older sister. Someone pointed out to him that this was not right. After all, even Lavan says that one should not marry off the younger before the older. Perhaps he was halachically obligated to wait until his sister found her match. After all, how could he cause his sister such intense pain?
Although this young man clearly was obligated to get married, perhaps he was also obligated to wait? But his sister was three years older than he and she had not yet met her match. Even if he was supposed to wait, there surely had to be some kind of boundary of precisely how long one is obligated to wait.
The young man decided to ask the Chazon Ish, zt”l, for guidance in this matter. The Chazon Ish answered, “You can definitely go ahead with your wedding and you need not wait for your sister at all. As for the pain this will cause your sister, we see from Bava Basra 16 that this is permitted, since you mean l’shem Shamayim, just a we find that Peninah caused her sister Chanah pain l’shem shamayim, so that she should daven with her whole heart to have children...”
Rav Tzvi Yavrov, shlit”a, asked Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a, the obvious question on this story. “But we find there that Peninah was punished for tormenting Chanah; so how did the Chazon Ish prove anything from their case?”
“You are mistaken,” Rav Chaim explained. “The reason why Peninah was punished was for the manner in which she inflicted the pain. This is hardly relevant in our situation.”

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