Weekly Chasidic Story #1039 (s5778-09/ 17 Cheshvan 5778)

Blind Date

When Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss's mother met her future daughter-in-law for the first time, she she wanted to immediately cancel the wedding.

Connection: Weekly Reading of Chaye Sarah - featuring the first "shiduch" in the Torah.

Blind Date

Rabbi Yitzchak-Yaakov Weiss, the former chief rabbinical judge of "Bedatz Eidah Chareidis" in Jerusalem, was married three times. He used to relate this inspirational story about himself:

When he was young, travel was difficult - unlike today, when one can get anywhere in the world within a day or two. A shidduch [prospective match for marriage] was suggested for him. Since the girl and her family lived far away and it was hard for Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov 's parents to travel there, they sent a shaliach [representative] to check out the girl and her family in order to determine whether she was a fitting match for their son. The agent returned and reported that it was a fine match, and Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov became engaged without (his parents or anyone in his family) having met the girl.

As the wedding date drew near, all the Weiss's traveled to the town of the kallah [bride] for the wedding. When Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov's mother met her future daughter-in-law for the first time, she was very disappointed. She felt the girl was not a proper match for her son at all. She thought this so strongly that she was prepared to terminate the shidduch, right then on the scheduled day of the wedding. Her son, however, pleaded with her not to. Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov said, "Perhaps with time I will divorce her. But right now, I don't want to embarrass her."*

They were married and had one son, Beirish, but then his wife was killed in WWII. After the war, Weiss married again, this time to the daughter of the illustrious Rabbi of Vasloy. They did not have children.

After his second wife also died, he married the daughter of the Viznitz Rebbe, the Imrei Chaim, but they didn't have children either. His only child is Reb Beirish, born to the woman he married only because he didn't want to shame her.

Rabbi Weiss testified, "Doctors told me that it was impossible for me to bear children. Beirish was a miracle. I am certain that I merited this only child as a reward for not embarrassing a Jewish girl."

Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from "Shabbos Stories for the Parsha" (dkeren18@)juno.com).

Biographical note:
Rabbi Yitzchak-Yaakov Weiss [1902-1989], a Central European miraculous survivor of the Holocaust, was the chief rabbinical judge of the Manchester Rabbinical Court for nearly three decades. Upon the death of the Satmar Rebbe in 1979, he moved to Israel to serve head of the Bedatz Eidah Chareidis Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem from 1979-1989. He is the author of Minchas Yitzchak, a ten-volume set of his responsa, of which it is said that in modern times most rabbinic courts and works of Jewish law quote or rely on Rabbi Weiss's verdicts applying to modern conditions, particularly in the field of medical ethics. (Based on //revolvy.com)

Connection: Weekly Reading of Chaye Sara - featuring the first "shiduch" in the Torah.

*Editor's note: This is a most noble motive. Besides that, there are some very religious Jewish communities where it is felt that doing so is the best route to dissolve a committed relationship, because breaking an engagement is not mentioned among the commandments while divorce is.


Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.

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