Weekly Chasidic Story #1301 (5783-08) 20 Cheshvan 5783 (Nov 14, 2022)

"No Payos Allowed"

Miriam simply did not yet agree to meet the young man; she first wanted to make sure that he was "in the ball park." She did not want to experience another evening of disappointment and frustration.

Connection: Weekly Reading of Chaye Sara: Matchmaking!


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No Payos Allowed

(the names have all been changed)

Rabbi and Mrs. Landau were concerned about their daughter's growing frustration in meeting her intended match. Miriam was a successful teacher in a school in Jerusalem, and very popular amongst her circle of friends in the neighborhood of Bayit Vegan.

When Rabbi Landau mentioned the latest suggestion of a young man proposed by a neighbor, Miriam did not right away agree to meet the young man. Not that she wasn't interested in getting married; she just wanted to make sure that the young man was "in the ball park" of what she was looking for in a future mate. She did not want to experience yet another evening of disappointment and frustration.

Miriam did not turn down their neighbor's suggestion; she just asked her father if he could informally meet the young man first.

"You already know in your sleep what kind of boy I am looking for," Miriam said. "Meet him first, and if you think it's worthwhile for me to meet him, then I will date him But…please don't forget to make sure that he doesn't have peyos ('sidelocks') hiding behind his ears!"

Rabbi Landau smiled. He indeed did know his daughter's likes and dislikes well. He felt Miriam's suggestion was fair, and called their neighbor to arrange to meet the young man at his yeshiva.

First, however, Rabbi Landau asked for information about the boy - Yehoshua Mandel - and found that "on paper" all the facts seemed to fit perfectly into the prototype of whom Miriam wanted to marry.

Rabbi Landau met Yehoshua in the yeshiva dining room, and the two went outside for a walk. They spoke about a variety of topics, and after twenty minutes, parted ways, as Yehoshua left to attend his afternoon study sessions. Rabbi Landau waited on the sidewalk as Yehoshua turned to enter the yeshiva. Perfect, he thought to himself, as he scrutinized the boy's head - no peyos streaming down or tucked behind his ears or stuck under his yarmulke (kippah, 'skullcap')!

A week later, Miriam and Yehoshua met. She was far from disappointed….

Six weeks later, they were engaged; the wedding took place two weeks before Passover. Pesach was spent at the Landaus in Bayit Vegan, Shavuos at the Mandels, and Sukkos brought the young couple to the Landaus once again.

On the first night of Yom Tov, as Yehoshua left the house to learn in a local yeshiva, Rabbi Landau noticed thick tufts of hair growing behind his ears. He couldn't help but ask Miriam about this - after all, wasn't it so important to her NOT to marry a boy with peyos like that?

Miriam burst out laughing. Then she explained: "Yehoshua has had peyos behind his ears since he was a young boy. The day he was supposed to meet you for the first time, he needed a haircut. Normally, his roommate in the yeshiva gave him haircuts. But that day his roommate wasn't there, so Yehoshua had to go to a barbershop.

'Before he noticed what was happening, the barber had accidentally cut off one of his peyos! The barber apologized, but it was too late.

So, Yehoshua asked the barber to cut off the other one as well, as he was too embarrassed to meet you with only one. He kept the peyos short until after the wedding, as he would have looked unkempt trying to grow them back.

"After the wedding, when Yehoshua told me he was going to grow the peyos back again, I had to laugh. It was something that mattered so much to me before we met, but mattered so little to me after we were married. You see, I had always associated peyos with overly serious, somber personalities. Once I got to know Yehoshua, I realized how silly I'd been. And when Yehoshua explained to me how he'd 'accidentally' lost his peyos on the day he met you, we both just marveled at the hashgacha pratis (Divine supervision) involved!"

Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the Toldos 5778 email of The Weekly Vort, based on Einei Hashem, as printed in
Shabbos Stories for the Parsha: Vayeitzei 5778 (keren18@juno.com).

Connection - Weekly Reading of Chaye Sara -- Matchmaking!

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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