Lori deserves many accolades for her work. She is very diligent about her matchmaking and goes the extra mile to get to know her members and send quality matches. If there were Oscars for best matchmaker, I would like to nominate Lori.
In one hand she holds a filing card with a photograph stapled to it. In the other is her phone. She peers at the card and tells the rabbi on the end of the line: All being well, a meeting between the pair will be arranged and then, Sirota hopes, an engagement. Sirota, 67, is a shadchan, a traditional Jewish matchmaker.
Beneath the vaulted ceilings of her house in Mea Shearim, one of the earliest settlements outside the Old City walls and home to the strictest adherents of the Jewish faith, a wicker basket of filing cards lies on a large cloth-covered dining table.
Some are clipped together with laundry pegs: Although there have been tentative steps to introduce an online shadchan service, Sirota handwrites all her notes, and sifts information and evaluates possible connections in her head.
She is dismissive of a computerised system. A computer has no intuition, and "when you write things out by hand, it goes up your arm and into your brain and stays there," she says.
In this largely insular world, there is, according to Sirota, a spectrum of religious observance, from "black", the strictest ultra-orthodox communities, to "coloured", modern orthodox.
At the "black" end, she says, it's relatively simple for parents to identify suitable potential partners for their children. The parents can do all the checking. The parents want to know how he relates to his friends, what his brothers do, what kind of family he comes from.
It's a whole investigation. Or they will rent one.
Sometimes the parents will involve a shadchan. And the shadchan says, why don't we put this one together with that one? That's what I do. These are, she concedes, arranged marriages — but once the couple meet: It's not a forced marriage.
Although a physical relationship before marriage is out of the question, there is no limit on how long they can date, says Sirota. If they are not engaged by the time they have dated 10 times, it's going to collapse.
Haredi women commonly have seven or eight children, some families stretching well into double figures contraception is permitted but unusual. Haredi men devote much of their lives to religious study, shunning paid work.
Many families rely on state benefits and charitable handouts. Some studies have noted a rise in domestic violence; depression is not uncommon.
Most of Sirota's clientele have come to orthodox Judaism as young adults; they are "newly frum" devout rather than "born frum". Most have come to live in Jerusalem from abroad: The more you've come from a secular world, the more important these things are.
When I was young, if I wanted green shoes there was no such thing. You bought white shoes and painted them green.Dec 05, · And the matchmaking system is getting worse in our time for a number of reasons.
First, the orthodox Jewish community has exploded and the numbers are now enormous. H eather Sirota is a loquacious Jewish grandmother of 14 living in the heart of Jerusalem's ultra-orthodox community. In one hand she holds a filing card with a photograph stapled to it. A Jewish wedding is a wedding ceremony that follows Jewish laws and traditions..
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