As the email writer writes, this is like something that you read about or see in a movie. But this is happening to her son in real life.
I am writing for my son who won’t write to you or say what has to be said. He told me that I am overreacting, but I just have to get this off my chest. Let me explain to make you and others understand. When I say “others,” I am asking you to please publish my letter.
My son Yaakov is in his mid-30s and about 5’7. He’s on the slim slide, but I wouldn’t call refer to him as “skinny as a stick.” Like his father and brothers, his hair is thinning. He is an accountant with a more than decent salary, lives on his own, and has had the same friends since yeshivah. Nothing seems wrong about Yaakov, but for some reason he wasn’t being sought out by shadchanim. He would meet shadchanim – when I push him to. According to Yaakov, they always say that they know of a “great girl” for him, but they either call Yaakov back with someone who is not his type, or they don’t return his calls or text messages. Yaakov isn’t particularly bothered by this, because he’s said that he would rather meet a girl on his own or through friends.
About six months ago, a relative passed away. It turns out that when the lawyers read the will, it was discovered that he left my son, as well as other family members and chesed organizations, quite a bit of money. It’s really something that you read in a book or see in a movie. It was so unexpected. I wouldn’t say that Yaakov is set for life, but he certainly isn’t chained to his desk anymore. He can have freedom to do things he has always wanted to do but was unable to for various reasons, such as cost or limited vacation days from work.
Within a few weeks of all this, word got around that Yaakov is “a multi-millionaire.” That is not how it is, but you know how broken telephone works and when there is “juicy information” to spread. I now receive phone calls almost daily from shadchanim who say they heard I have a son “in the parshah” and they know of a girl/family.” What I want to say is, “You mean, you heard my son inherited some money and now you have time to talk with me about setting him up, when, before, you wouldn’t even return his calls or mine.” I can’t say that, because it’s biting the hand that feeds you. So, I say nothing and listen to what they have to say. I always tell them that I have to discuss everything with Yaakov and I will get back to them. Yaakov tells me he has been getting calls like this, as well. He finds it amusing and calls back whenever he gets the chance, but still hopes to meet someone through a friend or “the old-fashioned way.” He doesn’t seem as bothered or irritated, as I am, that these people wouldn’t have given him the time of day before he inherited the money.
I think it’s disgusting to be getting these calls now. I know why they are calling and they know that I know why they are calling. One shadchan with whom I had spoken over two years ago called and introduced herself to me. We spoke two years ago! Of course, she didn’t remember, because she put Yaakov’s shidduch resume on the bottom of her pile, like all the others.
What are your thoughts about this – how blatantly disgusting it is that as soon as people hear there is someone with money, they come running out of the woodwork?
Thank you for your email, Shirley.
I can honestly say two things. The first is that I have never received such an email before – about how someone inherited money and then shadchanim started to descend upon you and your son like shoppers at a pre-COVID Black Friday sale. I am sorry for the loss of your family member, though. The second thing I have to say is: I’m not surprised.
Why doesn’t this surprise me? Because money changes people. In this respect, I am not referring to your son Yaakov changing (that can be a whole other topic), but rather how your son is now viewed by others. When people hear that others have money or have something they may need, the calls and the door-knocking begins. It’s almost as if some people think, “Well, I am in need of money they don’t need so much.” I have heard it many times in conversations, when people speak about money or finances.
Shirley, I hear your frustration and, yes, I agree that it is downright disgusting to receive calls from those who never looked at you and Yaakov before he inherited the money. But what can you do? You were correct when you wrote that you can’t bite the hand that feeds you. Yaakov may want to meet his bashert on his own, but it may come through a shadchan, so you cannot be honest and tell them what you think of their actions, because it will only affect Yaakov in the long run. It seems like Yaakov is taking this all in stride and isn’t letting it faze him. There’s nothing you can do. Try to look at it from another perspective: Now you have a list of potential dates for Yaakov, and his wife may be on that list. You wanted Yaakov to find a wife; maybe this was Hashem’s way of leading Yaakov to the chupah.
I always try to be dan l’chaf z’chus, so I think there may be one or two shadchanim calling you now because they just found out about Yaakov and what a good catch he is because of his personality, midos, etc., and it just happens to be around the same time that news broke about your son’s financial situation.
Hatzlachah to you all!