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Jun 20, 2012

Rav Wosner Asks For A Bracha

Kikar is relating a story worth reading:
(my translation)
A shidduch was made in a hassidic community in chutz laaretz. Shortly after the shidduch was made, the groom discovered he had a serious illness. It was thankfully caught early, and a series of treatments was able to cure him.
The grooms family went to the family of the bride and offered them to back out of the shidduch - they would understand not hold it against them or bear a grudge.
The kalla, surprising everyone, said she refused to back out of it, as such a disease is not up to him. She could back out, find a new chosson, and who knows what will happen with him, how long he will live...
The chosson's family were happy to hear this, but still insisted she back out. they said that her agreement to continue is because of her sensitivity, but really she has the right to, and she should, back out of the shidduch.
Not being able to come to a decision agreeable to everybody, they decided to go to the beis din of Rav Wosner in Bnei Braq. When Rav Wosner heard what the case was about, he was so amazed that they would bring such a case to be debated that he said he insisted on sitting in the panel of judges hearing the case, despite not having done so for  along time already.
The families flew to Eretz Yisrael and appeared before the beis din, led by Rav Wosner himself.
Each side present told over the story and their perspective. Rav Wosner then said that because the kallah is healthy and the chosson went through the terrible experience of the sickness, clearly the shidduch was not made with the knowledge of the sickness in mind, so the kalla has the right to back out without any second thoughts.
The kalla got up and asked if she is obligated to dissolve the shidduch or only she can if she wants to. Rav Wosner answered that of course she is not obligated to back out, and if she insists on continuing with the shidduch she would be allowed to.
She said that if that is the case, she wants to continue the shidduch, but that she wants him to bless them that the shidduch should be successful and that the chosson should have a long and healthy life.
Rav Wosner broke down crying and said that a kalla like this "does not need my bracha". After such a heroic incident, "I dont need to bless you, but I want you to bless me that I should live long and merit to continue disseminating Torah."
When you consider that being in the hassidic community, and probably something close to Satmar if they flew to hear this in Rav Wosner's beis din, they probably had not met for much more than a very short time and probably only a couple of times (aka dates), it is unlikely their relationship was already at the point where she loved him, or respected him tremendously seeing his great potential or qualities.

To her he was probably a guy with a nice shidduch resume, maybe some yichus and a good reputation. She probably could have walked out and gotten more offers of guys very similar to him. She stood by him anyway.

She showed tremendous commitment and sensitivity in her decision.

I wish him good health and them a long life of happiness and fulfillment together.

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  1. A very heartening story. Thanks for posting.

  2. Amazing. And this girl is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 18, right?

  3. I'm not sure how this is heroic on her part? She must like the guy enough that she wants to be married to him. No?

  4. perhaps heroic is the wrong word. strength of character perhaps. if heroic, it is personally heroic rather than publicly.

    It is most likely she hardly knew him.

  5. Who flies to Israel for a Bes Din? And whole families? That's an insane waste of money. Instead find a Bes Din near your home, and you have extra money to waste, use it for something useful (tzedaka, etc).

    Besides, who knows if any part of this story is even true in the first place. Maybe it's just a made-up chizuk piece.

  6. Mark - I agree, and thats why I assume the chosson and kallah hardly knew each other (if the story is true at all), because if so, they must be hard-core Rabbi Wosner followers, making them something very close to Satmar.

  7. But why go to a Beis Din? What was the dispute?

    This sounds a lot like that other story a while back with the caterer and the extra food and they supposedly went to a Beis Din and each guy tried to force the OTHER guy to take the money.

  8. And then there's cynical me thinking... the Beis Din let her SPEAK?

  9. anonymous - it might have been because when tanaim are actually done for real (like is common in hassidic communities, along with certain Litishe communities inIsrael), it is a very serious thing to break the engagement. there is a curse involved, as it disrupts the tannaim. A rav told me once that he knew a case where after the engagement they clearly wanted to break it up, but were afraid to because of the tannaim. Instead of breaking the engagement, they decided to get married and then divorced immediately after.

    I dont know if that is what this kallah was afraid of, but perhaps..


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