Shadchanut

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Background

  1. Making a shidduch is included in the mitzvah of imitating Hashem, as He made the first shidduch between Adam and Chava[1]
  2. Many of these halachot may depend on the minhag. As such, of course it is important to consult one’s local rabbi.
  3. There is an obligation to pay a shadchan for arranging a shidduch[2] whether the shadchan was hired or volunteered.[3] One must pay a shadchan, even if it is a member of the family[4]
  4. If the shadchan does not want to receive payment, there is no obligation to pay[5]

Who Should Pay?

The obligation to pay the shadchan is split between the chosson and kallah,[6] but some explain that since the custom has become for the parents to pay, it is now their obligation.[7]

Who Should be Paid?

  1. If one person makes the suggestion to the parties and another person is the go-between the person who made the suggestion should get a third of the shadchanut and the go-between two-thirds.[8]
  2. If one person made the suggestion, another was the go-between in the beginning and another was the go-between at the end, all three split the shadchanut.[9]
  3. If someone made the suggestion for someone else to present to each side and then acts as the go-between the original person who made the suggestion isn’t entitled to a shadchanut from the strict law but it is the minhag to give shadchanut to that person as well.[10]
  4. If the boy or girl’s side made a suggestion to the shadchan who made the suggestion to the other side and acted as a shadchan, the boy or girl’s side who originally made the suggestion isn’t entitled to shadchanut. [11]
  5. If a shidduch falls apart and then gets back together with another shadchan, if the second relationship was built upon the original relationship then both shadchanim split the shadchanut. However, if the original relationship was forgotten and had no impact on the second one then only the second shadchan gets the shadchanut.[12]
  6. If a shadchan was paid after the engagement and unfortunately the couple broke up before the wedding, the shadchan doesn’t need to give back the shadchanut. [13]

How Much?

  1. The amount of the shadchanut depends on the place. If in the boy’s place it is one amount and the girl’s it is another, unless they specified an amount from the beginning, the shadchanut is the lesser of the two amounts.[14]

When Should this be Paid?

  1. There are various customs at what point to pay the shadchan, some pay immediately after the engagement, while the others pay closer to the wedding.[15] We follow the custom of each place with regards to when and how much to pay the shadchan.</ref>Rama Choshen Mishpat 185:10 and 335:1</ref>

Links

Sources

  1. Devarim 13:5 and Sotah 14A. see Paying Shadchan Part 1 by Rabbi Avi Zakutinsky
  2. Rama Choshen Mishpat 185:10. See Sefer Hanisuin K’Hilchosa chapter 4 that many poskim say that paying a shadchan is a segulah for shalom bayis and having children. See Teshuvos V’Hanhagos 1:736 quotes that there is a custom in many sefardic communities not to pay the shadchan
  3. Biur HaGra Choshen Mishpat 185:13. There may be a violation of the mitzvah of bal talin if you fail to pay the shadchan on time if you hired the shadchan, as opposed to if the shadchan volunteered.
  4. Pischei Teshuva Even HaEzer 50:16
  5. Pischei Teshuva Even HaEzer 50:17
  6. Shu"t Avnei Nezer Choshen Mishpat 36. He also discusses there if and how to split shaddchanus when there are multiple shadchanim
  7. See Erech Shai Choshen Mishpat 185 and Shut Shulchan Halevi Chapter 27 Note 2
  8. Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 3 p. 242)
  9. Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 3 p. 242)
  10. Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 3 p. 242)
  11. Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 3 p. 242)
  12. Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 3 p. 243)
  13. Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 3 p. 243)
  14. Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 3 p. 243)
  15. See Aruch Hashulchan 50:42 where he says that if one paid early and the shidduch is broken, the shadchan does not have to return the money, unless there was critical information withheld. Even Hezer 50:42. Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Koveitz Teshuvos 1:207, says that if there is no minhag then one can wait until the wedding. Shut Halichos Yisroel 4 says that if you approached the shadchan, then you must pay immediately upon engagement.