Some disturbing news once reached the ears of the Chofetz Chaim. A certain student in his yeshiva was involved in a shidduch, and since the girl was reluctant to say yes, there was no progress. The boy’s friends in the yeshivah advised him to shave off his beard, thinking that the beard was the reason for the girl’s hesitation. They claimed that most yeshivah students these days shaved their beards, and he should do the same. The Chofetz Chaim invited the student to his home, and began to speak to him about shidduchim. Then he told him the following parable.

A locomotive was pulling more than a hundred loaded train cars up a steep mountain. Even though the engine driver had put on full steam, the locomotive was moving slowly due to the extremely heavy load. One of the passengers, who thought himself a clever fellow, decided that he wanted to speed up the pace of the train. He got out and walked to the back of the last car and began pushing with both hands, certain that with his helping hand the train would now move faster. The other passengers laughed at him and said, “What is your strength compared to a locomotive’s strength? Yours is like the strength of a mosquito compared to that of an ox.” The Chofetz Chaim ended his parable and said to his student, “The same thing applies to shidduchim. Even though every shidduch is announced in Heaven forty days before the formation of a fetus (i.e. at the moment of conception), nevertheless, the matter is as hard to accomplish

as the splitting of the Yam Suf [Red Sea]. We know that G-d Himself makes the shidduchim. You might suddenly have the idea to help Him by shaving off your beard so that the girl will like you more. But then you will be similar to the ‘clever’ passenger who pushed with all his strength, thinking that he was ‘helping’ a hundred loaded train cars up the mountain.” (CHOFETZ CHAIM AL HATORAH, p. 92)

The words of the Chofetz Chaim are a reminder to us that the spouse that we have was chosen for us by Heaven. We must realize this, and find ways to overcome any marital difficulties that arise since they also are from Heaven “And he [Eliezer] said, ‘I am the slave of Avraham.” If you are afraid that someone might say something to you, you should say it yourself first. “And I came today to the well.” From Kiryas Arba to Charan requires seventeen days of traveling, but in just three hours the servant arrived in Charan, and was wondering in his heart what had happened. He said, “Today I left, and today I arrived.” As it is written, “And I came today to the well.” (ibid) G-d wanted to do chesed for Avraham and so he sent an angel before Eliezer and the road ‘jumped’ before him. The daughter of kings [Rivkah] who had never in her life gone to draw water from a well, went out to draw water at that exact time. It was this same young girl, who had no concept of what is a man, who decided to marry Yitzchak, she was destined for him from her mother’s womb.

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