Weekly Chasidic Story #780 (s5773-09 / 21 Mar-Cheshvan 5773)

The Red-head, the Beer and the Amen

I stopped mid-song, looked up, and mentally snapped a picture.

Connection: Weekly Reading–Matchmaking


from: Rabbi Label Lam

IT WAS SHABBOS IN THE 1980’s and my closest and oldest friend had come to Monsey from Boston to us in be introduced to a young lady at the table of a neighbor. In the meantime, our house was crowded with twelve or more girls that had come to celebrate the marriage of a friend. All the young ladies happily chattered through the meal and I was left alone to mumble some Shabbos songs and words of Torah.

In an inspired moment, my wife brought out a few cold bottles of beer between the fish and the soup. I was singing ever so quietly and hurriedly words to the Shabbos song, Mah Yedidos, “Permissible thoughts and to marry off the daughters.” No sooner had the words “ulashadaich es habanos” (“to marry off the daughters”) escaped my mouth than a petite red-headed girl held up a bottle of beer and shouted with exuberance, “AMEN!”

I stopped mid-song, looked up, and mentally snapped a picture of the young woman who was actually paying attention to what I was singing. The girls departed, and I was left waiting for my friend to return home.

When he entered the door he looked woefully disappointed. “Each date that isn’t the one brings you one step closer to the one!” I declared trying to console him. I knew I said the wrong thing. I felt bad. He had driven so far only to be disappointed.

TWO MONTHS LATER, between Purim and Pesach I awoke on a Sunday morning with an idea percolating in my mind. I promptly shared it with my wife, “What about my friend for that little red-headed girl?!”

My wife countered with a skeptical tone, “I don’t see it! He’s so mellow and she’s a real live wire.”

I retorted, “Well look at us!” It gave her cause to pause and so she recommended that I speak to the one person who knew both of them.

So I called up this lady that had made many matches, and when she heard what I had in mind she got excited and said, “That’s a great idea!”

I warned her, “That’s my idea! Don’t touch it!”

So I phoned Boston right away. I caught my friend just as he was coming back to his apartment from a meeting withthe Bostoner Rebbe (Grand Rabbi Levi-Yitzchak Horowitz of blessed memory) who had advised him to try again, even with a recently received proposal that didn’t seem to have much promise, “unless somebody tells you they’ve got someone very special.”

When he picked up the phone I told him right away, “I have someone very special….” His ears perked up. It was the same words the Rebbe had just uttered to him.

THREE MONTHS LATER, there we all were at the chupa (wedding canopy) at the Marina Del Rey between the Whitestone and Throgsneck Bridges while planes overhead streaked the sky.

FOR YEARS AFTERWARD, whenever we would go to Boston to visit them, my friend, would introduce me as the match-maker and all the guys would strike poses before me as if I had a warehouse back in New York. I was embarrassed because although I had tried before and since I have never been successful except this one time. It took me years to figure out who was the real human matchmaker. It was none other than the red-headed girl with the beer and her spontaneous- “AMEN!”

Source: Excerpted and adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from // (5770/vayera)

Connection: Weekly Reading — Matchmaking


Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.