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A Jewish Life on Three ContinentsThe Memoir of Menachem Mendel Frieden$
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Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783637

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783637.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Matchmakers and Marriage

Matchmakers and Marriage

(p.202) Matchmakers and Marriage
A Jewish Life on Three Continents

Lee Shai Weissbach

Stanford University Press

Frieden begins this chapter with a pedagogic digression explaining the history of matchmaking and dowries. Frieden’s discussion of matchmaking is prompted by the fact that this chapter is devoted primarily to the story of his early courting experiences and his eventual betrothal to Etel Porat, a pairing facilitated by a shadchan, a matchmaker, in the long- established manner. The path that Frieden followed to marriage reflects his straddling two worlds, that of the traditional Judaism of Eastern Europe and that of the Jewish Enlightenment. On the one hand, he had a modern enough sensibility to insist that his bride be someone to whom he was romantically attracted. On the other hand, however, he did not rebel against the employment of a shadchan, a practice much criticized by the Maskilim of the period, who objected to courtship and marriage being made into a commercial transaction.

Keywords:   courtship, matchmaker, shadchan, dowry, estate management, emigration, Maskilim

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