In the old-country, Jewish marriages were arranged by matchmakers. Perhaps the most famous Jewish matchmaker was Yenta. Yenta was the name of the matchmaker in Sholom Aleichem’s stories, several of which were collected into what became the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” The word “yenta” has taken on negative connotations in the modern word, and it is usually used to describe a “busybody.”
I’d like to defend the good name of matchmakers. Being a busybody was part of the job. A matchmaker HAD to sneak around and ask a lot of questions because she was a detective — always looking for clues that would help her make the best match. In the Jewish tradition, it is also a mitzvah (good deed) to help make a successful match.
(from Matchmaker, Matchmaker — Fiddler on the Roof)
Well, somebody has to arrange the matches,
Young people can’t decide these things themselves.
She might bring someone wonderful—-
And well off—-
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match
I’d like to revive the spirit of Yenta the Matchmaker right here on this blog — on these special days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Tomorrow, Thursday, will be a special day on “Citizen of the Month.” Tomorrow, we shall all become Yenta the Matchmakers.
I will be making blog matches between 10 pairs of bloggers. These are not romantic pairings. These are pairs of bloggers who I have never seen read each other’s material (I’ll check their blogrolls), but I think should give each other a try. Using an ancient technique passed down from my grandmother, I will try to match bloggers by their sensibilities and interests.
Recently I was successful in introducing Danny and Elisabeth to each other. At first glance, they have nothing in common. But a true matchmaker realizes that they are both brainy bloggers with a twisted sense of humor. Now they are on each other’s blogrolls.
This is not easy for me. I do have a jealous streak. I used to get upset when my “blogging friends” became friends with each other. One day, I’ll be reading Blogger X and I’ll be surprised to see my friend Blogger Y writing a comment. Before you know it, Blogger X and Blogger Y are taking a trip to Las Vegas together, without even sending me a postcard.
But the week before Yom Kippur is one of reflection and self-improvement. I’m going to fight my jealousy and spread the love. So, if I match you up with someone, give their blog a chance. I know matchmaking is not a perfect science.
Please join in tomorrow with some matchmaking of your own, maybe even mix and matching blogrolls. Are you the type who is always saying, “These two bloggers really need to read EACH OTHER!” If so, tomorrow is your chance to do a mitzvah by becoming a Yenta the Matchmaker for the day.
Update: The matches.
A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: A Shanda (Yiddish for Shame) (I really get Jewish at this time of the year, don’t I?)