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The number of bashows prior to announcing an engagement varies, as some have many bashows while others have as few as one, which is typical among the children of Hasidic Rebbes.
Bashert (or Beshert), (Yiddish: It is often used to refer to one's divinely foreordained spouse or soulmate, who is called one's "basherte" (female) or "basherter" (male).
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Some engage in it as a profession and charge a fee for their services.
Usually a professional matchmaker is called a shadchan, but anyone who makes a shidduch is considered the shadchan for it.
A shidduch often begins with a recommendation from family members, friends or others who see matchmaking as a mitzvah, or commandment.
In strictly Orthodox Jewish circles, dating is limited to the search for a marriage partner.
Both sides (usually the singles themselves, parents, close relatives or friends of the persons involved) make inquiries about the prospective partner, e.g.
Both sets of parents talk to each other, and then when the setting is more relaxed, they go into another room, leaving the man and woman in the living room to speak among themselves.
Some use this opportunity to actually ask each other pertinent questions, while some just want to see if they like each other, relying more on the information they got from the shadchen or from other people.