A typical bashow scene is that the young man with his parents goes to see the young woman in her house to see if the prospective couple are compatible.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.Usually as the couple see more of each other the shadchan backs away and lets the couple manage it themselves.
Usually a professional matchmaker is called a shadchan, but anyone who makes a shidduch is considered the shadchan for it.
After the match has been proposed, the prospective partners meet a number of times to gain a sense of whether they are right for one another.
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.
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.
Both sides (usually the singles themselves, parents, close relatives or friends of the persons involved) make inquiries about the prospective partner, e.g.
on his/her character, intelligence, level of learning, financial status, family and health status, appearance and level of religious observance.If the shidduch does not work out, then usually the shadchan is contacted and it is he/she that tells the other side that it will not be going ahead.If the shidduch works out then the couple inform the shadchan of its success.It may also be helpful in small Jewish communities where meeting prospective marriage partners is limited, and this gives them access to a broader spectrum of potential candidates.Also, the decision as to whether or not the mate is good can be made with the emotional boundary of the shadchan who, if so desired by the couple, can call and talk to either side in the beginning stages of the dating to iron out issues that can crop up during the dating process.The first recorded shidduch in the Torah was the match that Eliezer, the servant of the Jewish patriarch Abraham, made for his master's son Isaac (Genesis Ch. Abraham gave him specific instructions to choose a woman from Abraham's own tribe.