January 25, 2010 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #682763jphoneMember
“I don’t think it helps anyone to keep girls 18-21 from trying to get married”, I personally agree with this statement of yours. However, all indications from the back to back full page ads taken out by Nasi and those who published the declaration of 60+ rosheo Yeshivos about “close in age marriages” is that someone somewhere seems to be saying just that.January 25, 2010 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #682764
Mox: I think our community is by now well aware of crisis facing our singles. I don’t see why it’s so relevant to verify the exact number of our annual population growth, and the exact number/percent of remaining girls. We would serve CR members much favor if we would discuss ‘solutions’ (without the context of the ‘crisis’)like by discussing the extra qualities of an older girl, and how it might be beneficial for some boys to marry little youger, instead of debating actual statistics, and hammering in the reality of the crisis every day. This over excessive ‘crisis talk’is only causing people to get depressed, and more anxious. Let’s try to keep peoples’ mood positive and optimistic, this way everyone will be encouraged to do their share in trying to help out in the current matzav, and not just give up in despair and panick to make their sure their own daughter is ‘saved’ from the crisis.January 25, 2010 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #682765
Regarding the Moslem communities:
In a Atlas published the the 1990’s about muslim society (that covered all kinds of social and economic issues) they devoted two pages to the “shiddcuh crisis” and how age gap is creating it. They make the point that the muslim countries/societies/communities where the age gap is most prevalent (birth rate growth x differential in standard age at time of marriage) they have two other prevalent phenomena regarding their single women
1. Polygamy (women marrying men who are already married)
2. repudiation (women marrying men who have been divorced or widowed.
They explain it simply that since the single women can’t find single men to marry- they instead marry men who are married or who have been married already.
sound familiar…January 25, 2010 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm #682766
I checked half a dozen more girl’s schools and all of them had less than 5% single by age 25. Combined with the testimony of the older singles interviewed in Binah and contributing to the CR, it doesn’t seem that there are many more singe girls then boys out there. The gap seems to be at the professional shadchanim who attract many more girls then boys. We don’t have a “shidduch crisis” we have a “shadchan crisis”.
Certainly this is NOT attributable to the “age gap” and narrowing the gap will help noone.January 25, 2010 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm #682767
lomed: as AZ often says, we have to know the SOURCE of the problem to fix it.January 26, 2010 12:30 am at 12:30 am #682768
Hello99: the age gap theory has been widely accepted as reality throughout the Yeshiva world. I have seen myself actual statistics of the remaining girls over 25, obtained from the principals and teachers of the Bais Yaakov across America and they were far higher tan 5% (somewhere between 10-13%). Just ask anyone out there and they will tell you many single girls are scattered all over. In Brooklyn alone there are hundreds of girls in their thirties rotting away alone in rented basements in Brooklyn, without any social network, who have already given up calling shadchanim.
EDITEDJanuary 26, 2010 1:34 am at 1:34 am #682769jewish and working 22Member
Lomed Mkol Adam:
For all the 30+ years who “rotting away alone in rented basements in Brooklyn, without any social network, who have already given up calling shadchanim.” there are the same amount of boys who are eshiva with no network, who have given up on shadchanim as well. Most guys don’t resolve to hysterics though.
Also, as you mentioned “without any social network”. So it is their problem that they can’t figure out how to do something for themselves and they are relying on others, who seem to be incompetent in the shadchan area (shadchanim).
The problem is not the age gap but the lack of singles who are capable of doing something on their own and are relying on others for everything. Tell those 30 year-olds to mature and do something for themselves.January 26, 2010 2:37 am at 2:37 am #682770
Look, it’s not like people don’t know I have issues with the age gap theorists. However, the gedolim did come out supporting the theory and we can’t disparage them.
Originally, when the age gap buzz started a reasonable recommendation was made that the first few girls a guy dates should be within range. After that, age should not be a major factor. Again, sounds good to me.
Now since this thread is dealing with older singles, it seems logical to assume that the young or not so young men in question have probably gone out with their quota of girls within the range, so the age gap issue is irrelevant to this discussion.January 26, 2010 3:49 am at 3:49 am #682771
Jewish and working: I think i’ll just leave it for AZ to answer you, if he feels that he has a need to. I think AZ is doing a great job solidifying awarness of the crisis facing our Bnos Yisroel. By the way AZ that was a great post you posted today about Muslim countries. I guess the age gap problem is not a theory but rather an established fact in the secular world.January 26, 2010 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #682772
mox: you make a good point, that the change in birth rate is more relevant then the overall population growth. However in my experience there has been a significant DROP in the birth rate the past 10-15 years as birth control has become more popular in our circles, for better or for worse. According to this we may find a shortage of BOYS 10-20 years down the line. In any event, unless there is concrete evidence of a recent INCREASE in the birth rate I think the “age gap” may correct itself w/o overturning the current system.January 27, 2010 1:37 am at 1:37 am #682773
To add to hello99: I don’t do the numbers crunching bit so I’ll take what you have to say seriously. And add that since this thread is dealing with OLDER singles, who should definitely be thinking outside the box (NOT compromising, just being open to new ideas) the age guidelines are intriguing. After all, to a 30 y.o. young man, how big a difference is 32 to 28?
OTOH, since we’re dealing with older singles, the LAST thing they need to do is NARROW the prospective pool of shidduch possibilities by LIMITING to this narrow age frame.January 29, 2010 4:43 am at 4:43 am #682774
az and mox: Do a gather from your thundering silence that you have come to acknowledge the fallacy of the “age gap”???January 29, 2010 6:32 am at 6:32 am #682775
I just got this in my e-mail and had to share it.
LESS ON THE SHIDDUCH CRISIS
Yes, I am a shadchan, but guess what, so are all of you! Every single member of klal yisroel has not just the potential but the achrayus to be actively involved in this avodas hakodesh. I propose that we get to work and solve the Shadchan crisis once and for all.
Let us fill our newspapers with articles on Ahavas Yisroel, helping others, eliminating machlokes and speaking less loshon horah and in that zchus, I trust that the Ribono shel Olam will shower our children with beautiful, meaningful, long lasting marriages.January 29, 2010 7:01 am at 7:01 am #682776
Thank you for the insightful post, haifagirl.January 29, 2010 8:02 am at 8:02 am #682777
Sounds like an accurate description of our shidduch system to me.
I find this part to be troubling, should parents be choosing a mate for their children? I don’t have a problem with parents finding their children dates but that’s a far cry from choosing a mate for them. I don’t think the problem is that parents aren’t being selective enough, quite the opposite actually. It sounds to me like the problem is that the children are still children and not adults.January 29, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm #682778
I find this part to be troubling, should parents be choosing a mate for their children? I don’t have a problem with parents finding their children dates but that’s a far cry from choosing a mate for them.
ydkm: I think you might be misinterpreting a bit. You have no problem with parents finding dates for their children. Why are they finding dates? To go to a movie and have good time? Or are they choosing dates to be a potential mate for their children? Therefore, shouldn’t the parents think “is this a good spouse for my child”?January 29, 2010 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm #682779
Haifagirl, who’s that email from?
And Youdon’tknowme, nothing wrong with parents being involved in research and vetting, but there’s a difference between saying yes to kids going out, and pushing into marriage.
That part wasn’t clear to me.January 29, 2010 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #682780
It was forwarded from somewhere else. But it was written by Mrs. Chana Rose and the e-mail said it appeared in the Yated Ne’eman last week.January 29, 2010 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm #682781
haifagirl, I’m sure she wasn’t saying that parents should decide who their children should marry. Part of the problem I have with what she wrote is the wording, you’re not “choosing” a spouse for your child you are merely suggesting a possible match for them to decide on, or at least that’s how it should be. The way she wrote it sounds like the children have no responsibility for their own actions. Also IMO suggesting that parents be more selective in who they let their children date is not a good idea.January 29, 2010 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #682782
Youdon’tknowme, if the date involved a plane ticket, the parents are in their rights to see if it’s in the ballpark. (Yes, I know. Shidduchvision!)January 29, 2010 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #682783
Since you insist:
Hello99: Absolutely Positively NO. Just Haven’t been around the CR lately
check out this weeks Yated for the response to the letter posted above.
Here is the gist.
Title of letter
“Of course there is a shidduch crisis”
“I read chana rose letter last week and I am amazed that a shadchan herself can openly state no crisis!!”
“What does she mean…..”
“Every single older girl is a crisis….”
“She just has to read kol korei from gedolei hador…..”
“As a matter of fact it is actually a time of torture….”
“It might be hard for her to feel the pain of the older single….”
And the winner line
“Yes, we most definitely have a crisis and that is what it should be called. It is only because it has been termed a crisis that more ppl have gotten involved in shidduchim. More organizations, more Shidduchim meetings. Incentives have been offered, and a kol korei released”
in my opinion very well done-AZ
Then the next letter agree points out that we need more Shaddchanim and reccomends some form of thank you for any shadchan that sets up a date-
hey where did I hear that kind of an idea before…..January 29, 2010 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #682784
“However in my experience there has been a significant DROP in the birth rate the past 10-15 years as birth control has become more popular in our circles, for better or for worse.”
Please Check out the progressive class sizes in lakewood/passaic/monsey for example.
For specific mathematical data i will leave that to mox.
EDITEDJanuary 29, 2010 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #682785
“if the date involved a plane ticket, the parents are in their rights to see if it’s in the ballpark. (Yes, I know. Shidduchvision!)”
Of course they do, even if it doesn’t involve a plane ticket. Checking if it’s in the ballpark is not the same as asking if this is the best possible match. I guess I’m living in a different world, one where if I had to ask my parents to pay for a plane ticket I probably wouldn’t consider myself ready to get married.January 29, 2010 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #682786
What I think Mrs Rose meant was
1. Having more shadchanim would be very helpful.
2. Mothers of YOUNGER girls (19/20/21) getting hysterically worried (although understandable because of the fear of what’s going on) is counterproductive.
EDITEDJanuary 29, 2010 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #682787
Did I say who was paying?January 29, 2010 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #682788
If you have anything concrete (or even anecdotal) indicating that the growth rate is dropping I would love to see it. In any event I would find it hard to believe that the drop is so precipitous as be significant enough to eliminate the issue. From the data I have seen (class size etc)the reverse seems to be the case.
If you are right then in 10 or so years we will not have a problem – a different albeit important point.
Once we are getting down to it another relevant point that has to be taken into account is the tremendous advances in reproductive medicine over the past ten or so years.January 29, 2010 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #682789
AZ, your summary of what she’s saying makes sense it’s all the other stuff she put in there that I don’t understand.
Tzippi, you said “if the date involved a plane ticket, the parents are in their rights to see if it’s in the ballpark.” I inferred from this that the parents are paying. Why else would the need for a plane ticket be relevant?January 29, 2010 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #682790
no argument here. I’m a much bigger fan of this weeks rebuttal – than of her original letter.January 30, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm #682791
az and mox: as mox so capably pointed out the issue is not the birth rate itself but the INCREASE in the birth rate. Sure classes are growing because we have a relatively high birth rate compared to the Western world, but anyone who is part of the Yeshiva World is aware that the current generation of young couples is much different that 20 years ago. In the 70’s and 80’s birth control was virtually unknown in the Yeshiva world, today “spacing” children is routinely accepted in many circles and by many Rabbonim. I have heard many Kollel couples remark that they have 5 children “and my Rav says that is enough” (in my opinion a crude and un-tzniusdik comment), something unheard of 20 years ago. I look at dozens of my contemporaries in their 30’s and 40’s and 5-6 children is the average, a big drop over last generation.
In short, I think anyone with open eyes can see that the birth rate, while high, is shrinking NOT growing.January 30, 2010 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #682792
mox: “another relevant point that has to be taken into account is the tremendous advances in reproductive medicine over the past ten or so years”
While it is wonderful that medicine is helping solve another “crisis” by saving many couples from childlessness, it has little impact on overall birth rates. People are not using IVF etc to have 10 children but to have 1 or 2. Also many of the issues it solves are hormone imbalances due to excessive obesity or anorexia, issues largely new to this generation. So it is not causing an increase in overall birth rates, just mitigating a potential cause of decline.
So if all this hullabaloo about fixing the “age gap” is based on the miss-assumption that birth rates are rising, I think NASI should call back the 70 signatories and explain to them that they were fed faulty data. As mox explained, it’s irrelevant if the birth rate is 2%, 4.5% or 10%; what is important is whether it is rising or falling.January 31, 2010 2:14 am at 2:14 am #682793
AZ, I don’t often get the Yated before Monday (out of town mail delivery).
I am intrigued by the torture line. Perhaps I need to see the total context but at what age does being an older singer young woman become torture? Or is it the demoralizing shidduch scene, in which case, how long does a young woman have to go out unsuccessfully or it to qualify as torture? As there is subtle and not so subtle encouragement to delay dating, will girls reach the torture stage earlier in their shidduch phase?
I don’t mean to downplay this. I know that even the young women with the biggest smiles and stiffest upper lips will have their down days but what are we doing to our girls by such rhetoric? Aren’t we raising them to have simchas hachaim and feel productive regardless of their marital status, especially as they get older and more skilled, professionally and personally, and may be able to make even more contributions in their communities?
Am I missing something?
And just for the record, I DO have kids in the parsha.January 31, 2010 3:02 am at 3:02 am #682794realtalkMember
I think that part of what is causing the problem is sinas chinam, a lack of achdus, or close- mindedness- whatever you want to call it. For example, why are girls who sfardi only getting thought of about other sfaradim even if they are not suitable. Hello, maybe she wants someone askenazi- maybe ask her. Another prob.- she is not the right kind of sfardi- not to mention that she grew up in an ashkenazi neighborhood and does not mind switching minhagim. and then there are the ridiculoud questions- like do the dishes get stacked at the table or brought in individually. Does the fatehr take the subway or a bus to work? HELLO, who cares? Is that what is really important or is that what is causing the shidduch crisis and the divorce rate to go up? these are only examples that happened to people I know, and I am sure there is a lot more out there.February 1, 2010 2:44 am at 2:44 am #682795
Hello99: I will leave it to mox to debate the actaul mathematical data angle. However I fail to understand you. Are you suggesting that the average family size in the “yeshiva” world are smaller now than they were 20 30 years ago.
I thing a simple even cursory glance at the facts on the ground will show that not to be accurate.February 1, 2010 4:02 am at 4:02 am #682796
You asked, “Am I missing something”
YesFebruary 1, 2010 4:32 am at 4:32 am #682797
az: “Are you suggesting that the average family size in the “yeshiva” world are smaller now than they were 20 30 years ago”
Certainly. Yungerleit in their 20s and 30s are having LESS children then their parents did.February 1, 2010 4:58 am at 4:58 am #682798
realtalk, though I do understand the point you make about sefardi only wanting to go out with sefardi, etc. you also need to allow that people who come from diverse cultural hashkafos do not always feel comfortable with each other in the way that is necessary to make a marriage work. Many do, of course, and B”H for that, but I think it has more to do with the individual temperaments of the parties involved. Some people do not want to adopt the customs of the male spouse who is of a different culture, and if so, they are wise to make that early decision NOT to date people outside their comfort zone. They certainly should not be criticized for it, in my opinion. I know of several couples where there were some serious communication problems because of this. I also know of many Ashkenaz/Sefardi, Chassidish/Litvish, American/ foreign born, and even Yankees/Mets couples who were most happily married for decades.February 1, 2010 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #682799
Please visit lakewood. I don’t think you are in touch with reality.February 1, 2010 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #682800
AZ, please elaborate. I’m not being sarcastic. And I’m not belittling loneliness.
But if I were a young man I would much rather go out with and marry someone who radiates simchas hachaim. Then again, maybe the single older guys are also wallowing in their misery, crying in their pillows, waiting for Princess Charming to (figuratively, of course) sweep them off their feet.February 1, 2010 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #682801
To give some anecdotal evidence. Growing up (in a yeshivishe community in the time frame you describe) families with 10 children was NOT commonplace. In the entire school we had maybe 5 such families. Nowadays that is VERY common.February 1, 2010 9:14 pm at 9:14 pm #682802
The issue is not based on the fact that birth rates are rising but on the fact that they are high. A rising birth rate does add to the problem but it is far from the primary issue.
In the event birth rates are dropping at a significant enough rate, in a decade or so our approach to the issue will have to be reevaluated. We will have plenty of time to debate that issue.
With regard to the issue of reproductive medicine I will state that I think you are wrong on a number of points however I don’t think this is the place to debate it as it has only marginal relevance to the issue at hand.February 2, 2010 3:07 am at 3:07 am #682803realtalkMember
oomis: I was just using the sfardi example to prove my point. Did you read the rest including the questions? My point was that one of the reasons that there is a “crisis” is because people are not open- minded enough. The age factor is included in that.February 2, 2010 5:16 am at 5:16 am #682804
I agree with you that people are not always openminded. But openmindedness goes both ways – to include being openminded about the fact that some people will simply NOT be as openminded as you feel they ought to be, and they should not be judged negatively for that. Some non-negotiables are very deeply ingrained.
The other examples you cited, are of course extreme ones, and anyone who nixes a shidduch because of the way the father of the boy or girl goes to work, is an absolute fool. Stacked dishes or brought individually – THIS is what people care about? If they really do, then their kids are gonna wait on the shelf a LONG long time. And if people truly feel this way, then it is up to their rabbonim to set them straight about what is really important. I wouldn’t want my daughters or son to have such a shver and shviger who set store by such nonsense. I would question what type of children they raised with such shallowness.February 2, 2010 6:54 am at 6:54 am #682805
mox: I qoute you “The number relevant to us is not the population growth rate but the growth in the birth rate. this number is calculated by taking births from one year subtracting the previous years births and dividing by the previous years births”
Please make up your mind!!!February 2, 2010 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm #682806
All this talk of birth rates, subtracting the previous year’s births, dividing by the blah blah blah, shows me one thing. We have way too much time on our hands posting this, that could be put to better use by redting shidduchim.February 2, 2010 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #682807
The relevant number is the growth in the absolute birth rate – that is the increase in total number of births. I did not mean the growth in the birth rate per thousand in the population. Sorry for the misleading terminology a more appropriate term would have been “Increase in the number of births” as the term rate is generally used in relation to a fixed number of people.February 2, 2010 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #682808
if there are not enough boys for the girls we can redt till our faces turn blue. We won’t make a dent…February 2, 2010 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #682809
I was asked to post this response to the letter that has previously been discussed. It was written by a very active shadchan.
Yes , I agree with the writer who contended that the shidduch situation is not a crisis. A crisis is an emergency situation which needs immediate attention and is usually short lived . This is much more intense, painful, and severe, and for many it seems to last an eternity. The parents of older single girls do not live a normal life, nor do the girls themselves. What seems to be a simple act like attending shul on shabbos and yomtov is fraught with pain. Attending a simcha is difficult beyond imagination. Only a person without any close family members or friends struggling in the parsha can speak so cavalierly about having bitachon . Would one tell the mother of a sick child , the refuah will come at the right time with the right shaliach???
It is completely unacceptable to attempt to calm people down and reassure them that things will work themselves out in shidduchim when it is quite evident that that has not been the case for hundreds of singles today..
A woman once confided in me that if she would have known what difficulties she would have encountered in shidduchim with her daughters she wouldn’t have had so many children. This highly intelligent, frum, articulate woman, was simply expressing her deepest feelings in a moment of shidduch angst.
One cannot ever dictate to another human being how they should feel. Our job is to listen with utmost empathy and do what is possible to alleviate another persons pain. Empathy, compassion, sensitivity are within everyone’s grasp. We are all familiar with the famous story of the grandmother who reacted by saying, don’t worry when a child was severely hurt until she came close and realized unfortunately it was her own grandchild who was the victim. Then the situation took on an urgency unlike any other.
For those who are watching from the sidelines with their tables full of growing families, the situation isn’t so severe. But when your own daughter is lonely, heartbroken and receiving invitations to her friends sons bar mitzvahs then its far more severe than any crisis.February 2, 2010 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm #682810
AZ, far be it from me to belittle genuine pain. But question: at what point does a girl become an older single? There is a grassroots movement to get girls to delay dating till 22. How long does it take for them to cross over to the other side?
And about the older singles: the age dating won’t work. We need to BROADEN their options as much as possible. However, for the entry level singles, there is clearly toeles to a phase of TRYING. (I wouldn’t limit anyone’s options under any circumstances.)February 3, 2010 1:35 am at 1:35 am #682811SinglePickyParticipant
At what age should a single girl be encouraged to date a previously married man? With kids? What about an age gap? How old should a 32 year old be encouraged to date? Interested in your thoughts. ThanksFebruary 3, 2010 5:00 am at 5:00 am #682812
SinglePicky – these are my own thoughts based on nothing more than my personal feelings on the subject. I think that by the time a girl is 30+ and not married, she has to give serious consideration to being open to the idea of a shidduch that might be with a formerly married man (whether widowed or divorced). Men who are of the appropriate age to marry a girl her age, but who were never married, tend to raise a red flag with me, because I cannot imagine that guys who are good guys would not be snatched up. No matter what anyone says, it is harder for girls to get married than boys, because ultimately, the girl has to wait to be asked by the boy. In the case of a 30 year old, I believe it is easier if there are no children coming with the marriage (especially if divorced), because that creates a tie to the former spouse or her family forever, and if widowed, it might be too much for a young woman to take on a ready-made family at age 30. If the girl is 35 or more, it would be more worrisome if the guy did NOT have at least one child.
I would not want to see a 32 year old involved with someone more than five or six years her senior, unless the fellow is really youthful and takes care of himself. But you know what – MY opinions do not matter, nor do anyone else’s. It is what the person in question’s comfort level is, that determines how she would feel about dating a formerly married man, with or without children, and whatever age. I think girls need to be realistic, and understand that as they age the pool of single, normal, compatible guys gets shallower by the year.
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