IS There a Shidduch Crisis??

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    Cherrybim: As an aside, why would you think that the people who are encouraging the close the age gap movement. Each and every one of them without a child anywhere the parsha of shidduchim would have a agenda?? I just don’t get your animosity. If you would like to debate the issue- that’s fair and square. But to think that they are dedicating their time energy and in many cases money for something which they stand to derive NO Direct personal benefit, why would they want to manipulte numbers people etc. I just don’t get you.



    Are you belittling our efforts to reinstate polygamy?? You yourself admitted a few posts back that it would help resolve the age gap! And I’ve told you above that I am sincere in this, I truly believe in it. And I see other posters do as well, haifagirl and I’m sure many others.

    Will you help support us in this effort? And to repeat, yes, I truly believe this will help and am very sincere about it.

    If I call NASI will they assist in this noble effort to help alleviate the age gap issue??


    How in the world are you advocating a theory that was cobbled together by some armature hobbyist?

    Since when are actuaries, demographers? And which actuary conducted the study?

    Are you now crediting Avi Chai with conducting your study? Is Dr. Marvin Schick in agreement with your deductions and projections?

    Who deduced it?

    Is that another one of your deductions?


    rather than universal polygamy, perhaps we should introduce it slowly.

    How about if boys who have written a sefer before they are 23 should be entitled to two wives.



    That sounds like a good start. Perhaps we can work with NASI, and whomever NASI used to gather signatures from the Gedolim, to get the Rabbonim involved.

    Every little bit helps.



    “Because I was told there was a problem. I saw for myself that the problem did exist.”

    That’s what I would like to know. What problem have you seen? After all, “pushing for polygamy” is a pretty serious endeavor, and I would like to know why we should be looking at this. Thanks.


    I see sometimes there is a problem before it starts I have suggested a very good guy to some families and even before asking questions the answer was NO. People sometimes say no even without investigating or giving themselves a try.


    “After all, “pushing for polygamy” is a pretty serious endeavor, and I would like to know why we should be looking at this. Thanks.”

    Just a minor point I’d like to make. Pushing for marriages within 2 years of each other, is also IMO a pretty serious endeavor. But we all have to do what we can to alleviate the crisis.

    anon for this

    MM, but only one of those endeavors involves breaking US law. Please note that if a man is married to one woman, he may be guilty of bigamy if he lives with another woman, even if he does not marry the second woman. Also, the charge of bigamy may apply even if his first marriage is a common-law marriage only.


    I don’t think anyone mentioned this, and I know this discussion isn’t fully serious, but no girl that I know would be willing to be someone’s second wife or let their husband take a second wife. There would be no special husband wife relationship as we know it today. Anyone who does this would have to be completely desperate and only be doing it so they won’t leave this world without children.

    People complain that we’re influenced by Hollywood when we look for a spouse. This is the opposite extreme. Even people completely not influenced by hollywood wouldn’t be able to stomache this type of marriage.


    The problem I saw was there were a lot of single girls, and not so many single boys. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure when you have 20 hamburgers and only 10 buns, you make double burgers.


    I keep hearing that there is a shidduch crisis b/c there are so many more girls out there than guys and that boys are too picky. Maybe it’s b/c I’m a guy but I see a completely different side of the story. Why is there so little talk about how picky the girls are? I’ve heard lots of stories of girls, especially older ones, saying no to guys for ridiculous reasons. It would seem to be logical that girls would be more understanding and patient when dating considering that it’s supposed to be so hard out there for them. Yet from what I hear and see that is far from the case, most guys I know don’t like going out with older girls for this reason. I think the real problem is one of priorities, too many guys are looking for money, and too many girls are looking for the perfect guy. In other words it’s not just a shidduch crisis, it’s a bigger problem with our society valuing the wrong things.


    MM: Pushing for marriage within 2 years is a serious endeavor, correct. Those who propose this have explaining their reasons. (I am not familiar enough with the age-gap concept to have an opinion on this.)

    Haifagirl has not explained her reasoning on “pushing for polygamy for 20 years”. If this is being pushed by any/someone, I would like to know the reasons why.


    AZ, they’re baiting you. Don’t fall for it.

    Anyone who IS serious about this is crazy. Look at all the asifos, recent and planned, re proper running of businesses, etc. in light of the horrible financial scandals. Do you really think any sane rav would advocate something so illegal?



    Difference is 70 R”Y disagree with your HO.

    MM: on a previous page you asked where was the information on the Arab society documented. Here it is.

    The world Atlas of the Arab World- Geopolitics and Society.

    Written by Rafie Boustani and Philippe Fargues

    Copyright 1990

    on page 50-51

    Polygamy and Repudiaton of the wife (remarriage taking place more rapidly for the man) are both predicated upon a surplus of women in relation to men on the “marriage market”. In a society that encourage women to marry early and men to marry later, at any given time male candidates for marriage are older therefore less numerous then their female counterparts. Because of purely numerical constraints some women marry for the first time men who are not bachelors themselves because they (the men) are either divorced (repudiation) or married (polygamny).

    The age difference between spouses is the quintessential cause of the paired institutions of polygamy and repudiation.

    Both of the practices (polygamy and divorce) fed on large age differences between spouses.

    Divorce and Polygamy jointly act to regulate a marriage market where the age difference between spouses has brought a surplus of women available for marriage.

    For the record:

    This information was not part of the Age Gap study done in our communities. I don’t even think the people who did the Age Gap study nor the people involved in the NASI project are aware of this interesting tidbit regarding the Arab world.

    A friend of mine who knows I have encouraged the NASI agenda, told me about this information a couple of months ago.


    mm: you ask

    If I call NASI will they assist in this noble effort to help alleviate the age gap issue??

    If the R”Y advising them will agree with your ideas (polygamy) they will absolutely join with you. To date the R”Y advising them do not agree with encouraging polygamy and it doesn’t look like they plan on changing their mind any time soon.

    Cherrybim: these numbers where not put together FOR nasi. These numbers were realized way way before (3 years before) NASI was even a pipe dream.


    AZ, you haven’t answered my question in respect with Hashem naming every persons zivug?


    FWIW, I’ve heard descriptions of Arab married life. After a while, a guy will marry a younger second wife who becomes chief cook and bottlewasher. After a while he will marry a third wife, second gets to order number three around, etc. Not happy married life.

    And they marry within a very unhealthy age range.

    And it’s not the girls who are desperate to get married. It’s the fathers who are desperate to marry them off.

    Please let’s limit our extrapolations from a dysfunctional society.


    “The problem I saw was there were a lot of single girls, and not so many single boys. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure when you have 20 hamburgers and only 10 buns, you make double burgers.”


    What do you think is the cause for the problem you are seeing? Why would you be pushing for so long for such a dramatic change instead of looking for and addressing the root cause of the “problem”? Isn’t that the first line of defense?

    If it’s “age-gap”, attempts at solutions are being made, if it’s “unrealistic demands”, more education and societal change is needed, etc. I have no particular insight into the matter of root cause, and therefore cannot suggest a specific remediation. I still would like to know why you are advocating for a “solution” instead of addressing the problem’s roots. Unless, of course, you are a proponent of polygamy itself, and are using the “shidduch crisis” to spur momentum for your project. Perhaps you believe in discouraging close relationships between spouses, for whatever reason?


    anon for this,

    Apparently you missed the discussion earlier in the thread where haifagirl and myself suggested the laws against polygamy can be changed (as any laws can be). Additionally, it is NOT against any current law for a man to live with more than one female if he is not civilly married to more than one. In fact, if a man could be prosecuted for having a relationship with more than one, most non-Jews (due to immorality) would be subject to prosecution.

    As ronrsr erlier pointed out, even real polygamy is not prosecuted as a practical matter (unless other serious laws are violated). Having more than one, where there is no secular marriage, is not even against current law. And like earlier stated, the proposal is to change the laws against polygamy.


    You are mistaken. I’ve heard from others, male and female, who would support polygamy. And just read haifagirl’s comments right here!


    To your knowledge has this been discussed or proposed by or with the Rabbonim yet? I didn’t think so. The “age gap” at one time was also not on the Rabbinical radar screen. Polygamy too is just a matter of time until the Gedolim discuss it and potentially come out with a Kol Koreh encouraging it.


    Why should the “age gap” issue only be addressed by close in age marriages (which as you admitted too is a serious endeavor) when it can be addressed as well (and likely even more efficiently) with polygamy?


    “Why should the “age gap” issue only be addressed by close in age marriages (which as you admitted too is a serious endeavor) when it can be addressed as well (and likely even more efficiently) with polygamy?”

    MM, I didn’t say “age-gap” should be addressed at all- I actually said that I have no insight into the matter to even state an opinion on what is the root cause of the “shidduch crisis”! You must have read this; I stated this quite clearly.

    My question was and is related to the matter of addressing outcome versus root cause. I would think determining and addressing root cause would be the first line of defense for an ongoing campaign of “twenty years”. Polygamy addresses sad outcome of “too few girls”, if indeed you feel that there are “too few girls”. If you believe so (like I said, I personally have no knowledge in the area), why aren’t you addressing the cause, and remediating the cause, as your primary “program for change”. That is how logical people endeavor to solve problems.

    Therefore, I suspect that some individuals may be “pushing for polygamy” because they support polygamy, regardless of the “shiduch crisis” status. I am curious if that is indeed the case, and why.

    If I’m still not clear, I won’t try again. Perhaps haifagirl understands the question.


    M Maven, which wife shouldn’t have the legal benefits? Unless you also want to reinstate pilagshus. Now THAT’s an idea, huh.

    I still can’t take this seriously.



    If we assume for the moment that there are more women in the shidduch market than there are men (which is the basis of the age gap issue), would you not agree one logical method of addressing the root of the issue is to reinstate polygamy?

    (Note I am not trying to say this is the only reason to reinstate polygamy. But sticking to the age gap discussion for the moment this would seemingly be addressing a root of the problem. And that is the issue I understand haifagirl is attempting to address as well.)



    Are *you* assuming? It either is the case, or it isn’t the case. Before you throw a solution at a problem, you need to know if there is a problem, right? If you want to talk “logical”, uh, determining if there *is* a problem would be a good start…

    Regarding your last paragraph, this is exactly what I would like to know. If it “not the only reason”, please share with us the other reasons. And no, polygamy does not address the “root of the problem”, it addresses the outcome of the problem. Think about this carefully, and try to really understand the concept of root cause vs. outcome before your fingers hit the keyboard. I mean this sincerely.

    anon for this

    MM, as ronsnr pointed out, there is a long history of anomosity in the US towards polygamy. This history makes it very unlikely that US laws against polygamy will be changed in our lifetimes.

    As I stated in my previous post, authorities can indeed prosecute for bigamy if a man has a common-law marriage relationship with two different women, even if he is not married to both. Generally authorities won’t prosecute unless there are other issues such as underage marriage or welfare fraud, but laws exist allowing them to do so.


    “Are *you* assuming? It either is the case, or it isn’t the case. Before you throw a solution at a problem, you need to know if there is a problem, right? If you want to talk “logical”, uh, determining if there *is* a problem would be a good start…”


    Based upon your above remarks, you are questioning the validity of the age-gap argument presented by AZ and NASI. That is certainly your prerogative. In that case, why haven’t you vocalized your above concerns all this time AZ was presenting his case? Why did these above concerns of yours first surface with the polygamy proposal?


    anon, I disagree with you that there is currently in the general population much animosity towards it. First of all, it is not known of much by the general populace. Secondly, in the places where polygamy is practiced in America, i.e. Fundamentalist Mormons, certain Muslims, and certain African immigrants, there isn’t much hostility towards them for this reason.

    Legally a common-law marriage is virtually the same under the law as a civil marriage. I was not referring to common-law marriages. My point was that there is no secular law prohibiting a man from living in the same home as two women, so long he does not civilly marry them. (Common law marriage is only possible in 11 states. And it is generally only achievable if both parties desire to consider themselves to be in a common law marriage.)


    MM: The idea of polygamy has been brought up numerous times with various R”Y (in jest obviously) however as you and I well know they have never considered it as even a far fetched idea worth pursuing(nor do I to the extent that my opinion counts). I honestly don’t think you do either, but for some reason you have an ax to grind against either the NASI Project, me or the issue in general. That’s fine but again I can’t begin to fathom why you are wasting you time.

    If you asked me why I think the R”Y are more inclined to encouraging close in age marriages rathre than pursue the polygamy route it is because,

    1. The R”Y feel their is nor real downside short term or long term to more close in age marraiges. Polygamy will bring with it total upheaval of family life as we know it.

    2. It is VERY realistic to think that continued progress will be made on more close in age shidduchim. It is unrealistic to think that polygamy will take hold in the frum community.

    Truth be told I wouldn’t bother responding to this narishkite, but in the name of exploring all options I have.

    Tzippi: have no fear I can take of myself.



    Who was named for the hundreds and hundreds of girls who have not gotten married. I hate to burst your naive bubble, but the bas kol of bas ploni to ploni does NOT guarantee that every jewish boy and girls will get married. We are seeing this with our very eyes, just look.


    AZ: I really honestly have no ax to grind with either you or NASI. I also think that you/NASI have failed to demonstrate your case. Of course, you still have the opportunity to do so, but thus far you have been repeating your same talking points for the past 7 months in the Coffee Room. These talking points of yours have not answered many of the multitude of valid questions presented to you.

    You said you only discussed it in jest (“obviously”). I suggest you discuss polygamy with the Rabbonim without the jest and only in earnestness. Make no assumptions that it is not an idea worth pursuing. Do it L’shem Shmayim.


    I honestly think there is nothing wrong with polygamy, although I believe once

    polygamy is legalized here is the U.S. there will be a rise in suicides, homocides,

    divorce, etc..

    It takes a special man and exceptionally special women to make polygamy work. The man has to treat both wives the same, showing absolutely no more favor to one spouse over the other.(like that is possible) Secondly the women must be extremely humble not having any traces of jealousy from one over another.(yeah right!) These circumstances are rare enough.

    However even by our Holy Ancestors, who were exceedingly greater than us, we find countless cases, of jealousy, rivalry, etc..

    So anybody who likes challenges, wants to get himself into a serious dilemma,

    likes hearing the phrase “I told you so!” again and again.

    I suggest you to shoot yourself the foot, first, just to be prepared.

    Peaople have a right to make extremely stupid decisions after being warned.

    So MM, haifagirl, you have my vote.

    Pass the popcorn, and lets sit back and enjoy the show.

    anon for this

    MM, you are entitled to your own opinions regarding American sentiment towards polygramy. In point of fact, though, 92% of Americans surveyed in a 2005 Gallup poll believed polygamous marriage is morally wrong.


    sorry for the typos (in) the foot (People)

    Don’t want another thread on spelling.


    anon, American’s are a bad barometer of what is moral. And American’s sense of antagonism (which is what you originally referred to) does not necessarily follow mores. American’s are quite a tolerant bunch, and the Fundamentalist Mormons have been practicing polygamy since the 1800’s.

    anon for this

    MM, I never said that Americans are good “barometers” of moral behavior; I was simply responding to your post. When I wrote that polygamy is unpopular in America, and it is therefore unlikely that it will be legalized, you wrote, “anon, I disagree with you that there is currently in the general population much animosity towards it.” So I pointed out that, in fact, the overwhelming majority of Americans believe polygamy is, indeed, morally wrong. Those interested in legalizing polygamy will have to overcome this hurdle.

    By way of comparison, 57% of Americans are against same-gender marriage, and about half of Americans believe same-gender relations are morally wrong.


    anon, Your original point was on their antagonism towards polygamy. Then you brought up their moral views. My point was that Americans antagonism towards things are not the same as what they believe moral.

    In any event, larger shifts in public opinion have occurred rather quickly, whether it was interracial relations (once also considered immoral and great antagonism towards) or a whole host of other issues. My point being, polygamy is achievable from a legal standpoint and an act of the Legislature.


    “Maybe we should focus our attention on WHY people are letting their true zivug get away????”

    Good point, I think a big part of the problem is that many girls think everything has to be perfect to get married. So even if they do find the “perfect” guy they’re not going to know how to handle it when something does go wrong, and something always does. So what can be done about it? I have no idea.


    “Bemused,Based upon your above remarks, you are questioning the validity of the age-gap argument presented by AZ and NASI. That is certainly your prerogative. In that case, why haven’t you vocalized your above concerns all this time AZ was presenting his case? Why did these above concerns of yours first surface with the polygamy proposal?”


    I don’t know if it is a decoding issue, or a reading comprehension issue, but you seem to be having difficulty understanding a few words of pretty basic English. Not once, but about three times, I stated that I have no idea about the “shidduch crisis” issue causes, and have no insight to make a comment on it, let alone a determination. Shall I say it a few more times? I’m finally understanding the true value of copy and paste…

    I don’t comment on AZ’s comments because I try very hard (and don’t always succeed) to avoid being a fool. A fool comments on issues he knows nothing about, perhaps because he likes to hear/see his own voice/words. I’m not saying anyone here does that, so please don’t get all offended on me. I’m simply saying that *I* prefer not to foolishly comment on something I know little about. I don’t know why there is a shidduch crisis, so I don’t comment. I admire anyone who tries to help people in shidduchim and otherwise, and that goes for AZ as well as anyone else who helps others, even if they are on the opposite side of the fence regarding age-gap, ie, they don’t agree with age-gap. Once again, are you ready? Here goes: I make *no* comment on age-gap- it is a subject with which I am unfamiliar. Kapisch?

    If you cannot answer my question regarding why you are pushing polygamy rather than addressing root cause, I can only assume that a) you don’t understand the concepts to which I refer, perhaps due to a vocabulary issue, conceptual issue or other or b) you have interests in pushing polygamy separate and apart from the “shidduch crisis”, are using the shidduch issue as a vehicle to push your agenda through, at least theoretically, and find the “shidduch issue” a convienent way to deflect questions on why on earth, specifically, are you, haifagirl, and others if there are, “pushing for polygamy”. If you can’t answer this basic question, the “pushy for polygamy” seems pretty silly. “I want societal change in this manner but I can’t explain why” is not very convincing…

    Have a good Shabbos.


    Does this shidduch problem exist in other countries, and other frum communities around the world, or is it specific to the USA?


    Shulchan Aruch EH 1:10:

    ????? ????? ????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ?? ??? ???? ??????


    Btw, tzippi…

    I hope you have been enjoying… I gave you a front row seat :).


    If the cause of the shidduch crisis is because there are more girls than boys, then polygamy would be a better solution than the “close in age” solution AZ presented. The “close in age” solution may help some girls, but would hurt others. This is so, because I believe there are guys and girls who were meant to be for each other even though they are more than a couple years apart, yet accoding to “close in age” solution won’t have an opportunity to go out with them bc of their age difference. So in the end of the day there will still be single girls who won’t get married. The polygamy solution, however, allows all girls to get married, if they so wish (although we may end up having to many single guys, because all the girls may want to marry the same guy, and i dont know who would want to a) marry the same guy, and b) marry more than one girl).

    anon for this

    MM, in discussing American attitudes toward polygamy, of course their views regarding its morality are important. Obviously belief that a behavior is morally wrong correlates with antgonism towards that behavior. What is difficult to understand about that?

    Based on the statistics I cited in my earlier post, I think that same-gender marriage will be declared legal throughout the country long before polygamy is.


    Ronsr, in mexico people try to marry girls and boys from the community. Most people aren’t so picky, they really just try to find a good person who’ll be a good spouse and a good mother/father from a nice family. (although people with big bank accounts usually go first, but that is probably a common occurence in most places)


    Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I have very low self-esteem. But I would have no problem tying a man to me, knowing that he still has options. I think he’d be less likely to divorce me if he can have another (better) wife at the same time.

    The added bonus is if I’m not in the mood to cook dinner, he has another wife to do that for him.


    That doesn’t answer the questions I posed to you. Not sure if it’s about self-esteem, though…Anyways,I don’t think I will be getting answers, so I’ll give it a rest.

    Shavua Tov


    Haifagirl: re dinner – grounds for divorce?

    And thanks to Bemused. Getting the popcorn ready.

    BTW, anyone see the Yated letter from NASI (wonder WHO from NASI) begging people not to redt shidduchim for girls just out of sem? Are they advocating putting girls in the freezer? If so, for how long?

    And if NASI wants to be taken seriously, how about signing one’s names to such letters?


    MM: I have failed to see the multitude of questions posed to the “talking points”

    A) population growing a fast clip B”H

    B) Age differential 3-4 commonplace

    C) A+B = many girls not having a boy to marry. You for one haven’t raised a single question that would raise any doubt to this issue.

    Regarding polygamy and the rabbonim: it wasn’t i who considered it in jest.

    Ronsr: Regarding other countries, I do not have access to any hard data. I have heard that EY has a similar problem. Although the age differential there is not as great (becasue boys start dating a bit younger) the population growth is bli ayim harah faster than in the US so the problem is the same.

    Additionally in EY with all the Shuvu and Lev La’chim etc students coming of age the community is facing a very serious issue. The girls From Shuvu and Lev lachim etc hit shidduchim at 19. Their male counterparts won’t be dating for another couple of years. Who are these girls going to marry????

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