June 4, 2019 9:35 am at 9:35 am #1737581
This started as a shidduch thread. I was debating why marriages happen so young, and realized it’s because traditions stayed the same when times have changed us.
That’s not entirely true. Our girls wait until closer to 20 to marry, a huge difference from the ancient 13-15 years old. But look at why. A thousand years ago, women lived until maybe 30-35. Now, you can easily have a baby at that age, and then have several more after.
Which is my next concern. The large families and overcrowding in town are due to a change in tradition. The Talmud holds a standard of 24 months of nursing a baby. If done correctly, that would put a minimum of 15 mos (likely 18-24 mos) space between children, leading to smaller families. And while all children are a blessing, spending the past year trying to find a high school that is a good fit and has space for my daughter makes me wish there was a little less competition.
I guess I should just be quiet and appreciate that I have a few more years before I look for a nice bochur for her.June 4, 2019 10:02 am at 10:02 am #1737780
1. We already start marrying late. We should aim to lower the age of marriage closer to Chazal’s recommendation to be married by 18.
2. A thousand years ago people lived into their 60s, on average.
3. In Eastern Europe before WWII, the average frum family had about 10 or more children.
4. Chas V’Shalom to broach the idea of population control in order to reduce high school sizes or town size, R”L.June 4, 2019 10:02 am at 10:02 am #1737772
13-15 years old wasn’t actually the norm back then either. In fact, it is documented that it used to be far more common for teens to reach physical maturity at a later age, making a 13 year old still a child. Also, while the average life expectancy was not so high, many of the deaths were in early childhood, which pulls down the average. And the best way to prevent deaths from childbirth, other than modern medicine, is to make sure children don’t have babies.June 4, 2019 11:24 am at 11:24 am #1737888
Many things have changed. Most children survive childhood, and almost no women die in childbirth. In pre-modern societies most children didn’t make, and death in childbirth was the leading cause of death of women (remember that serious infections treated with antibiotics were often fatal before the mid-20th century, and caesarean were done only to save the baby after the mother died). One has to be a very old person to remember when the leading cause of death of Jews involved goyim killing them, or when most professions were largely closed to Jews (not just frum Jews). These sorts of things affect personal decision on economic and family matters. The world changed, don’t complain, get used to it. The old ways were horrible.June 4, 2019 1:15 pm at 1:15 pm #1737936
Mistykins: if the population were smaller you would likely have less high schools to choose from and maybe one that was actually a good fit, assuming they all had the space.
The overcrowding is partly our fault, as for example in KJ they are building (schools and housing) like crazy to accommodate the growing population, and it’s covering the Brooklyn influx besides its own natural growth Ka”h.
Yes, government funding and having their own tax base definitely helps, as money is needed for everything, but you can’t negate that smart growth-oriented planning plays a huge part in meeting the demand. And less schools equals less choice, but also better allocation of resources.
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