Parents and singles
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- This topic has 61 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 11 months, 3 weeks ago by Always_Ask_Questions.
March 28, 2022 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #2073153
Why do so many singles these days depend on solely on their mothers to make their dating decisions and reference calls? Or let alone communicate with shadchanim?
Why won’t they do any of that for themselves?
When Rav Gifter was a bochur, he dated without having his mother call up all of his then-future rebbetzin’s references.
What is so different about today’s דור of singles?
Why is it so hard for singles to leave their parents out of the picture until after the third date?
Why is it so hard to have shadchanim solely communicate with singles, and not communicate with parents until it is time for the vort?March 28, 2022 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #2073219Reb EliezerParticipant
The Chasam Sofer said that it is better to have a girl than a boy. We cannot ensure that he becomes a talmid chacham but we can ensure that she marries a talmid chacham.March 28, 2022 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #2073207
It has always been the Yiddishe way, for millennium, for the parents to make the shidduch decisions.
The kids making these decisions, to the extent it even happens (hopefully not too extensive), is a purely American thing without precedent in Jewish history.
Of course the boy and girl must agree to marry each other, that’s always been the case, but virtually everything up to that point always has, and should, go through the parents and shadchanim.March 28, 2022 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #2073178shebbesonianParticipant
It’s more efficient.March 28, 2022 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #2073166meir GParticipant
simple; parents have 20 + years of real life experience , hopefully are not distracted by minor flaws..
shidduchim is a learning curve ..paert of the process is hoping for … and than slowly being more open and accepting .. as u are of yourself despite your weaknesses..
of course parents need to know their child & avoid their own agendas…
IN EACH SHIDDUCH AT LEAST 6 PEOPLE NEED TO AGREE so its a miracle when anyone gets engagedMarch 28, 2022 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #2073239
Al pi Halacha, a child is not obligated to listen to their parents when they tell them to marry or not to marry someone.
During the reference calls, 100% of the questions being asked by parents have nothing to do with marriage. So having experience being married means nothing, and the the reference calls should only be carried out by the singles.
A few years ago at the Agudah Convention, Rabbi Paysach Krohn said that the shidduch crisis will be solved quickly with a “Hands-Off approach” towards the parents of singles.
And adding parents as a third-party go between is not more efficient than singles simply having shadchanim sit between them.
So why do people pretend that letting singles fend for themselves while being mediated by shadchanim has the potential to be more disastrous than Shabsai Zvi?March 28, 2022 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #2073356
@meir, technically they can elope and pay for the own wedding but that is never going to happenMarch 28, 2022 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #2073377shebbesonianParticipant
If your parents are not as efficient as you are, then by all means, speak to shadchanim directly. I spoke directly with shadchanim in addition to my parents doing their thing, and they were much more efficient than I was.March 28, 2022 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #2073402
@ari there is a yiddish expression ver hut der mayer hut der dayah, in other words the one who holds the purse strings calls the shots, unless the single is ready to pay for the entire wedding he/she is best off keeping quiet.March 28, 2022 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #2073429
When I was dating I was getting suggested to way too many more people than I had the time to look into. My parents had in mind what they were looking for in a daughter in law so it was in my best interest to let them do the research first to filter out every one that they didn’t want me to marry anyway and then see what the research showed on the rest.
My Mom enjoyed calling all the references and shmoozing with them for hours on end while my father was able to ask brilliantly worded questions to sniff out the lying shadchanim- two talents that I wasn’t blessed with.
Eventually, after too many disasters, we all realized that I wasn’t going to meet my bashert through a shadchan and stopped taking names from them to focus on suggestions from friends and relatives. The next person I went out was my wife.March 28, 2022 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #2073439
What does paying for the chasuna have to do with the making one’s first date decisions?
Today, an overwhelming majority of parents will not pay for their kids’ chasunos unless they leave them out of the picture until after the third date. It’s much easier for the parents. Less work especially when the shidduch inquiry doesn’t lead to a first date.
Why are singles so lazy?March 29, 2022 7:30 am at 7:30 am #2073485follick2Participant
The story of Rabbi Akiva’s marriage in the Gemara is a lesson that parents need not be involved in shidduchim and should certainly not use the threat of withholding monetary support to try and control who their children marry.March 29, 2022 9:31 am at 9:31 am #2073528
follick2, You’re declaring that 3,000+ years of how our Yiddishe Zaidas and Bubbes made shidduchim, starting from Avrohom Avinu for Yitzchok Avinu all the way through European Ashkenaz, Eretz Yisroel, the Sefardic communities, Teimanim as well as all sectors of Klal Yisroel all got it wrong and, finally, after 3,000 years you figured out the right way to change things?March 29, 2022 9:47 am at 9:47 am #2073522
@frolick2 Try peddling that to the kollel crowd who demand x years of support from the shver, but we are getting off subject.March 29, 2022 10:26 am at 10:26 am #2073553
The Kallah’s family providing the Choson a dowry is a very strong Yiddishe minhag from ancient times through modern times that is well established and proper.March 29, 2022 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #2073928
You asked “Why are singles so lazy?”
When I was dating I was also in Yeshiva full time, going to college part time and teaching part time as well. You’re entitled to your opinion but most people wouldn’t consider my schedule at the time (or the schedule of any serious Yeshiva guy) as “so lazy”.
If you apply for a corporate job, chances are the supervisor will have a Human Resources representative vet your application before taking a look at it. Are you going to ask why the hiring manager is so lazy that he / she needs to have HR do the background checks?
The obvious answer is that the supervisors time could be worth over $150 per hour and he / she doesn’t have the proper training and tools to do adequate background checks. The HR representative, on the other hand is probably making less than $60 per hour and has the training and skills to do background checks.
So to answer your question- when I was in Yeshiva I didn’t have the time or skills necessary to do the required background checks for the multitude number of names I was getting on a regular basis. My parents, on the other hand, did. We worked hand in hand to filter out the majority of names that weren’t relevant and saved lots of time and aggravation that way.
The system is far from perfect and everyone needs to do what works best for them. If it bothers you when someone has their parents doing the research- don’t go out with them.
Some benefits of doing it this way is that when you’re going out you won’t have other people in mind and if you do have to end the date you don’t have to worry about the shadchan criticizing you or harassing you to give it another chance.March 29, 2022 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #2073912
That doesn’t answer my question about the singles’ extreme lazinessMarch 29, 2022 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #2073956
If reference-checking is too much for you, why not simpy go on a date and then deal with the references later after the 3rd date?
Do you realize how much time is wasted by checking references without even bothering to a first date?March 29, 2022 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #2073967
Ari: Because then you might become smitten with infatuation before finding out the match is inappropriate due to background reasons.March 29, 2022 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm #2073971
My answer to your question (regardless of whether you agree with me or not) is that just because someone doesn’t do something- it doesn’t mean that they’re extremely lazy. I had my parents do the research because I didn’t have the time and they were able to do a better job at it.
You seem to be stuck on your opinion that anyone who doesn’t do their own research is extremely lazy so I brought in a different scenario regarding the hiring manager who has HR do the research because they can do it better, faster and more efficiently.
Let me ask you some questions-
Do you bring your garbage to the city dump or do you let the sanitation department pick it up?
Do you pick up your mail from the Post Office or do you have the USPS deliver it?
Does that mean that your extremely lazy or that you let them do it because it saves you time and money?
Even if they were extremely lazy why does that bother you- just don’t go out with them?
I’m going to assume that you were being sarcastic in your last post but in case you weren’t I’ll give you a serious response.
While I was dating I was learning in an out of town Yeshiva. Except in the rare situation where I was dating someone local a typical date cost me around $150 and took up around 36 hours of my time. Far more than the one hour (or many times a mere few minutes) that it took for my parents to do the research and determine that someone wasn’t for me.
Also, from a בן אדם לחברו point of view- I thought it was extremely unfair when someone said no to me and gave a reason that they could have easily inquired and found out before the first date.
I can’t fathom the עונש in the next world for someone who does this on a regular basis and causes avoidable hurt feelings to people at such a sensitive time in their life.March 31, 2022 12:59 am at 12:59 am #2074306
@Dr. Pepper you are comparing apples and oranges.
By that logic, you might as well hire your mother to talk to your wife for you instead of communicating on your own.
Because you are implying that dating and marriage can be equated with simplistic handiwork. Pathetic.March 31, 2022 9:24 pm at 9:24 pm #2074576
Excuse me for saying this but you seem to be bitter about something and unable to see this from another point of view. If you’re willing to have a respectful dialogue I’m willing to try to show you another point of view- which you may or may not agree with. I’m going to end this discussion with this post if you purposely miss the point I’m trying to make and respond with insults.
In general the tasks that someone needs to take care of in life (regardless of the importance) can be broken into the following categories:
1) Tasks the person completes themselves,
2) Tasks that others can complete for the person more efficiently:
a) Tasks where the person has an interest in how the other person completes the task
b) Tasks where the person has no interest in how the other person completes the task as long as it’s completed.
I was not implying that dating and marriage are equated with taking out the garbage. I was trying to show you that just because someone doesn’t do something it doesn’t mean that they’re lazy.
As I said before and I’ll say it again- I let my parents do the research because they had more time, they had more worldly experience and thus could do better research than I could have done. Once they completed the research and gave me the green light I sat down and discussed the results of their research and usually had some additional questions or did some research myself.
The things that my mother can do better than me (e.g. picking out gowns for my daughters to wear at a cousins wedding)- I’m happy to have my mother and wife discuss it together and leave me out of it.
When I was dating I wasn’t fully aware of the amount of disfunction that went on within our community- my parents were. My mother knew the right questions to ask (something I would not have known how to do) and when my mother sensed deception in the conversation she would have my father take over and strategically ask innocent questions to see if the reference would trip up (again- something that I would not have been able to do).
(In one particular case my mother asked a reference if there’s anything else she needs to know about the family and was told that there’s been a long standing feud and Din Torah between them and another family- but it was 1,000% the fault of the other family and 0% the fault of the family in question. She then provided the name of the Av Bais Din who was handling the case. My father called the Av Bais Din who claimed that the family in question was totally innocent and the other family was totally full of sheker. My father steered the conversation elsewhere and can back a few minutes later by saying- “So it seems like both are ehrlech families but they had a dispute so they brought it to Bais Din, is that correct?”. The Av Bais Din answered, “Yes, they’re both ehrlich families but one’s milchig and one’s fleishig so they’re ok by themselves but they’re both ruined when they’re together”. When informed of this blunder the person admitted that he wasn’t even on the Bais Din but was a dayan on a different Bais Din and familiar with the case since they’re family friends.)
With all due respect to my parents- the decisions that I feel that I can do just fine on my own (e.g. choosing a shul that I’m comfortable in, deciding what to learn with my chavrusa…)- I decide on my own.
If someone C”V needed surgery would you suggest they do it themselves because it’s very important or would they go to someone who’s trained in that area and can do the operation as best as possible?April 1, 2022 12:17 am at 12:17 am #2074726
Dr. Pepper, I must say that, firstly, your most recent comment is absolutely on target, appropriate and correct. But more pointedly I I feel compelled to note that this comment is the strongest, sharpest and most stinging comment I’ve ever seen you post in all your 13+ years of posting to this site — and I’ve certainly read the vast majority of what you’ve written here.
Again, justifiably so.April 1, 2022 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm #2074761
Are you serious or is this and April Fools joke?April 2, 2022 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm #2074815
Dr. Pepper, you are the kindest, most gentle, sensitive and thoughtful poster on this forum. By a wide margin. That’s without even speaking of your superior intelligence. (No offense intended towards squeak.) I’m very confident that telling a poster that he’s bitter (or worse) isn’t something you’ve previously directly said to anyone here. And doubtlessly you’ve had ample opportunities in the well over a decade you’ve graced us with your special presence.
If I’m wrong about the above I’ll eat my words. But I know that I am not.
All that said, addressing a person’s bitterness isn’t necessarily a negative. Indeed it can be helpful in assisting your interlocutor address that very issue that you’ve identified to him. Also note that while it was strong and sharp comparative to your previous comments, in the grand scheme of conversations it certainly was far from being a harsh comment. I merely noticed that it was outside the typical tone of a comment coming from yourself.
Ah Gut Shabbos and ah Gutten Chodesh!April 3, 2022 12:38 am at 12:38 am #2074949GadolhadorahParticipant
For a shidduch where the choson/kalah are in their late teens/early 20s, it may be appropriate for the parents to assist in the search process. As they get older and more emotionally/economically secure the parents would become less involved. For young men and women in their late 20s/30s, presumably they would take the lead in the search for their beschert, while perhaps seeking their parents’ opinions of their own choices.April 3, 2022 8:51 am at 8:51 am #2074994The little I knowParticipant
My two cents
I have no hesitation about parents being involved and conducting the research. As a structure, that’s fine. However, I must emphasize that this investigation often focuses on trivia, and often produces heaps of bias and frank lies, rendering all the efforts meaningless. And unless the boy and girl themselves have amazing people skills and midos with a hefty dash of Syatta Dishmaya, we have created a potential divorce with its fallout.
Just what questions are being asked? How about useless ones like, “Tell me about the boy’s or girl’s personality.” Or “What levush does he wear?” “Why did he/she go to that camp?” Or another favorite joke, “Does he plan to sit and learn?” After answers to such questions, we know nothing that addresses preparation for marriage, or we have pat answers that are uninformative or plainly dishonest.
Do we know how either party deals with adversity or challenge? Are they groomed for lives of dependency, as our kollel system preaches? Do the kids have a spiritual connection or are they just robots with compliance to the community and a helping of chumros to impress others? Do they resolve conflict, or are they apt to find petty disagreements as threats to their dignioty or sense of control?
It is often that a boy or girl have life goals that differ greatly from the parents’ aspirations. Even with proper research, we are set up for conflict and trouble. No, I don’t believe kids generally do good research. But parents are not a whole lot better. The divorce rate in our community has jumped much higher than it’s ever been. One of many reasons is the dearth of accuracy in information available to the two sides. And without a huge amount of Syatta Dishmaya, it would probably be a lot higher.April 3, 2022 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #2075174
Thanks for your kind words. I definitely wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, I was hoping @AriHaleviRosman would realize that he is bitter about something and set his hurt feelings aside for a moment just to look at the other side.
If you’ve been reading my posts for over a decade you probably know that squeak wouldn’t be offended as he’s a genius and his intelligence is far superior than mine. He is very modest about it and claimed that he had a team of Polish cryptographers break my cipher while in actuality he did it in his head.
After he bestowed upon me all of his designations for solving his riddle with the monkeys and coconuts I was so honored that I made a Kiddush in Shul (to be transparent about the Kiddush I did have a girl born that week as well).
We need to get him back to the Coffee Room, it’s been way too long since I last conversed with him here.April 3, 2022 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #2075043
The divorce rate in Frum communities where the parents are less (or not) involved in the Shidduch research and selection is significantly higher than in the communities where the parents are more involved.April 3, 2022 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #2075047
The other day, my friend told me that his sister-in-law’s was in the middle of giving birth when her iPhone was ringing off the hook with missed phone calls from feisty boys’ mothers seeking Shidduch Reference information about her former seminary roommates.
According to my roommate, when his SIL found time to answer their phone calls, either the boys’ mothers tossed the shidduch suggestions without bothering to a first date, while the others bombarded her with personal questions about her friends which are solely meant to be asked by the singles on the date.
Which also did not lead to any first dates.
Do these boys’ mothers realize that they are teaching their children to perceive the institution of marriage as if it is as disposable as a paper plate by refusing first dates on their sons’ behalf (often without their reshus) based off of silly reference checking?
Reference phone calls and chemistry do not go hand-in-hand.April 3, 2022 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm #2075064
re: superficial questions. They might be useful given the large number of potential candidates available with current mobility. Why not limit the candidates to those who eat or not gebrochts, daven same nusach, vote the same way, pine for the same team, and squeeze the proverbial toothpaste from the same side. After reducing the friction, parents can consider other more important factors after that or leave it to the youngeles themselves.
That said, here is some useful advice I heard:
– from a Rosh kollel: “I asked only one question – are the parents honest in business”. Of course, this might be too humble. It leaves unsaid that he expected the family to have a business and probably multitude of other things that a Rosh Kolllel may take for granted
– from a Lakewood Rebbetzin: she inquired with families where the hasan was paying attention and good with their children, and she went to his shul to see how seriously he is davening. (This was not for her children’s shidduch, but for her own).April 4, 2022 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #2075345The little I knowParticipant
I don’t recall the name of the Rov who guided parents to assess whether the prospective mechutanim were the kind of people one might be able to handle a gett with. If yes, they could be suitable mechutanim who would get along with them.
AAQ: You listed issues that are of really dubious value as superficial matters that can be used to knock names off the list, such as nusach, politics, sports, gebrokts, etc. I hope you were injecting a drop of humor here. I need to say that because I have seen otherwise great shidduchim bypassed irresponsibly with these trivia as the breakers. Conversely, I have seen shidduchim where these factors all matched that became disastrous, ending up in bitter, highly contested divorces.April 4, 2022 2:29 pm at 2:29 pm #2075387
“I don’t recall the name of the Rov”
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky.April 4, 2022 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #2075407AviraDeArahParticipant
Dealing with the prospect of a get before even getting married is a recipe for disposable marriages that are more common the more modern one becomesApril 4, 2022 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #2075434
Ari, I notice the vast majority of your post are shidduch related, and reason for that?April 4, 2022 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #2075465Amil ZolaParticipant
Ari why not post your shidduch resume or a link to it? Or tell us a bit about yourself, what you do for a living, your aspirations of a torah true home, will you work after marriage or expect support?April 4, 2022 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #2075495GadolhadorahParticipant
Is it OK if the boy’s mother to inquire how much of a dowry the girl’s family is prepared to offer for the privilege of having them as in-laws?? Auctioning off your son to the highest bidder sounds like a game plan. Starting bid of a donkey, two goats and a 2 BR condo in BP or Willy??April 4, 2022 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm #2075500
It seems like your issue is not who’s asking the questions per se, rather the poor quality/ relevance of the questions being asked.
Would you have been just as bothered if it was the boys themselves who asked the questions and then threw out the shidduch before going on a first date?
When it first happened to me I was disappointed until I realized the silver lining- why would I want to have to deal with a family like that anyway?April 5, 2022 12:47 am at 12:47 am #2075525
I believe the excessive pre-1st date references checking is Avoda Zara, and should be avoided altogether.
I am sick and tired of being asked questions about my Zoom Chevrusa’s family members who live overseas in
Northern Israel.April 5, 2022 12:47 am at 12:47 am #2075531
Avira > Dealing with the prospect of a get before even getting married is a recipe for disposable marriages
I deduce your wife’s kesuba did not include financial stipulations?April 5, 2022 12:47 am at 12:47 am #2075532
TLIK > You listed issues that are of really dubious value
I was only partially serious indeed. But why not? One of the problems in modern world is too many choices that makes it hard to commit, expecting a better something later on. So, why not eliminate possible friction items off the table? We have here otherwise reasonable people not being able to agree on whether Hunter Biden is Joe Biden’s son or not. Could you imagine Hasan and Kalla having this argument?! Even if their positions are both unsupported (or maybe especially then), it is better for them to have the same opinions.
You can also say that same opinions and habits are simanim that their middos and attitudes are similar. For example, do we have many families where spouses disagree on a bitter topic of covid behaviors. There are some but most are closer to each other, I think, than two random people from the same community. This is a novel issue that was not discussed at the shiduch but some commonality leads to similar thinking.April 5, 2022 10:53 am at 10:53 am #2075633
The Shidduch reference checking system teaches singles to perceive marriage as disposable.
A few weeks ago, there was a letter to the Yated Shidduch Column by a single’s mother who admitted to tossing away all of her adult childrens’ shidduch suggestions simply because the references were not instantly answering their phone calls or providing enough information.
Seriously? Is that how marriage works??
Imagine the following scenario:
You are an aguna who has been waiting a long time for your get. Finally, the day arrives for your nesinas haget, but your sister is bombarding each of the dayanim on their phones,
hoping these rabbanim will give answers to her questions about their single talmidim whom are being suggested to your sister’s single daughter.
Is this not disgusting?April 5, 2022 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm #2075750
I don’t understand why you’re only bothered where it was the mother of the single who nixed the idea for their kids because the references didn’t return the call fast enough. Would you have been just as bothered if it was the single himself / herself who nixed the idea for the same reason?
Would you be bothered if the mother of a single called references and asked questions that you agreed were relevant?
A few years after I graduated high school there was an unfortunate incident there and the place ended up closing down. Someone refused to go out with me, five years after I left, because I went to high school there. I told the shadchan that not only wasn’t I there when it happened but anyone is welcome to check my medical history to see that there was never any sign of me being involved in drugs. I was also in respected Yeshivos since then and had many Rabbeim who could vouch for me.
The girl responded that if she could just get someone from Chaim Berlin or Torah Vodaas why should she date me and then have to explain to her friends that I was in high school there although I wasn’t there during the bust?
At the end I was relieved that she filtered her name out for me as I wouldn’t want someone like that anyway.
Please answer this though- do you feel differently about the situation because she said that as opposed to her mother?April 5, 2022 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #2075982
> your sister is bombarding each of the dayanim
Why would people call dayanim all the time? Most likely, the talmid was repsectful to the dayan. I would rather ask friends and baalei batim and even the school cleaners (presuming they speak English) how the person interacts with them.April 5, 2022 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #2075985
Yes I would.
But this behavior is more rampant among the parents, not the singles.April 6, 2022 12:46 am at 12:46 am #2076010
Ari, you’d benefit from having your father strange a shidduch for you with a girl’s father. Once the two fathers agree, you’d meet the girl. After the meeting and both agreeing, they set a wedding date for you.April 6, 2022 9:38 am at 9:38 am #2076098bitul_torahParticipant
Two words: BITUL TORAH!April 6, 2022 9:38 am at 9:38 am #2076099bitul_torahParticipant
Look at my username for the answerApril 7, 2022 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #2076519hujuParticipant
To AAQ: Your comment of April 5, at 10:21, implies that school cleaners are unworthy of your interest. What makes you think that? And what makes you think that you are worthy of my interest, other than my comments on your posts.
My first Jewish teacher in a public school made a point of teaching us that the school janitors deserved respect, including the colored one.April 7, 2022 1:18 pm at 1:18 pm #2076584
@ huju, your first Jewish teach had you color in class? Interesting so did mine, we use to color every day in kindergarten.
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