Rav Moshe Feinstein: Prohibition of social dating

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    you dont have control over your own life what koach veutsim yudi


    But *if* we determine that the way you met is something that needs tshuva, then you could have charata on that aspect alone.

    If a con-man swindles a home from an widow, then later says he has charatah for the way he acquired the house but refuses to give it back to the old widow (or otherwise re-compensate her), would you say that that is a true charatah? I would not. I don’t think you can truly have charatah only on the manner while keeping the benefits of the ill-gotten gains.

    Whether HKBH could have otherwise paired us is irrelevant. The con-man could have otherwise bought the house legitimately too.

    The Wolf


    Hashem’s Princess: I personally know many Frum couples who have met each other at college, and are now very stable in their level of frumkeit. I don’t think criticizing other people and judging their level of frumkeit is beneficial for one’s own ruchnius.



    tuchscreen, then it wasn’t my fault that I met my husband that way. Either way, I’m free!


    Your comparison is invalid, because the swindler is an unlawful owner. There is nothing unlawful about a kosher marriage itself, despite how the two people got there. A truer comparison might be a person who became a talmid chochom by stealing seforim and/or copyrighted shiurim. He is a talmid chochom, but he must make amends for the means by which he acquired the knowledge. In doing so, he is not regretting being a scholar.

    Let’s agree to disagree on this.



    I dont know how you met your wife.

    But, if at the time you met her you were dating girls with the intention of, maybe in the future she could possibly be my wife… I would say its fine. Some how this got blown totally out of proportion. I think what R’ Moshe was trying to say was, if you go to night clubs party with the opposite gender go out for a nice meal and then move onto the next character the next night/week/month that is the problem. If you are marriage minded that isnt called social dating.


    so whos fault is it


    A truer comparison might be a person who became a talmid chochom by stealing seforim and/or copyrighted shiurim

    I don’t think that’s a valid comparison because in your case, there is nothing the talmid chochom can do about it. He can’t “unlearn” his learning. So, perhaps, there, the only thing he can do is have charatah over the method.

    Here, I *refuse* to do anything about it. I am *not* divorcing my wife. I *could* do something about it, I just refuse to. Hence, I don’t believe it can be a true charatah.

    The Wolf



    tuchscreen, I misread your line. I thought you were saying I don’t have control. Whoops!

    I agree, it is my responsibility. I don’t feel guilty for it either. I would have closed off other avenues.

    Wolf, divorcing your wife wouldn’t change how you met her. It wouldn’t do anything for charata.


    Lomed Mkol Adam

    it depends how u interprate “stable”, i may have a diff opinion on the meaning… and just bec they are “stable” still doesnt give them the right to do something assur!!!!!


    Wolfish Musings: This is a ridiculous, of course it was bashert/destined for you to marry your wife; still you may feel remorseful for improper contact you may have had prior to your marriage with her. If actually you didn’t behave at all improperly, then you have nothing to feel remorseful about, to the contrary, you actually have done a great mitzvah by engaging, dating, and then marrying your special wife!


    Oomis: How? Violating an issur d’oraysa is on the pathway to gehenim. “

    Again, I was being sarcastic. I should probably put one of these at the end of the sentence. 😉


    Wolf, let me try two more comparisons.

    1- Paul has 2 brothers. His parents have left a large inheritance to all their children, and Paul doesn’t want to share. He kills his brothers, and legally inherits all the money (legally inherits, because he is never charged with the deaths).

    He has the money legitimately, but came by it in the wrong manner. In this case, charata on the murders would probably be insufficient- the money he has is tainted. I would probably agree that he should burn/give away the money to be a true penitant.

    2- James is looking for work as a mechanic. He has no experience and no training, so he makes up experience on his resume and bluffs through interviews. But James has some natural talent for working with cars and is never found out, his work is just as good as any reputable mechanic. After a year on the job, he wants to do tshuva for the manner in which he got the job.

    He apologizes to his boss for lying his way in. But he does not regret the good work he has done, nor does he wish to lose his job. He just wishes that he had gotten the job without lying, i.e. either that he had been able to get the training and experience to apply honestly, or that he had told the truth and gotten the job anyway.

    Your situation is akin to #2. If you think it is akin to #1 then I disagree with your assessment.


    Correction: I said “your situation is akin to #2”. I meant it may be akin to #2.


    Hashem’s Princess: If a couple met each other in college and then got married, there was definitely nothing ‘assur’ committed. Why is it halachaclly different than dating set up through a matchmaker? Do you think all shidduchim in Klal Yisroel throughout the generations have only happened through a matchmaker?


    Squeak and Wolf:

    No, I agree with Wolf, he should get divorced. If he is not a kohen, he can then get remarried.

    Maybe someone will conduct both ceremonies for a discounted bulk rate.


    If a couple met each other in college and then got married, there was definitely nothing ‘assur’ committed.

    How is that possible if college is ‘assur’? 🙂


    GAW: The meeting and dating may have been assur, but the marriage still wasn’t.


    GAW: There is no halacha in Torah Sh’baal Peh which states that the act of attending College is ‘assur-prohibited’. If your Rebbi/Teacher/Parent encourages you to not attend college until after your marriage and strive to live a higher standard of Torah life and you choose to follow, then that is very commendable of you and you will earn more reward in shamayim for this; but please don’t state that attending college is ‘assur’.

    On a different note, if one attends college and sets himself behavioral “gedarim”-red lines which he commits himself to never cross, then he will be able to preserve his yiddishkeit there and not fall prey to all the harmful influences he may encounter there.


    “Here, I *refuse* to do anything about it. I am *not* divorcing my wife. I *could* do something about it, I just refuse to. Hence, I don’t believe it can be a true charatah.”

    See. I was right all along. I said all along that if you had true charatah you would divorce and now you agree with me.


    Why is mosherose considered “Defender of the Faith” when half his posts are against a major Torah encouraged institution called “marriage”.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Hmmm, Yaakov Avinu and Moshe Rabbeinu met their wives on their own, as did Dovid meet Batsheva. Secondly, as pointed out, dating that could potentially lead to marriage is not what Reb Moshe was pointing out. He was writing about an elementary school or HS kid. Even in coed high schools, many have met their spouses, and gotten married later, so there is always a possibility of eventual marriage.

    Does anybody seriously believe here that meeting one’s wife on his own is an issur? (The gemara which says mekadesh blo shidduchin refers to meeting somebody and eloping on the spot.) If one meets and then plans a wedding with full parental and family involvement, that is not a problem. I have heard of cases of Yeshiva boys and girls who gave one another a ride to a simcha and ended up getting engaged. It is so ludicrous to think one cannot meet somebody by chance anywhere. That is how Hashem runs the world. Many BT families have no connections in the shidduch world, and their kids have to meet somebody at a social event or similar. A number of years back there was a frum singles social group (forgot name) where there were Rebbbetzins floating around to introduce if people were interested in somebody there.

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