Rechnitz – There is no Shidduch Crisis

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  • #1043178

    squeak
    Participant

    At this point, I’m actually rooting for this age gap theory garbage to be fully embraced and implemented. That way, at least in 20 years from now the endless bleating about the age gap will stop and you all will be forced to actually think about the real problems with the shidduch system (unless someone invents a new blame-free theory).

    Good intent and reasoning cannot compete with celebrity endorsements, and with no horse in the race I resign. All the celebrities in the world jumping on the bandwagon don’t change the facts, but we live in an American Idol world. Good luck to all, even though I’ll never understand why people are blinding themselves to everything but the age gap.

    #1043179

    Joseph
    Participant

    “That way, at least in 20 years from now the endless bleating about the age gap will stop and you all will be forced to actually think about the real problems with the shidduch system”

    What, in your opinion, are “the real problems with the shidduch system”?

    #1043180

    forofor
    Member

    Excellent article by Mr. Rechnitz.

    I think he should start a campaign specifically aimed at the mothers, because they’re the ones sorting through stacks of resumes.

    If the mothers all decide to only check into girls that are within 1-2 years younger than their sons, it could really change the system.

    I hope this message makes it to Mr. Rechnitz.

    #1043181

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Squeak, im inclined to agree,

    However i’ll bet unless ALL boys are marrying girls closer to their age (Something whihc can obviously never happen) the “age gap” TM proponets will still point to those few examples as the cause of the crises.

    And DY, that is not true. That point i made then was never answered. I am hoping with some new faces here perhaps one of them can help. I wasnt asking you since you were stumped by it last year, I dont expect you to have an answer now. Thanks though

    #1043182

    golfer
    Participant

    DY, I was stunned to read that there was a poster requesting that your post be removed because you dared suggest (!!) that the ‘bas kol’ is not a guarantee that everyone will get married. What?!

    But then I was not surprised after all.

    Squeak is right. We have a problem, no doubt about that. And the celebrity endorsements stand firmly behind the blame-free theory.

    Please DY, don’t confuse us with facts. Facts don’t belong on a forum like this one. What we need here is to make everyone feel good about themselves, solutions to problems notwithstanding. Real change, real examination of how shadchanim and people in shidduchim operate- those may well lead to solutions that are not ‘blame-free’ (thanks, squeak).

    And nobody wants that.

    #1043183

    kapusta
    Participant

    DY, I agree with you, and on a communal level, certainly we should do everything we can. On a personal level, regarding choices people make priorities in potential spouses, that involves a discussion of bechira. I was simply trying to cover the anonymous single reading, (or parent, friend etc) who is being realistic, being fair in their decisions, is frustrated with things and knows reality very well and, as I see it, has no benefit to be reminded of it. Mr. Rechnitz touched on a similar note in his response, and this here bothered me as well. I’m absolutely being hypersensitive but wanted to say my piece. Thank you for responding.

    On the topic in general, everyone seems to be assuming single means girls. I was shocked once when I did a mental count and came up with more single guys than girls.

    *kapusta*

    #1043184

    SA83
    Participant
    #1043185

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Golfer, I think you’re being a bit too harsh on the poster who requested I remove the post. For the reasons I explained, I felt the need to post what I did, and I still think that way, but we mustn’t forget what singles (both men and women) are going through. I think it was a fair point and a reasonable request, even if I didn’t acquiesce (the moderator was willing to accommodate had I so decided).

    (Addressing SA83 and others as well):

    The “blame free” theory is undoubtedly true, and if there are other issues (and there most certainly are) that doesn’t in any way diminish the need to address the gap.

    I think there is a lot of talking over each other’s heads going on here, based on different definitions of the “shidduch (crisis) [catastrophe]”.

    There are two aspects to it.

    So if someone wants to define the shidduch (crisis) [catastrophe] solely according to the areas in which we are, as a society or as individuals, to blame, he is ignoring a significant part of the issue.

    Yes, only focusing on the gap also ignores a big part of the issue, but that’s a petty reason to shout down those who are addressing age gap.

    #1043186

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Am I the only one who just didn’t understand the article?

    The heading was “There is no shidduch crisis”, but then the article seems to imply that there IS a shidduch crisis. Is he confused? I certainly am.

    Regardless, it looks like nobody here agrees with whatever he is saying anyway.

    #1043187

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Am I the only one who just didn’t understand the article?

    No, popa, Joseph didn’t either.

    And excuse me, but I don’t think I’m a nobody. (I’m not totally convinced that boys are ready to get married at 20, but nor am I convinced that they’re not.)

    #1043188

    Francorachel3
    Participant

    There is no problem “with the system.” This is Stan a Nisayon of this generation from Hashem..period. Only Tefilla helps.

    #1043189

    ironpenguin
    Member

    From the summation of YWN posters and responses to Rav Rechnitz’s article, I believe that a crucial point has been touched on but not discusses=d. There are enough shadchanim, the age gap is controversial at best. The main complaint is that there are no boys!

    Now, Hashem runs the world and wants each of His children happy. How could it make sense that Hashem would deprive so many wonderful girls from happiness by not creating their husbands? Do you really believe that?

    So if every woman has a man destined for her, where is he? I believe that we as a society have manufactured this crisis. A boy, to be considered an eligible match has to be a long time learner.

    A boy who can’t learn very well sees himself as a failure, because in our society, he clearly is. No one wants him. So maybe he’ll go to college or an honest profession if he is of strong moral conviction. If he is not and is far too damaged, then he’s a bum on the street. Either way, college/working/bum is completely unacceptable to a frum BY girl and therefore, hundreds of boys are removed from the dating pool.

    So we are creating the shidduch crisis by throwing away our boys. Boys who have wonderful middos, intelligence, love for Hashem, but lack the zitzfleish for learning full time. Very few Bais Yaakov girls will consider them for dating.

    First of all, how dare we convince boys that they are garbage because they can’t learn 10 hours a day? How dare we vilify a boy who, seeing that he does not have a future as a full time learner, goes to make an honest living? Is it an embarrassment for a man to provide for his family?

    It would be shameful if he walked away from Torah, absolutely. Torah makes a home, makes a person. Is a morning shiur/night shiur and daf yomi really nothing? Is that not Torah learning?

    People have commented that they know of many girls who DO want learner/earners, but there are none to be found. That too, is of our creation. How long can you tell a person that they are worthless because they can’t learn, their talents are worthless because they don’t include gemara, that working is shameful, for those who cound’t hack it in gemara before they believe you and walk away from it all?

    From my experience, it IS hard to find a learner/earner. When someone leaves full time yeshiva, it takes an enormous amount of moral conviction to stay connected to yeshiva and torah learning ,when the prevailing attitude is that you are a failure. The really serious boys who learn well and earn are gems and hard to find. Most fall to the wayside and become immersed in college or work and neglect Torah, which is absolutely not suitable for a Bais yaakov girl.

    The bottom line for people who think this post is too long, we push our boys off the derech and then complain that there are no boys for our girls to marry.

    #1043190

    writersoul
    Member

    ironpenguin: Then there was the beaut of a letter in Mishpacha saying that there aren’t enough mentally and emotionally stable guys for all of the amazing girls out there.

    Is the average guy really that touched in the head? That hadn’t been my impression…

    I wish she was just talking about what you’re saying, but I think that by mentally stable she meant sane. Which is a really weird and scary thought.

    #1043191

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The OP mentioned that to even the age gap, 22-24 year old boys should not be allowed to date 19 year old girls.

    I disagree. It’s nice to encourage it when appropriate, but making takanos is not the way to go.

    #1043192

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    MAILBAG: A Single’s Perspective – An Open Response To Article By Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz

    A well written, heartrending response. I have one issue with which I disagree with the writer; I’ll try bl”n to post later or on motzaei Shabbos.

    #1043193

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    A well written, heartrending irrelevant response.

    #1043194

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Sure popa, irrelevant to you, because you’re such a sensitive guy. For me, though, I want to know what people are feeling, because I might otherwise make them feel bad (in this case by pitying them).

    The (ir)relevant passage:

    Here’s my issue. Are we, the frum community, really so horrible that we degrade and devalue singles, while the secular world, that bastion of proper middos, has got it right? Of course not!

    What’s going on here is that we’ve set the bar high for ourselves, according to the Torah’s values. We strive to live a life of meaning. We value our connection to Hashem and his Torah, and part of our job is to share this with others. We value tremendously the contributions of all, but HKB”H wants us to share our beautiful heritage with future generations.

    If our lives consisted merely of working to earn money to eat to have strength to work, with some partying thrown in, why wouldn’t a twenty five year old with her whole life ahead of her be the envy of others? This same “value” system has them discarding the elderly, r”l.

    We, on the other hand, who place value primarily (we hope) on the eternal, place great importance on raising a family. This in no say diminishes the accomplishments of the not yet married, but the fact remains that they share our values and want to contribute to klal Yisroel in SS meaningful way as possible. All humans have an innate desire to bring future generations, but we, as frum Yidden, on a different plane. Inevitably, someone who hasn’t yet married and had children feels “left out”. This is also why many childless couples in our community are in such acute pain.

    Our values are not ch”v so messed up that we value people less than our counterparts in secular society; it’s the precise opposite.

    I think the author of that piece should reassess her feelings toward our “culture” and not so readily agree to her well meaning but shallow thinking boss.

    BTW, popa, I’m not being sarcastic. I similarly value the insight gleaned from your hagbah thread. It was an angle I hadn’t considered much, certainly not enough.

    #1043195

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    lol I got gelilah last week

    #1043196

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    And your father didn’t object?

    You are correct, though; I shouldn’t have called her heartfelt letter a response, because it didn’t really address what Mr. Rechnitz wrote.

    #1043197

    writersoul
    Member

    It’s totally true, though.

    My parents got married at “older” ages (my mom was older when she got married than the letter-writer is now, and my dad was even older- very age-gap). We were talking about that letter and she was saying that if she had had a younger sibling who would’ve gone ahead of her in shidduchim or if she hadn’t had a group of supportive friends in the same situation then she would have had a much harder time. As it was, she traveled Europe, got her MBA, got excellent jobs, and eventually got married happy, well-rounded and having lived life to the full. (And bought a house immediately after, which is another benefit of two people marrying each of whom has been in the workforce for a while…)

    But, she says, even now she still can tend to buy into the whole “nebach single” scenario, and not because she thinks that their lives are unfulfilled, because she knows that they can be. It’s because the frum world makes it so hard for them to feel fulfilled in their lives as they are that they could have the most amazing life scenarios and still feel miserable.

    Note that I’m NOT negating the value of marriage, especially in a Torah society, but rather noting that even those who are NOT currently married are still capable of living happy lives full of meaning and value, without crying at the approach of each birthday or shrieking every time the phone rings.

    Anecdotally, kind of funny story- in Mishlei class, my teacher was talking about Eishes Chayil and telling us about all of the unparalleled qualities of the married woman. Someone raised her hand and asked what about women who aren’t married? She looked a bit lost for a second and then said that it also says rabos banos asu chayil.

    …ve’at alis al kulana. Yeah.

    #1043198

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Note that I’m NOT negating the value of marriage, especially in a Torah society, but rather noting that even those who are NOT currently married are still capable of living happy lives full of meaning and value, without crying at the approach of each birthday or shrieking every time the phone rings.

    I fully agree. I am merely taking this writer to task for blaming and being angry at frum culture for her very understandable feelings. She should indeed try to live a life full of meaning and value, and recognize that at this point in her life, Hashem has a tafkid for her other than raising a family.

    At the same time, I am recognizing that I, and others who through chasdei Hashem have been blessed with our own families, should do our best to make singles feel like important, valued members of klal Yisroel.

    In fact, just today, I showed how much I value an older bachur by giving him the tremendous kibud of gelilah. 🙂

    #1043199

    Joseph
    Participant

    Gelilah is a rather big kibud. It is questionable why it is often given to children rather than to adults.

    #1043200

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    DaasYochid:

    Your point is true but I don’t see how it negates or addresses the point of the letter writer. The fact is older singles are sometimes made to feel like second class citizens, whether intentionally or not, whether it is an inevitable consequence of certain priorities or not.

    #1043201

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “Anecdotally, kind of funny story- in Mishlei class, my teacher was talking about Eishes Chayil and telling us about all of the unparalleled qualities of the married woman. Someone raised her hand and asked what about women who aren’t married? She looked a bit lost for a second and then said that it also says rabos banos asu chayil.

    …ve’at alis al kulana. Yeah.”

    It doesn’t say ????? ??? ??????? about non-marrieds.

    #1043202

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    The fact is older singles are sometimes made to feel like second class citizens, whether intentionally or not

    I agree, and I addressed that. My issue is her agreeing to her secular supervisor that it is frum society which is to blame, rather than directing her grievance to individuals who may say or do insensitive things.

    #1043203

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    The individuals say or do insensitive things because of the societal factors. For instance, if society placed no emphasis whatsoever on having a family, I don’t think there would be any insensitive comments/actions. NOw as I said before, it might be inevitable, but that doesn’t ease the pain of the one suffering.

    #1043204

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I don’t see where I implied that it eases the pain. That was not my point. My point was that her blame for that pain is misdirected.

    #1043205

    ivory
    Member

    There’s an article about the shidduch crisis in ami living by Sara Yocheved Riegler with a whole different approach to the shidduch crisis and to marriage

    #1043206

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Gelilah is a rather big kibud. It is questionable why it is often given to children rather than to adults.

    Yes, and popa’s misunderstood point in that thread (he can correct me if I’m mistaken) was that regardless of the origin, the fact that it is in fact usually given to children makes it an insult when it’s given to an adult for the reason of his being unmarried.

    Here’ a link to that thread:

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/why-i-wont-let-my-kids-do-%d7%92%d7%9c%d7%99%d7%9c%d7%94

    #1043207

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    And my point is that it is not so misdirected. Proof: there is no dearth of insensitive people in secular society yet the letter writer is not made to feel bad when talking to its members. That is because of the difference in how secular society views marriage and how religious society views marriage. Obviously, though if people were more sensitive then there would be no problem, so in that sense the individuals are to blame. But there will always be insensitive individuals and it happens to be that in this case, the society provides the ammunition so to speak for the insensitive individuals.

    #1043208

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    DY – this mirrors the statement of Hashem via the navi yeshaya that we lain on a taynis. Our society vs. the navi.

    #1043209

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Gelilah is a rather big kibud. It is questionable why it is often given to children rather than to adults.

    I know. Some idiot once made a whole thread here about how he hates getting gelila.

    #1043210

    writersoul
    Member

    “At the same time, I am recognizing that I, and others who through chasdei Hashem have been blessed with our own families, should do our best to make singles feel like important, valued members of klal Yisroel.”

    GAW: I think that the use of the words “make singles FEEL like…” shows the attitude, even unconscious, about single people. I don’t mean to imply that you meant anything negative by it, my point merely being that this shouldn’t be something we have to try to do or hope to convince them of because it’s not true. It is by default, in fact.

    And yes, I agree with PAA and believe it’s society. I’m not talking about mean or even thoughtless comments- I’m talking about the way that society is set up. It’s like that letterwriter in Mishpacha said about how if people believe Mr Rechnitz’s statistics (I don’t, but whatever) then they should stop teaching about marriage so much, because of all of the focus and pressure on people who may never get married at all. Perhaps it’s something built into frum culture- I guess that due to the importance of children and families in frum culture, it’s harder for people who aren’t part of it. But it’s DEFINITELY part of the culture, if only because there simply is not a lot of infrastructure for singles. I repeat, I’m NOT talking about careless insults- I’m talking about structural issues. The hyper-focus on marriage (even well-meaning) can certainly hurt those who are not married.

    PAA: The thing is, she could have said that this doesn’t apply to nonmarried women (which I admit would simply have caused more questions, but when you’re a teacher that’s what you’re stuck with). Trying to get creative doesn’t really help.

    #1043211

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    WS, I assume that was addressed to me, not GAW, and it wasn’t a Freudian slip, I can assure you that I do value singles.

    You are confusing what I addressed to PAA and what I am showing displeasure at in this young lady’s letter. I think it’s good that frum society values marriage, and we might agree that this causes hurt to singles, but that shouldn’t cause us to look negatively at frum society or its values. Yet, this is what she’s done.

    #1043212

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant
    #1043213

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    What a dolt.

    #1043214

    writersoul
    Member

    DY: Yes, sorry GAW.

    I think that my conclusion (to what I admit was a wall of text) was that a lot of the issues that singles have are caused in some way by the family- and child-centric values and infrastructure of Judaism, which we can’t really do much about. All we can try to do is promote person-by-person awareness.

    My personal crusade is to stop the use of the world “girl” above the age of (at MAXIMUM) 25 or graduated from college. Married or single. At least men have an age-neutral term (“guy”) to use- I’ve heard people tak about eighteen-year-old (married) “women” and thirty-five-year-old (single) “girls.”

    #1043215

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I think that my conclusion (to what I admit was a wall of text) was that a lot of the issues that singles have are caused in some way by the family- and child-centric values and infrastructure of Judaism, which we can’t really do much about. All we can try to do is promote person-by-person awareness.

    That’s pretty much* what I’m saying. My objection is to the anger and the blame.

    *Except, rather than “which we can’t really do much about”, I would say, “which we are proud of” (the values and infrastructure, not ch”v the pain).

    #1043216

    Joseph
    Participant

    Torah society *does* officially grant a married person, regardless of age, a higher status than his unmarried peers. For example, when determining who should be shliach tzibbur during the yomim noraim.

    #1043217

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    DaasYochid:

    We seem to agree that societal priorities/expectations/values, can sow the seeds which allow insensitive people to be insensitive in his regard. I think we also agree that those societal priorities/expectations/values are a good thing and it is unfortunate that they may have unintended consequences. We also agree that efforts should be made to “prevent” the insensitive people from being insensitive. So where do we argue?

    I’m saying that the letter writer has the right to direct some of her frustration at society because (despite the fact that it is doing something good) without it she would not feel bad. You seem to hold that she shouldn’t direct any anger/blame at society.

    #1043218

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “PAA: The thing is, she could have said that this doesn’t apply to nonmarried women (which I admit would simply have caused more questions, but when you’re a teacher that’s what you’re stuck with). Trying to get creative doesn’t really help.”

    But unlike the teacher’s creative response, mine would make single women (not girls) feel better.

    #1043219

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Pretty well summed up.

    If someone were out of a job, would you think they “have a right” to blame society for valuing work?

    If someone didn’t know how to learn, would he “have a right” to be angry at frum society for valuing talmud Torah?

    I honestly think that had she thought it through and come to the same conclusions that we did, she would have written very differently.

    #1043220

    writersoul
    Member

    DY: I actually slightly disagree that it’s entirely a good thing or that frum society (outside of the Torah’s boundaries) is not to blame, but I can’t really duke it out with you as I’m about to get on a transatlantic flight.

    Don’t discount the hurt that she feels. Marriage may be great, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be religious and life fulfillment without it, and through the hyperfocus on marriage (I’m not talking about dating, I’m talking about the feeling that made her cry on her 25th birthday- the focus, perhaps, on marrying YOUNG), it’s really hard for the average slightly-older single to really get a hold of that fulfillment.

    It should be everyone’s aim to live each stage of life to its fullest until the next one comes. The timespan from seminary to marriage should not just be seen as a waiting room. (One thing that horrified me, for example, was a recent answer in the Yated Shidduch Forum where the panelists wrote that a person should cancel [or not even schedule] vacations if they come into conflict with shidduchim. Life is not only for the married.)

    #1043221

    Hi. I am the author of the article and feel I should clarify some things based on the comments. First of all – thank you to everyone for reading it and taking the time to respond.

    Referencing the secular world was not to say I am aligning myself with their value system and culture. The point I was trying to make was that we, as a society, should not make singles feel bad for something that is not in their control. Girls should not be made to feel old once they turn 22 – it puts an unnecessary amount of pressure and pain on girls going through the shidduch system. Second point I want to make – while you may have taken what I said as anger towards our society – that is definitely not what I was trying to convey. There are a lot of great things about the from world and I am very thankful to be a part of it. That being said, we are not a perfect society and there is always room to grow and make changes. One of the areas I think we happen to be lacking in (myself included) is that at times, we are too judgmental. You bring up the example of someone being out of work – I am not saying we shouldn’t value marriage. I value marriage and hope Hashem sends my zivug really soon. What I am saying – is if someone is out of work – we shouldn’t give him less respect or make him feel like a “nebuch” just because he doesn’t have a job. Same with singles. I can value marriage but at the same time – just because a boy/girl hasn’t found their zivug yet doesn’t mean we should pity them and make them feel undesirable because of their age.

    #1043222

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “If someone didn’t know how to learn, would he “have a right” to be angry at frum society for valuing talmud Torah?”

    He would have a right to be angry at frum society for the manifestation of the value in such a way that someone who is lacking it feels worthless. For instance it would be much better for said person if while pedestalizing talmud torah, they would also pedestalize something else such as chessed (albeit maybe not to the same extent) that those who can’t learn Torah can do. But very often the way society portrays its values (which I agree are important and good values) is in such a way as to make everything else seem unimportant in comparison. I don’t think the letter writer is blaming society for valuing marriage/family. She is blaming society for the way it emphasizes these things to the point that it appears as if someone who lacks these things is an object deservant of pity.

    #1043223

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I think we should portray these values as very important, and I dont think we are over emphasizing them.

    #1043224

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    This sort of ties in with what I wrote here: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/why-are-some-people-so-smart/page/3#post-533544

    Women are taught that there whole purpose in life is to get married, have kids, and help their husbands and kids succeed in Torah and religion. I such a system, they will feel bad if they are not married because they are made to feel as if their current existence serves no purpose. Similar to what writersoul is saying I think.

    #1043225

    Joseph
    Participant

    Chazal itself (Berachos 17a) say that a woman’s merit comes from assisting her husband and sons in their Torah endeavors.

    #1043226

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    That’s it! You’ve done it! You’ve solved the shidduch crisis!

    We should encourage 10% of BY girls to dedicate their lives to mastering the ever growing corpus of shas and poskim. No yeshiva guys will want to marry them, and they won’t need to get married anyhow, because they will be entirely fulfilled anyhow. The numbers of eligible boys and girls will be the same, and voila! No more shidduch crisis, and you can go back to discussing techeiles, and you can continue to spend lots of time delving deeply into the sugya of why we shouldn’t spend a lot of time delving deeply into sugyas.

    Now can you please solve the tuition crises?

    🙂

    #1043227

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “Now can you please solve the tuition crises?”

    Sure. Eliminate all the girls schools since they have no need to learn and take all the money that used to go to girls schools and redirect it to boys schools. No more crisis.

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