Shidduch Crisis Problems & Solution

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    In light of the shidduch crisis (or issues, whatever you want to call it), I want to start a new thread, with numbers, here that highlights problems with the shidduch system, followed by a proposed answer. You can all either comment on the problem by giving a solution, or you can list your own problem and others can respond to you.

    For example:

    Problem #1 – There is an age gap between boys and girls dating, getting engaged,and getting married.

    Solution 1.1 Have the boys come back from E”Y at a younger age, so they can start things earlier.

    Solution 1.2 Have the girls start dating longer, so they will close the age gap and be more able to support learning boys.

    You can also refute a solution by referencing it as follows:

    Refutation to Solution 1.2 No parent will let their girl be the korban that waits until 21 to think about dating.

    Problem #2 – Shadchanim don’t get back to the boy/girl.

    Solution 2.1 – Promote greater transparency through the process by not giving the boy priority when it comes to name. This will increase response times when it comes to redting a shidduch.

    Let us all now have a productive discussion where we can actually flesh out the issues and come up with real solutions to the shidduch crisis.


    I think Problem 1 is partially inherent in the nature of boys and girls- the girls are mature and ready to be adults earlier. some of this is nature, and some of this may be nurture with the girls taught responsibility from a younger age


    Sem613 – You are correct. The attitude stems from the high school systems. Girls’ school work their students very hard, and they have to know a lot of different subjects. This teaches them a lot, plus intangibles such as time-management, responsibility, coping, etc… Also, extracurricular stuff helps girls develop maturity and responsibility. Boys’ yeshivos need to have higher standards. What good is it to know a masechta back and forth if you don’t know anything else like hashkafa, derech eretz, a rudimentary secular education, and maturity???


    Learning in E”Y is so important that it’s almost not shayach to come back early. If anything somehow we have to change the system that allows boys to start Beis Medrash, earlier.


    First of all, we need guys to go to EY earlier, not simply start Beis Medrash earlier. As it is, most boys’ mesivtas finish secular studies by 11th grade to allow boys to start BM earlier.

    Secondly, the majority of guys learn better in America than in EY.



    That last line is fiction.


    How about: Restore high school education to where it was back in the 60s thru 80s in yeshivas like Torah Vodaath – where there were 4 or 5 classes every year. Encourage the boys to get a degree – Plenty of bright boys came out of Touro. Stop the nonsense where EVERY boy must go to kollel. We all know that there are way too many there that dont belong there.

    Second: This is for parents – if you want your daughters to marry working boys, tell them this as they are growing up. Don’t send them to seminaries that will brainwash them and tell them “If you marry a kollel boy, u will go to gan eden”. It’s all a crock. Just look how the divorce rate is rising among the yeshivish crowd. And please don’t compare it the goyim – nobody cares about their divorce rate. If you know your son or daughter is not cut out for kollel life, then don’t give in. No matter what the teachers in seminary say.


    BoysWork, you speak like someone in my age demographic (I agree with you). I don’t personally like to use words like nonsense and brainwashing when it comes to talking about a Makom Torah, but I can feel the emotion behind what you are saying, and I do agree that not everyone is right for or should be expected to go to Kollel.

    Most Seminaries and Yeshivos DO push the glories of the Kollel life on their students, when the reality is that in spite of the spiritual rewards, sometimes it IS extremely difficult and even disillusioning for many young women. That is not to denigrate the Kollel, and there are many bochurim who SHOULD remain in learning. But not ALL of them belong, and NOT belonging does not make a boy any less worthy than his Kollel counterpart. For every Yissachar there HAS to be a Zevulun, who received the same reward as his learning brother,simply for being mechazeik Torah learning.



    A more benign explanation is that the community is reacting to two big changes. First, the economy collapsed six years ago and while improving is unlikely to ever recover, and more and more young men are (responsibily) reluctant to get married and start a family until they have the means to support them, meaning men will marry later. Such developments are natural and hardly earthshaking. Even for families with a tradition of becoming professional scholars, the economic decline affects them indirectly since the donors who finance the yeshiva world are less well off.

    Second, we are finally adjusting to the fact that prior to the mid-20th century, we have very high infant and maternal mortality, but this radically changed in the mid-20th century (invention of anti-biotics, defeat of the Nazis, etc.), and there is less pressure to have as many children as possible since now, unlike a century ago, we can reasonably expect that all the mothers will survive their childbearing years, and almost all the children will reach adulthood. There is less to worry about. In all cultures, family patterns take a few generations to shift when these changes occur, and due to the holocaust the decline in child mortality (of which anti-semites were a major factor) occured somewhat later.


    BoysWork, Oomis +2


    TO Boys Work,

    Here’s another idea like yours. Boys who are now considered “bums” could be trained (while in high school) to be truck drivers, plumbers, etc. Perhaps it should be O.K. to admit that some boys don’t have the IQ or sitz flaish – not for college and not for yeshiva? And that for some boys this is obvious to everybody by the time they are 14? They could begin working as apprentices after high school. By the time they were 23 or so, they would be journeymen – and ready to support a family.

    To do this, you would need PROFESSIONAL vocational counselors who would test boys, talk to their Rebbeim and parents, etc. and suggest a course of action (and arrange work/study where appropriate.) The concept of this school would be to continue the habit of working and learning for the rest of their lives.

    How does this help the Shidduch Crisis? Because the “bums” are considered unfit for marriage – by all women. This increases the number of learner/earner men available.


    BoysWork, Oomis, that is what I have been saying all the time, this “Shidduch crisis” When this whole idea of learning only and not seeking a degree or earning a livelihood, took off. 20 years ago, most boys went to work, after yeshivah. It was rare for boys to continue learning full time. The current situation is unsustainable. When I got married, my parents and in-laws did not give us a penny, nor did we ever even think that such a idea existed, of parental support of kids after marriage. My parents paid for the wedding and that was it. I found an inexpensive gown, that I paid for myself, from my earnings. They were still trying to manage their own incomes. How can one ask for money from parents who are already struggling. I was taught, that when you got married, it was just the couple there to fend for themselves.

    Nowadays, it is unfortunately, expected for the parents to pay for their childrens’ support. How? I don’t know, but this could very well be the reason, why there are less marriages occurring. And there are. There is no way parents, in this economy, can support their married kids, and especially, those parents,still with young children, at home to support. Even before the kids meets, some boys want to know how much support they will be getting.

    The response to shidduch crisis is, that boys should start dating, younger. I don’t want to disparage the Gedolim, but that will not solve the crisis. Really, who do they expect to support the young family. Actually, I think it will make the problem worse. How can the Gedolim tell boys be to get married younger, when the boys have no means to support a wife & family. Doesn’t the Torah tell the men to have a house, and then get married? Doesn’t the Torah, tell fathers, that they have to teach their sons a livelihood? Doesn’t the ketubah, list a man’s obligations to his wife? I don’t think it says anywhere in the Torah, a parent is responsible to support his married children. Until boys are actual responsible for learning to earn their own incomes, the Gedolim can issue all the Kol Korahs for boys to get married a year younger, I don’t think it will solve the problem.


    And from what I am reading on other threads, the Seminaries telling girls, to marry only kollel boys are not helping, the situation, either. Seminaries, need to tell the girls, that boys who work are not bad and that it is a mitzvah for a man to take care of his wife and children. I also think parents need to sit down with their daughters, that should also consider dating a working boy and not turn down a shidduch just because the boy is working. Also, if parents made their girls realize the expenses, involved, even for the necessities, of what things cost nowadays, their eyes might be a little more open, especially, when told, Mommy and Daddy, can not help out.


    Don’t know what seminary you all went to- but the one I did attend actually stressed that learner are NOT for everyone- and that you have to know yourself well, and what you can handle and that you are NOT any less or different for wanting a working guy- and that it takes everyone to make the world work. And yes, I went to a good regular bais yaakov seminary- maybe we just need more like this one- but they do exist


    The logical solution is for boys to marry more girls.


    Mazal- the gedolim are not telling boys to marry younger. That is just NASI. If they make it seem like gedolim are the ones who think boys should marry younger then they are using a very liberal creative license (to put it mildly).

    The age gap theory is wrong. No reputable (or unreputable) statistician stands behind it and it makes little sense as an explanation of the recent explosion of the crisis or the proportions. NASI is irresponsible and dangerous for misleading and manipulating frum families into acting against their own best interests.

    The little I know

    Aside from a few sarcastic comments here, I am surprised that some people are just missing it.

    1) The myth of the “learning boy” needs to be debunked forever. It does not exist in the universal sense that it is bantered about by yeshivos or by girls schools. For someone who is material for full time learning, kollel is great. Whatever can be done to support that, whether by wife working, family support, or community support – it is a good investment. For others, a brief period of kollel life is more than enough. Young men must be addressing their need to be earners from their mid teens, and their roshei yeshivos need to prepare them to make ????? ???? ????? a major goal in life.

    2) The Torah community needs to extend appreciation and recognition to the working class. If any elementary school is audacious enough to close the admission to their school to children whose fathers work (despite maintaining regular shiurim), and the leadership gives any credence to this, well, shame on them. The child of the honest, working, Torahdige parent is worthy in Hashem’s eyes as one of His children. It is disgraceful to consider this child anything less than that. The recognition of the Torah committed baal habuss should not be limited to those capable of donating large monies to yeshivos.

    3) Our roshei yeshivos have placed themselves (not universal, but close) on pedestals where it has become beneath them to know every talmid, with their respective liabilities and assets. Thus, a talmid might not be long term learning material, and would serve himself and the community better by entering a career, but will never receive such guidance because it is politically unpopular. I’m sorry, but this cannot be branded as Ratzon Hashem.

    4) We are also deluded that our kollel systems work and are worthy of the aspirations of those looking forward to marriage and establishing homes. There is greater Kol Torah on Planet Earth than anytime in recent history, perhaps all of history. But are the yungerleit there appropriately disconnected from distraction and fully invested in their learning? Or are the kollelim just repositories for yungerleit who are hesitant or apprehensive about working? Is there a sense of entitlement, “es kumt mir”?

    When we can eliminate the myths of the “system”, maybe we will have youth ready to mature into adult bnei Torah who will be ovdei Hashem at whatever level is most fitting for them. Maybe we can trash the “one size fits all” delusion of “kollel for everybody”.


    Rebyidd23, except if any guy ever says that, he will immediately oust himself from the shidduch pool as no woman will consider marrying him, thereby creating a bigger shidduch crisis.


    When I was in shidduchim, someone asked me why I didn’t say I was looking for boy in learning in order to ‘get a better shidduch’. I firmly believed (and still believe) that zivugim are from Hashem, and if you are true to yourself, then it will happen with less heartache and anguish. I knew I was wanting to marry someone who worked, and that’s what I did. And I’m happy I did. A friend of mine was officially looking for a learner, and got engaged to a bachur. Right before the wedding they decided that kollel wasn’t really for them and ended up moving to my town right after the wedding. (Actually, they got married before us, so we moved to their town…)

    I think that, as others have mentioned, teachers should be more open-minded with their students and help them find the right path for them, instead of ‘one fits all’.


    I know, but I’m not worried. I’ll have my wives announce it.


    You may google “shidduch crisis theory” to find my salient thread:


    anyone here heard of

    (online mimick of the way people used to meet at a kiddush.


    I think the major problem in shidduchim is the preconceived ideas. Everyone means well, but shadchanim and rebbeim determine who is for whom. Usually they aim to match people who are similar when opposites attract. We tend to complement each other rather than marry those who are similar to us. We also expect perfect families. Do they even exist?


    I just wanted to add that I think Hashem has to decide who belongs with whom. I think shadchanim and rebbeim shouldn’t make snap judgments and should allow more people to date. Even if one is quiet and the other is more expressive or one is FFB and the other is BT. I think the shadchan and rebbeim have to ask both parties before determining if x and y are or are not a match.

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