Shidduch Segullah!

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    And now I will give a second installment. Again, this is only for those who are not unwilling to listen.

    Argument #2 of the rapidly increasing population:

    There are more classes per grade in the younger ages than older

    Not surprisingly on this, AZ again claims there is “a school study done by the Avi Chai foundation of all Jewish Schools in North America proved this without a shadow of a doubt”.

    To me this study is apocryphal. I have only heard of it from people who claim it as gospel to back their theory. No one else ever mentions it. So I decided to do a little reseach before replying, using my good friend (and alter ego) Google. Oddly enough, the entire avichai website does not contain a report of this study as he reported. The closest thing I did find, however, was a sentence in the “Brandeis study”, which I quote:

    Some 170,000 students are in first through 12th grades in day schools throughout the country, an 11 percent increase from a decade ago, and increasingly these students come from non-Orthodox homes

    If this is not the “study” that everyone is referring to, please let me know. Then please let me know why, if this study really happened, it is not posted on their website.

    However, if that sentence is the source of the “study” claimed by backers of this theory, it has to be one of the most grossly out-of-context misquotes I have ever heard. The article only mentions this in passing, and the crux of the article is entirely unrelated to this issue. The article claims that the source of the increase is due to the quality of day schools, and does not make any mention of or connection to population growth. Again, if there is some other dedicated article, please point me to it. And also explain to me how an 11% increase in 10 years is impressive.

    Now that we have the “study” out of the way, let’s look at the claim:

    Are there more 12th grade classes than 9th grade classes? I’m not going to claim inside knowledge of Jewish schools that I do not have, but I did ask this question to administrators in a few different Jewish communities. I got different responses from different areas. Some communities are growing because they have more and more young families settling in. So every year there is an increased parent base, causing an increased student base. Another administrator told me that the school is shrinking and that they find it harder to recruit students each year. One other administrator told me that they have shrunk the class sizes and that there are more classes in general than 5 years ago, but no difference between older and younger grades. There seems to be a different answer for every administrator I asked.

    There is no question about it, the frum Jewish population is growing (B”H). But at what rate? I doubt it is significant enough to make a huge gap in 3 years, but feelings are not a way to prove things. Studies of school classes also do not prove the point (even if such studies exist) because they do not take in to account the type of children in the school class. What percentage of day school children are relevant to the shidduch dating group? There is too much irrelevant information in the study to be useful.

    Please note, I have not given any reason why the theory is wrong YET. I have only attempted to remove the support beams. Modeling a sample population will show one way or another. Up until now I have just shown that you cannot come up with logical arguments to prove your way.


    ames, patience.


    squeak, not unwilling?

    hope you’re not a lawyer…


    moish, as I have stated on countless occasions, I have worn many hats in my time. After all, this is the internet.


    no hats in a courtroom, dude 😉


    Just to clarify the statistics:

    The ratio of boys to girls at birth is roughly 51/49. This has been consistent in the US for many years. It varies only slightly by race or age of mother. It’s slightly closer to 50/50 for large families.

    However, the mortality rate is higher for boys than for girls, so the population is about 50/50 by the age of 25.

    In short, this has little or nothing to do with sex ratios at birth.


    It seems to me, the so-called “shidduch crisis” is that folks are marrying later, not remaining unmarried indefinitely. How many old-maids (or alte bochors) are there in reality?

    And I never bought into that age discrepancy factor, that has been in vogue (by certain people) to blame recently.

    BTW squeak, are you sure you were taught that the Chazal was allegorical? Because the Gemora (as well as Rambam) is explicit, and it is quite difficult to try to reinterpret it allegorically.


    To add to JayMatt, there are girls who start going out at 19/20- or who want to start going out then – who are getting pitifully few offers, and who date a handful of boys those first few years, vs. the boys who can go out with a different girl every week. This wasn’t happening back in my time 25ish years ago. What’s changed? The system – the money demands, for starters, and much more, that mitigate against the girls. Maybe there’s a trickle down from the world at large, and the utter disregard for women. I don’t know. I do know that I want a lot of things to change before girls are put in the freezer till 22. (Which will lead to a lot more jaded, freezer burnt girls, and fewer kids being born.)


    ames, if I could tell you what IS causing the crisis (not just my theories, but the real deal) well, then I’d be the million dollar man, wouldn’t I? I can’t.

    All of the reasons that you gave are good ones. I’m sure every detail contributes to the problem, but I’m sure there are also some details that mitigate the problem. While it is usually advantageous to be able to see the big picture over the smaller details, here we can only see the big picture. We know there is a crisis, but randomly pointing to one factor or another as the cause has damaging consequences.

    I will try to continue my rant as soon as I can. What I have left to say is not very interesting, and it is complicated for me to explain my technique in this format. So it might take me a while.

    Interesting about the SY community. I didn’t know anything about that.


    Continuing what I was saying about the SY community, from a sociological perspective, it might be helpful to work with that smaller group. If we can solve the issue for the smaller group it would probably solve the larger group issue. And it is always easier to analyze a smaller group.


    Joeph, I’m not sure which community you are part of.

    The statement “It seems to me, the so-called “shidduch crisis” is that folks are marrying later, not remaining unmarried indefinitely. How many old-maids (or alte bochors) are there in reality?” is totally inaccurate.

    The number of older girls out number alte bochurs by more than two thousand. (Admittedly it’s hard to get hard numbers on it because there is no one central database for this info) Perhaps some will marry the remaining alte bochurs. Perhaps some will marry divorced or widowed men. To think that all will get married is simply not being in touch with reality.


    NO one is suggesting puttin the girls in the freezer until they are 22. What does need to happen is for boys to start dating slighly earlier and the girls slightly later.

    As for the syrian community. I don’t have first hand knowledge. However in speaking to numerous shadchanim and rabbanim there I have been told the following. (with regard to the yeshiva crowd)

    1. Yes there is a terrible problem with the girls vis a vis dating.

    2. In addition to age gap causing an in-equity of boys to girls ratio, they also have the following two factors

    a. The graduation rate of the yeshiva girls high schools is much higher than in the yeshiva boys high school. This creates and inequity of numbers even at the same ages in the yeshiva crowd. (I don’t know this first hand but this is what I’m told).

    b. Many of the yeshiva boys end up going the Ashkenazi route, learn in mainstream Ashkenzi yeshivos and marry Ashckenazi girls. The Askenazi boys are much more reluctant to reciprocate and marry Sephardic girls as there are so many quality girls from their own community they have no need to.


    Re Squeak and the Syrian community: how many more of these boys, proportionately are working or starting to work? I don’t, really don’t, want to blame the proliferation of kollel as the culprit, but this is a major factor in the shifts over the last 30 years. NOT a bad thing if people would behave properly in the process. But they’re not, sadly.

    THIS is where the real crisis lies, IMO, and why so much is stagnating for the girls. That and that boys have been influenced by outside culture. Not that boys haven’t always wanted good looking girls, but the definition has changed. Slim, and maybe even borderline chubby, girls were still considered beautifuly. Now for many it’s unhealthy supermodel.


    tzippi- look around are most newly married women “unhealthy supermodel” looking? Yes every guy wants a good looking girl but once he goes out with a girl his opinion of her looks definitely gets colored by her personality, which is a good thing. I don’ think that all the guys not marrying “supermodels” think that they are settling for less than what they want in looks. If that were so we would have big troubles!


    Would you mind doing that, please? TIA


    Re Ames: my question is, what is the proportion of boys in the SY community who are working when, or soon after, they get married.

    And re Joyous, I think you’re right, but I still hear about the boys who want skinny girls in ways I haven’t in the past. (And the girls do aim for skinnier than in my time. And this is not necessarily due to health reasons, that a size 6-8 is healthier than a 10-12.)


    Slim, and maybe even borderline chubby, girls were still considered beautifuly. Now for many it’s unhealthy supermodel.

    That is 100% the fault of the pushy mamas of some boys, who would like to believe that ONLY a aize 0 supermodel is good enough for their sonny boys.I ahve had many mothers of boy call me about the prospective girl. Without exception every one of them wanted to know if she was very slender and WORSE, if her MOTHER was. It is a sickness, and now the additional sickness of anorexia and bulimia is found all-too-frequently in the Yeshivah world. I personally know two young ladies, both from frum loving families, who suffered from this. One spent a lot of time hospitalized. The other, lo aleinu, died from the damage she did to her body trying to be thin. The devastation that is caused to the surviving family members or the family members who have to watch their daughter or sister struggle to live, is beyond description.

    With all the Kol Korays that the Rabbonim are issuing about concerts, ball-playing, etc. one would think they would deem it even more crucial to issue one about shadchanim not being allowed to make shidduchim for girls whose body fat ratio is clearly dangerously below normal. These are issues that should be emphasized and re-emphasized in the Yeshivahs and Seminaries. It is as important and more so in some cases, than learning another perek of chumash and rashi. V’Nishmartem Meod l’nafshoseichem is a mitzvah d’Oraisa. Clearly someone has dropped a very crucial ball.


    oomis – it is actually in chumash bamidbar – chamishi Perek zayin pasuk aleph –

    say that until pasuk yud zayin (that is for the first day) then each day it lists the second day, third day etc. i am typing up the yehi ratzon cause the scan squished my siddur and it wasn’t so legible – and will post it afterwards – but i didn’t want you to miss the first day – be back soon – hope it brings yeshuos for everyone!


    oomis – here is the link copy and paste the following into your browser

    you may copy and paste the infomation in the link into a post, however, we will not post the link. Thank you. YW Moderator-72


    Parshas Naso – nesiim = nisuin! get it?


    Each day say

    ???? ????? ??? ?’ ???? ?’ – ???? ?’?

    – ???? ?”? -???? ?”? DAY 1

    ???? ?”? -???? ?”? DAY 2

    – ???? ?”? -???? ?”? DAY 3

    – ???? ?’ -???? ?”? DAY 4

    Then say (each day)

    ????? ????? ?????????? ?’ ?????? ?????? ??????? ???????? ???? ?????????? ??????? ??? ?????????? ????????? ?????????????? ?????????? ???????? ??????? ??????? ?? ??? ????? ????-? ????? ?? ???? ????? ????????? ?????? ????? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?????? ?????????? ?’ ?????? ?????? ??????? ??????? ??? ???? ??????? ……… ?????? ??????? ???? ?? ????? ???? ??? ????? ?? ????? ?? ??????? ?????? ??? ?????? ??????? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ??????? ??????? ???????? ????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???? ??? :


    Thin is NOT necessarily beautiful. Thin is unhealthy. And being at the end of the range, or just over, CAN be beautiful.

    I guess we can flip the coin. Overweight bachurim are slobs and ugly? Even if they wear well-fitting suits and are not obese, etc.?

    But my point about learning is that if a boy is presented with dozens of names that all check, and a certain number can also promise support, who do you think will get left behind? Now I’m sure there is the concept of the nadan in the Syrian community too, I have no idea how it works, but we’re not talking about supplying linens and pots and pans. A 40 something rav commented that in his time in kollel he knew where the rent money was coming from. Now many kollelim in larger cities aren’t paying at all, or paying a token amount. This was even before the recent economic downturn. It could be due to there being more young men than they can handle, it can also be due to the willingness (ability? I have no idea where it comes from) to commit to a few years of support.


    Not sure why my last post didn’t make it.

    The avi chai studies are posted in their web site

    There are a number of ways to estimate the growth rate of the yeshivish community. There have been studies done in EY that put the growth rate at close to 5% although a portion of that is probably due to “Immigration”.

    One can also count the average number of children per family and extrapolate the growth rate from there using some readily available formulas. The difficulty as with many population studies is defining the community. The more narrowly it is defined the higher the growth rate.


    As you can see from the site I posted above the total death rate for White boys is about 132 per 100,000 before age 24. The rate for girls below age 20 is about 600. This is quite a distance from the 5% needed to eliminate the birthrate disparity.

    I am not saying this is the only cause of the problem. It may be that more boys go off the derech to the point they cannot marry into the community. However at this point this is simply a theory without evidence. Even if this where the cause the problem would still be ameliorated by reducing the age gap.


    Noone want the age gap to be the issue. It is an extremely painful issue and yes it is demoralizing. But unless we recognize it it is only going to get worse.

    To this point other than offering what is IMHO a rather speculative alternate theory, you have not in any way addressed the fundamentals of the issue.


    To mox and AZ, certainly this would have been a problem 100 years ago as well (vis-a-vis) the age gap. Is there a reason neither Chofetz Chaim nor R’ Chaim M’Brisk nor R’ Boruch Ber gave such an edict? Why not 30 years ago with the likes of R’ Moshe Feinstein, R’ Ahron Kutler and the Steipler?

    Could it be because Chazal point out that there needs to be mechus darga in a relationship? They knew that this was essential in Shalom Bayis, and that it can be easily accomplished with a guy marring a girl who is younger. This is something CHAZAL have told us about marriage, I find it odd that you are trying to take on Chazal.

    Please give real stats, not these pseudo point proving stats. Give at least a 10 year GLOBAL census proving your point (don’t tell me about the number of unmarried 21 year olds in Toronto, because more likely the males at that age are in Yeshivos out of Toronto, hence the false statistic)

    As previously stated:

    “There are three types of lies — lies, da** lies, and statistics.”

    There are so many factors that go into making shidduchim, I find it weird you feel you are able to point to ONE factor and say “THAT’S IT!”


    the best segulla for anything is bitachon. my rabbi is very into bitachon. he tells singles if the want to get married, buy a wedding dress and trust in Hashem 100% that He’ll send you the right one at the right time. it works!! my rabbi told this to many girls and to the boy he tells them buy a ring. plan a weddimg, book a photographer….



    If your point is that for us as a community it is worth it to allow a number of girls to go unmatched due to the fact that an age gap of this magnitude is necessary I don’t have anything to say. Your proof from chazal is rather weak. However chazal do say that at 18 one must start to look for a wife and they do not say noce things about one who is not married by 20. In addition the Shulchan Aruch says that one who is older than 20 and not married is mevatel a mitzvah every day.

    In order to show that there is a problem we need two things the average age gap and the growth rate. Which one of these do you have a problem with? The theory can be bolstered by looking at the ratio of older girls to boys in shidduchim databases however this is not necessary.

    Although it would be nice to have more complete data a ten year global census is both impractical and not necessary. Statistical derivations are adequate.

    As for your point about statistics I assume you advocate the use of statistically derived medical data as well as pharmaceuticals whose efficacy has been statistically validated. I imagine your point is that statistics are subject to manipulation.

    If you think I am manipulating numbers to make my point please tell me why you think so. I don’t want this to be true any more than you do – however if it is hiding our head in the sand is only going to make it worse.


    mox, if you are dismissing what chazal tell us is an essential part of Shalom Bayisby saying it is weak and by saying that we shoved 18 to chuppa under the carpet, then thank you for publicly showing everyone that this initiative of yours could care less about Shalom Bayis. Maybe we should make Rosh HaShana only 1 day, afterall we no longer follow Chazal about 18 for marriage.


    Yes, I think you have an agenda. Strike that, I KNOW YOU HAVE AN AGENDA!! If this is the “growth rate” then it would have been the same rate years ago vis-a-vis percentages.

    Let me say this simply for you:

    1. You are pushing aside what Chazal say is essential for Shalom Bayis in order to create marriages. (Which in itself shows me that what you stand for is garbage)

    2. You make the claim that it is weak since we are no longer the same 18 year olds that Chazal was talking about

    3. You fail to mention why previous Rabbonim did not see this as an issue. (Probably, because unlike you, the word of Chazal had value in their eyes)

    4. By your own admission you do not have global stats. Let me tell you something, how many more boys than girls are there of marriageable age in Lakewood, or Yerushalayim simply due to there Yeshivas being there?

    5. Why should I believe you represent what the Gedolim would want when no one has said anything, and when you yourself admit to putting aside Shalom Bayis to make shidduchim?

    6. By the way, just in case you try to give a revisionist account of history vis-a-vis the age gap, what was the gap between Avraham and Sarah? Yitzchak and Rivka?

    Oh, and if you will play the polygamy card, which tanaim and amoraim had more than one wife?

    7. As the Chasam Sofer said about the Reform Movement: ??? ???? ?? ?????

    I cannot fathom telling a girl who is mature and capable she cannot get married since she is only 18.


    These are not statistics, my friend. There is only one way to describe your results:

    GIGO (garbage in, garbage out)

    Your 3.5% growth rate per year is both contrived and exaggerated. You have no reason to assume this growth rate. How long has this growth been going on? Does the population DOUBLE every 20 years? That would mean that in the last 100 years the population increased by 3100%. That means that for every person born 100 years ago, 32 were born this year. Am I the only one who thinks that you are being ridiculous?

    Please note that this is your only statistical claim. The rest of your claims are purely made of your own logic. On that basis, I’d like to ask you a question that is also only logical, and not at all statistical. We can get back to cold hard facts if/when you are ready to look at them.

    If the average age gap in shidduchim is about 3 years, then at some point all the 23 year old boys must have decided to ignore same-age girls and start marrying 20 year olds. OK, let it be a gradual event. My question is, what happened to the 3 years worth of girls who were skipped when the boys made that decision? Where did they get absorbed? I think they didn’t. I think that these 3 years worth of girls ARE the shidduch crisis. So, these poor girls will just get older and older, but once they are old maids and out of the picture, there will be no more crisis. The crisis is them, THEY will never get off the island, but it’s not because of the age gap, it’s just because they were skipped. Good theory?

    Please don’t make the mistake of falling for a theory and then adjusting your model to generate the desired results. Your model would not stand up to peer review.


    Without taking sides, PLEASE, everyone, CALM DOWN!




    Sorry I wasn’t clear

    To the best of my knowledge there is no chazal that one should marry a younger woman. The chazal you are referring to “ches darga vesav itsa” is refering to status not age I believe that is the context as well as what the meforshim say. All I was saying was that if one wants to make a case that this is referring to age I think that argument is weak.

    With regard to shoving 18 year olds to the chuppa. I was not saying that all I meant is that when one is ready whenever that may be one should not let superficial societal constraints stop him. I don’t think any of the gedolim you mentioned would disagree with that.

    There are a number of reasons this issue has become more significant and prominent in recent years. They include an increased growth rate and lower maternal and overall mortality.

    When calculating the ratio of boys to girls we do not go to a particular town and count how many boys and girls there are. There are more effective and easier ways of doing it.

    I do not know why you think I am “Putting aside shalom bayis to make shidduchim” All I am saying is we have an issue that we have to deal with. If you think that having boys start dating a year earlier will significantly impinge on the shalom bayis then by all means say why you think so.



    Why the insults

    No I am not saying the growth rate was 3.5% for the past 100 years. Among other things about 65 years ago the jewish people suffered from significant negative growth. I do believe that over the past 60 years or so the jewish community as well as many others underwent a significant increase in its growth rate due to advances in medicine,nutrition, as well as certain cultural changes.

    With regard to you point about the skipped three years I don’t really understand what you are getting at. I was not saying that all boys and girls used to marry at the same age until they decided to “Institute” a three year age gap. That like almost every other social convention evolved slowly.

    Stop requesting e-mails…Please review the rules of the CR prior to posting again

    YW Moderator-39


    1st of all, if a guy isn’t ready to get be in a marriage, then he shouldn’t get married. There are reasons for why Rabbeim tell their boys not to rush into a marriage (i.e. not to get married too young). WHy should you argue on their Rabbeim.

    This stats of yours are skewed since you are assuming ALL 22 year olds will marry 18 year olds. Some people need such an age gap as a way of obtaining mechus darga (yes it can be accomplished many ways, but if both the guy and girl like this gap, what right to you have to stop it). Others will try to marry someone closer in age.

    The point here is that there are many variables in Shidduchim. Some people don’t get married since they are not ready to be considerate of others. Some have standards which are too high. Others have outsiders meddling in unproductive ways. This “gap” problem of yours is extremely short sided on many levels, not the least of which is that a girl who does not get married at 18 could still get married at 19-20. and that a girl who isn’t married at 25 could be because she hasn’t found someone with a big enough bank account. A genius factors in all variables, a fool looks at one of them and shouts “DISCOVERY!”

    You aren’t fooling me with these statements, nor am I impressed with your debating style of “If you disagree with me come out and explain yourself”. Neither you or AZ have been clear this entire time. You have only repeated the same agenda over and over again.

    For the record, I am a part time shaddchan, and I have seen 1st hand the limitations which people admit to prior to shidduchim. (e.g. some people will knowingly admit they have a high quota vis-a-vis looks, money, yeechus etc. and some will request someone young, others will ask for someone closer to their age, AND MOST SAY AGE IS RELATIVE, IT IS THE MATURITY OF THE GIRL/GUY WHICH MATTERS MOST!!)People come into dating with shortcomings, you need to work with those shortcomings.

    In short, if you want to help, start setting people up who are likely to build happy torah based homes. Teach those in “the parsha” what is Ikar and what is not. Make sure all dating parties have proper hadracha from real da’as torah. Create a network so that shadchanim can share info about single boys and girls. Also make sure the Shaddchanim get proper hadracha as well.

    Those steps will be 100x more productive than your standing on a rooftop with flawed conclusions based upon skewed stats yelling “AGE GAP!”


    The biggest problem in the shidduch situation that we have is that the boys come back too old from Eretz Yisroel. Something must changed!! I firmly feel that if the Bochurim would go to E”Y younger & return home younger & start dating when they are younger – you will add HUNDREDS of new boys onto the “market” every z’man. Whoever can help to fix the current system will be be doing a great chessed & will be able to help many, many Bnos Yisroel.


    Re lkwdfellow: when your sons are getting of age, how will you gauge when they’re ready to go out? Do you think that boys are readier, able to accept the responsibilities of building a bayis neeman even earlier? I wonder if some boys should actually wait an extra year or two to get that much more uninterrupted learning under their belts. Then they’ll be more willing to look for the best girl to build a bayis neeman with, and more willing to overlook the potential shver’s bank account.

    proud tatty

    lkwdfellow, Just when I thought the ideas couldn’t get worse you went and proved me wrong.

    It is hard enough for an 18 year-old to go to israel and shteig and not get caught up with the wrong crowd AND NOW YOU WANT 16 YEAR OLDS TO DEAL WITH THIS NISSAYON? Oh, and what will happen to high school in this brilliant idea of yours?

    Let them grow, let them mature. Better wait 2 years if they (both guy and girl) will use these 2 years productively.


    just curious, why are people under the impression that girls must get married when they’re eighteen, otherwise, what’s wrong with her?



    To rephrase the issue. Before we even begin to discuss possible solutions to the crisis, we need to come to a understanding of the root cause. Unless someone debates the following two facts

    1. The Jewish population and specifically the frum population is growing very rapidly.

    2. The average age gap amongst couples in our community is aprox. 3 years.

    We can debate whether the growth rate is 3.2% or 4.1% etc. etc. We can debate whether the average age gap is 2.9 yrs or 3.6 yrs etc. etc. These discusion will decide whether the amount of girls who can not get married is 8.5% or 11.4%. However we slice it, unless we debate one of the starting premises there is not much to discuss. A VERY SIGNIFCANT number of girls have no chance to get married. If this is a acceptable situation to our community due to issues involved in trying to close the age gap so be it. However let’s not pretend this isn’t a clear cut truth. Our decision to not act is causing hundreds and hundreds of girls to never get married and never have a family.

    We have not even begun to discuss specific tactics as to how to go about closing the age gap other than to encourage in a general sense more close in age shidduchim. No one has suggested that every boy get married at 21, and no one has suggested that no girl date before 21. What is being discussed is to encourage more close in age shidduchim.

    I’m not quite sure why the vehemence and reluctance to recognize this seemingly obvious problem.


    Did it ever just accur that there’s no “crisis”, its all Hashem, not let’s bring the boys to Israel earlier, ect. When its time for the girls and boys to get married they WILL be”H!!



    For starters I will humor you. Let’s pretend it was like this for thosands of years. Therefore let’s not discuss it lets do nothing about it. You know for thousands of years (bavel, rome, inquisition, crusades, cossacks etc.) Jews were persecuted, so why try to save Jewish lives in Germany. Afterall it’s been going on for a long time, let’s just except it???

    Fact is that there has never been a population growth like we are seeing recently. Coupled with the dating style that by and large girls start one year after seminary and boys (yeshiva style for sure) first go to israel at 20-21 and come back 22-23. THIS is a relatively new phenamona that created the age gap problem.


    I don’t know what community you are a part of, however in the non chassidic orthodox community the number of older single girls is greater than the number of older single boys by a couple thousand. You are right it’s not a crisis it’s a TRAGEDY.



    In every developed society that does not artificially control birth rate the birth rate has gone up dramatically over the past hundred or so years. This is due to many factors including reduced maternal mortality, reduced infant mortality, a dramatic increase in life expectancy, earlier weaning due to better nutrition and the development of infant formulas, and fertility treatments.

    In the frum world the general trend is the further to the right community is the higher the birth rate. As there has, over the past several decades, been a general shift to the right it is reflected in the birth rate.

    Anecdotally it would seem to me that people are marrying earlier. When I compare people I know in my grandparents, parents, and my own generation that definitely seems to be the trend. If anyone has any hard evidence on this point I would love to hear it.


    what’s the difference in birth rate from year to year?


    This (bli neder) will be my last post here, as you people (AZ and mox) are the worst conversationalists and point provers I have ever seen (assuming you ARE REALLY TWO PEOPLE!)

    1. Life expectancy should play no role in the data. so people now live until 90 instead of 60. What should that have to do with the price of tea in China?

    2. >>When I compare people I know in my grandparents, parents, and my own generation that definitely seems to be the trend.<< This is your data?!?! people you know!! This is why I constantly am skeptical of your conclusions, I don’t trust your data. You pull this stuff out of a hat

    3. >>If anyone has any hard evidence on this point I would love to hear it.<< Not you obviously!! Why do you keep on doing this. Make general statements with flawed data and odd results based upon this data, yet WE have the burden of proof? That is not how things work.

    4. >>In every developed society that does not artificially control birth rate the birth rate has gone up dramatically over the past hundred or so years.<<

    All the more reason for a Brisker Rov / Steipler / R’ Boruch Ber etc. to start such an initiative.

    As previously stated: As the Chasam Sofer said about the Reform Movement: ??? ???? ?? ?????

    5. For some reason, this age gap thing seems to be the flavor of the month among people with a revisionist view or history (and statistics), forgive me for not drinking your kool-aid.

    Reply if you wish, but given the redundancy of this discussion, your stubbornness and lack of evidence, I will no longer partake in this sham of a “conversation”.

    Good Day


    Aside from being wrong about blaming the so-called age-gap on the “shidduch crisis”, even if for arguments sake we assumed you were correct, there is no way to enforce a rule limiting future marriages to couples within “X years” of each other. If such a rule were proposed or implemented (or even encouraged), it would become a mockery and mostly disregarded. (See how little people follow the many calls of Rabbonim to limit the costs/lavishness of l’chaim/vorts and weddings — something that is easier to follow and even enforce.)

    (This is in addition to your using bad data. In the past, Yidden generally married earlier than today, plus had a greater age gap than today. It was once not uncommon for older men to marry very young women.)


    For some reason, this age gap thing seems to be the flavor of the month among people with a revisionist view or history (and statistics), forgive me for not drinking your kool-aid

    JayMatt: I don’t attribute it to revisionists, I attribute it to people who desperately want to find a blameless cause for this “crisis”. This theory was either picked up by or in part originated with a popular and noted lecturer, which may be why it took off. His credibility and ability to disseminate this widely is what gave the strong flavor to the kool aid. But I personally have been served too much kool aid for one lifetime. And the call for manipulation is just outright wrong.


    I have yet to see a single person disagree in a substantive way with the two obvious premises creating the numerical discrepancy.

    1. Population Growth (3%-4%)

    2. Age differential among average couple (2.5-3.5 years)

    Does anyone debate these two points?

    Does anyone debate the automatic effect these two factors have on the number of available boys relative to available girls?

    Both of these facts are obvious without even providing empirical statistical data. On the population growth there is accurate data. On age gap it’s hard to provide more than anecdotal evidence. However, one must be blind to not observe in our community both of these obvious factors.

    What happened a hundred years age is really of no concern, unless one buys into the theory that:

    A) this problem existed years ago (hard to know for sure since we don’t have good data on population growth and/or dating style)

    B) the Gedolim of that were aware of the nature of the problem

    C) the Gedolim of that time made a conscious decision to let things be and have hundreds and hundreds of girls remain agunos due to their understanding that potential fallout from attempting to alleviate the situation warranted such a decision. (To think so is utter lunacy. Open any teshuva sefer and notice the length to which Gedolei Yisroel went to be matir INDIVIDUAL agunos.)

    In all honesty, people who believe points A,B,C are true and therefore we have a “kabala” to do nothing about the present tragedy is simply very misguided.


    proud tatty – you missed my point. I wasn’t talking about the boys that go at 18. That’s fine. The problem is in the more Yeshivishe Yeshivos – where the boys stay in the US till 21 & the go go to E”Y for at least 2 years.

    tzippi – most boys in the Chassidishe velt get married at about 18-19, so asking a Litvishe boy to get married at 22 isn’t terrible. Also, if you look back about 20-25 years ago, all bochurim got married at 21-22. This is a new fad that the boys are waiting till 22-23 to start dating. And it has to stop…..


    Re Lakewood Fellow: that’s Mrs. Tzippi to you 😉

    I dunno. My father was 26. And look at Mir.

    Telling the boys to get married younger IS problematic if they aren’t being prepared. To me, part of being prepared is having a sense of responsibility and resourcefulness, which can come from many ways, like summer jobs, e.g.

    And I’m looking at my 20 y.o. son now. IF (caps intended) he goes to E”Y to learn, he’s not going now, he’s still getting too much out of the yeshiva he’s in. That schedule won’t work, and I don’t think we’re anomalies.


    Wait, my father’s two generations ago.

    My husband was almost 24, my brother’s 25 (though they’d been looking for about 2 years.) Your point?


    Tzippi: Do you really believe that 8-10 months makes or breaks it in terms of a boys maturity. As one very astute rosh yeshiva said. It’s true that boys at 22 are not as ready for marriage as the girls. However, at 23 they aren’t either. To think that there is a significant difference between boys who get married at 23 vs. 22 is simply silly. Yet for the age gap it makes all the difference in the world. As long as the boys are in the protected environment of yeshiva (and let’s assume that’s a good thing) there is a certain naivete that will be common. Encouraging boys to skip the learning in israel or to shorten their time there will not prevent them from being the husbands that they could or should be. As for their learning per se, that’s a whole new thread. Suffice it to say that a overwhelming majority of the boys who go to israel at 20+ will tell you that their learning in israel wasn’t what they thought it would be.


    Re AZ, maybe a good number of these 23 y.o.’s shouldn’t be getting married yet.

    The complaint many mothers of boys have is that all the girls sound alike. Truth is, what distinguishes the boys? What gives them substance?

    I understand the concept of sheltering our kids as long as possible, then shepherding them through the transition of marriage and real life. I think, for my kids’ shalom bayis (and my husband and I are actually pretty chilled out) I want them to be as INdependent as possible. Amazing how lovingly connected my unsupported kids and we are.

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