Shidduchim and Outside People “Helping”

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    I was wondering how many other “older” singles get helpful, yentaish, insulting, or humoruous advice from strangers off the street or people who don’t know you and the situation…

    This is a poem I wrote.

    I really care soooo very much about you

    So, anything you need, my dear, I will do.

    I promise! I’ll tell everybody in town

    You don’t look too well….. yes, you look kind of ‘down….’

    Depressed! Yes that’s it! Yes, that’s what it MUST be,

    For you’re an old maid, almost (gasp!) TWENTY THREE!!!

    Since I care about you….

    Yes, please let me help. Let us look at your weight

    My goodness! Gevald! I saw how much you ate!

    And just because I care so much about you….

    I’ll give you advice. This is what you must do:

    Stand Straight!! Fix your hair! And please—talk much more Aidel!!!

    You MUST learn to act like a true Kalah Maidel.

    I care about you, so I must tell your mother:

    Oy yes! You must hide him deep inside a box.

    For, I heard that he wears the wrong color socks!

    Since I care about you….

    Please– were you were toiled trained at two? or three?

    The apple, they say, falls not far from the tree,

    And thus, all your children, well,….. they’ll do the same.

    Please realize that I have a most crucial aim.

    Which tricks have you played, ever since you were one?

    I need this to learn– what’s your idea of fun?

    Since I care about you….

    I’m going to tell everybody I meet

    the ‘juice’ about you, even what’s on your feet.

    For, see, well…………… your heels– they are just NOT in style.

    And so, an ‘elite’ bachur’s not worth your while.

    Since I care about you….

    I’ll tell everyone this advice that I’ve shared,

    And you’ll see: more yentas out there really care!


    Both amusing and sad…


    I think it’s important for anyone in shidduchim, no matter their age, to connect and find genuine, altruistic shadchonim that are interested in being involved totally l’shem shomayim. It cuts out all the narishkeit, and will save a lot of painful feelings.



    Well, I’m not sure why my last line was edited, but I will re-phrase it this way: I think it would give a boost to all those singles in shidduchim if everyone that wanted to be involved in shidduchim would take it as seriously as the mitzvah warrants. First and foremost the feelings of the singles involved, and give it the depth it deserves.




    and Please remember “you get what you pay for”.

    when you pay nothing-please expect nothing.

    Anything one get in terms of proper attention from shadchanim is above and beyond what is coming to them (both for boys and girls).



    How much did you pay for your life? Clearly, nothing. QED



    I will explain this once. On the off chance that you actually read it and comprehend what I am saying, it might help explain some things that are clearly bothering you.

    Fact: The current accepted structure for compensating a shadchan is similar to a broker. The shadchan, like a broker, receives a ‘commission’ upon completion of the ‘transaction’ (i.e. the engagement/marriage). If the transaction falls apart, no commission.

    This is a form of incentive compensation, i.e. compensation that is tied to performance. This form of compensation works extremely well – as evidenced by the number of people who choose to make a living as a broker. The hope of achieving a commission motivates the third-party to help out. Many shadchanim have altruistic motives in addition to the hope of receiving incentive compensation, which is wonderful too.

    Fact: There is another form of compensation. It is called fee-for-service. This is a popular form of compensation in relationships between financial advisors and their wealthy clients.

    The logic is that rather than have the advisor be swayed by the oodles of money the client has and figuring out what advice will return the highest commissions, the advisor knows eaxctly how much money he/she will get regardless of outcome and will provide the best advice for the client.

    Both forms are valid incentives. The current system works under the former method. You have every right to suggest UPROOTING the entire system in favor of the latter method, but you’re going to have to come up with a good reason why. What you are saying (that it is not a valid method of incentive) is simply na’arishkeit.


    AZ, when some people pay nothing, they get a LOT of freebies. Sometimes they pay nothing ebcause they can AFFORD nothing. Does that mean they are not worth someone’s time and effort to help them? Anyone who calls himself or herself a shadchan, should know that if you want to call yourself a “doctor” (who at least HAS the training and degree), you often have the difficult cases, as well as the easy ones. Going above and beyond is called for in any vocation or avocation. Being a shadchan, by its definition, is that you are making a partnership between two people. SOme partnerships require very little intervention and go very smoothly. Some require a great deal more time spent on setting up the “deal.” The only time I would agree that it is more than what is “coming to” the boy or girl, is when that boy or girl is an obnoxious and arrogant, ill-mannered cretin. Otherwise, they all deserve respect, sensitivity, and attention (big bucks or not), or one should not call oneself a shadchan.


    Oomis and Squeak, there’s another angle. True, from the “client’s” side, gratitude is important, and tangibly mandated if the shidduch goes through. But if this becomes the norm, then no one will make shidduchim unless they will be compensated early on. It will be what a generation or two will have grown up with as normal. Talk about creating a shidduch crisis!!

    But I don’t see it happening.


    You never know, Squeak. There was a time when I would never ever have believed that mainstream young adults would allow a third party to actually ARRANGE the date, that the boy would not have the social skills or desire to actually call the girl himself, speak to her for a while, and ask her out. And I personally have never made a shidduch for someone with the expectation of being compensated for my efforts. My “compensation” was the simcha of being invited to a wedding that I had a hand in. If no one would make such a shidduch w/o being compensated early on then “no one” comes from a very different mindset than the one with which I was brought up.


    Speaktruth, it sounds like you have had your share of bud-in-skees. People mean well but unfortunately have not learned the fine art of minding their own business. If someone finds you interesting and thinks they have a prospective shidduch for you (let’s just use you for an example) then it is perfectly fine to approach you and introduce themselves. However the first thing they should do is say “You are such a lovely girl, I found myself intrigued are you single I might have a shidduch for you, may I ask you a few questions?” If you are looking for a shidduch you can answer a few or actually sit down with the woman or just answer a few general questions and then say “My parents really handle my initial inquiries may I give you my mother’s number?”.

    However, if someone starts in on you with negativity have some clever getaways in the ready such as: Look at your watch “OMG is it 2:00 already? Where has the time gone, I will be late for work, class, bus, train, etc….” or “So nice to see you again, I will give regards to my Mom, gotta go!”, “So sorry I can’t stay, I have a date at…..” “I have a makeover in 15 minutes and I can’t be late, gotta go!”.



    “The current accepted structure for compensating a shadchan is similar to a broker. The shadchan, like a broker,”


    And it clearly isn’t working as evidenced by the frustration that singles find themselves in and the abuse shadchanim suffer.

    Change is necessary (but until it becomes the norm no one is obligated by a halacha standpoint).

    My point just was, when you pay nothing-expect nothing.


    oomis1105: Quick question,

    How many hours did you last week working on shidduchim. 5, 10, 15.

    I’m just curious…..

    The people I know (not “professionals”) spend minumum 8 hours A DAY. I guess it’s nice to get invited to the simcha when they get engaged. It’s also nice to be shown that all the work you put in and didn’t result in a shiddcuh is also appreciated and valued.

    Just curious …….


    AZ, I just saw a letter in the Yated in response to the 3@150 proposal. The author made it sound like the whole reason for that was so that kids would take things seriously and not go out excessively. Personally, I think that’s ridiculous, take your time is a very important message to hear. But was there any truth to that?


    I counter propose that the shadchan reimburse all dating expenses prior to the 3rd date, this way all can be reasonably sure the shadchan isn’t witholding or embelleshing info given to the other side.


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    Many people dabble in shidduchim as well as shadchanim. And many, many hours as well as stress and frustrations goes into working on a shidduch. It is stressful and frustrating on both ends, whether you are the “shadchanim” or whether you are the families. On the one had shadchanim usually don’t get paid their shadchanis unless there is a match. That means many, many hours of work and effort put in on your behalf and disappointment at the end. Not because they didn’t make the money, because they didn’t make the match. And then of course there is the disappointment of the family as well.

    So please try to look at things from both perspectives. The shidduch process is a very difficult one that when handled with sensitivity and yiras shamayim leads to tremendous simcha. When you say “you get what you pay for” it is a very awkward comment. Everyone is mechuyav to pay their shadchan whether it was their friends that set them up, a neighbor, a stranger or a professional shadchan. No one knows who their sheliach will be. And we have all found out on many occasions that Hashem works in mysterious ways and sometimes has a very interesting sense of humor.


    I spent NO time last week making shidduchim – I was sick with stomach flu. But I digress… I, too, am curious. If you are spending 8 hours a day making shidduchim for which you are a) not getting compensated properly and b)not being shown appreciation or that you are valued, then why are you doing it? And how are you making a parnassah with all your time devoted to non-compensated shidduchim when they didn’t go through?

    When you talk about appreciation you ONLY seem to mean financial appreciation. I have been shown great verbal and emotional hakoras hatov for my efforts,even when it did not go through, and that is enough for me. If you want to be a professional shadchan whose life is spent yomam valailah making shidduchim, then you need to get real and understand that no matter how hard you work, if you don’t get the job done, they will not pay you. If my plumber works all day in my house and the toilet is still not working, he does not get paid. You may feel that is unfair, but if someone cannot get the job done, UNLESS IT IS UNDERSTOOD BEFOREHAND that he gets paid for the effort, he does not get paid for merely trying, even if he tries very hard. To put it in another perspective, a student who is not as quick to learn as another one, may try really hard to study for a test, really put all his kochos into it, and still end up with a grade of 70 on a test. At the end of the day, while the teacher may appreciate the child’s efforts, that child still got a 70, and his report card will reflect that (though the teacher absolutely may write in the comments,”I can see how hard Reuven has been trying, and hopefully he will do better next time.”) Effort alone, no matter how much it is appreciated, still does not constitute an end result that is desirable, and may not be compensatory.


    We’ve introduced people. Some of them have ended up together. Some of them have not. I’d guess our success rate is at least as good as the matchmakers’. That’s because we didn’t rely on the amateur equivalent of a Q-clearance background check. We relied on the fact that we knew the people involved. We’ve never been paid other than being invited to offer a toast after the wedding or when my wife was given the signal honor of calming the bride down before the ceremony (and tackling her if she bolted).

    The tools of the professional match-maker are different than those of the friends and family. So are the expectations. I am more inclined to trust former because I know their primary concern is the happiness of those close to them. The professional is most interested in a good batting average.



    Well said. I agree with the approach, and your explanation.


    A lot of the amateur shadchanim are not working people but kollel couples (whether they are just married or 40+ years old). They have the time on their hands to do shadchanis and to spend enormous amount of hours on it. However, a lot of them have never worked in a professional environment and do not understand that one gets paid when he or she shows results, not just for effort.


    anuran, there is a real and very serious inyan that the shadchan must be paid. There is no minimum or maximum but the shadchan must be compensated. Some couples or family buy a gift or give cash. There have been issues where there is a delay in pregnancy or shalom bayis issues and when these issues were discussed with chashuvah rabbonim the question was asked “was the shadchan compensated?”. This is true. Every chasson and Kallah teacher reiterate that the shadchan must be compensated before walking down to the chupah.


    ” The tools of the professional match-maker are different than those of the friends and family. So are the expectations. I am more inclined to trust former because I know their primary concern is the happiness of those close to them”

    Please forgive me for this correction, but I think you meant the “latter,” if you were referring to family and friends. And I agree with you. Matchmakers have a dollar sign agenda, if they are pros (even if you want to argue that they want to see shidduchim get made, they still have a financial stake in it). Family and close friends want only to see the person find happiness.


    From my experience with shadchanim- there are 2 types. Those who do it lishma [either they are good at it and just started unofficialy or because they want to help the situation] and those that do it as a proffesion.

    In my experience of going to shadchanim- 1 out of the at least 15 proffesionals who I have went to called me back with a suggestion. They visit with u for a few minutes, if they think of something on the spot great, otherwise you become another paper in their notebook. I don’t think it has anything to do with $ but they tend to only primarily call back people who they have a personal connection with.

    I think there it is nice to give some hakaras hatov to someone who works with you to set you up (1) so they will think of you as grateful/ nice and (2) as an incentive for them to keep trying. However, most singles who are living on their own are not of unlimiited funds and dating already is very expensive [especially for out of town girls] and adding another $50 for each time I went out would make dating way out of my budget.

    I just went to a shadchan and they had 3 binders of girls and 1 of boys. I have even called shadchanim b4 who told me they are only meeting boys because they have to many girls at the moment.

    People can “blame the girls” or say “we are not trying hard enough” or say it has to do with hakars hatov to the shadchan but limaaseh it is a boy’s world and a lot of people to try with shidduchim for people they are cared about but not everything can be taken care of or fixed with money.



    I agree with you.

    The writer you are referring to made a absolutely totally incorrect assumption as to the reason for the 150@3 proposal and then proceeded to debate his own silly assumption.

    oomis: what you fail to understand is that a shadchans “job” in NOT to get a couple engaged. That is not something a shadchan can do.

    All a shadchan can do is suggest appropriate matches and offer guidance and encouragement along the way (when necessary) if a coule goes at 3/4 time the shadchan HAS done their JOB


    Just curious how many times people you know have gone out with the same guy 3/4 times. If you only pay after going out 3/4 times its not that expensive.

    “I just went to a shadchan and they had 3 binders of girls and 1 of boys.”

    I wonder why??????

    Age gap anyone??


    Let’s face it, it is a guy’s world. There are more available girls than boys, and boys are being redt shidduchim, but not all the girls are. And I don’t care WHAT the reason is, it just IS. Speaktruth, you are well named.


    oomis1105: If you want to solve a problem you need to know what the problem is, otherwise your head is in the sand.


    Here is one of the problems and it is well known. Boys still only want to go out with 18 year old girls. Even though they are 25. They still want to go out with the new crop of seminary returnees. Thirty year old boys still want to go out with 20 year old girls. Forty year old guys (divorced or even widowed) still want to go out with 20 year old girls. And people play into this mishugas and redt them these girls. This has been the problem all along. Boys do not go out with girls their own age. Boys also don’t seem to look in the mirror because no matter how short they are, or how heavy they are; no matter how strange they look or how badly they need to see the dermatologist, they only want to go out with the next top model.

    Do you know what else is the problem? The mothers of the boys, have put together a list of stupid questions. So not only are they buying into the boys going out with girls too young for their boys, they also put the girls and their parents through this obstacle course till the whole sidduch fizzles out. Frum Jewish girls are beautiful, intelligent, witty and full of yiddish tam and chein. They may not all be a size 2, they might not all be anorexic and they might not all have the face of a vogue model but there is a reason that Hashem made each of us different. If every boy out there is looking for the same girl, there are going to be problems and issues as the ones already created.


    aries2756: B”H in the last two years many many boys ages 22-28 are more than willing to go out with girls who are not “the new crop”.

    Shadchanim say they are getting yesses from boys for shidduchim that previously the boys would never have considered strictly because of the age.

    Progress has been made but there is a long way to go.


    “oomis1105: If you want to solve a problem you need to know what the problem is, otherwise your head is in the sand”

    I do not agree with that statement. I do know what I believe the problem is, just as you believe YOU know what the problem is. We each may come from a different angle, but the bottom line is the same. Boys have shidduchim suggested ad nauseum, and girls do not. Sometimes it is ONLY the bottom line that matters, not how one arrived at that destination.

    It makes no difference to me if the problem is the age gap, the fact that there are more girls than boys, the fact that parents of boys only want girls from wealthier homes (so their precious Shmueli, Yanky, Yossie, Moishy can continue to learn while someone else provides his “kest”), or that boys are more desirable because they do not have to be as good looking as the girls they want to date (i.e. a boy does not need to be a certain body build, not in the same way that he and his mother expect his potential date to be a size 2-4). It might be that the girls are starting to wake up and want more out of life than to marry uneducated and unemployed boys who will not provide for them. It might be that the boys do not want shidduchim redt with girls who are still tied to their mommies and clearly too young to be dating for tachlis at 17 and 18. WHATEVER the reason is, there IS a serious problem, and that is the bottom line and all that I care about addressing.

    In my humble or not so humble, but at least HONEST opinion, I feel sure the real reasons will never truly be addressed, because people are reluctant to face the fact that the process is not only flawed, but has been extremely detrimental to the future of shidduchim being made for all. The “researching” to death, the stupid profiles, the endless moronic and irrelevant questions that are asked of the so-called references, the inability of boys and girls to actually go on a date without interference, coaching, back and forthing between the shadchan and them,unrealistic expectations on both sides, and the rules, rules, and more RULES – this is why there is a crisis today. OK, I feel better now… Sorry about that rant.


    “Here is one of the problems and it is well known. Boys still only want to go out with 18 year old girls. Even though they are 25. They still want to go out with the new crop of seminary returnees”

    I disagree, first of all I don’t think there are many boys 25 and older who will ONLY go out with girls just getting back from seminary. Sure to some extent guys want younger girls and that’s not only b/c they’re shallow. I think it’s great to try to set up shidduchim that are close in age but I don’t think it’s fair to tell me that b/c I’m a 25 year old boy I should only go out with girls that are 23 or older and if I want to go out with a younger girl I must be shallow. I’m not very particular about the age of girls I go out with, I don’t want to be stereotyped b/c of my age so I try not to do the same to the girls. I don’t think age is all that important, the most mature girl I dated was also the youngest and the oldest girl I dated acted the most immature. My point is that you can’t script shidduchim, things are not always how you see them and if you try to force things to be a certain way you may cause a bigger “crisis”.


    You’re right oomis. I meant what you said, not what I wrote 🙂

    Aries, I feel we were well-compensated by seeing people we love get married to one another and to hear their children refer to us as “Auntie” and “Uncle”. That is something more precious than gold. And I note that at least one set had their first ten months to the day after the wedding. So Someone didn’t mind that nobody cut us a check.




    Unless we take the time to understand and face the core issues causing the situation you describe

    “Boys have shidduchim suggested ad nauseum, and girls do not”

    we have no hope of alleviating.


    It is clear that the present system creates a larger number of girls entering the shidduch pool each year than boys. Thus all the problems you describe in your rant.

    Encouraging close in age shiddcuhim is a start as it inevitably has an indirect of boys and girls dating closer in age.

    Going forward (slight) changes to the system are necessary.When the community grasps the full signifignace of teh situation, those changes will happen.

    Yesterday my friends wife went to some kind of convention for speech etc. therapists. She was shocked at the ridiculously high number of older single girls who were there. (not a scientific study, but a telling piece of info nonetheless).

    youdontknowme: you are 100% correct. NO one is TELLING boys they MUST date girls their own age.

    If all boys (and their mothers) had your attitude,

    “I’m not very particular about the age of girls I go out with,”

    “I don’t think age is all that important,”

    Inevitably far more close in age shidduchim would continue to take place.

    Kudos to you, and Ki’mocha yirbu bi’yisroel



    Oomis, I think this point bears repeating:

    The age issue is a major factor. But if we’re going to create a pie chart, let’s say that it’s 30% of the problem, and the other important factors you mention are the other 70% (say, 5 – 10% each). Now these numbers may seem silly, they’re not based on ANYTHING other than to illustrate that while age may be a major issue, it is not necessarily the MAJORITY issue, and yes, if the other issues aren’t addressed concurrently we will still have problems.

    Now, how to address the problems? I wish I knew. Look at the plethora of good, really good books written on building a bayis neeman, all the workshops, the CCHF shiurim about bein adom lachavero, et al. Good people have made good efforts! We’re still in galus. We’re still imperfect people influenced by mishagasin. All I can say is, keep on trucking. Keep talking about and keep raising healthy children, resourceful, with good middos, who know what it takes to build a Torah true home.


    AZ: Thank You but it did sound like aries2756 was saying that people should not redt shidduchim that are not close in age. Also you give me too much credit, I say age is not all that important but all else being the same I would prefer a girl who was 21 over one who was 24 so I guess I’m part of the problem.


    Youdon’tknowme, that’s ok, my 22 y.o daughter only wants a guy 24 or older, so you guys cancel each other out.


    Tzippi: It’s nice that from your arm chair you make up pie charts. As you so eloquently wrote, It is silly.

    Besides for that, closing the age gap is not a contradiction to anyone of your subjective concepts (other than the fact that it is eminently more achievable).

    youdontknowme: I don’t know aries2756. I don’t think anyone is telling shadchanim to NOT redt a shiddcuh if they are more than two years apart. But people redding shidduchim should definitely make an effort to keep the ages close as much as they can.

    Is that something you are comfortable with.


    AZ: I’m fine with making an effort to make more close in age shidduchim as long as they don’t stop suggesting shidduchim that are not so close in age. Age should not be the deciding factor in suggesting a shidduch, it should be secondary to the important things. In other words if you have two similar girls that could be a match for a guy, recommend the one closer in age first but if the younger girl is a better match for him don’t ignore it b/c of age. Make sense?


    youdontknowme: bulls eye!!

    and within reason don’t spend all your time trying to come up with ideas for the 19 20 years old girls. Put that same time and energy into the 21-23 year olds


    “and within reason don’t spend all your time trying to come up with ideas for the 19 20 years old girls.”

    If our “leadership” doesnt want 19-20 year old girls dating they should suggest a few things for them to occupy their time. College? Another year of seminary memorizing more Rambans in sefer Iyov? ? New chessed projects? Perhaps a whole new batch of moderators for the proliferation of blogs? Perhaps they can all become teachers assistants resulting in a teacher/student ration of 1:3? Anyone?


    I thought the goal of this forum is to come up with ideas not suggest what others should do. (obviously to implement the ideas we will need to team up with the leadership and have them endorse encourage and back the suggestions).


    AZ, I am going to try, really hard, to be courteous. Hope the favor’s returned.

    On another newssite, one of these grand ideas to even the gap is being floated – changing the age of school admission for boys and girls. I don’t know which educators the author contacted and I can absolutely guarantee it won’t work. But what do YOU think about it? Just wondering.

    Anyway, you just keep working on the age stuff, and I’ll handle the rest.


    Here’s an idea, let’s make it a more natural experience. Let’s refuse to answer “stupid” and irrelevant questions. Let’s try to get to know the person we are trying to set up and also the person we are trying to set that person up with. Let’s stop worrying so much about what is fair or not to the parents and worry more what is fair or not to the kids. Let’s not set them up for failure by allowing them these grandiose ideas and expectations and lets teach them to be more realistic especially where support and paying bills are concerned.

    When speaking to parents be more direct and ask “what is your son/daughter looking for” and not what they are looking for. Ask more pertinent questions such as how “HE” plans on supporting his family or if he is going to be a long term learner how his parents are planning to support his choices. Stop kowtowing to the old school “the boys parents want support…..” that only breeds more problems, promises that are broken, and bills that haven’t a chance to get paid.

    If support is offered and agreed upon by both sets of parents make a written agreement and include a time frame. you will be marrying off more children after this one.

    If the young lady says she wants only a learning boy, then ask her the same question “how do you and your parents plan to support your choices? What happens when you start having children, what then? Are you prepared to have others raise your children? How much does daycare and babysitters cost? Do you know how much tuition costs? Do you think that you can bring in enough salary to cover all of that?

    Then make realistic shiduchim. Stop trying to redt a learning boy on a girl who wants a boy to make a parnassah. I have heard that a million times “but he is such a great guy, such a catch, when she meets him she will change her mind”. Why should she change her mind? On the other hand if a young man wants to work and wants his children raised at home by his wife don’t redt him a young woman who is in medical school. She is most likely very serious about her career and won’t give it up to please him, and don’t ask either one to change their minds. Don’t put them in that position in the first place that they might like each other and then have to be frustrated that they are demanding that one give in.

    In addition just because a young man is in yeshiva does not always make him a “learning boy”. Many really should pursue a parnasah and not burden their wive’s with it. If you are not living and breathing learning, if you do not think Torah all the time, then maybe you can learn part time and work part time or work and then have a shiur in the evenings.

    Learn to listen to understand when speaking to young people so you actually hear what they are saying and what they are looking for. If a young girls sounds immature and sounds like she doesn’t know what she wants, she probably doesn’t so don’t waste the young men’s time with her. Same goes for the boys. And stop setting kids up on practice dates. No one appreciates being used and then turned down for a second date because it was the boy or girl’s first date and they are not going to settle on the person they go out with. Be prepared to like the first person you go out with.

    And parents, you know best, if you know your kids are not ready, not mature enough, too interested in having fun or experiencing life before settling down, then don’t let other people talk you into setting them up because you are wasting the other young person’s time and draining their energy for dating. The dating process can be a very hard and hurtful experience for many. Not everyone can take rejection gracefully.


    aries2756: What you’re saying makes so much sense, what I don’t understand is how we ever got to a point that all of these things are not the norm.


    I could not add anything to Aries’ already very complete and seicheldig post. The only area where I have a slightly different (and it really is only a small difference) view, is that I feel that even when a boy IS living and breathing Torah all day, he still should have a real parnassah and expect to support his wife and children. You cannot exempt women from certain mitzvos because their job (as we are constantly told) is to raise their children and run a Torah-filled home, and then tell them it is ALSO their job to do their men’s job, that of bringing home the parnassah.


    I’ve always believed that Hashem should give us direction. That bit where He told Adam “By the sweat of your brow will you eat until you are in the ground” is a pretty clear indication that none of us is exempt from earning a living. If our greatest Sages include day laborers, woodcutters, shepherds, vineyard workers – they are being completely accurate when they call it “backbreaking labor” – and doctors we shouldn’t be too proud to do the same. Nor fail to listen to them when they say “A man should first learn a trade, plant a vine, build a house and only then seek a wife” or “He who fails to teach his son a trade teaches him to steal.”

    If one is fortunate enough to spend a life in full-time Torah study he should thank his Maker for the privilege.

    If you can’t? There’s no shame and a great deal of honor in honest work and fulfilling mitzvot like feeding your family and making them happy. And there is a great deal of shame in forcing your wife to beg and your children to go hungry when you could have provided for them.

    If you are there for your children and give them the time and attention they need to become good Jews and menschen can you really say your time was wasted? If your labor allows you to give tzedakah that changes or saves a life shouldn’t you thank Hashem that you were allowed to serve in that way?

    If the hours you can spend studying Torah are few it makes them all the sweeter. There may not be as many lessons learned, but I can guarantee they will be learned more thoroughly and with greater devotion.


    AZ. By definition, “ideas” are suggestions for everyone to implement, including everyone else. If each person would do their own thing then nothing will be done to alleviate this suppsed major problem.

    To get back on topic of the name of this thread. “Help” as it is writen is clearly an indication that these people are doing more damage than anything else. Don’t involve “outsiders” and when they mix in tell them to mind their own business. I think this “outside help” is a bigger problem than any “age gap”.


    As Anuran aptly pointed out, Hashem told that to Adam, NOT to Chava. It is quite clear who it was who was given the mitzvah of providing for his wife and family.



    The boys are getting marrried “despite” whatever outside “help that you don’t approve of. I wholly agree with your statement that a total communal effort is necessary.

    Tzippi: “I can absolutely guarantee it won’t work.”

    and how might you know that?

    As for my opinion (for whatever its worth) re: changing the cut off dates

    I think all options that could make a big difference re: age gap-short and/or long term-need to be explored in serious manor.

    Nothing and I mean nothing should be simply dismissed as out of hand. The exploration process will of course require serious discussions with educators and schools about potential problems (if any) instituting such a change would create.

    Ultimately the final decision as to which suggestions should be implemented and which rejected should be made by the leaders of our nation.

    Hows that for a personal opinion?


    AZ, perhaps I was wrong in making such a definitive claim. But from what I see, little boys need to stay with their mothers as long as little girls do, this may give rise to an extra year of playgroup for girls who need socializing, and as girls are ready to learn just as early as the boys are, it will not be an easy last year of playgroup for these kids who are ready to learn. Takeh, Rabbi Aisenstark has said that lechatchila kids should be home till about 5 (years old, not PM) but this isn’t the world we’re living in.

    And I really don’t think we’ll get the uniform compliance needed for this to work.

    And I’m very leery of social engineering. As it is the system could use more work in the chanoch l’naar department.


    Personally I feel that everyone who wants to learn full time should have a “Yissocher/Zevulun” contract. Whether it is with your parents or a benefactor. “You will get schar for my learning and I obviously will get schar from your support”. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen and that is why so many, many young families and older families are in financial ruin and many are starving, literally. If you choose to be an “anuv” and live a very simple life, and your wife agrees that is fine, but is it a mitzvah to force your children into poverty? Is it a mitzvah to force them to go to bed hungry or go to school unfed?

    This whole situation has gotten out of hand. It is a mitzvah for a man to be mepharnes his own family, it is stated in maseches Kesubos. However, if one can’t live without learning all day and has the support to do so, kol ha’kovod. But please don’t bankrupt your parents and in-laws. Don’t force parents to keep working well past their well earned retirement stage.


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