Shidduchim and Outside People “Helping”

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    Tzippi: When the R”Y need your take on the suggestions I’m sure they will ask you. What needs to bee understood is that the situation is so serious that any and all suggestions need to be carefully considered.

    I’m sure Rabbi Aisentark would also say that L’chatchila we shouldn’t have Hundreds and hundreds (thousands) of girls stuck with no one to marry. Unfortunately that is the reality of the world we live in. One thing I can guarantee is that if we continue doing exactly as we’ve been doing till now, we will continue to have the same disastrous results.

    we need to just realize how serious (and urgent) the situation is. Change is never easy, but when it’s necessary – it has to happen in a smart and effective way.


    AZ, are you sure about the Rabbi Aisenstark thing? I know his kids so I can find out if you know because you know him well, or because you can read his mind.


    Am I sure that Raabi Aisentark would say that L’chatchila we shouldn’t have Hundreds and Hundreds of girls stuck with no one to marry???

    Yes Tzippy I’m very very sure. Is there anyone in their right mind who would think it is a L’chatchila???

    I don’t know what Rabbi Aisenstark would recommend doing about it, but I’m sure he would agree having so many agunos is not a L’chatchila.


    Re: the parents working well past their retirement in order to support their sons’ or sons-in-laws’ learning – who decided that the FATHERS of these learning boys do not have an equal chiyuv to be learning. If in their older years they are so busy supporting their kids who are not earning a living, then clearly those children are preventing the fathers from fulfilling thier own limud Torah. I wonder how many people have ever looked at this situation from that point of view.



    Their daughters decided. And the girls are not willing to marry without it, and the boys they are looking for are not willing to marry without support.

    The gemorah actually discusses this. It really depends who can learn better (Keddushin 29b). I would like to see the results of showing your daughter’s date that Gemorah 🙂


    “The boys are getting marrried “despite” whatever outside “help that you don’t approve of.”

    I didnt start this thread with the word help in quotation marks. Clearly the person who started this thread feels that outside interference is a big problem.


    “It is a mitzvah for a man to be mepharnes his own family, it is stated in maseches Kesubos”

    The husband obligates himself to do so in the kesubah too. Unless his wife is mochel this obligation (I dont know the halacha, but I suppose she can be) she can probably take him to beis din to make him fulfill this obligation.


    GAW, my daughters are both very much opposed to marrying boys who are “learners.” they want MEN who are responsible adults, who will take care of their family obligations without waiting for a handout from parents, and who ALSO learn. The very girls who only say they want to marry full-time learners, believe that to be the best way, ebcause that is what they were conditioned to believe, either throughout their lives or in seminary. Seminaries are extremely influential, as are boys’ Yeshivahs, and when our kids are 8,000 miles away from mommy and daddy (those who want their children to get higher education and a profession, as well as learn), the influence on them is even greater, and they often drop any and all ideas they might have had for a professional future, either for the boys or for the type of boy the girls now feel is the only type they should marry. And if you followed my very convoluted run-on statement, Yasher Koach. bottom line, I am not sure that all those girls would want the lifestyle they claim to subscribe to, (some might, of course), were it not something that has been drummed into their dear little ears by people who have great hashpaah on them. The fact alone that this lifestyle requires them to not raise their own children, but rather to consign them to daycare or to (sometimes not even Jewish) nannies or housekeepers, in order to make the parnassah that rightfully should be made by their husbands, only strengthens my personal convictions. There are very few iluyim in Beis Medrash, even fewer future Gedolei Hador, and not many bochurim who are capable of being maggidei shiur. Even if the wife IS mochel her husband’s kesubah obligations out of some peer pressurized feeling that it is the only right thing to do – if that was what Hashem had wanted, it would be spelled out in the Kesubah, as well. Or is it, and perhaps I am unaware of that fact?


    GAW, my own daughters want to marry MEN, not boys – men who accept responsibility for their parnassah, became educated so that they could earn that parnassah, and who also make time to learn regularly. It is not an either/or situation. They must do BOTH. What do you think of someone redting a shidduch to an older girl, with a fellow who is already over 30, never left the Beis Medrash and wants to continue to learn after the wedding, for that Shana Rishona? I cannot imagine that a normal older single girl would want to be involved in such a shidduch. And if of the two of them SHE had the better Gemara Kup, oy!


    OK, new round of putting words into the mouths of people much greater than we:

    So Rabbi Aisenstark (my apologies, a hundred times!) would advocate possibly sacrificing the chinuch of a generation so that hundreds and hundreds of girls may (because without chinuch in the best interests of the kids who knows how messed up things will be) get married in the next generation.


    Women are not made to work that hard. We are not superhuman although we are pushed to believe we are. That is until we crack and break down and then everything comes to a screeching halt. We all know what happens to women who are overburdened. We all know what happens to children whose mothers work themselves to the bone and whose fathers are never home. It is not a healthy situation. Not healthy at all for a frum family. There needs to be a balance and a man needs to know that it is unfair to indulge themselves in such a way. Truly it is. Aside from working a father has responsibilities to his children as well as to his wife.

    So IMHO, when you are first married and you can afford to allow a young wife to work for a year or two or even after the first baby is born (unfortunately) appreciate it, every minute of it. But as your family grows and as the responsibilities increase, please review. But a husband has to have eyes that see, ears that truly listen, and a lev tov, to his wife more so than to anyone else.

    Of course this doesn’t work for everyone, but it should at least be implemented for those it applies to.


    When that first baby is born, and even before that, while the wife is expecting that baby, any number of things might happen that would make it difficult for the wife to keep on working. I had to stop working in my sixth month (my husband was working, too), when someone pushed my as I was going up the stairs from the subway. The baby and I were both fortunate not to be injured seriously, but I was NEVER doing that commute again and risking another fall. There are women who are sick throughout their pregnancy, and at the very least they are extremely tired. It is an unfair burden to put on a woman to expect her to do everything, be pregnant, work outside the home, do the cooking and cleaning at home (because if there is only ONE income, cleaning help is not so affordable these days),and still also manage to have time for her husband.

    Yes, some women ARE able to manage to do it all. But personally, I believe that is mostly hype from a generation of women who were raised to believe that being a homemaker and mother is for women who were not smart enough or talented enough to do something more important with their lives. If that were not true, then no one would be asking shadchanim, “And what does the MOTHER of the boy/girl do?” it would be irrelevant.

    Regarding R’ Aisenstark’s statement about children being home until age five (an idea which I used to personally believe myself 30 years ago) – that only works nowadays if a) there is a parent who will consistently primarily be home with that child, b) that parent who is home is actually putting real effort and kochos into rearing the child, to keep him more or less on par with other kids his age, and c) the child has friends who are also home, so he can be socialized with them. It is VERY difficult to raise a healthy child in an environment completely devoid of interaction with other children in his peer group. So if all children in his neighborhood are in pre-school, he probably needs to be, too.


    “By the sweat of your brow will you eat until you are in the ground It is quite clear who it was who was given the mitzvah of providing for his wife and family.”

    that pasuk is a CURSE


    Oomis, very true about the need for preschool. However this wacky new plan would essentially result in an extra year of playgroups for girls.


    Tzippi: I Wrote,

    Rabbi Aisentark does not consider it a l’chatchila for there to be hundreds and hundreds of agunos. what he would recommend to do I do not know. Is there something in this comment that you refer to as putting words in other peoples mouths??

    I do happend to know that he takes the situation very seriously, in fact i spoke to himself about it….


    I don’t know how we got so crazy that we shove a 2 year old out to school even before they are toilet trained (yup in my neighborhood the nursery helps train). This pressure of even sending the 2 year olds to school has put a tremendous financial burden on young couples and is ridiculous. Why shouldn’t a 2 year old enjoy being home with their mother? For that matter why shouldn’t a 3 year old? Honestly look how the system has changed over the past 40 some odd years. In the past 2 generations we have added an extra 2 years to school. We added a Pre 1-A and an extra year of nursery. When I was a kid 4 year olds went to kindergarten selectively and 5 year olds went to first grade.

    Now 2 year olds go to nursery, 3 year olds go to nursery (2), 4 year olds go to Kindergarten, 5 year olds go to Pre-1A and 6 year olds go to 1st Grade. That is 2 more years of tuition and two less years at home with Mommy.

    And c”v if you don’t keep up with this platform, you can’t get in to a good yeshiva, because you practically have to register your kid when they are born, and you have to start from the get go or someone else will take your place.


    oomis815: I’m glad we agree. But we weren’t discussing your daughters, were we?

    But we are the “Yotze min HaKlal”. The Sems (with the one or two exceptions) are very strong influences (a nice term for what they really do).


    AZ, my apologies. I was too rushed, too tired, and frankly, annoyed. You are right, and I guess I don’t do the cause of focusing on other aspects any good by lashing out.

    I will just say, that lmaan Hashem, as people float ideas, they have to take the other issues into consideration, e.g. there is massive financial hemorrhaging due to support. Is institutional encouraging of boys to start dating earlier without a concurrent effort to instill maturity and resourcefulness productive, or counterproductive? I don’t see any of this in any of the ideas being bandied about.


    I’m going to try to hold back from commenting on these inyanim. While I do post anonymously occasionally when forums allow, I’m consistent enough and enough people know me I don’t want to embarrass myself further when I get carried away.

    But food for thought: True, Rav Shteinman shlit”a used a very shtark word, agunos, to bring home how serious this situation is. But I can’t believe that he and the other signatories would advocate, by any means necessary.

    The other week there was an article in Yated about the proverbial cat in the aron. I have to wonder – and I’m not in a beis medrash, or around the right people to ask to confirm, as AZ and AG, et al are – might there be some thresholds that the gedolim feel are in the go without saying category? What are some fundamentals that can’t be tinkered with lightly?


    Aries, while it might be expensive most people send to nurseries because both parents are working.

    Besides for the fact that it is better for a child and more mentally stimulating to go to preschool.


    “that pasuk is a CURSE “

    True — originally man was required only to care for Gan Eden and the animals in it.

    But when Adam Harishon decided to change the loshon of the one issur that Hashem gave directly to him, and told Chava that they could not even TOUCH the Eitz Hadaas (which hashem NEVER said to him), that led to the curse being implemented against all Mankind. Instead of food/parnassah coming to Man in abundance with little or no effort, he would have to work hard for it for all of his life. That curse was on Man, though, and not Woman. She has her own set of tzoros to deal with. Kol hamosif goreya.


    Tzippi: All ideas or on the table, NOT everything needs to be eaten. Obviously the gedolim will determine which suggestions should be followed through with and which should be left for your cat (e.g. abolishing cherem d’rabeinu gershom).

    I can’t gurantte that they will take counsel with you prior to making the decsion. What people should realize is when we deal with serious and devastating issues we need to make hard choices.

    Just take a peek and the lengths posking and communities went to permit a single aguna to remmary. We are dealing with not one, not two and not five hundred.

    Do you get the picture.

    A couple of years back a well known religious community spent over 100,000 to find and identify a person who was killed in a boating accident and help prevent his wife from becoming a aguna.

    That was for ONE person.

    What should we be ready to do with the devastating situation we are facing???



    ” I can’t gurantte that they will take counsel with you prior to making the decsion. What people should realize is when we deal with serious and devastating issues we need to make hard choices.”

    Two points:

    1) People should and will make hard choices in life, that is a fact. However, I believe that people should make it for themselves and not have other people (the rabbonim) do it for them.

    2) You mentioned that the rabbanim should take counsel. I agree with you 100%. However, I do not believe that they are taking counsel from the right individuals (and since you have the ears of the rabbonim, perhaps you can pass this along). Instead of asking and being provided counsel from shadchanim and married couples (individuals who are at least one step away from the so called “crisis”), the rabbanim should go straight to the source; ask the single guys and ladies what they think is wrong with the system. Find the aspects in which a majority of the singles agree upon, and then FIX IT.

    I have never been asked by a rav (and that includes all 70 that signed the age gap letter) what I think is wrong with the system, and neither have any of my hundreds of single friends and acquaintances (believe me, you get to meet a lot of singles throughout all the events and not a one has ever mentioned being asked what they think is wrong with the shidduch system or what they would change).

    Instead of trying to do studies (that can be skewed and countered in a variety of ways) they should go out to the various cities and document from the singles themselves. You will get a better understanding of what is wrong and a plethora of ideas on how to fix a broken system.


    jewishandworking22: The present issue being worked on is the issue of age gap. Not because there are no other issues, but because that has been recognized as

    1. Clearly the Primary cause of having so many older singles (in the more right wing communities for sure)

    2. It is something that is eminently solvable.

    When I mentioned making hard choices I was referring to structural change and that can only happen on a communal level not on a person by person basis.

    There is no doubt that input from all parties singles/shadchanim/parents is invaluable etc. to discover what other issues are at play.

    I for one have heard dozens of theories as to other factors at play. Nothing concrete- nothing provable-nothing actionable.

    If you could put together some kind of accurate effective study that is compelling with a clear plan (or basic idea) how to act on it, I have no doubt that there would be action taken on it.

    There is no contradiction to age gap and working on other factors as well. Everything helps.

    At present their are probably less than 15 people in the country who are actually doing anything about the ROOT causes of the situation.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated.


    AZ, what do you mean by the ROOT causes? Is there any way to prevent more girls being born than boys?


    For someone determined not to comment…well here I am. I just want clarity and realize that I need to clarify something.

    There is a shidduch crisis and the contributing factors, and I realize the need to focus on the age gap. I wouldn’t be so dismissive of the pie chart, there is serious buzz about, say, the learning gap. But I’m not an actuary or sociologist and can’t crunch the numbers some feel is necessary to fully address it.

    But I wasn’t referring to the other issues contributing to the shidduch crisis in my earlier post. I wasn’t in crisis mode at all. I was simply referring to certain ikrim that can’t be trampled on in coming to a solution. Kind of like getting a prescription filled and you want to be sure that there won’t be negative repercussions. Some ikrim include emunas chachamim, chanoch l’naar, middos, etc.

    I’ll refer to the first two examples of ikrim. IF and when my boys go to E”Y they will not be dilletantes out for an “experience.” They will go to a specific yeshiva to learn under the hanhala there for their growth as bnei Torah. We will not set arbitrary cut off dates. I’m apprehensive about advising people to do something without knowing if it’s good advice for THEM, there’s this lifnei iver thing.

    There is emunas chachamim. If it were at all possible in galus for something like this to occur, if there was uniform, specific, targeted lashon by a vast majority of gedolim, of course I would listen. (And listening doesn’t preclude going to an adom gadol and getting clarity as an individual, BTW.) If there was a takana that could have legs saying go for nine months only I could be machshiv it. But otherwise, I have to be leery about blanket solutions that are contraindicated by the ikrim.



    The PRIMARY reason for the shidduch crisis is the age gap??????

    If you ask the singles (the one effected by this flawed process) most would not have the age gap theory within the top ten reasons the system is flawed.

    As I have said in previous posts regarding shidduchum in response to the age gap theory, I think it is flawed inaccurate, and superfluous to the shidduch problem. The age gap was caused because of the flawed shidduch system, not the cause of it!


    Tzippiy: your question regarding more girls being born than boys is a clear illustration that you don’t begin to grasp the root cause referred to as age gap.

    I won’t bother explaining it so as not to bore the entire cr and risk getting this thread closed.


    Arc, no it isn’t the best for a 2 year old. Picking up viruses and illnesses from other kids whose parents are working and send them to nursery no matter what because they can’t stay home with them is not better for the kids. And separating from their mother and individual attention from them mothers have resulted in large amounts of children labeled with learning disabilities. Kids who don’t have the basics of colors, numbers, shapes and letters; Kids who don’t count well, don’t know their abc’s and so on. Kids who don’t have manners and fight more at a younger age because they don’t have the one on one influence from home. These are just some of the things that kids do normally and naturally at home with Mom.


    “If you ask the singles (the one effected by this flawed process) most would not have the age gap theory within the top ten reasons the system is flawed”

    That was the whole point of this whole thread. Binah did ask singles, and they did not think the age gap was the root problem.


    az: “(the age gap is) Clearly the Primary cause of having so many older singles”

    Not true as has been demonstrated statistically in other threads.

    “It is something that is eminently solvable.”

    Sure, be either dramatically increasing the divorce rate or by eliminating post high school Yeshivos with everyone’s “good ideas”. I think I’d prefer this crisis

    “At present their are probably less than 15 people in the country who are actually doing anything about the ROOT causes of the situation.”

    And you are NOT one of them!!!


    As an older single, I would have to agree with the other singles on this thread that the Age Gap is not the primary cause. If it were up to me, I would have more mixed events where people could meet each other. Not just singles. Singles events feel too contrived. An event that is open to PEOPLE will have a good mix of singles and married people. The singles will meet each other and will meet married people who might know other singles who aren’t there.

    A good type of event would be some kind of shiur with a refreshment/mingling period after. This also gives people an automatic topic to talk about (the shiur) so they have something to fall back on if conversation has a lull.


    There are many causes for the problem. One of many is the craziness of the shiduch process as I mentioned earlier, the stupid question syndrome for starters. Secondly, I would say is that “PEOPLE” have put learning boys up as a commodity and they are up for sale to the highest bidder. That means of course that the prospective girl must have all the qualities the in-laws are looking for: wealth, yichus, health, figure, beauty & brains in that order. Basically, they are looking for perfection or as close to it as they can get. And I am not talking about wealthy people with learning sons. I am simply speaking about the Learning Boy Commodity. The boy does not necessarily have to be perfect or meet any of the other criteria, just that he has to be a good learner.

    Next of course we have the wealthy families who are looking for girls in their own category. Wealth looks for wealth. So what does that leave, the ordinary learning boy who is looking for support who is still looking for perfection, and the same criteria as above, but we, meaning the Yiddish community has an abundance of wonderful, amazing beautiful, intelligent young women who may not be a size 2, may not come from wealthy families, may not have the yichus sticker, may have allergies or may be a healthy size 6, may not have gotten her masters before she was out of her teens, and may not have been toilet trained at 2. Or even c”v has a brother in a number 2 yeshiva.

    And there is the next category of smart young women who are actually looking for working boys, but are afraid to say that to the shadchun for fear of scaring them off, and the young men who are in yeshiva not really learning who would rather be in college or working but are afraid to do so because they are afraid they won’t get a shidduch.

    This is what we have done to our children and this is why IMHO we have so many older singles.


    AZ, I guess I’ve got to read the kol koreih again. Meanwhile, maybe you can do a service and find another thread wherein you explained this and snip, etc. so we can reference it.

    Rather than be patronizing, maybe you’d like to try to concisely explain, especially for the newbies here.

    And to those who disparage the age gap as being the primary issue, I have to put my money where my mouth is. I have emunas chachamim, have seen the kol koreih and so, have to treat it seriously, even if I don’t focus on it exclusively.


    Hello99: and Binah was dead wrong. They focused on the micro and totally missed the Macro.

    Tzippi: Here goes

    step 1:

    Population growth= more younger children than older children for both boys and girls

    step 2:

    more younger children than older children = more 19 year old people than 23 year old people (both female and male)

    step 3:

    If boys and girls begin the dating process at around the same age there is roughly the same amount of boys and girls entering the shidduch pool at any given year (hence the chassidm have no shidduch crisis for their girls)

    step: 4

    If boys and girls begin the dating process with an age gap (girls at 18.5, boys at 22.5) we have many more girls entering the shidduch pool than boys.

    step: 5

    if far more girls than boys are entering the pool every year then inevitably there are large number of girls with no one to marry. Every entering boys could marry a entering girls and we still have hundreds (aprox 200 per year) of girls with no one to marry.

    step 6:

    the next year the process repeats itself and the next year and the next year.

    step 7:

    The final result is hundreds and hundreds of girls tragically not getting married.

    I hope this explains it clearly.

    HEllO99: we can debate exact population growth and thus the exact number of unmatched girls, but the concept is pashut and obvious.

    Truth be told there may be a significant difference between communities. In the yeshivish communities based on HS data collected so far (and anecdotal data, shadchanim info etc.) the boys who started dateing 5-10 years ago are almost all married.

    In the less yeshivish communities there may be additional factors at work that MAY result in many many BOYS not being married as well. This is being studied at present but nothing conclusive has been reached. In other words to date no one has been able to get a handle on how many boys are out there in the non yeshivish community.

    Any one who can help in this would be greatly appreciated.


    Hello99: “AZ “(the age gap is) Clearly the Primary cause of having so many older singles”

    Not true as has been demonstrated statistically in other threads.”

    Do you know what 5.5% of remainig singles mean (quoting you from your words on your other thread)? That’s equivalent to over 50 girls per year as there are atleast 1,000 girls entering the market per year. Over 10 years that equals 500 girls r”l. Who cares if its the ‘primary’ cause or not??

    “It is something that is eminently solvable.”

    Sure, be either dramatically increasing the divorce rate or by eliminating post high school Yeshivos with everyone’s “good ideas”. I think I’d prefer this crisis”

    On a different note. The birth rate of the chareidim and of arabs are from the highest in the world (i refer to ethnic groups within a country). I wouldn’t e surprised if the growth rate in our community is even 4.5 percent. Just look at how the American Yeshivas in Israel for post Bes Medrash Bochurim keep multipying from year to year.



    az:”we can debate exact population growth and thus the exact number of unmatched girls, but the concept is pashut and obvious”

    Neither pashut nor obvious. At 2% growth, 3 year gap and %5 more boys born there are only 1% more boys then girls. Older singles themselves see no issue with the age gap. MO has little to no age gap and same problem, as MO members of the CR wrote on other threads. if anything is “is pashut and obvious”, it’s that the “age gap” is not the major issue here!!!


    lomed: “quoting you from your words on your other thread”

    Actually you are misquoting. I said that there is only 1% singles attributable to the “age gap”, according to az’s innacurate statistics he gets to a maximum 5.5% which still does not match his other numbers.


    Liberia as a country might have the highest percentage growth rate, what we’re dealing with here is ethnic groups within a country. The chareidi birthrate here and in Israel is among the highest in the world with an average of around 7 siblings per family which equals at least 3.5 percent growth using the most conservative estimates. documented Israeli statistics, which show between 4-4.5 annual growth rate for the chareidim community there.

    EDITED, perhaps you are not aware that insulting remarks are not welcomed here


    LMA: Since you claim these are “documented Israeli statistics”, please advise us all where to find these public statistics documented.


    The Moslem birthrate is no lower and there are plenty of homogeneous Moslem countries in the Middle East and North Africa. None of them come close to 4.5%


    Get to the point, I would like to know how this this question and this thread got mixed up with the Binah/shidduch issue. It is two separate questions and it is unfair to have brought the same two debates ongoing running side by side on two consecutive threads by the same people. This question was what to do when outsiders butt into your business regarding shiduchim. If there is nothing more constructive to say and help with that situation maybe it should be closed because people who are interested in that answer are looking here only to find the same debate ongoing by the same people.


    aries, There is one particular poster who anytime there is a thread with “shidduch” in the title comes into all those threads regardless of the issue being discussed and starts saying how the whole problem is because of the age gap, and that is the only real problem in shidduchim. Eventually all the shidduchim threads get hijacked this way.


    aries2756, back on topic, I just listened to a speaker that didnt have children for 10 years. She was giving advice to outsiders on what to say and what not to say, and an outlook for pple in her situation. One thing she spoke about is that pple do not mean harm. Pple give advice, they give segulos etc she said they mean your best. Try to swallow your pride, thank them, and move on. She stressed that this is not easy, but dont let other outsiders make your challenging situation more stressful than it already is.

    Though, she wasnt talking about shiddchim her advice applies to other challenges as well.


    I knew someone who was going out with guys but hadn’t met her husband yet and people would say very insulting remarks insinuating that she didn’t pray enough.

    I don’t think that the same person who made those remarks wouldve been too happy to hear those same words whenever she had any difficulty in life.

    So unless you would want to hear those comments back at you in another situation don’t say it.



    I posted a clarification re the definition of growth rate on the binah shidduch forum.


    To say to someone still single at 25+ years that she is not davening enough (or talking too much loshon hara, or not doing enough chessed, or giving too little tzedaka, etc.) is unimaginably cruel, a real onaas devarim. Some people need to learn the lesson that their own words may come back to haunt them, someday, and therefore they should be very circumspect about what they say to people who are in a tzora. And saying that they “mean well” is a copout. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they are unconsciously flaunting their own good fortune in telling someone something “for her own good.”

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