February 12, 2009 9:08 pm at 9:08 pm #646310
“There is the famous story with the Satmar rov and Rav Bick. The Satmar Rov wanted 2 dates instead of the customary 8, and said “Katzti bechayay mipnei bnos bnei ches” ( a pun on “ches” meaning Hittites and 8. Rav Bick said, “You say 2 because you’re a mesader kiddushin. I say 8 because I’m a mesar gittin”. “
Sharp and to the point. I like itFebruary 13, 2009 1:00 am at 1:00 am #646311
So the machlokes is whether to date short (i.e. 2 dates) or to date long (i.e. 8 dates.)February 13, 2009 4:12 am at 4:12 am #646312
Joseph. The point it that 2 (like chasidim) has been recognized by some rabbanim and that there should be at least 8. I am not saying 48 but still, the more the couple learns about each other, the less surprises they will find out, some being tragic and destructive.February 13, 2009 4:44 am at 4:44 am #646313
2 has been said to sufficient by some Rabbonim, while other Rabbonim think it should be 8.February 13, 2009 4:51 am at 4:51 am #646314
they should date at least 5 times. otherwise how can they know about each other; from 2 dates? so many surprises will probably come. Why would you want to set yourself up for surprises, that can be destructive!!!February 13, 2009 6:29 am at 6:29 am #646315
I would venture to say that even the Satmar Rebbe ZTV’L wouldn’t complain about non-Chasidisha Kehilos engaging in long-dating (i.e. about 8 dates.)
But for the Kehilos that hold of short-dating (i.e. 2 dates), clearly it has been working well for them, plus historically Klal Yisroel until approximately 100 years ago, never had a long shidduch dating system (i.e. 8 dates.) And it surely worked well for Klal Yisroel for many thousands of years, and it still working well for the Kehilos that maintain this tradition.
In fact, traditionally parents would make shidduchim between themselves and let their children know who they will be marrying. And guess what? It worked! In fact, it worked much better than our dating system. I don’t think anyone is advocating that approach for everyone (although some segments of Klal Yisroel use it ad hayom hazeh), but do respect those who maintain it.February 13, 2009 6:42 am at 6:42 am #646316
Thanks for sharing that story. That story alone debunks the very-long-dating-is-good myth. Au contraire. It brings up so many problems, both during the engagement and after the marriage.
(Long engagements are only good if the Choson and Kallah don’t see each other much during the engagement.)February 13, 2009 6:50 am at 6:50 am #646317
ames, reminds me of my cousin, that dated a girl for around 10 times, they had their issues that they spoke about and straightened out. He took her all over to get to know diff points of her character, out to eat, to arcades, to a painting expidition…and guess what when they got enagaged they were thrilled! One more guess, 4 weeks b4 the wedding the engagement was broken. You see, there is no perfect way, u need to follow the derech that u feel suits u, according to the rabbanim that u follow, and u need to beg Hashem that the shidduch u eventually decide to go with is ur true bashert.
P.S. My cousin has a couple of children now already, he got engaged to someone else, a doll of a girl. He only met her around 5 times!! He was also very careful during the engagement, upon the advice of his Rosh Yeshiva, not to speak or see too often.February 13, 2009 1:16 pm at 1:16 pm #646318
As Joseph said, in kehillos for whom this works, great. But how many of us are in such cohesive, uniform kehillos?February 13, 2009 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #646319
Ames, that story does happen. But, I would rather have it happen during a dating/engagement period than when I am already married. Getting out of a marriage is more complex, and if the issues keep piling up…and then there are kids involved…
I personally loved my 9 month engagement, and if nothing else thought it was too short. But, my husband and I were both still in school at the time (we got married just before our senior year of college). We had dated for 1.5 years.
Most of my MO friends dated their spouses for around 6 months and were engaged for another 6 months or so. It worked out well for them.
There is no perfect system across the board – I think thats the point that needs to be stressed the most. We can find exceptions to every dating rule and stories that back up either side of the equation. I just wish people would remove the pressure to decide by a certain span of time – since that span is different for everyone.February 13, 2009 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #646320
Meeting too many times is a recipe for disaster. So is meeting too few. I have an acquaintance who can be very charming over the course of an hour or two. It’s when you see him deal with a situation he can’t control, and starts yelling and insulting everyone, that you realize he’s an abusive person.February 13, 2009 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #646321
ames: regarding your story, it may be better to break the engagement, than to get a divorce.$February 13, 2009 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #646322
ames: good luck tomorrow nite, we’ll miss you, but it’s important.$February 13, 2009 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #646323
Most of my MO friends dated their spouses for around 6 months and were engaged for another 6 months or so. It worked out well for them.
Hence the situation called FSN.February 13, 2009 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #646324
Judging by the broken engagement and divorce crisis prevalent in the frummest of circles, something’s clearly wrong with the system. Anyone who thinks the chassidim have no problems with their system has a temimus which I am frankly jealous of. However, metzius is clearly not like that anymore, or the “mikveh neias” blogs would be out of business.February 13, 2009 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #646325
FSN?February 13, 2009 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #646326
Ames, why are the two families fighting about breaking it off? Shouldn’t this be the business of the chosson and kallah? Better that these issues are com,ing up, small or large, and are dealt with before a wedding. it’s a far worse situation for a marriage to be broken than an engagement. If nothing else, the girls who breaks her engagement can still marry a kohein. Far better to break up five minutes before a wedding, than after five children. It sounds like your friend’s parents and propsective in-laws are way too involved in their kids’ lives, though obviously I have no real klnowledge of what is going on, sio I could be totally off base here.February 13, 2009 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #646327
Jothar, who in your opinion has a better “system”? And how do propose to fix the current system?
Compared to other systems, we are doing very well.February 15, 2009 3:14 am at 3:14 am #646328
Ames, it sounds like this is NOT a good shidduch for all concerned. If the guy is already not standing up for his kallah against his mother, there is NO chance he will do so after the wedding. I personally know a shidduch that ended erev shabbos of the auf ruf, because the chosson’s father was so controlling. The girl got off lucky. The ex-chosson still has that guy for a father!February 15, 2009 4:30 am at 4:30 am #646329
omis1105, so you are proposing that this guy never get married. You are maintaining we should advise any potential kallah of his to keep away. After all, he will have the same parents regardless of who he marries.February 15, 2009 4:50 am at 4:50 am #646330
I’m not saying there is a better system. The chassidish system is breaking down, the litvish system is breaking down, and the MO system is breaking down. Maybe it’s the result of living in a society so focused on gashmius that nobody is ever satisfied with what they have, and they’re always looking for “something better”. Mussar for everyone and a sense of realism would help.February 15, 2009 5:18 am at 5:18 am #646331
the girl thinks she can change him
Uh oh.February 15, 2009 5:21 am at 5:21 am #646332
ames: thanx for the update!!! good he stood up to his parents!!! i’ll pray for the best too!!!February 16, 2009 1:25 am at 1:25 am #646333
Squeak, please explain your acronym: FSNFebruary 16, 2009 2:41 am at 2:41 am #646334
ames: i wish them lots of luck.$February 16, 2009 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #646335
I could name ten girls easily that had sit ins-chassidish way and got divorced within the first year!! 2 within the first month!! That’s abnormal.
I also know many litvish divorced but not like that!!
I find it very interesting that those of you that disagree with the chassidishe way are divided. Some of you say that the reason why there are less divorces in the chassidishe world is because it’s taboo and the other half say they know much more divorces by them.
One fact stays THE CHASSIDISHE WORLD DOES NOT HAVE A SHIDDUCH CRISIS.February 16, 2009 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #646336
One fact stays THE CHASSIDISHE WORLD DOES NOT HAVE A SHIDDUCH CRISIS
thats because they have no choice in the matter. if the parents say that they are good for each other then its a good shidduch.February 16, 2009 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #646337
firstly chassidish ppl def do have a shidduch crisis. if they are not married by 20 CHAS V’SHALOM!!, they are considered old! i know plenty of OLDER chassidish girls… so dont fool anoyone that chassidim are not affectedFebruary 16, 2009 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #646338
thank you InshidduchimFebruary 16, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #646339
Zalman, I am proposing nothing of the sort. I am proposing that the guy grow up and understand the mitzvah of the Torah for a boy to LEAVE his mommy and tattie, cleave to his wife and be a MAN. If he cannot yet do that, he is NOT mature enough, old enough, or smart enough to be getting married. From what I understand, though, this guy DID stand up to his parents , and yasher koach to him, because it will not be the last time, I am sure, that he will have to do so.
“You are maintaining we should advise any potential kallah of his to keep away. After all, he will have the same parents regardless of who he marries.”
I am pretty sure I never wrote or implied that. I was talking about this specific situation. However, if one knows for a fact that a potential shver or shviger are nasty, opinionated, control freaks, that is something I would want to know from a third party before going forward with such a shidduch. The boy might still be worth the shidduch because he is an incredible person. But if he is the wimpy type to do whatever they say over the objections of his wife (assuming she is emesdig in her objections and not a spoiled brat herself), then yes, I would think that I would want every girl to be aware of that before dating him. They would have the right to know what they are getting into, even and especially al pi halacha.February 17, 2009 12:31 am at 12:31 am #646340
The Big OneParticipant
132, Yasher koach. (Thanks as well for pointing out the irony/contradiction in what some people posted.)
The Chasidisha system is how Klal Yisroel has succesfully done shidduchim for centuries and millenia. In fact, traditionally Klal Yisroel was even more “extreme”; the parents would make the shidduch and let the Choson know who his Kallah is!! (and vice versa.) And it worked very well for thousands of years.February 17, 2009 12:31 am at 12:31 am #646341
Again we are getting opposite answers for the same question. You say the reason why there is no crisis is because there is no choice in the matter (which is true only for a small minority)but you agree with inshidduchim that claims that there are many many older single chassidishe girls. sounds hypocritical to me.February 17, 2009 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #646342
I agree with oomis. Any man can choose not to date a woman who is obese or whom he considers unattractive in other ways; whether or not someone else will choose to marry her need not concern him. Similarly, a woman can choose not to marry a man with controlling parents, if she feels he won’t stand up for his spouse. It isn’t her responsibility to worry about whether someone else will marry him. As has been pointed out in other threads, choosing a spouse shouldn’t be a chessed project.February 17, 2009 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #646343
The Big One, I found your comment very interesting, as I havn’t thought about it that way.
i wouldn’t say there is no shidduch crisis by chassidim, but it is for sure less then in the litvish world. Maybe bec. most Chasidishe boys/girls do not go to college, so serious dating/sit ins starts earlier. This contributes to the fact that some college goers are “too busy establishing their career” to start dating, they wait till they get older, and then when they decide they are ready, they are set in their ways, so deciding on a marriage partner is much harder.February 17, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm #646344
Anothr factor helping out in the chassidish world is that a husband and wife are not expected to be soulmates. She’s the mommy, he’s the tatty. He hangs with his chevra, she hangs with her chevra. It’s a much different relationship. In the olden days, women were married off to men who could support then. There was no “soulmate” idea either. It was understood that she was your “bashert”, and that there was no doing better. I’m sure they grew to love each other though. In today’s day, people want soulmates. It’s true that for hundreds of years, people didn’t date this way. it’s also true that for hundreds of years, only the yechidei segula learned Torah instead of working after marriage, and the women didn’t get educated more than a Tze’ena U’re’ena. And it’s also true that for hundreds of years Jews lived in small shtetels with a very limited pool of candidates. Any girl you wanted to marry would be well-known by many people.February 17, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm #646345
Guess FSN = Formerly Shomer?
That would not be good.
As stated before Chassidish sytem d/n work for AmHaratzim! 🙂
Good point Jother, Chassidim may be looking for something different than the yeshivish crowd and it may take more time dating for the Yeshivish.February 17, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #646346
I would like to remind some of the posters here taht we no longer live in the shtetl and it is not 1,000 years ago. Maybe we should not use washer-dryers, either. After all, it worked very well for women to use a washerboard in olden days. Maybe they should put a kettle in the hearth, too, while they are at it. Get real – we live NOW, not then, and just because something was DONE in the olden days (and if it by chance worked, it worked for reasons OTHER than the fact that it was the right way to do things, because it wasn’t always the right way), does not mean it should continue to be done centuries later. People didn’t get immunized in those days either. LOTS of them died from illnesses that we laugh at today. OLD does not always mean better. It is not halacha that a man and woman must be set up by shadchanim. It was at one time the “done”
thing that a girl married whomever her father said she would marry. Al pi halacha, that is not even proper, because a girl has the right to refuse to marry a specific person. But in those days, what good Jewish girl WOULD do that???
We have to assess the situation in today’s world and by norms that make at least a little bit of sense today. Does that mean that we do everything like the non-Jewish world? No, of course not! But there is absolutely nothing wrong with a girl wanting to feel loved and cherished by the man she marries, to feel he is her soulmate, for lack of a better word. Do we not say that 40 days before a child is born a Bat Kol calls out that such and such a girl will marry such and such a boy? Do we or do we not believe this to be true? If we do, that is the soulmate. Hashem has already made that shidduch. I hope and pray that all those chassidic girls who are marrying boys they have barely met, much less know, do not someday resent their parents, their chassidus, and their religious upbringing, when they discover that there can be so much more in a happy marriage than being with their chevra while their husbands are with their own chevra.February 17, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm #646347
Anothr factor helping out in the chassidish world is that a husband and wife are not expected to be soulmates. She’s the mommy, he’s the tatty. He hangs with his chevra, she hangs with her chevra. It’s a much different relationship. In the olden days, women were married off to men who could support then. There was no “soulmate” idea either. It was understood that she was your “bashert”, and that there was no doing better. I’m sure they grew to love each other though.
Jothar, I think you’ve hit it on the nail. Nowadays, some chassidim still go with this system. Guy/girl sounds right, everything checks out and they just go for it. They make it work. They don’t focus on blemishes and what not. They don’t wait for the illusive fireworks. They simply make it work. And I do believe they’re just as happy.
Could it work for us? Maybe, but not so radical. But I do believe people need to realize that Mr. or Mrs. Perfect is not around. If the partner checks out in terms of middos, goals, personality, work on it to make it work. If you’re not sure, then date for a little bit longer while putting in effort to see if you can appreciate them for who they are and not what they are not…
Many people will stop seeing someone if they don’t feel “chemistry” after 2 dates. This is so ridiculous. It’s probably better that you don’t feel that chemistry right away – allowing you to be more objective for the more important overall picture of who that person is.February 18, 2009 12:37 am at 12:37 am #646348
Phyllis, I also found The Big One’e point illuminating. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from the Chasidim.
Jothar, “soulmate”!? That sounds straight from that radio ad. “B’cholkoseihem”. A Yiddishe marriage should NOT be about soul mating. Building a Bayis Neemen B’Yisroel has nothing to do with a soulmate. This is where too many of us have gone wrong. THAT is why we have the divorce crisis.
We need to stop thinking like goyim and start acting like Yidden, and half our problems would probably be resolved.February 18, 2009 1:39 am at 1:39 am #646349
Will hill, a soulmate is EXACTLY what the Torah’s view is. 2 halves of a whole. A man is not complete until he’s married because his neshama is incomplete. So let’s change the word from soulmate to “other half of the soul”. I do agree with you, though, that most divorces are preventable if people realize that soulmate doesn’t mean agreeing on everything. Chochma (male viewpoint) and bina (female viewpoint) need to compromise and transcend to form daas. People also think soulmate means “perfect angel who’ll cater to my every whim while I remain immature”.February 18, 2009 2:26 am at 2:26 am #646350
Jothar, that isn’t in line with the secular idea of a “soulmate” (like that matching service advertises on the radio). Your new description “other half of the soul” IS the Torah view and is how Chosid, Litvak, Sefardem, Teimanim, etc properly seek in a marriage.February 18, 2009 3:00 am at 3:00 am #646351
Joseph said “BasYisroel,
What I said is correct, despite the anecdotal stories you present.
Btw, please advise which Gedolim insist on at least 8-10 dates. (If you’d like, I can advise which insist otherwise.) “-
the Satmar Rav ZT”L complained to Rav Bick ZT”L who advocated a 10 date policy, Rav Bick said Satmar Rav, you deal with Shtarei Kesubah, I have to deal with Shtarei Gittin tooFebruary 18, 2009 4:35 am at 4:35 am #646352
BasYisroel, It was said over that the Rebbe insisted on 2, while Rav Bick insisted on 8. (Not “at least 8-10”.)February 18, 2009 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #646353
Re Jothar and chassidim and soulmates: in the Litvishe (pardon the expression but more yeshivishe) world, that’s not expected either. Men and women do pursue separate directions a good part of the time. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l would have some interesting input in that.
And frankly, I don’t feel that my husband is less than than my soulmate-soulhalf, etc. if he doesn’t accompany me everywhere, and the reverse is true too.February 18, 2009 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #646354
The shtetel experience was such that 2 people from the same or neighboring towns had the same background and experience. The close “bungalow-colony”-like atmosphere ensured that people knew the girl quite well. Today’s large cities and divergent backgrounds make it that you need more time to get to know the person, and make sure that no serious problems are being hidden.
To be clear, I do agree that much of today’s hishtadlus is excessive. My rav put it this way- check into a girl the way you check into a job. Both are bashert, but people do much less checking for jobs than they do for shidduchim. No matter how much research you do, there will always be adjustments to be made. As long as you are willing to work it through, that is marriage.
Another example of the change in frum society due to the move from the shtetl is what is today known by the misnomer Glatt kosher. While in Europe, people would eat cows even if there were large lung deformities, they relied on the lung checker, who was known by the rabbi. Today, most people do not eat meat unless it’s glatt kosher, meaning that the lung deformities are minor. (A totally smooth lung is known as Beis Yosef Glatt or genuine glatt). The reason for this change is that due to the massive operations in today’s slaughterhouses, it’s impossible to personally vouch for any lung checker.February 18, 2009 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #646355
can anyone explain to me why it used to be perfectly ok for a man to have more than one wife? i have never heard a satisfactory answer to this and i would really like to understand this.
I have heard a few logical reasons (though I cannot say if they are grounded in Torah or not – I don’t remember).
1) In olden times, women really needed to be attached to men to survive. Society sort of mistrusted single women on their own. So, almost as a chesed, a woman would be taken into a man’s house by marriage and would be provided for. Remember, land inheritence generally goes by the men (Bnot Zelafchad was a limited exception), so where would these single women live?
2) Due to the death rates, women and children died frequently (women in childbirth and children with many childhood diseases). In order to really populate the earth, it makes sense for a man to have multiple wives to ensure that some of his children survive.
3) Are you asking as opposed to women having multiple husbands? Well, remember that if a woman has multiple husbands, she will never know who the true father of her child is, but a man with multiple wives knows. Also, multiple women could be pregnant at once, whereas if one woman was married to many men, she could still only be pregnant once at a time.
I hope this helps 🙂February 18, 2009 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #646356
Multiple wives = multiple parnassahs and fathers-in-law to pay for kollel 🙂
Seriously, what I heard about it as that it was never an ideal. As it says in pirkei avos, marbeh nashim marbeh keshafim. There is a reason why the word for co-wife is “tzarah”. However, men have different needs than women. Furthermore, with the high male death rate from working hard labor, plus the expenses of raising daughters who can’t work the fields, marriage provided the woman with a means of guaranteed support, as per the kesubah guarantee. However, it’s clear from Chazal that the ideal is one man, one wife.February 18, 2009 7:31 pm at 7:31 pm #646357
There’s one aspect of polygamy that I’ve never understood; I’m hoping SJS or another poster can help. If there are roughly the same number of men and women born, and some men have multiple wives, doesn’t that mean that some men can’t marry at all? Or is the male mortality rate in polygamous populations high enough to balance this out?February 18, 2009 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm #646358
Anon, I dont quite know the answer. I am guessing that since men tend to die younger than women, there are a lot of older widows that were taken in as a chesed.
Here is a thought I just had though – men generally marry women younger than them (my great grandparents were 20 years apart approximately). Each generation produces more than the previous one. So, if a man marries women from the “next generation” (since every 20 years is a generation), there are extra women for him. I think that works out mathematically, as long as the population growth is increasing.February 18, 2009 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #646359
SJS, I don’t think it always works out well mathematically, because many polygamous populations tend to have a higher rate of women who die in childbirth. I think this offsets the higher mortality rate of men due to hard labor/ farming/ hunting accidents. Also, I think that in most polygamous societies men tend to marry women of childbearing age, not older widows.
Many men do marry women younger than they are, so they have a larger pool of women to choose from in an increasing population, but there are also more younger men who may want to marry these women. In fact one common practice in Mormon polygamous cults is to expel young men, so that the young women in the cult will be more willing to marry the cult elders.
I’ve read that societies with high polygamy rates tend to be unstable, because many young men, especially those without financial resources, have no chance to marry and are therefore more likely to engage in destabilizing behaviors.
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