Should girls wait for older sisters to get married?

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    Rabbi Moshe Feinstein [ZTL & ZYA] (Igros Moshe, Even HaEzer, 2:1) responded to a question about a young man who found a shidduch, but his unmarried older brother would be distressed if he got married first. The father of the prospective bride did not want to wait for the older brother to get married.

    Rabbi Moshe Feinstein [ZTL & ZYA] wrote as follows:

    “It is obvious, in my humble opinion, that even lechatchila the younger brother may marry a woman even though his older brother did not find a woman to marry, for he is obligated to marry a woman, and how is it appropriate for him not to fulfill his obligation simply because his older brother has not fulfilled his own?

    Even if the latter has not done so through no fault of his own, that he has not met one who is suitable for him, nevertheless it is inappropriate that because of this his younger brother should cancel his own mitzvah for an unknown, indefinite amount of time.

    This is especially so when the father of the woman who was arranged for the younger brother does not want to wait…and if he does not [marry her soon] it will be called off, and this is an appropriate shidduch.

    Certainly, he should not lose out on something so important because of this.”

    Rabbi Moshe Feinstein [ZTL & ZYA] made it clear that a Jew should not delay fulfilling his personal obligations or risk losing an appropriate shidduch, simply because his older brother is still unmarried, even if the latter is not to blame for his predicament.

    yuda the maccabi

    there is big difference between the chiyuv for a man to marry and the chiyuv for a woman to get married
    i dont thnk it is right to make halachic assumptions in a public forum where someone can use them as halacha – at least talk to a Poisek first


    There is a story brought down that the Chazon Ish instructed in such a case that they should make the tenaim for the younger sister and then hold off the wedding for up to a year and a half.

    The little I know

    It is clear from the teshuvah from Reb Moshe ZT”L that this is not a matter of halacha. It is, however, a question about yashrus. And the question is whether there is an “inyan” to wait. If one follows the dialogue that Gedolei Yisroel have had about this, one would easily see that there is a question that is not about halacha, but about what is fillting and proper. And there are different opinions on this. Some address that the subject of younger ones not marrying before older siblings is the tzava’ah of Lavan, and we are not obligated to do that. Others say that anything that makes another person feel bad is something that should be recognized and dealt with in a manner that considers the perceived offense. One should seek guidance on such matters, but the “poseik” is not the quality one needs to seek for this. The “moreh derech”, with the wisdom to guide one in personal matters is.


    When I was in my early 20’s, I wanted to start dating badly but my mother objected, saying in Yiddish “koidem der elterer”, meaning my older brother had to go first. And he waited until he was 30. It wasn’t fair.


    5TR: You didn’t date until your older brother got engaged? How old were you when your brother got engaged? How old were you when you got engaged?

    Also, you say he “waited till he was 30”. He took his time/wasn’t ready or he was actively looking but didn’t find till then?


    My middle daughter of three is married; her older and younger sisters are not. Once she found a nice young man, there was no way that I or my wife would have stepped in and said, “No, you have to wait.” It is what it is. Her older sister had no objections.


    I’ve never understood this
    One older single is a tragedy, the parents need to create a second tragedy?!
    A “source” for this brought in a chassidish tshuva is lavan
    He told Yaakov (when he switched Leah) we don’t allow the younger to marry bf the older and Yaakov didn’t answer back


    A mitzvah takes precedence over ‘being nice’

    ☕️coffee addict


    The older one should IyH find her zivug hagon bkarov


    VThe reason given by many for making a younger sibling wait for an older one is that it’s hurtful to the older sibling to see their younger sibling get married first.
    But what I can’t understand is, what kind of sick and selfish person would be ok with leaving their younger brother or sister in limbo like that, possibly for years?
    And I just love it when I read about those “selfless” siblings who give their “permission” for their younger siblings to skip them. Who the heck are they to give or withhold permission? Are they the parent?


    Shakespeare dealt with this issue like 400 years ago. The solution (obviously) if the older sister is having a hard time getting married, is to hire a guy to date and marry her so that the younger siblings can get married.

    yaakov doe

    I know of a 65 year old woman who is still waiting for her 72 year old sister to marry before she starts dating.


    If you put an older unmarried sibling on the shidduch resume, you will certainly avoid those who think this is unseemly.


    “If you put an older unmarried sibling on the shidduch resume, you will certainly avoid those who think this is unseemly…’

    Why would the marital status of an older sister be relevant to a bochur’s interest in whether to date a girl?? You’ve never even met the younger sister and somehow you need to know about whether she has siblings and what they have decided about when to marry?


    Chazal tell us to check out a girl’s brothers, and insure that they are of good caliber, before deciding to marry her. Because your children will inherit the same traits as your wife’s brothers.


    Gadol > Why would the marital status of an older sister be relevant to a bochur’s interest in whether to date a girl?

    you need this to be spelled out?! As we see here, there are a lot of judgy people – in general, and even more so when going thru piles of resumes. So, if someone thinks that a girl should not go out before her sister is married, then seeing such a situation will lead them to toss the resume.

    Of course, if it is OK (by some opinions) to fudge a year, then making older sister 1 year younger, and younger sister older will often fix the problem (on paper).

    Also, does this apply to twins?


    Insuring someone else’s brothers is of bad taste and Moris Ayn, as someone might think that you desire their misfortune in order to collect the Ensurance.


    ujm> wife’s brothers.
    you surely meant “your wives’ brothers”.

    I think checking specifically brothers is to see how _sons_ will grow – taking into account both genetics and educational style in the family. Yours sons will be raised early by your wife(s) and she inherited/learned her educational style from her/their mother(s) who raised the brother(s).


    Could you provide any emperical evidence that a woman’s male siblings’ psychological profiles are genetically transferred to her siblings?? In my experience, insanity typically skips a generation.


    History is NOT prologue….R’ Yosef’s siblings reportedly have great hashkafah and are highly respected ehrliche yidden


    Mentch, the “source” for sheva berachos is also from Lavan. Nevertheless, the custom is almost universally practiced.


    these mods are seriously beyond screwed up. They’ll censor anyone on a whim, but no problem with Sicko’s constant, endless, chronic, disgusting bashing of all things Jewish.


    Gadol,. It’s a maamar chazal… isn’t that good enough?


    Gadol is right to ask a question to understand maamar chazal and to see whether they apply in our days. This is what chazal usually do. In this case, there is not much logical reasons to doubt both genetic and environmental similarities, so I am not sure what the question is. Maybe, it is up to you to bring a contrary argument.

    One reason for your question might be that, in our days, kids are often influenced by their teachers more than family. In that case, one should look for previous graduates from the same seminary/school and see how their kids work out. Of course, choice of school will also depend on the family. Tzarich yiun indeed.


    Not sure I get the raya from Yaakov’s lack of response that he held that age order is correct. Yaakov himself planned, at that very wedding, to skip an older sister to marry a younger.

    Why would an ehrliche person reject Chazal who say Hanosei ishe tzarich sheyivdok b’acheha, mipneh sherov banim domim l’achei ha’em. Proceed how you wish, and take whatever reports you hear under whatever level of advisement you wish. But you will me mal’ig a significant chazal due to lack of empirical evidence?


    midwesterner > But you will me mal’ig a significant chazal due to lack of empirical evidence?

    Chazal often uprooted/disproved other chazal when there was an evidence that previous policies failed (different ways of organizing schools, for example). It is legitimate to _suggest_ that certain takonos can not be changed as we do not have courts as great as before, but claiming that chazal do not care about evidence s is lashon hara on chazal.

    Not that GH brought any evidence, I tried to substantiate his claim, see ^


    “Why would an ehrliche person reject Chazal…”
    Indeed. An ehrliche person would not.

    @aaq always ask questions, but properly. Recall the difference between the hacham and the rasha.

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