Solution to the Shidduch Crisis
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- This topic has 135 replies, 26 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by Reb Eliezer.
May 17, 2022 12:08 am at 12:08 am #2087349yakovParticipant
The Sock Drawer Solution to the Shidduch Crisis:
One early morning, I was looking for a pair of socks. In the drawer, were dozens of single socks. I had a hard time determining if there were any pairs. I am a pretty conservative dresser and it’s very hard to differentiate between navy blue and black, or between the minor differences in design. I have no red, yellow or orange socks. They all look pretty much the same. Then I had a lightbulb moment. If I can’t tell them apart, who else will get down on the floor and inspect for these minor differences. They are all the same, once size fits all socks, with variations in color that would require the expertise equivalent to a frum bug checker. Surprisingly, there were also single socks that were perfect matches for other socks but were lying there unnoticed and ignored by the designated sock matcher in my family. For two weeks, I enjoyed the previously undiscovered pairs of
socks and courageously went out in public with ostensibly unmatched pairs of socks. Not one person said a word and I am 100% certain that not one person noticed. I am pretty convinced that even if some bug checker type of person noticed, they would not be offended or refuse to talk to me or daven in my shul. I haven’t yet had any serious discussions with my socks, but I am willing to bet my last shadchan dollar that the socks were happy to finally get out of that dark G-D forsaken drawer, see the light of day, socialize with other socks, and even be happy on my somewhat smelly, athletes foot ridden feet. The socks were of different ages and varying degrees of quality. There were expensive, fancy wool socks and cheap, polyester socks. They all were happy to get out and were thrilled when I took them to a chasunah. They danced their hearts out and, I am happy to say, are still living together under the same roof and are planning on spending many beautiful sock years together. If I can figure out how to get them to produce beautiful sock offspring, I will not only be happy but also quite wealthy. In the meantime, all involved are happy to be on my feet and work very hard not to lose sight of their good fortune or their better half in the washing machine. My only wish is that more sock owners will become aware of my discovery, put in the few minutes to solve their local sock crisis and benefit from the warm feeling one gets from seeing well covered feet; knowing that you have brought happiness and joy to all the previously lonely socks of the world.May 17, 2022 7:26 am at 7:26 am #2087465
That was a rather long solution to a crises I didn’t know existed , namely the “same color same size sock crises”
This solution wouldn’t even work for the “different color sock crises” not to mention much else elseMay 17, 2022 7:28 am at 7:28 am #2087471
While it sounds good in theory it’s much different in practice. My Rebbe told me to ask myself if I’m comfortable having Eneklach that do what their family does because that’s what’s most likely to happen. If their family wears blue shirts during the summer would you OK with your enekel doing that? I asked my Rebbe about a Shidduch with a family that doesn’t always wear ties by Shabbos Mincha and he said better not to risk it (he wondered if they lack Kavod Shabbos in that area where else are they lacking that I don’t know about yet?). When it comes to issues like Smartphones and type of filter it becomes even more complicated. We have a Shidduch system based on similar Hashkafas and Yiddishe lifestyles. Upending the system to make more Shidduchim is like trying to bring down the price of fish by declaring Treif fish to be Kosher.May 17, 2022 9:45 am at 9:45 am #2087536
This article assumes the cause of the crisis is due to a reason which it is not. The ONLY cause of the crisis is a lack of the same amount of males and females in the parsha at any time due to the ages when they enter being vastly different unfortunately, coupled with a booming population growth that exacerbates this uneven number. Therefore any “solution” that does not address this is irrelevant as there could be thousands of shadchanim and singles events and whatever you want but it will not help. On the reverse side if you do address that and even out the number of boys and girls in the parsha automatically everyone will have to work together better to make things work out as no one will have an advantage which drives all the problems.May 17, 2022 9:49 am at 9:49 am #2087542tunaisafishParticipant
I think the solution is just get rid of cheirim drabeinu gerems and get married once and if you find someone still single take them as a side wife.May 17, 2022 10:31 am at 10:31 am #2087568
That theory is totally made up. If you used Google to try and back it up, the most scholarly work you’ll find is these pages. Nobody ever bothered demonstrating that threre is any correlation between the age gap and older singles. Were expected to just take your word for it because you bothered to come up with a theory. If that’s the way it works, just tell us your theories on racism, asteroids, the pandemic, politics, divorce, and Chabad. Just shut down the coffee room and give you a loudspeaker.May 17, 2022 11:56 am at 11:56 am #2087581
I am not sure what you mean using google to back it up. You don’t use google to add 2+2. The math is very imple and you can do it yourself. If the population grows every year by some percentage, say 5% for example, then in 2021 if there were 100 boys and 100 girls born (assuming approximately the same of both), so in 2022 there will be 105 boys and 105 girls born and in 2023 110 or more boys and girls each born. If then the boys and girls marry at close in age there are equal numbers for all. If the boys from 2021 marry the girls born in 2025 – there are more girls so not enough matches. It is essentially that simple. It helps to draw it all out on paper and try to draw lines to pair them up so that it is more clear to those that are more visually oriented.May 17, 2022 11:56 am at 11:56 am #2087582
If someone wants to see daas torah say this as as well they can search shidduchim roundtable and r elya ber to see his opinion.May 17, 2022 11:59 am at 11:59 am #2087588
You can’t patent this solution. A matrona tested it at the beginning of sotah and it didn’t work well. But it maybe not so much the precision of match needs to be relaxed, but what the features you are matching on. Some suggested here that tie for Mincha is a good siman, another rosh kollel told me that he had only one question – are mehutonim honest in business. Maybe rosh kollel takes tie for Mincha and being in business as obvious, and maybe your rav presumes that honesty is there and only the tie needs to be checked.May 17, 2022 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #2087590
For example, op presumes that one needs socksMay 17, 2022 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #2087615MenachemFivenbirmbaumParticipant
so what your saying is interracial couples are reccommended?May 17, 2022 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm #2087616MenachemFivenbirmbaumParticipant
so your color blind?May 17, 2022 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm #2087621
Tunaisafish: You have it backwards. If the really smart and successful women were able to marry multiple husbands, that would even out the numbers of young men and women in the marriage pool. Women are generally more emotionally mature and economically capable of handling several husbands then vice versa. I have heard from an adom gadol that such was the view of Rebbitzen Gershon.May 17, 2022 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm #2087648Sam KleinParticipant
there is no Shidduch crises Hashem already has every persons zivug setup for them 40 days before they are even born forget about the fact that now in the age of dating they are already 20 years later. So the question YOU Mr Dating boy Or MRS. SEMINARY GIRL need to ask yourselves is if you’re doing your RUCHNIUS hishtadlus of tefillos (davening to Hashem) and Bitachon and Emunah (faith and trust in Hashem)
Make a daily learning Seder in sefer Chovos Halevovos (duties of the Heart) and start working on your faith with Hashem and nay Hashem answer all your prayersMay 17, 2022 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm #2087634
The theory makes sense. That does not make it true. It is obvious that you never bothered to check it out.May 17, 2022 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm #2087663
I have not been Reb Elya Ber since before Covid. It is harder to get a hold me him. But I’ve heard from him on this matter. He foods not claim to have checked out any numbers. And he has a different reason for changing the set-up.May 17, 2022 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm #2087671
What do you mean check it out? Are you serious? Ask any shadchan or any perso you know and everyone knows tons of girls that need shidduchim but no one seems to know any boys. Speak to the schools and ask them how many are still single at what age or watch the video referenced above for the actual numbers. You also clearly did not watch the video. And yes hashem told us about the 40 days before thing and he also told boys to marry at shmonah esrah lechupah. So if we mess up hashems plan things can get messed up on the other side of the equation to. Is that not possible? Why refuse to listen to hashem and then blame him for the outcome?May 17, 2022 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #2087677
“So if we mess up hashems plan things can get messed up on the other side of the equation to. Is that not possible?”
Yochy: No, its very unlikely unless you are postulating that the Ebeshter is unable to modify his “plans” to meet changing circumstances. Sounds a bit restrictive to the boreh olamMay 17, 2022 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #2087682
It’s still only a theory until it’s corroborated.
What about all the boys that are not learning? The drop outs sit around and don’t date. Nobody has any ideas of how boys should marry as they are starting college.
Getting married at eighteen is not recommend for learning boys today. If you just hate the idea of yeshiva bachrim sitting and learning, there is no justification of protesting because girls not having married.Torah is more important.
And again. Your theory is not at all a given. It’s been peddled for at least twenty years with no proof.May 17, 2022 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #2087683Sam KleinParticipant
Your absolutely correct.
If we don’t listen to Hashem the king of kings ruler of the entire world. Then there’s no one to blame but ourselves and we are all guilty of this. When Hashem tells us directly in the Torah the reward and Punishment in next weeks parsha bechukosei. There’s no one to blame but ourselves for this and it could’ve all been avoided if we would have just listened to Hashem.
Let’s all wake up and start to listen to our loving father Hashem and then we won’t see anymore tons of single girls waiting around for their zivug when in truth we all know it’s ready for the since before they were even born….. If we wake up now then we also won’t need anymore shocking wake up calls of horrific tragedies hitting klal yisroel like this current coronavirus pandemic Mageifa that has still not ended with thousands of innocent yidden and tzzaddikim among the niftar from it that could’ve all been avoided if we just woke up from denial already and started to do Teshuva.May 17, 2022 4:36 pm at 4:36 pm #2087717Shimon NodelParticipant
@Sam Klein, don’t be a רשע שוטה ופתיMay 17, 2022 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #2087718yaakov doeParticipant
What’s a “side wife”? What’s wrong with having 2 or 3 or 4 equal wives? All the better if they worked.May 17, 2022 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #2087759
Look you can say all day that this is a theory and you can make all sorts of side arguments about learning , non learning but unless my simple math is clearly refuted in a coherent way, I will stick to Mathematics 101. 2+2 is still 4. I am not here to say daas torah. For that I have referenced the video to watch from a very choshiva daas torah who explained clearly what should be done . I am just presenting the mathematical argument. I would also appreciate if you watch it in its entirety before responding.May 17, 2022 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #2087766
If you are correct then there should be no Shidduch Crisis among frum boys, only by frum girls. Yet, there are a relatively large pool of older single boy. All of them should have been able to get married long ago, due to the tons of older single girls.
By the way, the idea of dropping Cherem Rabbeinu Gershom is a viable option if the Gedolei Rabbonim agree it is a good idea.May 17, 2022 5:30 pm at 5:30 pm #2087774
What’s a “side wife”??
Well, in the really, really good ole days (and thats pre-Alte Heim), she used to be called a concubine (aka a woman who (among others) has the potential to become one’s wife, or who is fulfilling the role of one’s wife in addition to one’s actual wife). Some might argue that R’ Gershon spoiled it for ehrliche yidden in later generations given that most modern frum women would have their beschert sleepiing out back with the dog if they even raised the subject.May 17, 2022 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #2087797
GHadora: Sefardim, Teimanim and other non-Ashkenazim were never subject to Cherem Rabbeinu Gershom. And still are not today. Indeed, even up to modern times you can find non-Ashkenazi frum Yidden who have more than one wife, simultaneously. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it. And it is the heilige minhag these Yidden have always practiced, and some still do.May 17, 2022 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #2087817
“Have always practiced”
Name me an individual [Excepting a king, the nasi, etc.] that had two wives concurrently, before Rabbienu Gershom. I can’t think of one in the Mishna or Gemara.May 17, 2022 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #2087821
Polygamy in Judaism is basically dead. It’s illegal in America and even Sephardim in America only have 1 wife. In Israel polygamy is also illegal. The only exception is if you were already married to more than 1 wife when you immigrated there. Assuming most came around 1950 and if they were married they were at least 20, today they’d be 90. So the number of people with multiple wives is rapidly dwindling and would soon be totally gone in the Jewish world.May 17, 2022 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm #2087861
MRS. SEMINARY GIRL
How do say oxymoron in Yiddish?May 17, 2022 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #2087868
Jews live in other places as well. Such as in South Africa, where even the President of the country until about 6 years ago, had more than one wife. And in Morocco Jews still live and some Moroccan Yidden have more than one. Iran as well. Jews lived in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq until about 15 years ago, which are additional examples where it is legal under secular law.
Even in the United States it is legal if you don’t apply for secular marriage license and stick only to Kedushin and Chupa. The Mormon Fundamentalist do it openly. The Utah Attorney General tried to challenge it in court in the 1950s, but the courts ruled they couldn’t interfere with religious marriages if all the parties were legal adults and no minors were involved. Many African immigrants living in New York immigrated in the last 20 years to the US with multiple wives.May 17, 2022 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #2087875
Your overestimating how much it was practiced in antiquity. Even then it was considered a bad idea.May 17, 2022 8:08 pm at 8:08 pm #2087877
Where have I even mentioned antiquity, sir? Not even one word about that, yet. My entire comments were regarding contemporary and modern.
But since you mention it, should Yaakov Avinu not married Rochel Imanu? Or skipped on Leah Imanu?May 17, 2022 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #2087942
second wife is discussed a lot as a (difficult) concept in Gemorah, true. We know a lot of personal information about amoraim. There are those who had happy and unhappy marriages; those who married early or late, or even did not. We have a daughter of rosh yeshiva who marries two best students (not at the same time). Are there any named yidden with two wives in Gemorah? Even Ahshverosh was happy with one Vashti.May 17, 2022 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #2087960
Your heilige minhag was never widespread among the people. And may have been nothing more than a status symbol.May 17, 2022 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #2087969
If the age gap is truly the issue and it is causing a disparity in there being more girls than boys looking for Shidduchim, as a number of Rabbonim and askonim are saying, then indeed repealing Cherem Rabbeinu Gershom’s prohibition of polygyny, something the Gedolim have a right to do (in fact R”G himself set an expiration date), would help the Shidduch Crisis.
Obviously, even when permitted, polygyny would be for a small minority of marriages and not for most.May 17, 2022 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #2087970
While there are exceptions like Yaakov Avinu even when it was allowed the norm was one wife.May 18, 2022 1:05 am at 1:05 am #2087998
Kuvult, that’s exactly what I said in the last paragraph of my comment right above yours. Even with polygyny being a viable option, simple mathematics alone dictate that it’s only an option for a small minority of marriages. That’s how it always was when Yidden had (or have) more than one wife.May 18, 2022 11:43 am at 11:43 am #2088128
“While there are exceptions like Yaakov Avinu even when it was allowed the norm was one wife.”
Not just Yaakov aveinu
ALL the cases I can think of involved special circumstances either a melech, or one wife couldn’t have children
Avraham, Yaakov (who was tricked), Elkanah, Dovid, Shlomo
of course we find Eisav and Lamech though not exactly role models
Any others?May 18, 2022 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm #2088143
ubiq: Until Rabbeinu Gershom, the people married to more than one wife were regular Yidden, not any special circumstance such as a king or people who necessarily couldn’t have children. In fact, R”G made provisions when establishing his Cherem to provide exceptions in special situations such as inability to have children. [i.e. See Darchei Moshe (Even HaEzer 1), Rema (Even HaEzer 1:10)] Beforehand, no special situation was required.
With the Teimanim, Morrocans, Sephardim and non-Ashkenazim who practice polygny right into the contemporary modern era, it is also regular Yidden who practice it.
In any event, if the Ashkenazic Gedolim reestablish it in present-day times for Ashkenazim (non-Ashkenazim already have the natural halachic right to practice it), they could institute it with guidelines on who is or isn’t authorized to do so. Such as requiring the husband to have the financial wherewithal to support multiple wives and/or other criteria limiting it (i.e. the acceptance of his current wife/wives.)May 18, 2022 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm #2088146
Until Rabbeinu Gershom, the people married to more than one wife were regular Yidden, 
not saying you are wrong.
would love a source .
alos not you didnt answer my question (As usual)
Here it is again
Any others? (ie people in Tanacha/Mishna/Gemara with more than one wife?
Here is the list so far: Avraham, Yaakov Elkanah, Dovid, Shlomo, Eisav and LamechMay 18, 2022 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #2088154
ubiq: I added a citation to my comment that you quoted a few minutes after posting it. You may have submitted your response prior to seeing my citation. The Darchei Moshe and Rema demonstrate Rabbeinu Gershom provided exceptions to the Cherem, such as if the wife couldn’t have children. This effectively establishes that prior to R”G’s Cherem no such exceptions were necessary for polygyny.
Also, the living examples for Teimanim, Moroccans, etc. who practice it are of regular Yidden.
As far as Tanach or Chazal, they didn’t always tell us everyone’s full marital statuses, etc. In other words, if Tanach or Chazal didn’t cite a second wife for Ploni, that isn’t necessarily an indication that Ploni didn’t have a second (or third) wife.
And in any event, the examples of Ashkenazim up to R”G’s time and the examples of non-Ashkenazim up to modern times, itself demonstrates that people without special status (other than, perhaps, being relatively wealthy, etc.) had more than one wife.May 18, 2022 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #2088172Aseh maat ve emor harbehParticipant
The use of the term “side wife” in this discussion is a great example of why we have the cheirem of R Gershom.May 18, 2022 4:11 pm at 4:11 pm #2088189
קידושין ז, א
אמר ריש לקיש: טב למיתב טן דו מלמיתב ארמלו
אִיהִי בְּכׇל דְּהוּ נִיחָא לַהּ כִּדְרֵישׁ לָקִישׁ דְּאָמַר רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ טָב לְמֵיתַב טַן דּוּ מִלְּמֵיתַב אַרְמְלוּ אַבָּיֵי אָמַר דְּשׁוּמְשְׁמָנָא גַּבְרָא כּוּרְסְיַהּ בֵּי חָרָאתָא רָמֵי לַהּ
רַב פָּפָּא אָמַר דְּנַפָּסָא גַּבְרָא תִּיקְרְיֵיהּ בְּסִיפֵּי בָבָא וְתֵיתִיב רַב אָשֵׁי אָמַר דְּקַלָּסָא גַּבְרָא לָא בָּעֲיָא טְלָפְחֵי לְקִידְרָא
יוֹתֵר מִמַּה שֶּׁהָאִישׁ רוֹצֶה לִישָּׂא אִשָּׁה רוֹצָה לְהִנָּשֵׂאMay 18, 2022 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm #2088197moishekapoiehParticipant
solution to the shidduch crisis? simple. have hotels in the catskills and other places, have weekends where boys and girls can sit at the same table. simple. and those with filthy minds, you really think singles talking to each other over cholent will lead to lewdness? grow up.May 18, 2022 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #2088202yehudis21Participant
Hey moderator: I’m not even mad you deleted my comment, it was worth it if even just for you to read it 😀May 18, 2022 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #2088204
“The Darchei Moshe and Rema demonstrate Rabbeinu Gershom provided exceptions to the Cherem, such as if the wife couldn’t have children. This effectively establishes that prior to R”G’s Cherem no such exceptions were necessary for polygyny.”
got it, though
I’m not questioning if it was allowed.
Of course it was.
I am looking for a source as to how it was done in practice.
The Remah does imply that there were such places “ועיין בי”ד סי’ רכ”ח אם הלך ממקום שנהגו להחמיר למקום שנהגו להקל”
“As far as Tanach or Chazal, they didn’t always tell us everyone’s full marital statuses, ”
got it, So you cant think of any others eitherMay 18, 2022 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #2088207
So an ehrliche yid is invited to come over to the rebbe’s home for lunch after davening and introduces his wife Surahlah and his concubines Rivkalah, Mushalah and Chayaleah. Do they get to sit at the “grown up” table or do they sit in the kitchen with the kids??? A good troll turning silly??May 18, 2022 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm #2088208Yayin Yashan B’Kli ChadashParticipant
The age gap theory is complex and nuanced, and needs to take into account a myriad of factors. A simple statement, for example, of something like the below, is factually incorrect on multiple accounts, and also fails to take multiple crucial factors into consideration. “The math is very imple and you can do it yourself. If the population grows every year by some percentage, say 5% for example, then in 2021 if there were 100 boys and 100 girls born (assuming approximately the same of both), so in 2022 there will be 105 boys and 105 girls born and in 2023 110 or more boys and girls each born. If then the boys and girls marry at close in age there are equal numbers for all. If the boys from 2021 marry the girls born in 2025 – there are more girls so not enough matches.”
This writer only mentioned 2 factors – population growth rates (5%), and male to female birth ratios (1:1). Both numbers mentioned were completely wrong. The math was correct, but the data was quite wrong. In addition, there are a large number of other factors that would need to be taken into account to factor for how many boys of a given age group would be compatible to marry the number of girls in the given age group.
It is hard to avoid the fact that there will be a degree of a mathematical imbalance. However, a careful calculation of the numbers will still reveal a marked discrepancy between the differences that should be there and the reality of the situation the way people are perceiving it. It would appear that there are many more factors than simply age and demographics to be taken into account.
A more accurate statement may be “There is a noted discrepancy between the particular profile boy being sought by girls of a given demographic and age group, and the availability of the number of boys fitting that profile”. However, there may be a large number of boys available that do not fit this exact criteria that are eminently marriageable and would make wonderful husbands and fathers that are being written off. The solution may well be an adjustment of expectations, rather than a changing of the system to try to satisfy these unrealistic expectations.
The Cherem deRabbenu Gershom conversation is a bit far fetched too. There are much simpler answers to the crisis, that would require a bit of maturity instead of a complete transformation of the marital and familial structure of our society. If we can’t convince litvishe girls to be willing to date wonderful chassidish boys, or various other great profiles that they refuse to consider, do you really think they’d be willing to date as a second wife? They would need to really be sold on the status symbol of the prestigious husband to be willing to be a second wife as long as they can be associated with his illustrious brand.
In general, that underlies a major factor in the shidduch crisis which is 100% real – that people are looking for a certain picture perfect image that they consider societally acceptable and pleasing, as opposed to a spouse that they can have a marriage and a family with. 40 days before conception, the Bas Kol may have delineated the spouse, but it didn’t necessarily include the whole package deal that isn’t necessary for a successful marriage but people still insist on. When we’re looking to solve this crisis, the entitlement and education crisis may be the real core issue to work on.May 18, 2022 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm #2088226
“people are looking for a certain picture perfect image that they consider societally acceptable and pleasing, as opposed to a spouse that they can have a marriage and a family with..
Yayin: I’m assuming that you took a high school biology course and realize that finding a member of the opposite sex with whom you can have children is a very low threshold. There is no reason why both a bochur and baas yisroel should not wait until they find someone who shares their values, hopes and aspirations and where there is both physical and intellectual attraction prior to marriage. These mindless rants about a so-called “shidduch crisis” is only increasing the stress levels and pressure on young men and women already struggling with multiple challenges as they look for their beschert.May 18, 2022 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #2088286
Clearly, multiple wives exist on halakha, but what about real life?
Tosefta Ketubot 5:1 : R Tarfon engaged 300 women eat terumah during hunger. (on this note, one of my relatives engaged or faked marriages with several women to take them to the safer side of the war front during WW1)
Tosefta Yevamot – saus 2 families of cohanim come from tzaros
Yerushalmi Tevamot mentions R Yehuda HaNasi telling one brother to do yibum to 12 sisters-in-law
Raban Gamliel II (through yibum)
Archeology: found a ~ 440 BCE ketubah saying that the husband agrees not to take 2nd wife
source: Goldfeder, Mark. “The story of Jewish polygamy.” Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, vol. 26, no. 2, 22 Oct. 2013,
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