Solution to the Shidduch Crisis

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  • #2088298

    Moishekapoieh,

    I now and then meet people who are big proponents of your idea, and I suspect that most of them are motivated less by a desire to really help the shidduch situation and more by a desire to be imitate the goyim – as if the secular people with all their singles hangouts are so much more successful than us at getting married and staying married.

    Also, it’s cute how you insinuate that anyone who disagrees with you has a dirty mind – an argument I hear a lot from people who have dirty minds against anyone who advocates for tsnius. Nobody is concerned that singles events with ehrliche men and women is going to suddenly degenerate into debauchery, the concern is about singles wasting their time flirting with people they have no intention of marrying, which contrary to the beliefs of some, is not condoned by the Torah.

    #2088304
    ujm
    Participant

    “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.”

    Ghadorah: If there’s no Shidduch Crisis, as you’re claiming, then what exactly about are single men and women “already struggling with multiple challenges as they look for their beschert”??

    #2088308
    ujm
    Participant

    “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.”

    Yayin: Again, to reiterate, even with the relaxation of the Cherem (and only with the directives of Gedolei Yisroel, of course), it would only be relevant for a very small number of marriage. 95+% of marriages will continue to be monogamous. Only a tiny low single digits percentage of marriages being polygynous will be sufficient to alleviate the disparity in numbers between males and females in the Shidduch parsha.

    Additionally, only a small number of men will be capable (financially, emotionally, etc) of supporting multiple wives and only a small number of women will be willing to be part of a polygynous family. So it will be self-correcting and only affect a few.

    “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?”

    You’re hitting upon another excellent idea. Do you not think it can be feasible to successfully be meshadech Chasidishe boys with Litvishe girls if enough effort it put into it and, perhaps, an origanized effort my Klal Yisroel is made to encourage — similar to how NASI and others have been encouraging close-in-age Shidduchim?

    By the way, most self-identifying “Litvish” people come from Chasidish/Heimish family backgrounds. There are very few true Litvaks.

    #2088309
    ujm
    Participant

    “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.”

    Yayin: Again, to reiterate, even with the relaxation of the Cherem (and only with the directives of Gedolei Yisroel, of course), it would only be relevant for a very small number of marriage. 95+% of marriages will continue to be monogamous. Only a tiny low single digits percentage of marriages being polygynous will be sufficient to alleviate the disparity in numbers between males and females in the Shidduch parsha.

    Additionally, only a small number of men will be capable (financially, emotionally, etc) of supporting multiple wives and only a small number of women will be willing to be part of a polygynous family. So it will be self-correcting and only affect a few.

    “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?”

    You’re hitting upon another excellent idea. Do you not think it can be feasible to successfully be meshadech Chasidishe boys with Litvishe girls if enough effort it put into it and, perhaps, an origanized effort my Klal Yisroel is made to encourage — similar to how NASI and others have been encouraging close-in-age Shidduchim?

    By the way, most self-identifying “Litvish” people come from Chasidish/Heimish family backgrounds. There are very few true Litvaks.

    #2088313

    GH: Not sure what you define as a marriage or a family, but I’d set the bar a bit higher than just engagement in procreational relations. There are plenty of people that share core values and life visions that would make them compatible to other people, were they willing to learn to respect others that may have minor differences than them, be willing to put in the work to communicate (as is necessary in every marriage), and not be hung up on their preconceived notions on exactly which boxes a spouse needs to check off to be considered a respectable shidduch (whether it’s familial wealth, prestige, parental employments, prominent pedigree, number of years learning, exact heights or physical profiles, exact acceptable occupations, exact backgrounds, or so much more).

    When hopes and aspirations are code words and romanticizations of unrealistic entitlements and expectations, then yes, people should grow up and be ready to work themselves to build a life together and to learn to respect others instead of waiting for everything to be delivered on a silver platter.

    Physical and intellectual attraction is also overblown. You need to find the person pleasant looking and to spend time with, and can’t think of them as revolting or an idiot, and you need to be able to respect them. However, you shouldn’t need a model or a trophy spouse, neither physically nor intellectually, nor should they need a prestigious position or to have a venerated reputation as top of the line in whatever society in your circles aggrandizes. He or she doesn’t need to be the king or queen of the world to be king or queen of your world.

    #2088379
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    AAQ

    Thanks
    We should add Gideon (shoftim 8:30)
    Yerachmiel (divrei Hayamim alef 2:26)

    But clearly very rare
    your cases mostly involve yibum , and king (sometimes both)

    #2088296

    Previous discussions here convinced me that there is some basis for height due to current exceptional (Baruch Hashem) growth of the community and age differences. Numbers add up. The “fault” is, of course, on those same parents who have so many children – so they have themselves to blame 🙂 Also, modern public health and medicine that enables those babies to survive – and Medinos of Israel and other artzos that partially support those babies and keep sholom in the world so that boys are not drafted into dangerous wars…

    There are though differences as birth rates and age differences are different at different sub-communities, so “modern” crisis may be 10%, while Neturei Karta 30%.

    I also wonder whether drifts between and out of communities differ by gender? I presume girls are more conservative (and have less time by being younger) to change the community, so this can also contribute. For example, if some charedi boys decide to go work and start feeling second-class among their own and move into more modern circles, this will decrease modern crisis, but increase charedi.

    #2088598
    Are Roster
    Participant

    Yayin Yashan: The Haredi growth rate in Israel is 4.2%.
    It is true that more boys are born than girls, but unfortunately the “extra” boys are either dead (in Israel the extra boys are dead [boys are much more likely to die than girls], disabled [boys are much more likely to be disabled than girls] or off the derech [boys are more likely to go OTD than girls]. So the extra boys you are banking on aren’t marriageable.

    #2088692
    ujm
    Participant

    Are Roster: Your statistics regarding boys allegedly having a statistically significantly higher death rate at birth, or disability rate is factually inaccurate, medically. And your allegation that boys have a higher OTD rate is inaccurate, religiously, considering how you are determining OTD.

    #2088731

    I’ve seen the figures 4.2% given for chareidi growth rates in Israel. (Growth rates as it pertains to shidduchim may differ slightly from growth rates on a society wide demographic basis, being as the only real numbers that are to be compared are the number of children born in one year to the number of children born X number of years later. For example, if 90% of a society gets married, and the statistical growth rate is 4%, the actual relevant growth rate is actually 10% higher than that figure, being as the people that never got married drag the numbers down but don’t actually have any relevance to the number of people entering the quote unquote shidduchim pool, which are the kids from the families that did get married.) The number for Ultra Orthodox population growth rates in the USA according to some studies has been pegged at about 3.6%. In a vacuum, given the 5% birth rate gender disparity, this would call for a 17 month age gap on average to even out the numbers. This is in fact approximately the average age gap in Europe and Israel, and there is much less of a perceived crisis there. In communities like the Chassidim in North America where the girls are on average the same age or a bit older, there are too many boys (due to the birth rate disparity).

    You bring up a good point with OTD rates (boys being more likely to be disabled or deceased is not so relevant to our community). It’s hard to get numbers, but i have seen statistics that a solid 1%-3% more boys (which is a huge chunk) are what would be considered “OTD” than girls. Again, this depends on definitions of OTD.

    There are plenty of other factors to be taken into account, such as developmental delays, personality disorders, and major mental health disorders, and what the prevalence rates are for each gender, and much more. There’s a myriad of different factors that need to be gone through. All I’m saying is that an overly simplistic “There’s 5% population growth, so for every 100 boys born in 2000 there’s 115 girls born in 2003, and that’s the answer to why there are issues with shidduchim”, is ignorant of both the actual math and the plethora of other factors at play that someone seeking to drive meaningful change would need to investigate.

    #2088742
    ujm
    Participant

    “given the 5% birth rate gender disparity”

    5% birth rate gender disparity? Where did that figure come from? It’s much less and closer to parity. It is about 51% boys, 49% girls.

    #2088862
    Are Roster
    Participant

    UJM: Worldwide, it is 105/100. It may be a bit higher among Frum Jews, as younger fathers are more likely to have boys, and since we are growing very rapidly, a relatively large proportion of Jewish fathers are somewhat young. Among Jews, it may be as high as 106/100. Regardless, that isn’t enough to outweigh the OTD factor, disability factor and early death factor (2 to 3 times as many boys go off the derech compared to girls, according to someone who works it OTD field).

    Even in Israel, where the age gap is closer than here in America, Litvish boys still have an advantage over Litvish girls.

    #2088874
    ujm
    Participant

    105/100 isn’t 5%. According to my math professor that is closer to 2%.

    The OTD, disability and early death factors are vastly overstated. *Especially* in reference to the Orthodox Jewish population, regarding the latter two. The death factor, in great deal, results from drug overdosage, violence and other negative behaviors prevalent among certain minority groups that skewer the statistics.

    And the OTD factor isn’t especially overrepresented by either gender.

    #2088936
    Are Roster
    Participant

    Orthodox Jewish children are miraculously free from being disabled?

    What percentage of people die from drug overdoses and violence that allows you to make your conclusion regarding early deaths?

    Your claim of “the OTD factor isn’t especially overrepresented by either gender,” is based on what? Intuition? Hope? My information is based on someone who works in the OTD community, a Footsteps board member, who said that two to three times as many boys go OTD than girls.

    #2088941
    ujm
    Participant

    Who are we kidding? We both know that the African-American population has a significantly higher youth death rate as a result of violence, drugs and certain very unhealthy behaviors. That skewers the national statistics, whereas if you excluded such minority populations the general Caucasian rates are significantly lower. And on top of that factor, it is quite clear and obvious to any observer that the Orthodox Jewish (and general Jewish) communities have a significantly lower youth violent death rate than the general gentile population (even compared only to Caucasians) as well as a significantly lower youth death rate from drug overdosage and, say, HIV/STD for example, than the general gentile population.

    There’s no reason to believe that male Orthodox Jews suffer greater disability rates or greater OTD rates than female Orthodox Jews. Nor have you or anyone else provided any evidence, other than innuendo and anonymous claims, that there’s any reason to think there’s any difference, one way or the other, between the genders.

    And Footsteps is an antisemitic, religious-hating, hate group that has a notoriety for lying about figures, statistics and anything relating to Orthodox Jews. The fact that THEY are your source, demonstrates that you have an agenda other than the truth.

    #2088940
    Are Roster
    Participant

    In Australia, for example, “almost twice as many boys as girls had a disability (192,800 or 9.6% of boys compared to 103,600 or 5.4% of girls). This sex difference also applies when we consider the pattern for children with a severe disability (97,400 or 4.9% of boys compared to 47,000 or 2.5% of girls).”

    Regarding the OTD rate, I spoke to a statistician who studies the shidduch crisis, who stated that he believes that the greatest factor in the shidduch imbalance, even more than the age gap, is the OTD-rate differential (if I remember correctly).

    The OTD-rate differential, the early-death-rate differential, the disability differential–we can’t control. We can control the age gap, however, and we can FACTOR in all the other differentials to produce the optimal age gap. It isn’t a perfect science. Perhaps the optimal age gap is for girls to be a year older; perhaps it is for the boys to be a year older. We know two things for certain: a) shadchanim say that have many more girls; b) we seem completely OBLIVIOUS to these issues when deciding when children should start shidduchim.

    #2088945
    ujm
    Participant

    Spare us the falsehoods from your Footsteps board members. The OTD claims presented have no basis in reality.

    As far a the general age gap issue, I’m not sure you can be effective in convincing Litvish boys to marry younger or convince them to marry older girls (than they currently do) unless and until the Yeshivish oilem adopts the Chasidish type Shidduch process.

    In Eretz Yisroel the Litvish Shidduch process is closer to the Chasidish system than it is to the American Litvish system.

    #2088950
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Your old fashioned pipe dreams used to just sound like wishes for the ‘good ole days’. Now you are sounding more like a man in his 90’s unable to cope with the turn of the century. Are you hoping for horse and buggies as well or just dreaming of a world that was?

    #2088949
    Are Roster
    Participant

    I don’t understand your point regarding Footsteps. I asked him and open-ended question: what is the ratio between OTD boys and girls? How does the fact that they hate Orthodox Jews sway their answer? “Who is wise? One who learns from all people . . . accept the truth from one who says it.”

    Let’s use Israel as an example regarding the early death factor: By the time they are in their mid-thirties, men and women are equal in number.

    #2088977
    ujm
    Participant

    What’s so hard to understand about Footsteps? Anything they, their board members or their supporters say, state or claim starts off with a presumption of falsehood. If he told you it is raining in Bnei Brak, you should not believe him until you verified it. Even if he was then in Bnei Brak.

    Would you accept alleged statistics regarding Jewish behaviors from a “board member” of Hezbollah?

    #2088984
    Are Roster
    Participant

    Why does ANYTHING they say start off with a presumption of falsehood? If I were to ask a footsteps member if it was raining in Bnei Brak, why shouldn’t I trust it?

    #2088989
    ujm
    Participant

    Young male African-Americans engage in more risky behavior than young male Caucasian Americans. And their death rate is higher. There are statistics to demonstrate that.

    Young gentile males engage in risky behavior far more so than young Jewish males. And their death rate is higher. There are no statistics demonstrating this is true or false. But common sense, living in the real world and paying attention to what’s going on will make this clear to any clear eyed, unbiased, observer. Even if he can’t prove it with official surveys and stats.

    In Israel the young non-Chareidim face a higher death rate in the armed services, something the Chareidim serve in far lesser numbers.

    For these things that no statistics exist for sub-population groups we can argue both sides back and forth with no clear proof who is correct. You might argue there’s no statistical proof that the Amish suffer any less motor vehicle deaths than the national (or state) statistics for the population at large. Or that conservative religious Muslims suffer no less alcohol poisoning than the general statistics for the population at large.

    #2089000

    interesting discussion. I suggest when there is a key number in these calculations like OTD rates – try to come up with several sources/way to compute it. Don’t trust one source that might be biased, but don’t dismiss it either.

    for OTD rate – what is distribution by age? I resume teens, early 20s would be the time. If boys get married older, they might have more time to go OTD before marriage .. this might be a “good thing” preventing a family tragedy later or a good thing, preventing the OTD from happening.

    #2089067
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    A simple point. Boys that go off, have an easier time getting things back together. So it does not help here. Also, going off has a higher juvenile death rate. So there is a redundancy.

    But this is all a futile exercise. Until someone takes an actual tally, this is all heresy. I maintain that due to the rigors of getting into a seminary, there is only one girl interested in a learning boy for every dozen such boys. The only solution would be for yeshiva guys to start marrying pre-seminary girls. It would also lead to better marriages.

    #2089158
    Are Roster
    Participant

    Correct. Going off has a higher death rate, and being disabled has a higher death rate. There is certainly SOME redundancy. But obviously not full redundancy.

    We don’t need an actual tally. Shadchanim tell us that they have more girls than boys. If so, why should we tally?

    #2089165

    n0 > . The only solution would be for yeshiva guys to start marrying pre-seminary girls. It would also lead to better marriages.

    Are you implying that earlier marriages will be better? or that seminaries make girls into worse brides?
    First is very questionable, given lack of maturity in our times

    #2089190
    vustits420
    Participant

    @yakov
    I applaud you. This is absolute genius. I would like to hire you to rearrange my sock drawer.

    #2089286
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Are,

    Maybe Shadchanim have less boys than girls because they exclude certain types of boys. Anything is possible. A real tally would give a real look at the reality. We would be informed of the real issue, and that could lead to real solutions.

    #2089287
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Always,

    I’m insinuating that seminary does not prepare girls for what a learning boy is really like. Maybe the crisis is contrived by the seminaries to get the girls to panic and marry despite the confusion.

    #2089481
    ujm
    Participant

    We should return to how we made Shidduchim in prewar Europe and prewar Mizrachi world. It was done, more or less, unchanged for thousands of years. We should never have changed to the current American model, large portions of which were emulated from the contemporary non-Jewish world.

    #2089523
    GadolHadofi
    Participant

    Joseph,

    Let’s go back even further, to the times of the Beis Hamikdash which believe it or not, were even holier than prewar Europe (gasp!). Girls should go dancing out in the fields and the young men can choose from there.

    #2089531

    Gadolhadofi,

    I think that method was used in only a few exceptional situations, and shouldn’t be taken as an example of how things were done then.

    #2089552

    n0 > seminary does not prepare girls for what a learning boy is really like.

    is the crisis especially acute in the learners’ corner? My theory is that boys need to become real learners, which is hard, while girls need to become inspired to marry learner, which is easier (become inspired, not being a wife of). Obviously, there will be more girls interested in marrying learners than the learners. Furthermore, this generates a demand for the second quality of learners who now can marry girls looking for learners.

    #2089564
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    “Girls should go dancing out in the fields and the young men can choose from there…”

    Gdopy: First, not too many “fields” easily accessible from Willy, BP etc. Second, that could get you arrested in 32 states and the District of Columbia.

    #2089566
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Ujm,

    There was no uniformity across Europe at any point. And things changed from generation to generation. At one notorious point, fathers were selling their preteen sons for the highest nadan.

    #2089603
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Always,

    The learner has learned the ideas to fulfill himself and his future. When he marries a seminary girl, his ideas are in competition with the perspective she developed in seminary.

    #2089619

    n0, you are too vague or presume that I know what is in your head. what are these competing ideas? And, I presume, yeshiva teachers are learners, or former learners, and seminary teachers are either learners or wives of learners, or both. In which way, would they prepare them in a contradictory way and why?!

    #2089625
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Always,

    Learning Torah is a personal transformative experience. Every talmid chacham evolves differently. Whatever views worked for the seminary teacher and her husband, cannot be assumed to be consistent across all her students. If the husband is being trusted to be learning material, than he must be trusted to live his life accordingly. The concept that there is an outside understanding of what he should be like may get in the way.

    #2089628
    GadolHadofi
    Participant

    Aseh,

    Based on the details provided by the Gemara in Taanis regarding this biannual event, it was how things were normally done and not the exception. Please review it and provide proof otherwise.

    #2089642

    Gadolhadofi, it sounds like you might know the gemara better than I do. Please let me know which daf I should be looking on.

    #2089656
    ujm
    Participant

    Chazal and the Rishonim tell us why the white dress dance was discontinued and may not be done in our days. Are you seriously suggesting reinitiating that despite this?

    #2089666
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Taanis Mishna 26b Gemara 31a

    #2089692
    amom
    Participant

    IMHO most of the time seminary can not prepare a girl for a learning boy. Chashivus hatorah has to be put into the chinuch from when one is young. I think a boy has more exceptions to this rule because he may decide to become a learner once he tastes the sweetness of Torah, while for a girl she may want a learner until she actually has to work hard to support, and has to learn to live without things that all her friends have. If one grows up with a family that values successful business (wo)men over talmidei chachamim the chances of them being/marrying a real learning boy is low no matter what their rebbeim/seminary teachers teach.

    #2089712
    GadolHadofi
    Participant

    Joseph,

    No, I’m not seriously suggesting that we go back to it without our Gedolim specifically telling us to do so. That would make as much sense as going back to the way they did things in the shtetl without them specifically telling us to do so.

    #2090038

    n0 > The concept that there is an outside understanding of what he should be like may get in the way.

    I think I understand it now. Beautiful idea. I am not sure I agree. Respect to talmid chacham extends to his wife. I don’t think T’Ch wife is an outsider. She is a full partner.

    In practice, when interacting with spouses in teaching, both positive and negative effects on children are usually similar from both spouses. When they were different, I think, wife would be a better teacher more often than other way around, but I think the general biological rule holds here too: males have more distribution of every quality, thus having more on a better tail of the distribution, but also more in the worse.

    #2090046

    amom, I think I agree with your evaluation that girls are less prepared because all that is required from them is to have enthusiasm. But then, I disagree with your implications: you first say that girls are not prepared for the hard path, and then that not enough girls got enthusiastic about this path. This may be the issue with the chinuch – a well-meaning teacher posits the goal of raising learners and wives of learners and the raising enthusiasm achieves the goal in the short term. If you were to teach them more seriously and having better expectations, you may end up with less candidates for full-time learners’ wives, but they will be more successful and the rest will choose the path that corresponds to their abilities.

    As you imply, the teachers are “fighting” family influences. You seem frustrated that parents are winning too often, but think about all frustrated parents who not only have to pay tuition for their – and your – kids, but also need to fight for respect from the kids.

    Halakha, as I understand it says: respect to the Torah teacher who give Olam Habo comes before respect to the parents who give Olam Haze. But in case of parents hiring the teacher, parents get the kavod as they are providers of this olam habo. And if the parent is also a teacher (and most modern yeshiva/seminary-educated parents are), they also get kavod first as they provide bogth olam habo & haze, even if they are not paying much of tuition themselves.

    #2090074
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Always,

    Your right that she is not an outsider. But at least initially, she is an outsider to his personal way of appreciating his own Torah. If she has her own perception of a learner, that makes kollel marriage double the work. And for no reason. She will not be a full time learner. Seminary makes sense for the girls that will continue to grow in Torah. But everybody and their uncle discourages new kollel wives from continuing their studies.

    #2090094
    amom
    Participant

    AAQ- You misunderstood. I was stating a fact why I feel seminary isnt/cant properly prepare girls for a kollel husband. Now that I think about it, I am more frustrated with seminary teachers who make a kollel life sound so amazing without preparing girls for reality. Too many girls “need” the “top” kollel boy when they are not capable/willing to live such a life.

    N0mesorah- Are you saying that seminary gives girls expectations for what a learning boy is and then she may be disappointed? If yes, most people come into marriage with expectations, and they learn to adjust. If you said something else, please explain better. I would like to understand your point.

    #2090095

    n0> everybody and their uncle discourages new kollel wives from continuing their studies.

    That makes sense as someone needs to earn a living! But a good learner should be able to share (the essense of) his learning with his spouse while driving her to the store and eating dinner. If I can do it, he can do it. And don’t tell me it is easier for me as I learn less! It is easier for him as he has the whole day – learn for half and think how to summarize for the family the other half.

    #2090102
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    ” learn for half and think how to summarize for the family the other half.”

    This has got to be one of your most bizarre suggestions

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