August 30, 2017 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #1351854
Analogies are never perfect. But the musical chairs describes the harsh mathematical reality. That is, once you accept the correctness of the reality of the age gap effect. If one still doesn’t acknowledge the effects of the age gap, obviously they won’t accept the musical chairs analogy.
It may be offensive, but if the reality is offensive should the reality be swept under the carpet and not discussed or referenced or described? How else should a discussion be had about the reality that mathematically not all girls will have a match? Or about what individual girls can do to potentially avoid that destiny (i.e. start shidduchim early and get married young.)August 30, 2017 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #1351856
WTP +1!August 30, 2017 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #1351860
One of the problems with saying that the age gap theory is THE reason for the fact that there are so many “older singles” is the following:
That could only be the case if there were only older girls and no older boys. The fact is that there are many older single boys. I do not know how the numbers of older single girls compares to the number of older single boys, but that is irrelevant. Either way, there are many older single boys.
This means two things:
1. While the age-gap theory may explain why there are older single girls, it does not explain why there are older single boys. Single boys are people too, and they also need to get married, and they also have a shidduch crisis. The age-gap theory ignores that.
2. According to the “musical chairs analogy”, the older single girls have NO one they can marry. That is not true – most older single girls have boys they could have married if they had wanted to. Maybe they had very good reasons for not doing so, but the point is that the analogy is incorrect, and that the number issue can not possibly be the ONLY issue and it is probably not the main issue either.
At best, it is ONE factor, and probably not the main one.August 30, 2017 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #1351870
Sorry… entering the party late… did anyone mention that “getting married” isn’t the end goal?
What about staying married? What’s the point of women marrying young only to divorce a few years later?August 31, 2017 12:10 am at 12:10 am #1351879
In the Jewish community, those who marry when younger are less likely to divorce than those who marry when older.August 31, 2017 12:57 am at 12:57 am #1351888
Lilmod: The age gap issue isn’t the only reason anyone who is older and unmarried isn’t married. There are certainly other reasons some older boys and girls aren’t married too. And whether the age gap is the #1, #2 or #3 reason for older girls bring unmarried is also debatable. But the age gap mathematically guarantees that it is impossible for every girl to get married.
Therefore it is prudent (regardless whether it’s the main reason or secondary to other reasons) to take corrective action so that girls aren’t unwillingly swallowed up by the age gap effect denying them the ability to marry even when there would’ve otherwise been no other reason stopping them from marrying.August 31, 2017 12:58 am at 12:58 am #1351898
Joseph, if the age gap theory is true, your advice to girls to date younger is silly. They can’t all have comparative advantage. If all girls wait to get married, according to the age gap theory that would help the whole.August 31, 2017 12:58 am at 12:58 am #1351899
There are some young women within the frum community who may simply decide for whatever reason to remain single. Yes, the are the exception and yes, some consider that contrary to what should be the singular focus of a bass yisroel but having made that decision, we should not make them feel marginalized. They should be accepted within the tzibur w/o our being judgmental.August 31, 2017 1:31 am at 1:31 am #1351907
You are stuck on the idea that the gedolim are supporting this theory.
It happens to be true, whether I’ve satisfactorily proven it to you or not, but regardless, “the gizeira of the situation the singles are presently finding themselves in. For all the various reasons they are in it” doesn’t make sense from someone who claims there’s no shidduch crisis.August 31, 2017 1:32 am at 1:32 am #1351912
RY23, true if they all decided to do that it would lose its advantage. But since we know all aren’t going to do that, any individual girl can choose to take that advantage for herself by getting married young.August 31, 2017 11:09 am at 11:09 am #1352097
The gedolim, by and large, do NOT support this theory, and even more so, they emphatically do NOT support the solution offered. They way to know this is not by looking at whose home a meeting is in, who signed a kol koreh, or who gave an emotional appeal at a levaya.
The way to tell what they really believe is to see how they guide their talmidim, and their sons and grandsons. They (with the partial exception of R Elya Ber) are not sending them to Israel earlier. They are not bringing them back earlier. They are not encouraging them to date earlier, or to marry before going to Israel. They are not nagging R Malkiel to open the freezer earlier.
All those gedolim also have daughters and granddaughters. They know the nisoyonos the girls and their families are going through, because most of us are the same families, as we have both boys and girls. And they still do not change the model of Torah chinuch. That means that they clearly disagree with the solutions.August 31, 2017 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #1352163
midwesterner: Nothing you said demonstrates the gedolim’s statements supporting the existence and effects of the age gap on shidduchim is any less the case, even assuming your claims and interpretations thereof of their sons yeshiva structuring is accurate. At best, all it might demonstrate is that they don’t agree that the boys structuring of yeshiva years should be modified — despite their having acknowledged the ill effects of the age gap on yiddishe girls.
The same set of many Gedolim that publicly decried the age gap and called for reducing the age gap between newlyweds, did not call for changing the yeshiva system for boys. The only universal remedy the Gedolim publicly supported was to initiate change that would encourage closer in age shidduchim.August 31, 2017 2:14 pm at 2:14 pm #1352206
Read the letters carefully. The only ones signed by recognized gedolim say that there is nothing wrong with bochurim dating girls closer to their age. And you know what? They do!! All these people that say there is an age gap because 23 year old boys marry 19 year old girls has an exceedingly closed mind about how statistics work in the real world. They have no understanding about the fluid nature of the shidduch market; what brings people in and what takes them out. Most shidduchim are redt and most marriages are between people of closer age than 4 years. Just because a boy starts at 23 and a girl starts at 19, doesn’t mean that every, or even most shidduchim have a 4 year gap.
There are so many factors in our community that can increase or decrease the flow of bochurim and girls. Analyzing cheder statistics is an unbelievingly shortsighted and perspective-limiting method of determining what happens in the shidduch market 10-15 years down the road.August 31, 2017 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #1352221
The only ones signed by recognized gedolim say that there is nothing wrong with bochurim dating girls closer to their age.
These recognized Gedolim signed that letter because they wish to encourage more (than current) closer in age shidduchim, obviously.
Why do you think these Gedolim are encouraging to increase the occurrences of closer in age shidduchim?August 31, 2017 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #1352501
The gedolim, by and large, do NOT support this theory, and even more so, they emphatically do NOT support the solution offered.
Some do, and some don’t, support some of the proposed solutions, but I find it hard to believe that many don’t “support the theory”. You acknowledge that the starting point in shidduchim is four years apart. Is there any evidence to suggest that the actual gap id significantly less? Almost all available evidence (anecdotal and otherwise) suggests that there are indeed many more girls than boys. It’s silly to pretend otherwise.
Right now, the only ads I’m seeing are suggesting that boys consider going out earlier, and shadchanim redting to them earlier, if their parents and rebbeim feel they’re ready. What’s the harm? Are you against them following their rebbeim? If their rebbeim are against it, it’ll be as it has been, with the difference perhaps being that the boys are more open minded to girls closer to their age or even older. Again, what’s the harm? Nobody is forcing anything on anyone.August 31, 2017 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #1352511
Just wanted to back the point that in most chassidish communities the phenomenon of older single girls doesn’t exist, perhaps because the age gap between kallahs and chossanim is on average smaller than in the litvishe velt. I am not suggesting that girls get married older – in the chassidishe velt boys get married younger and can handle the responsibility (with initial support from parents, rabbeim, Chosson/kallah teachers for both chosson and kallah – it’s a learning curve) – it’s a mind set – maybe there is something to learn here.August 31, 2017 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #1352514
the point that one commenter makes about the musical chairs analogy ; and that is if the same girls are consistently left w/o a seat that is a very strong point. i think the biggest challenge is that there is anecdotal evidence that breaks all rules meaning for example ; poor girls get married , kids from divorced homes get married , fat people get married, working boys get married if you look around somehow even people with big chisronos LIKE MYSELF got married B”h. so aside from a gezera milmaaloh whats holding it up??? one final point how often do you go o a vort and look at the 2 sides and scratch your head thinking ” they told me they were looking for xyz this is so diff. i would never have put this togethorAugust 31, 2017 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #1352527
”… so aside from a gezera milmaaloh whats holding it up???”
BINGO!!!!!!!!!August 31, 2017 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #1352528
Shoulda also said, “yes meir, beautifully written”August 31, 2017 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #1352529
I don’t believe on conjecture, we need hard data analysis. Does anyone want to work with me on this? I have some ideas.August 31, 2017 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #1352537
Kollelman: Contact NASI or one of its directors, like R. Moshe Pogrow.August 31, 2017 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #1352577
Thanks Joseph.August 31, 2017 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #1352593
DY: I never said that there aren’t more girls than boys. It is clearly so, at least among the serious bnai Torah, and those wishing to marry them. (Personally, I have 2 daughters on the market, and one going into 12th grade. My boys are all married.) The question is why. I think that the major cause of this is that we do a better job in general keeping the girls on the straight and narrow than the boys. A boy can be frum, and nice, and ehrliche and all of the above. But if he is not a natural student, with a decent kishron and zitzfleish for learning, he won’t feel successful in the yeshiva system, and he won’t be found in the higher groups. A girl who is frum, nice, and ehrliche, although not necessarily a successful student, has many other non scholastic outlets within the Bais Yaakov system that can help her feel successful and want to stay in the fold. She can still get into a good seminary (maybe not BJJ, but a decent one), and be a high quality Bais Yaakov girl looking for that top learner.
The chassidim do a better job of finding outlets for their boys who are not necessarily stars in the Bais Medrash. (Just look at all the young musicians and singer groups out there today. I don’t know a number, but I’d bet that 90% of them are chassidim.) They don’t look at some of those people as second class like the litvish do, and therefore more of them stay in the good places, so their market is more balanced.
I acknowledge that they start at the same time. But I would say that a much more significant number of boys get engaged in the first one or two girls, than girls do. The average guy comes out of the freezer, say 17 Tammuz; half of them are engaged by chanuka. The girls come back from seminary, 15-20% maybe are engaged in a year, most are on the market 2, 3 or more years. That itself brings them closer in age to those they are marrying. (I know it is anecdotal evidence only, but my girls were on the market an average of 2.5 post seminary years before getting engaged. My son came out of the freezer 17 Tammuz, and was engaged within the week of 15 Av. Most of my friends have very similar scenarios.)
The ads suggest they date earlier, but as you say, and I agree 100%, they should follow their rabbeim. All I said is their rabbeim are mostly not hurrying them. They are advising them to continue the process as has always been. (Except REBW, who tells some of his talmidim to marry before Israel.) What I said was don’t read what they write in public announcements that askanim nag them into signing. Rather follow what they tell their talmidim away from the pressures of the busybodies.August 31, 2017 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #1352611
Yup!August 31, 2017 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #1352628
This is getting more and more bizarre. People talking about keeping boys or girls on the path, etc.. If the numbers were equal there would be no problem as everyone would have to work it out irregardless of all the factors, like looks, religious level, etc… The issue is when the numbers are not equal as has been mathematically proven over and over due to the AGE GAP FACT – not theory – so why bring in all sorts of alternative point about shadchonim, off the derech, etc… The cause is one and only one thing – a difference of numbers entering the pool. Please read carefully. All the shadchonim in the world or all the other factors have no bearing on a solution.August 31, 2017 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #1352638
Well folks, here we have it in real time. Lets not focus on our young ones going OTD, losing their taste for staying home with kids, feeling fulfilled at home, over focusing on looks and materialism, losing their passion for various aspects of yiddishkiet….lets crunch those numbers! Let’s draw graphs and do sociological studies! C’mon guys, any thing but facing the reality that Hashem, who actually knows how to make shidduchim *even* across an age gap (or have you all forgotten that fact) has found reason for many of our children yo be single. Perhaps He is offering shidduchim and our children have lost their clarity and are sending each other away. WHY NOT ASK HIM instead of turning it into a huge scientific study?
Yup, definitely nothing wrong with our spiritual compasses, must be the chair.August 31, 2017 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1352643
It’s not one or the other. We can do math and also address other issues.August 31, 2017 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1352562
But if we adopt the alternative policy (encourage a certain percentage of girls pledge to never marry and in exchange they get adopted by a rich family, especially an older childless couple that should have had a child about their age, and not have to work for a living), that will solve the age gap problem and will also allow girls who don’t really want to get married be seen as tzadekeses who were mevater instead of picky old maids.August 31, 2017 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #1352681
I agree with SYAG that the main issue is a lack of Emunah. I am not sure whether or not her reasoning is the same as mine, but I will explain what my theory is:
I do not have a problem with people trying to come up ways to TRY to alleviate the shidduch crisis (or any other crisis, whether or not the term “crisis” is appropriate in the first place.) The problem is when people forget that all they are doing is hishtadlus and that Hashem is the ONLY factor involved in anything that happens. Everything else is hishtadlus, PERIOD.
Hishtadlus does not cause things to happen. Only Hashem causes things to happen. When people say that “x” is THE reason why something is happening, and doing Y will solve the problem, that is a gross lack of emunah.
Do your hishtadlus, but don’t forget that that is not the issue nor is it the solution.
I don’t know the reasons why Hashem does things, but I have often wondered if the reason for the shidduch crisis and the kids-at-risk crisis is that Hashem is trying to show us that we are not in control.
We take too much for granted. When someone doesn’t get married, we say, “What is the reason for it? What went wrong?” Chazal say that making a shidduch is as difficult as splitting the sea. We should not be asking, “Why isn’t Chanie married yet?” We should be asking, “Why is Rivky married? How did that happen? That is such a nes!”
The problem with our generation is that we think we are in control. When something doesn’t go the way we expect, we are shocked! And our reaction is, “What should we do now?”
We should not be shocked when things don’t go the way we planned – we should be shocked when they do! And when they don’t, our reaction should not be, “What should WE be doing (on a practical level)? Our reaction should be to remember that HASHEM is in control and not us! And maybe that is what He wants us to learn from it.
Yes, we should try to do what we can – but remember that while hishtadlus is important, all it is is hishtadlus! Only Hashem makes things happen. Our reaction should be to remember that it’s a NES when people get married and it is min hashamayim, and what we need to do is to work on our Emunah and Bitachon and our tefilos and figuring out what SPIRITUAL areas we need to work on. And it certainly should NOT be to think that we are in control and we can SOLVE the problem.
So do your hishtadlus – but don’t call it THE SOLUTION. And as you do your hishtadlus, remember that the Mesilas Yesharim says that hishtadlus is muchrach (necessary) but not mo’il (the cause). Don’t pretend that you know the cause or the solution.
And take this as an opportunity to remind yourself that Hashem is in control. And turn to Him to help you figure out what you should be working on in the Spiritual Realm – since that is the only real solution.August 31, 2017 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm #1352691
Lilmod, everything you just beautifully said is a) true and b) non-contradictory with taking steps to alleviate the age gap (which are steps that are appropriate that they be taken.)September 1, 2017 7:59 am at 7:59 am #1352790
I’m not interested in getting sucked into a debate that will become increasingly mindless, so I will reply once and will let readers decide for themselves whether my challenges to NASI’s propaganda are better than the responses.
“1. Proponents of this theory inevitably believe in the concept of a bashert and that God created a soul-mate for every person born. So how do they explain from a theological perspective how God could possibly be responsible for a demographic imbalance, as only He could be?
You’re making an incorrect assumption. I am a proponent of age gap but don’t believe every single person born has an inevitable soul-mate. That’s not what Chazal said, and even the gemara about the bas kol is explained by the meforshim as not necessarily applying in all situations.”
False. Bashert is very well-documented, and even if there are different ways of interpreting it, numerous people in YOUR society, including numerous Gedolim, do believe in a straightforward interpretation. What you’re doing is deligitimizing my point simply because you can find an opinion that would not be bothered by the question. So you define my question out of existence. Yet, in an astonishing display of hypocrisy you immediately write the following:
“Also, Chazal say shemoneh esreh l’chupah. Don’t blame G-d for a man made crisis caused by not following Chazal.”
Oh….as if there are no meforshim on THAT statement, and it is meant to be taken literally by all men at all times?
By the way, those same Chazal said a man has an obligation to support his wife, and in fact that it is proper for a man to start a business and build a house BEFORE even getting married (so if you want to do that by 18, better hurry). Ah, but you don’t like that Chazal, so you define it out of existence, and the statements of Chazal you do like you take literally and hit people over the head with. That’s called dishonesty and propaganda. And your fallback position when backed into a corner like this is inevitable “Emunas Chachamim”, which means we just have to stop thinking and do what other people tell us. You only play that card when you run out of bad arguments, and it’s designed to intimidate people into thinking that they will be branded as “not really frum” if they don’t shut up right now and do what they are told.
2. How is it moral and ethical for a shadchan to suggest anything other than the most suitable match for her client, and instead let a presumed demographic issue factor into her matchmaking?
“Agreed. However, in the past, many boys would not have considered an otherwise suitable girl, simply because of age. That is b”H changing. Also, there are often equally suitable (to the shadchan’s eye) matches, so proposing one which would benefit society would not be unethical.”
Right, now boys consider a girl mainly on how much money her parents bring to the table, as well as looks and yichus. I’ve never understood how a society that claims it is the least materiaslistic is in fact the most base and shallow when it comes to shidduchim. You’ll need to find me another Chazal to explain that one.
Furthermore, NASI’s proposal is exactly what I states, to encourage and even pay shadchanim to push shidduchim based on age. Sounds like a great recipe for more shalom bayis issues and divorce, as if we don’t have enough of that already. How about pushing marriage based strictly on essential criteria for having an ideal marriage, insted of playing games with ages and statistics?
“Also, proposing shidduchim to younger boys if they and their parents and rebbeim feel they are ready doesn’t involve this issue.”
Are you willing to publicly state that all the rabbis who pushed “The Freezer” have been proven wrong, now that suddenly boys should date younger?
“3. How is it moral and ethical for a shadchan to hide from singles that they are influenced by outside factors?
I’m not sure what you mean by that, but any broker (halachah views a shadchan as a type of broker) is influenced by factors that aren’t necessarily to the benefit of his clients, and has to know the halachos of what he must and what he need not disclose.”
Very simple what I mean by that. The shadchan’s job, and only job, is to present the best available match for the human beings they deal with, and not to worry about some presumed demographic problem. And if they are being influenced by that, they have a moral and ethical responsibility to tell that to their clients up front, that they will not consider matches of a certain age even if they may be more suitable otherwise. I’m sure people won’t mind one bit, since, after all, the main thing is getting dates for the older women first.
“4. If it is true that women are at such a terrible disadvantage, why are women so quick to turn down suitors, often for the most trivial reasons? That is hardly the behavior one would expect from people who are supposedly competing for a mate from an endangered species. Did single women fail to get this memo?
Whether or not women turn down men for trivial reasons (men do the same, BTW) has nothing to do with the number disparity. They obviously don’t think their reasons are trivial, and would usually say they wouldn’t marry the guy if he was the last man on Earth. Anyway, he’s not.”
Again, you ignored my question. In fact, you didn’t answe any of my questions to the point. You essentially either said they are not really questions or that it doesn’t matter. Bad job.
By the way, NASI now put out a propaganda video on YouTube that is directed specifically at Lakewood people and their ilk, and has already received almost 14,000 views. I thought YouTube was assur. Which gedolim endorsed creating a propaganda video and putting it up on YouTube, and why have so many people who claim to be so deeply concerned with Emunas Chachamim watched it?
You people need to get real. I can’t take you any more seriously than the climate change people, the human rights groups, or others of that sort who engage in exactly the same sort of hypocrisy and proaganda to push their dogma.September 1, 2017 10:10 am at 10:10 am #1352840
For someone who complained earlier that nobody answers you without insulting you, you certainly come across as pretty insulting yourself – not just to me, but to all of yeshiva society.
Since, despite your years of trolling the internet fighting and debasing gedolim on this issue, you claim not to want to get sucked into a mindless debate, I won’t respond point by point, I’ll just reassert that I did answer your questions, just not on your terms.
That’s fine, I’m sure you’re used to people not changing their minds based on internet dialogue.September 1, 2017 11:46 am at 11:46 am #1352890
Avram in MDParticipant
I’ve never received answers to the following questions that drive a stake right through this propaganda:
I don’t consider myself a proponent of age gap or any other theory. As a “BT” with young children, I have little personal experience with these issues. Your questions (challenges), however, don’t seem to drive a stake through anything.
1. Proponents of this theory inevitably believe in the concept of a bashert and that God created a soul-mate for every person born. So how do they explain from a theological perspective how God could possibly be responsible for a demographic imbalance, as only He could be?
I would guess that proponents of the age gap theory would agree that everyone has a designated besheret, but that personal and communal behavior may prevent people from finding their besheret.
2. How is it moral and ethical for a shadchan to suggest anything other than the most suitable match for her client, and instead let a presumed demographic issue factor into her matchmaking?
I would guess that proponents of the age gap theory would answer that shadchanim are already not suggesting suitable matches for their clients due to societal constraints.
3. How is it moral and ethical for a shadchan to hide from singles that they are influenced by outside factors?
I would guess that proponents of the age gap theory would reply that their advocacy is intended to highlight and tamp down outside influences that are already at play.
4. If it is true that women are at such a terrible disadvantage, why are women so quick to turn down suitors, often for the most trivial reasons? That is hardly the behavior one would expect from people who are supposedly competing for a mate from an endangered species. Did single women fail to get this memo?
1. It seems demeaning to state that “women” turn down suitors often for trivial reasons. Maybe they seem trivial to you, but to them their reasons may not be. And remember that we are discussing teenagers or early 20-somethings.
2. I would imagine that many women would prefer no marriage to a horrible one.
Again, the next person who directly and pointedly responds to these questions instead of insulting me and claiming I lack mathematical acumen will be the very first.
I tried my best.September 1, 2017 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm #1352868
The only distinction I made in the boys was between the top tier long term learning boys vs. the 2 year kollel life and learner-earner types. How someone read into that that I was referring to people going of the path is beyond me.
I’ll throw another fact out there. In our world, most of the time, the spiritual identity of the family is defined by what the father is. Is he a teacher, a learner, a baal habos, a learner earner, a kovea ittim. Does he have real sedarim, or does he go to a shiur if there happen to be no scheduling conflicts.
There are more girls looking for that top tier fellow, then there are top tier boys. And when they figure out that he wasn’t has top tier as he was billed, (girls are very intuitive that way) they drop them for what seem like frivolous reasons. They’ve been trained to reach high, and when they sense a fellow spends more time in the coffeeroom – the real one, not the cyber version – than in the Bais Medrash, they decide that is not what they are looking for. Even if they know that they will have a harder time finding the next one that he will. Her spiritual identity is hitched to his more than his is hitched to hers.September 1, 2017 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm #1352927
The cause is one and only one thing – a difference of numbers entering the pool.
Nonsense. Don’t be so narrow as to be blinded to other factors which, in conjunction with age gap, contribute to the problem.September 1, 2017 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #1352948
Midwesterner: But I would say that a much more significant number of boys get engaged in the first one or two girls, than girls do.
Because there are so fewer of them…
I think you’re right that there’s a further imbalance caused by the fact that it’s so much easier to look for a top boy than to be one (I think that’s the same phenomenon you described).
But that’s clearly not the only issue, there is also a demographic issue, and the fact that the demographic disparity is exacerbated by other factors is only more of a reason to try and address it, not less of a reason.September 1, 2017 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #1352963
The problem today is that women and some men are not looking to marry a spouse, they are expecting to find a “best friend”. This is so wrong! When you look for a job, you don’t look for a boss who will be your friend. That would be unprofessional. You look for someone who will boost your future prospects! A man or woman looking to get married should seek a professional relationship with the most attractive person possible. You don’t have to be friends when you’re married, you just have to be able to civilly discuss finances and parenting. If you want a friend, get a dog.
(T)September 2, 2017 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #1353076
If you all can’t see that you’re being manipulated by an extremely well-funded and relentless propaganda campaign that knows exactly what buttons to push to get you to follow along, and if you don’t believe my questions and challenges are significant enough that they deserve real answers, not simply deflections, then go ahead and play along. You and your children are the ones who ultimately have to live with the conseuqences of your choices. NASI will not be there for you if things don’t work out. In fact, if things don’t work out you and your children will be stigmatized by your neighbors for being “blemished”. So go ahead and take a gamble with one of the most important decisions you can make in life. Put your trust in shadchanim and the people pulling their strings, and base your decision on who to marry based on other people’s concerns more than what’s best for you and your children.
Frankly, I think you should emulate the Gedolim. The overwhelming majority of them do not marry women older than them, nor do their sons. There are a small number of exceptions, and they only married older women because they were the most suitable individual, not because they thought they were solving some demographic issue. I think you should follow their example. But if you want to play games with your lives, be prepared to deal with the condequences of making a serious mistake.
I’m a real person posting under my real name who really cares. If I caused even one person here who steps back and really thinks, it’s worth it. If not, so be it. I’m dealing with a community that equates independent thinking with heresy, so I know the odds are against me. Good luck to you all.September 2, 2017 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm #1353205
Chananya, nobody’s being manipulated. Almost everyone is simply going by what they themselves think. That doesn’t mean they are right; people who think for themselves are just as often wrong. But conspiracies are hard to keep up, and I don’t think NASI is one.September 3, 2017 1:50 am at 1:50 am #1353307
RY -I actually once went out with a guy who spent almost the entire date (which I think was at least 4 hrs. long) explaining to me how looking for a wife is similar to looking for a dog.
Guess what? That was the last date, for some reason.September 3, 2017 9:36 am at 9:36 am #1353393
really? If you had an island with 1000 boys and 1000 girls don’t you think eventually people would have equal advantage and would have to figure things out to make it work equally? Even if some were fat, ugly, poor, a bit less religious, more religious, etc… they would have no choice but to eventually settle and if they didn’t there would be an equal number of boys and girls single. Presumably there are boys and girls both with advantages and disadvantages equally from a mathematical standpoint or at least close.
Since there is not an equal number single please do the math and realize that is a numbers game and all other factors are not relevant. Yes there are older boys but many many more older girls. Of course if you understand the age cap concept fully it would be clear anyway. Why is clear elementary school mathematics so hard for people to wrap their head around? I do not work for NASI BTW or even know who does.September 3, 2017 11:04 am at 11:04 am #1353479
“Why is clear elementary school mathematics so hard for people to wrap their head around?”
Because it’s not “clear elementary school mathematics.” Actual statistics rarely are.September 3, 2017 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #1353697
Some of the problems with the “clear elementary school mathematics” (possibly already mentioned:
1. Most basic problem (a poster already mentioned this one): Just because boys start dating at 23ish and girls start dating at 19, that doesn’t mean that girls get married at 19 and boys get married at 23.
In fact, my impression (based on a handful of people, and no more conclusive than the opposing theory) is that there are many girls who end up in shidduchim for years precisely because they start dating at 19 but don’t end up getting married until they are a few years older, precisely because most girls and boys do end up marrying people who are close to their age!
Not only that, but since the reason for the concern is the fact that girls are stressed out about being in shidduchim for a few years, it would actually make a lot of sense for them to NOT start shidduchim right away.
For at least 2 good reasons
: 1. They probably won’t have to date for as long since they won’t be waiting for their zivug to grow up and start dating
2. If they focus on something else (work or school) meanwhile, they will have another focus in life and won’t be so stressed about not finding their beshert right away. And for those who are anti-college (like myself), it doesn’t have to be college – how about setting up some Shana Bet/Gimmel, etc programs for girls, so they can actually learn some of the things they are obligated to know? And/or they can take a practical course or get started at teaching, work, etc?
3. If in fact there is an age-gap issue, it will solve that problem without the boys getting married before they are ready and causing the divorce crisis to grow.September 3, 2017 3:06 pm at 3:06 pm #1353707
There’s a huge amount of evidence that there’s a very large amount of more never married 27 year old and older girls than 27 year old and older never married boys.September 3, 2017 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #1353708
The boy should be a year older than the girl, because they should be the same number of years past bar/bat mitzvah.September 3, 2017 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #1353812
Joseph – where is that evidence to be found?
All the “research” I’ve seen about the age-gap theory seemed to be based on the fact that mathematically, if the average girl marries a boy 4 years older than her, then there will end up being more girls than boys. And I don’t even think that anyone has provided any evidence that this is even the case.
I have not heard of any “evidence” to the fact that there are actually more single girls than boys. Do you actually know of any real research that has been done?
I personally have not noticed any evidence attesting to this. I think that I know or have heard of more single boys than girls and most singles’ initiatives that I am familiar with seem to have as many boys as girls on average.
I’m not saying that’s proof, but it may indicate that the above statement is not true. From what I’ve seen, the main issue seems to be not that there are more “older girls” than “older boys”. There are plenty of older boys,
editedDecember 19, 2019 1:54 am at 1:54 am #1812177
If we do more kiruv to boys, get more boys that are BT, so increase the amount of boys seeking shidduchim. That could solve the problem.December 19, 2019 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #1812347
every single person has their zivug. but musical chairs should be added to 4th date ideasDecember 19, 2019 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #1812426
Or the Ashkenazim can follow the Sephardic and Teimani tradition of permitting plural marriages to solve this problem.
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