The Math of the Age Gap

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    Sam l Am

    Is it a fact that in the Frum community there are many more unmarried gals in their 30’s and 40’s, then there are unmarried guys in their 30’s and 40’s? Where you live, are there a bunch of older unmarried gals — but not nearly as many unmarried older guys?

    I don’t understand the math behind the claim that the age gap causes many gals to not have any guy left to marry. According to the age gap theory, even if there are exactly the same amount of guys and gals at every age level (18, 20, 25, etc.), because guys on average marry gals a certain number of years younger then themselves, this “age gap” between marital spouses causes other gals to have no guys left-over to marry.

    I understand that since guys start dating a later age than gals, and since guys get married at a later age than gals, that at any one time you will always have more guys in the shidduchim pool (or “island”) than gals. And this fact gives guys an advantage over gals in the shidduch market, since at any point in time there are less guys, and more gals, looking for a shidduch.

    Nevertheless, al pi pashtus, it seems to me that if you have the same amount of guys and gals in every age group (regardless of whether they are yet in the shidduch market), at the end of the day it would be impossible for every guy (over a hundred year period) to get married, while at the same time a certain percent of gals — every year — have no guy to ever marry.

    Can someone do the math?


    There are more kids born each year bh than the previous year. So if let’s say there were (for simplicity’s sake) 100 boys and 100 girls born in 1987,and the boys from that year marry girls born in 1990. But in 1990 there were 120 boys and 120 girls born , leaving over 20 girls. I also think something unaccounted for is that there are unfortunately a lot of boys who either go off the derech or at least lead a lifestyle where they aren’t thinking of marriage until they are much older, much more so than girls.

    Sam l Am

    Does the math add up? I’d like to see the figures, calculations and formulas used.

    And I don’t even need any (assumed or otherwise) data on actual shidduchim. But more importantly the mathematical computations how it is possible for every single guy to get married over an extended period of time, while leaving at the altar an ongoing percentage of gals rendered un-marryable due to a shortage of grooms — when there is an equal number of guys and gals at each age.


    Maybe there’s a problem with your hanachah that there are an equal number of men and women born every year.


    b”h the frum community grows each year-and that is what is wrong with your premise – i have four daughters b”h – when my first daughter went to the primary local school here there were two classes, my 2nd daughter had 5 classes, my 3rd daughter had 8 classes, etc – So the 5 classes of my 2nd daughter, basically were marrying the 2 classes of boys in my first daughter’s age group. Do the Math. If they were marrying their own age, then there would have been an even number of boys and girls.


    Maybe there is a problem with someones hashkafa if they don’t believe that a bas kol calls out “bas ploni liploni” every time.

    Sam l Am

    IF the age gap theory was premised on that there are more girls born than boys, or that more boys pass away than girls, or more boys than girls are too sick to get married, or that more boys than girls go off the derech, then it is slightly more understandable. BUT the age gap theory maintains EVEN IF none of the above is applicable there is STILL a male shortage simply due to the fact that (on average) men are getting married later than women.

    So my question is, assuming all other factors are equal, with the only issue being that men on average are marrying younger women (i.e. 24 year old guys are marrying 20 year old gals), HOW based on that factor alone can mathematically every single male be able to get married (year after year after year after year) and there still be not enough males to marry all the females, EVEN if there is an exactly equal number of frum men and women in every age group ready, willing, and able to find a shidduch and get married.


    To get a true number, you have to factor in the boys’ rate of attrition as greater than the girls’, and the “goals” gap.


    Sam I AM:

    You explained the Age Gap Perfectly. I actually fail to see what you don’t understand.

    If every year there are say 200 more girls ENTERING the pool of shidduchim (as per your explanation girls start earlier than guys) and thus at any given time there are far more girls in the pool than guys, we can have every guy getting married and still have tons and tons of leftoever girls. So long as there continues to be more girls entering the pool each year than guys and so long as there continutes to be more girls in the pool than guys we will continue to have this problem.

    Please clarify what point you don’t grasp.

    Perhpas you dind’t even understand what you meant, that because guys start later therefore ther are more girls. It is NOT becasue guys can choose from a whole bunch of years. It is far more significant. It is becaue there are simply far more 19 year old jewish people that there are 23 year old jewish people. POPULATION GROWTH.

    If every year we only matched up the new dating gals and the new dating guys, there are far more new dating gals and therein lies the problem…


    While I can’t do much to help you with the math calculations (math was never my strongest subject 🙂 I think that there is another important point to be considered:

    When a frum girl reaches her mid to late 20’s she is no longer redt to guys who are within her age group. Instead, she is redt to guys who are in their mid to late 30’s. From what I have seen, guys who were never married at that age usually are not typical. I know this sounds mean, but I think it is true in many cases.

    It is possible that you will find a single guy that age who is totally normal, but I think those are few and far between. On the other hand, girls who are in their mid to late 20’s have a greater ability to remain status-quo and will not go for a guy like I have described above.

    These are just my personal thoughts on the matter. If you think I am way off the mark, let me know.


    My own 2 cents on the situation:

    15-20-25 years ago there was no “gap”, because girls and their families were not desperate to start dating the day after high school graduation and boys did face social pressures to “sit and learn” until they were 23 before they started dating.

    Once it became “the norm” for a bachur to “sit and learn” (and in many cases all they are doing is warming a seat) and a stigma was attached to a boy who didnt, boys and their parents, figured the best way to “fit in” was to pack off to eretz yisroel for a year or 2 of “learning”, then back to their home country to “sit and learn” for several more. Societal stupidities took many boys out of the dating pool.

    Concurrently, we became very “frum” and decided that post high school, girls only did certain things. Speech therapy and teaching became the vogue. Of course, going to college was looked down upon, so girls attended fast track, 8 months or less, programs and were done and had degrees and ready to get on with their life before they were 20.

    If we allowed the numerous girls who wanted to, to continue their education to do so without attaching a stigma to them. If we allowed those boys who are ready to get on with their life at 21 because sitting in yeshiva 3 sedarim a day is not conducive to their growth as yidden, let them finish college and get married at 21-22 we would have plenty of “younger boys” to date a pool of girls that has suddenly become smaller, by choice.

    We have created our bed, and now we have to sleep in it. I applaud groups like NASI for trying, as misguided as I feel they might be, but I dont believe anything will change until we wake up and realize that all we have done is create an unsustainable situation.

    What will happen, I’m sure, is that a small percentage of girls will start dating later, while a larger percentage of boys will start dating younger because they no longer feel pressured to do what everyone else is doing.

    Of course, we have to do away with the fallacy that every girl must marry a rosh yeshiva and that every boy will be the next rosh yeshiva, because all we will have accomplished is unshackling boys who dont want to be there 3 sedarim a day from their chairs in the beis medrash (which harsh as it sounds is not a bad thing for those bachurim).

    Please give me 5 minutes to put on my flak jacket before you respond and call me an am haaretz, a rasha, a masis (or worse, if thats possible). After you do so, please offer up your own take on the situation and provide your own proposal.


    See all sides: very well explained!

    Sam am I:

    you write- “BUT the age gap theory maintains EVEN IF none of the above is applicable there is STILL a male shortage simply due to the fact that (on average) men are getting married later than women.”

    that is 100% incorrect!

    The age gap theory is predicated on what other posters and I wrote namely that there are far more 1st graders than 5th gradres and far ore 19 year olds than 23 yr olds.

    Without that there would be almost NO imbalance of numbers

    Pumper: let’s talk about the intial 3-5 years of dating. How is it that the percentage of girls still single after that period of dating is far greater than the percentage of boys


    APY: you have presented perhaps a explanation how it came to be that girls begin dating younger and guys begin dating later (for the record this crisis exists in the non yeshivsh community as well).

    I fully agree with you that this is a self imposed tragedy and people that say the Ribbono Shel olam would never do this (as if we understand his ways) are out to lunch!

    What I fail to see is how in any which way that doesn’t jive with what NASI is promoting, namely figuring out ways to encourage more close in age shidduchim which inevitably means over the long term boys starting to date slightly youonger and girls slightly older.

    I don’t think we have any disagreement other than that NASI has implemented effective ideas to bring it about and is continuing to do so.

    If you have other effective ideas othe than poting in the CR I’m sure they would be very interesteed in hearing. From my dealings with them i have found that they take input from everyone.

    Sam l Am


    Are you saying I was incorrect because I omitted the population growth factor (which I acknowledge although you are correct I didn’t cite it in my previous comments) or because you are maintaining that I was wrong in stating a reason for the age gap is because the guys get married at a later age than the gals?

    Also, a hypothetical mathematical question: If from the year 1810 through 2010 we assume there are an exact equal number of males and females born each year, normal population growth is occurring, and no one dies early or goes off the derech, and everyone is ready willing and able to get married, IF every single male marries a female 4 years younger than him (i.e. all the 1810 born males marry 1814 born females, 1811 m –> 1815 f, etc.)…

    will every single male in the above scenario get married, but every single year from 1810 through 2010 there will be additional females unable to ever marry (i.e. females born each and every year during that period) while every single guy is getting married — even though there was an exact same number of males and females?


    I for one would feel better if, along with the promoting boys dating earlier, we were producing boys who are ready to get married, and not de facto institutionalizing yet another year of support.

    Sam l Am

    AZ: One more small question in addition to my 2 main points above.

    You wrote: (for the record this crisis exists in the non yeshivsh community as well)

    Which non yeshivish communities are experiencing this? And what is being done about it by the non yeshivish (i.e. is NASI deeply involved with the non yeshivish?) I’m pretty sure I saw a previous comment from you claiming the Chasidish don’t have this issue.


    its really funny how people are always trying to figure out the numbers and ratios of boys to girls and how “we” can solve the “crisis”. Hashem determined a zivug for every person and an age at which this person will meet theri zivug. stop worrying about all the numbers all you need is one and dont worry hashem will help you and make sure that happens. dont stop girls from finding their zivug at the right time because their are older girls still single. Hashem has a cheshbon for everyone and instead of sitting a whole day tring to figure out numbers all you should be doing is BELIEVING. Hashem has never let us down till now dont think he will now.


    The shidduch crisis is a product of galus. When Mashiach comes, the shidduch crisis won’t be over because equal amount of boys and girls will be born, or because boys will marry girls their age, it will be over because men might choose to have more than one wife. Personlly, I would not want my husband to have another wife, but just a thought.


    Sam I AM:

    1. It is BOTH factors together. Population growth x girls starting to date at 19/Boys at 23 = AGE GAP. If either factor is not present the problem as we see it will be markedly reduced.

    2. In your hypothetical scenario obviously very year there will be unmarried females. Simply because there are more females born in 1814 than there were males born in 1810.


    Sam I AM: The chassidim have a slight reverse problem. Meaning the boys are the ones having the difficulty with shidduchim. It is based on the same age gap concept in reverse.

    By chassidim boys date at 18/19 the same age as the girls. (this causes the boys to have a problem because there are actually slighlty more male births each year than female births. This is actually a slight mitigating factor in the shiddcuch situation by the non chassidishe but not nearly enough to alleviate the population growth x dating age problem.

    Which non chasidishe communities? ALL. YU connects is quite active in their community. NASI activites and ideas would help all segments of the community.


    shtarky: Some food for thought.

    Do you find it funny how people are trying to figure out ways to enable childless couples to have children. Or how to help sick people get healed. What about people who are out of a job. Isn’t it funny that others try to help them (what the Rambam refers to as the greatest form or tzedaka)

    I mean afterall you so correctly say

    “Hashem has a cheshbon for everyone (I assume this includes childless couples/sick children/people out of jobs as well) and instead of sitting a whole day tring to figure out numbers all you should be doing is BELIEVING. Hashem has never let us down till now dont think he will now.”

    As such your would argue there is no need for any person to try to help anyone in any sort of tzara. All we shold be doing is BELEIVE.

    Starky: I’m sorry to say but that is a cold hearted COP OUT.

    Hudi: Your correctly say it’s a prodcut of golus, As is sick children, childrless couples, struggling people and all tzaros we face individually and collectively.

    Do you reccomend we wait for Mashiach to come and until then the tzibbur should not try to help. Somehow I think the tzibbur helping each other might, just might, actually facilitate HIS coming.


    Sam I am:

    The answer is yes.

    Suppose in 1810, 100 of each were born; in 1811, 110 of each were born; in 1812, 120 of each; in 1813, 130 of each; and in 1814, 140 of each, and continuing to rise by ten per year.

    It is now 1834, the 100 boys marry 100 of the girls, leaving 40 over.

    It is now 1835, and there are 190 girls available- 40 left over and 150 born in 1815. The 110 “1811” boys marry 110 girls from the combined classes, leaving 80 over.

    It is now 1836, and there are 120 boys, and 240 girls.

    In 1837, there are 130 boys and 290 girls.

    In 2010, if everyone is still alive, there will be tens of thousands of extra girls, but most of them will have already died unmarried.

    That is the math.


    AZ. Promoting close in age shidduchim doesn’t solve any problems. It simply says to a group of girls, delay jumping into the pool for 2 years, we’ll worry about you then. In the meantime, don’t do anything that might ruin your chances of a shidduch like going to college or going out into the workforce. Sit home all day and vegetate. In the meantime, we’ll keep the bachurim who don’t want to be there in the beis medrash, while they vegetate, and when you are 21 we will fix you up with a nice 22 year old vegetable who has no means of getting along in the world without your fathers support. If you are happy with that solution, push it.

    Sam l Am

    Thanks for the math lessons popa and AZ. I understand the math now, but somehow the fact that every single male born in the past 200 years got married, and there are — every year — X percent of females who have no one left to marry, even though there is always [in the assumption] an exact equal number of M’s and F’s, somehow doesn’t shtim on a conceptional level. But I see from the raw mathematical formulas that it is true.

    What’s even more troubling is that none of these scenarios (population growth + age gap of husband and wives) is anything we haven’t experienced since Rabbeinu Gershom enacted his takana amongst Ashkenaz Jewry. (Before the Cherem, with multiple wives, obviously this wasn’t a problem.) So has this issue existed for the past 1,000 years and left unaddressed by Klal Yisroel? I’m not saying that is a reason to not do something about it now, but what explains the lack of a NASI organization to resolve the “age gap” crisis for the past 1,000 years? Okay, during some periods there were wars and diseases and other factors that may have reduced the male population during that period, while leaving the female population less affected. But certainly there were long stretches of periods (perhaps even most of that time) when things were quiet and the same factors were present. Yet nothing in the rabbinic sources indicates an acknowledgement of this age gap problem.


    APY – you got it. Now how do we get the changes going that will help the situation? Everyone is afraid to jump in first, and our Gedolim most of all. They just keep repeating what Rav Kotler zatzal did back in the day, when it was appropriate to get as many people as possible learning because so few did.

    Now, the question is how to start a social revolution to reverse the social revolution that occurred previously. Any ideas?

    On the other hand, HKBH may have solved the problem for us when He arranged for the economy to crash. No more parents able to support kids indefinitely, no more wives able to bear the double burden of home and parnassah. We might actually return to something like normalcy and begin to produce talmidei chachamim on a par with Europe, when the very best are learning and being supported adequately because the larger number are working, earning, supporting the community, and being kovea ittim with enthusiasm, rather than spending the day “warming a bench.”


    az. the people sitting around in the coffee room arent solving this “crisis” their just getting people worked up over it. yes we have doctors who a messengers of Hashem to heal people and specialist who are messengers of Hashem who help people have children and we have Shadchanim who are messengers of Hashem who make shidduchim. but all these things are from hashem, why dont you sit around a whole day and worry about not enough doctors for sick paitents???? because you know its out of your control, so is all these numbers, if you want to actually help these people and be a shadchan go ahead, if not leave it to the ultimate shadchan-Hashem

    Sam l Am

    Correction: Actually the wars would have even further exacerbated the age gap issue during those years, so even that cannot be cited as a mitigating factor.

    Sam l Am

    To better rephrase my hangup with the math, I see it works on paper as popa_bar_abba ably demonstrated above (that every single guy can get married and a certain percent of gals cannot when there is an average age gap) and accept that it’s a fact. But my mind is having trouble registering the math that over a period of 200 years, there being (say) 100,000 guys and 100,000 gals, and every one of the 100,000 guys got married while only 90,000 gals got married – and the for the other 10,000 gals there are no more guys left. How did 100,000 men marry 90,000 women?


    APY, I beg to differ. The girls are NOT being discouraged to go to college by and large; in fact, their getting a degree and/or established in a profession makes them even more marketable.

    You might want to start your own thread. Call it The Tao of the Age Gap.


    APY- Simply put you are 100% incorrect.

    We actually don’t even disagree, you also want close in age shidduchim as per your previous post.

    Your issue is that you incorrectly think that enouraging close in age shidduchim which WILL lead to some boys getting married a bit younger and some girls getting married at 21 instead of 19 has something to do with being unproductive.

    Your are entitled to your incorrect observations, and YES I will continue to promote the solution of close in age shidduchim that A. is working B. has been encouraged by a broad range of Gedolim and R”Y.

    Not only that but the result that you are looking for i.e. that boys and girls willing begin dating at closer ages will actually be the natural result of the efforts being extended.

    To date no one has ever encouraged groups of girls to delay dating. However, when it becomes commonplace for shadchanim to give more attention to girls who are 20/21+ and for boys to look for them l’chatchila, inevitable more girls will look to be productive when they come home from seminary in ways that even you would be please with.


    This idea has nothing to do with the age gap, but rather with another math equation: with the slow pace of dating.

    It often takes months to get a “yes” and get a boy and girl to date number one these days. If we could increase the frequency of dates, we would increase the amount of marriages in our community.

    For example, if an average girl dates 6 boys per year currently, and marries her 24th boy, then she will get married 4 years after starting dating. If, on the other hand, she dates 12 boys per year, she will get married after only 2 years of dating.

    One of the reasons for the very long process from the first suggestion until the date, is that we find ourselves dealing with very busy shadchanim.

    I challenge you to find me a dozen couples that you know, who have been married for 30+ years, who were set up by a shadchan. I can’t think of any. All the frum couples I know who got married 30+ years ago were set up by friends or relatives.

    Now, I challenge you to find out who set up the couples who married in the past dozen weddings you attended. Chances are, that more than half were set up by shadchanim.

    Why the major sociological shift in the past generation from friends and family making shiduchim to shadchanim making most of our shadchanim?

    That is the question.

    I welcome your answers.

    When a relative or friend suggests a shidduch, the process can move that much faster, as there is much more trust involved. When a shadchan suggests a shidduch, the process is slowed by the amount of research and verification necessitated by dating a random stranger who has been suggested to you by another random stranger.

    One possible answer is that we have become ‘frummer’. 30 years ago a guy knew his sister’s friends and would be likely to set one of them up with his friends. 30 years ago a bachur might have been friendly with his mother’s friends. These days, if a girl has friends over for Shabbos, a yeshiva guy will probably be too frum to stay home and eat at the same meal. These days, a guy is too frum to say “Hello, how are you Mrs. Goldstein?” when the neighbor returns a cup of sugar to his mother. This type of ‘frumkeit’ means that less people in our circles have the ability to redt shidduchim to friends and family, because they have kept themselves so incredibly segregated.

    What do you think?


    Thank you shtarky.

    AZ. You misunderstand what I write. I am NOT encouraging close in age shidduchim, nor am I encouraging people to do so by offering financial incentives. All I am saying is that we have managed to create a society where we have artificially created a smaller pool of boys for an increasingly larger pool of girls. As time goes on, boys are “sitting and learning” longer and longer and girls are more desperate than ever to start dating while the ink on their high school diplomas is still drying. We have to change the mindset to get more boys into the pool, not eliminate girls from the dating pool. While we are at it, we have to make sure those boys we are allowing back into the pool (who will inevitably be “younger”) are prepared to move on with their lives. It means encouraging those who are not able to sit three sedarim a day to utilize the other two, to do something to learn a parnassha whether it is college, trade school or something else. I said before and will repeat for the last time, what you are advocating is a band aid which helps sometimes, and short term, but is not solving the actual problem at hand.

    Tzippi. If you discouraged girls from dating until 20-21 (which is the same thing as saying, we are incentivising shadchannim to set up “older” girls”) after they get a degree from a fast track degree mill, what should they do with their lives? Will a 4 year program suddenly be acceptable? An advanced degree? A job in a midtown firm not named cohen and shapiro? I still remember the thread in the CR titled “overeducated girls”, will the prevelant mindset expressed in that thread be changed? If not, these girls will really be unproductive and vegetate.


    “that A. is working B. has been encouraged by a broad range of Gedolim and R”Y.”

    1: IS it working? You claim it is. I dont see it. I know many girls over the age of 21 who cant get a call from a shadchan, let alone a date.

    2: Regarding the “broad range of geolim”. I spoke to my rosh yeshiva who told me flat out that it was misrepresented to him exactly what the ad would say and how it would say it. Sounds more like someone is trying to force an agenda down peoples throats.


    Sam I Am:

    over a period of 10 years the numbers of boys and girls getting married are obviously equal. However, in a situation with a significant growth in population and a different starting age for dating, the number of Boys trying to get married (who entered the pool during those 10 years) is fewer than the numbers of girls trying to get married (who entered the pool during those 10 years). Thus 10,000 boys marry 10,000 girls but there are additional 1,000 girls who where looking to marry during that time and now have no one to marry.

    Please let me know if this clarifies things for you.

    As for your question regarding why wasn’t anything done before the last five years. I won’t go into explaining why this problem is arelatively new phenomana (has to do with populatin explosion in our communities B”H over the last 25 years and dating style pracitally every guy going to EY etc. ) but if you follow your logic I guess you would wonder why Hatzaloh wasn’t aroung 30 years before it began it must be that the leaders of the generation decided it should NOT be done. What chuzpah to start a organiztion like Misaskim that the gedolim where against (after all its relatively new). And the same could be said for pratically any organization, institutaion, program that is created to help the klal.

    Why didn’t the gedolim to it 20 years earlier.

    I would hope your realize the fault of your argument.


    WRONG. I know (as well as the R”Y advising the NASI Project) that this is self inflicted and there is ALOT we can do to solve it. There are people very busy and b”h being very effective in implementing ideas and suggestions to close the age gap and alleviate the crisis.


    If you don’t see it, it is simply because your aren’t finely in tune with the goings on.

    1. I didn’t say it was solved I said it is working as is evidenced by the fact that boys and their mothers are far far more willing to say yes to girls their own age and even a bit older. However, we have a LONG LONG way to go to solve it and the model i have been promoting (to generate more attention for the slightly older girls) is a very effective step.

    2. Please name the R”Y who name appears on the letter who disagrees with the 3 points in the letter. I find it hard to believe. I’m not sure what ad you are reffering to. The letter from 70 R”Y was faxed/brought over and hand signed by each and every one one the letter. Nothing was added or changed after they signed. NASI probably still has the original signatures. Please let me know the name of the R”Y your mention and I’ll ask them to send you the letter with his signature. (There was one R”Y – Rabbi Frenkel-who after it was published asked to pull his name and his name wasn’t printed in the subsequent printings.)

    (I’m actually curious which of the 3 points being you claim the R”Y diagrees with.

    a. the main cause of the shidduch crisis is Age Gap

    c. “We also call on shadchanim , and all others involved in shidduchim, to see to it, as much as possible, that the ages of the boy and girl are close. In addition, shadchanim should

    work primarily for girls who are age twenty and above.”



    You ask: But how are 100k boys marrying 90k girls? (And I don’t mean 90 kilo.)

    I am having trouble wrapping my brain around it, but it clearly is true that there will be girls left over every year.a

    For another riddle, see my new thread.

    Sam l Am

    popa_bar_abba: Can you answer this “riddle”? I would be most grateful.

    AZ: I understand that there more girls in the shidduch pool than boys at any given time, because of the discussed reasons. That still doesn’t resolve the riddle of how 100,000 guys are marrying 90,000 gals.

    And I specifically said I’m all for NASI doing it now. My question is WHY wasn’t there a NASI like effort for the past 1,000 years, since Cherem Rabbeinu Gershom was enacted. There must be a good explanation.


    If you answer my riddle, I’ll think about it.


    I figured it out!! If we rescind the takana of rabbeinu gershom (which expired anyway), we can solve both the shidduch crisis and the support crisis. Every good learning guy will marry 2 girls, that way each girl will get a good learning guy, guys will be less reluctant to marry older girls if they can marry younger ones too and also, each kollel guy will have two incomes from the jobs of both wives, so his shver will not have to work until 120 to support him. But then, we would have a working boys and bad learners shidduch crisis, which I guess serves them right for not learning full time.


    YeshivaBochur, I think you’re on to something. The only problem is finding a jurisdiction that allows for this…


    yb123, very smart;)

    AZ, can u please name those roshei yeshiva and gedolim who are trying to enforce this “boys marrying earlier” situation. i keep saying that they will never do that, but if u’d be able to name some (or at least say which yeshivos are trying to get their boys married earlier,) i’d be interested to know!

    i always here that 20/21 yr old guys are too immature to date. (btw, i already started another thread about this, i’ll havta find it) if parents would get their sons ready earlier, than maybe they could get em married earlier. parents can’t just look at there son and say oh he’s only 20/21- not ready yet. did you even try? did you ask him if he is interested in even starting to think about it? do you know what his views are, have you even discussed the topic of marriage with him? or is it taboo until he goes to Israel for three yrs and then comes back three yrs older? i happen to know of a boy and girl who just got married, not chassidish, but totally frum AND THEY ARE BOTH 19!

    also what makes anyone think that girls wouldn’t mind pushing off marriage a little? (i mean in general. i know some wouldn’t mind, but at least they are well prepared, for the most part) truth is, i don’t see why any boy would agree to date earlier, although that disagrees with what i wrote in my first paragraph.

    ultimately, while i agree with hudi and shtarky, i still believe we must do our hishtadlus, which is different for everyone depending on their level of emunah. like, of course i’m looking, but i’m young and not pressuring myself over it, and if anyone asks (besides for the fact that it’s not their business) i just tell them seriously that Hashem knows my address.

    if i’m wrong about something, criticism is welcome. it could just be a learning experience for me.


    AZ, unless you ARE NASI or an official spokesperson, I will not tell you a name (the more I read your postings here and the responses of Rabbi what’s his name in the yated, – I’m sorry, I forget his name, – I’m beginning to thing that you are the same person).

    I will tell you this much, this RY neither encourages or discourages close in age shidduchim. If one of his bachurim is redt a shidduch the least of his concerns is her age.

    Admittedly, almost every shidduch that is done by bachurim in the yeshiva is one made by a friend, relative or acquaintence and not shadchannim who might be more aware of NASI initiative.

    This is not addressed to you AZ specifically. Someone made a comment about who knows people whose shidduch was done by a shadchan as compared to a friend, relative or acquantaince. I thought about the last 10 chasunas I’ve been to and based on my experience 2 out of 10 chasunas came about via a professional shadchan. The other 8 were made by friends and relatives. No, none of these were chassidishe weddings.

    Lastly, the comment regarding the time necessary for a single date to occur is spot on. I think the situation should be reversed and all suggestions for a shidduch should go to the girls side first. You will see a lot more girls dating, a lot more often and a lot more girls getting married.

    I don’t have any statistics, and this is nothing more than a wild guess, but I am guessing that the avg guy goes out on 3x as many dates in a year as does a girl and the factor increases each year that they are dating. This is not an age gap thing, just the normal get on a list, I’ll look into it, waste everyones time problem faced by girls of all ages.



    3. In addition this age gap induced problem is a relatively new phenamona (case in point-how many siblings did your parents and their friends have vs. how many families these days have 8/9 children).





    Utah! Now we just have to move all of Brooklyn + Lakewood to Salt Lake City

    Sam l Am


    It is 9,000 guys to 9,000 gals with 1,000 gals left over.

    My example was predicated on their being an exact even number of guys and gals. You can’t have 1,000 left over if all 9,000 got married.

    When you meet Rabbeinu Gershom please ask him.

    What happened in the 1,000 years SINCE Rabbeinu Gershom? Where was NASI all that time?

    In addition this age gap induced problem is a relatively new phenamona (case in point-how many siblings did your parents and their friends have vs. how many families these days have 8/9 children).

    In Europe we had more children than in America. A frum family in Europe with “only” 6-7 children (rather than the more typical 10-12) would be considered modern. (That’s a joke.) But any way you slice and dice it, we had more children in pre-WWII Europe (and pre family planning possibilities) than now.


    az, will anyone publicize it, or will they be scared to be the first to take the leap, thereby leaving it to “someone else”


    I think the answer is that you are comparing the wrong group. You should be comparing the boys of 1810-2010 with the girls of 1814-2014. There will be more girls than boys in that group, and the extra ones never got married. (In your hypothetical.)



    1. As PBA explained it is 9,000 guys and 9,000 gals with 1,000 gals left over…..

    2. The people who disovered the Age Gap problem (actually 2 actuaries) where probably hiding together with the starters of Hatzalah, Misaskim, Bonei Oilam, Yad Eliezer, etc. etc.

    Here’s a question. Sara Schinere started the bais yaakcov movement. Why wasn’t it started 10 years or even 5 years earlier. And the chutzpah of her to start it! I mean after all if the gedolim didn’t start it, who was she. (Even when she tried to start it, she went to the gedolim, and many where against it, but a few like the chafetz chaim and gerer rebbe ecouraged it, and the rest is history.)

    As an aside Population growth has exploded bli ayin harah in the last 30 years

    More importantly-I don’t even think this is a issue worth debating. If you agree with that there is a massive probelm-and you do.

    If you agree that Age Gap is a clear explanation- and you do

    If after having been presented to our present day Gedolim and R”Y they have strongly encouraged efforts to deeal with it – and they have

    I don’t thing there’s much to debate.


    APY: I wasn’t denying the facts that some girls will vegetate, I was simply saying that girls ARE encouraged to get a degree, whether a general college, online, a frum college, etc. I have seen numerous quotes to the effect that this makes them more marketable.

    And as for giving names to the girls first, that’s already happening. The idea is, a boy(‘s mother) is presented with a hundred names. If twenty already said yes, those are the names that he (or his mother) will pay attention to.


    Mathematically the only way you could ever eliminate the age gap so that you have enough potential grooms for every unmarried woman, is if either a) every shidduch is between a boy and girl of exactly the same age or b) the average age gap of shidduchim is zero – meaning an equal number of older boys marry younger girls as the number of older girls marry younger boys (by average age.)

    Barring one of those two scenerios, you will always have an age gap that results in not enough boys for all the girls to get married. This is true even if the average age gap is reduced to one or two years.

    This is the hard and sad mathematics of this. And I don’t see either scenario as realistic. We can reduce the age gap, meaning it will be less of an issue, and more women will be able to get married. But it could never be eliminated (without the unrealistic scenarios or reinstitution of polygamy) and there will always be an oversupply of girls.


    We can reduce the age gap, meaning it will be less of an issue, and more women will be able to get married. But it could never be eliminated (without the unrealistic scenarios or reinstitution of polygamy) and there will always be an oversupply of girls.

    I don’t think that is completely accurate. Ideally the system would self correct so that if one year the age gap was tilted one way, the next year it would tilt back. This would be accomplished if all age bias was eliminated.

    Meaning, if everyone would marry suitable people regardless of age (withing the basic range), then if there were more older girls one year, there would simply be more older girls marrying that year.

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