The Math of the Age Gap

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    thinking about this whole thing is a bit hysterical-sad..yes..but really funny…meaning to say to solve this age gap problem…youll need an entire database of all available singles and all shadchanim to help work on it…then youll have the shadchanim basically matching the singles up MAINLY BY AGE i mean what about all the other factors like background etc. but nooo! the shadchanim will call u up and say guess what i have a whole slew of guys for u and theyre your age so its a shidduch..go out with all of them.. i wouldnt take any of those suggestions CMON BASED ON AGE WHATS THE WORLD COMING TO??? well have even more problems…if pple/shadchanim dont look out for the main primary coomponents to marriage!


    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.

    popa: Your self-correction/tilting back idea is almost saying the same thing I said in option “B”, in different words.

    Sam l Am


    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.

    All of these functions (Hatzalah, Misaskim, etc.) were provided by the Jewish community for over a thousand years. The name might not have been Misaskim, but the services were rendered under whatever name. What NASI does is new and has never been previously done. Yet the issue ostensibly existed for 1,000 years in the Ashkenazic community.

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

    And it has exploded for the last 1,000 years with our 10 – 12 children families for the past 1,000 years in Europe. Just looking at America for the past 30 years to compare is incorrect. The point is 1,000 years not 30 years.

    If you agree with that there is a massive probelm-and you do.

    I do. But would still like the above explanations to better understand the problem.



    Probably I misunderstood you. I am saying it will naturally self correct if people would have no age bias.

    Similar to the way all colors of cars would be sold if nobody cared what color they got.


    obviously this isn’t a fair system…generally you hope pple do care who they marry we are picking a life long marriage partner and should care and think about it b4 saying “I do”–yes to the shidduch… isn’t that common sense…the age part and the math aspect to shidduchim seems like a non issue…i don’t believe a singles should settle ever..they can compromise like he might not be your look but he’s everything else-which is in a lot of cases…

    settling b/c otherwise your getting too old is the name of many Gedolim- never settle or compromise on key’s better to get married older than have an unhappy and horrible marriage/ girls should have more confidence to say no i refuse to settle…i believe there’s someone out there for everyone …LIFE IS NOT A RACE!



    1. There is no need to eliminate the age gap totally. Overtime what is required is aprox one year differencital. that is becaue there are actually more male births each year than female in the North American White Caucasian community. No only that, but it doesn’t need to be (and shouldn’t be)accomplished overnight.

    2. This is NOT accomplished by micro-managaing but as PBA mentions by eliminating age bias as well as figuring out ways to brighe the ages at which boys and girls start dating.

    3. B”H tremendous progress has been made but there is a need for a lot lot more.


    1. What Sara Schinerer did was brand new as are many many organizations.

    2. You are incorrect regarding population growth and typical family sizes but as i’ve said before it is a totally irrelevant argument. Unless you are suggesting that

    a. the previous generations had the problem

    b. it was brought the the attention of the Gedolim along with the age gap explanation

    c. the Gedolim DECIDED that nothing should be done.

    I don’t think you actually believe all of these three statements to be true. As such, it’s a moot issue what happened 200 years ago.

    Perhaps they didn’t have the problem.

    Perhps no one chapped the age gap concept (much like none of the Gedolim or R”Y of our generation chapped it until it was presented to them).

    Perhaps no one came up with any ideas how to alleviate it (much like in our genetation that it took close to two years from when it was brought to the attention of the Gedolim and R”Y, until anty concrete action was taken i.e. the NASI Project was launched by a regular person who approached R”Y and Gedolim with the concept and receives constant guidance from them).

    Either way, it’s really irrelevant as long as you agree that presently this is the situation and there is what to be done about it.

    Memo: I don’t think you really belive what you are writing. I think you would agree that a regular normal nice 19 year old girl shouldn’t necessarily consider a divorced boy with 3 children. However if that same girls is still single 19 years later, I think you would agree that as a 38 year old single perhaps she should.

    Like everything else in life. It all depends on the situation. But clearly as a single gets a bit older they should adjust what they are looking for. (Obviouslya person should never marry a abusive mean spouse. However, there’s a lot of gray between what a stary eyed 19 year old girl is looking for and what a single 35 year old girl should be ready to say yes to. When that adjustment should take place depends on the each persons situation)

    Sam l Am


    So what you are indicating is that since there are slightly more males than females in the population, it is okay to have a slight average age gap of one year older males in shidduchim.

    Frum family sizes in Europe were on average larger than the average frum families in America.

    What I am suggesting is:

    a. The previous generations since Rabbeinu Tam’s Cherem would have had the same issue we have.

    b. Was anything done about it?

    c. Did it work itself out on its own for the past 1,000 years in the Ashekenaz communities?

    d. Were there hundreds of thousands of frum woman who had no men to marry for the past 1,000 years?


    1. correct….. if we were starting from scratch a AVERAGE one year age gap would be fine.

    2. To correct it going forward i.e. to make sure all new girls starting to date should not get stuck, we would need to close the AVERAGE gap by slightly more one month per year unitl the average differential is approx one year. (the math is not for the CR)

    3. In order to help the hundreds and hundreds (thousands) of already slightly older girls, the pace of closing the Age Gap needs to be accelerated in the near future. The sooner it’s done the more girls that will be saved.

    4. Being the its not possible to bring about societal change by x number of months per year, what we need is that the changes that take place societal, attitudinal, structural, should have that effect.

    RE: you statements re: the orthodox community in Euprope. Like I said, it is wholly irrelevant and I for one have zero interest in debating the issue. However for starters please show clear factual DATA, proven numbers, NOT conjecture as to populaton growth in europe 1880-1900. Then pleasse show hard data as to the average age at which young men and women began dating. Please don’t tell me about this family or that family that had 9 children.

    I for one have NOT done serious studying as to what was then, being that it’s not relevant to the question at hand. However, from the little research that I have done (as well as what I saw growing up and in my parents generation.) class sizes and family sizes are far larger now then they where 30 40 years ago.

    Please bear in mind that the in europe many many children died as infants, as young children etc. you need to show family size of children that made it to marriagable age.

    However, I think i’m finished debating this irrelevant angle. Unless the R”Y do a about face and say they want to know why Rabbi Akiva Eiger wasn’t concerned with the issue.

    So far, to date, none of the R”Y or Gedolim approached had that concern, and thus neither do I.

    Sam l Am

    AZ: Thanks for your additional comments.

    As far as data and statistics, we both now none exists that is accurate — not even for here and now in the Orthodox communities in America, let alone pre-war Europe. But we also now family sizes in pre-war Europe were generally very large, easily 10 – 12 children and often notably more than that. We also know they tended to marry young. And it was also not so uncommon for significantly older men to marry much younger women (something that today is very rare.)

    Again, my point isn’t about the last 30 or 40 years in America, but the last hundreds of years in Europe.

    In any event, I wanted to respond to those points. I’ll accept what you just said — that you no longer wish to discuss this particular aspect and will leave it at that.

    Sam l Am

    AZ, back to something you can address… What is the current age gap? And with the current efforts, how long do you think it will take until it is reduced to a one year gap? Will the effort help the girls currently older?

    Also, has anything developed on the idea of having guys marry younger, where it is actually happening where it hasn’t previously? Which other ideas — in addition to focusing on older girls — has already seen progress?


    I fully believe in what I’m writing singles both genders must not feel the need to compromise…in specific scenarios like considering a widower, divorcee etc. then the single must know themselves what they can handle..yes then that might be compromising on their dream spouse but main factors that would effect any marriage I don’t believe there is a need to compromise!

    I truly believe everyone has a destined beshert IY”H by all the singles out there…this thread is full of doubt and worry and by reading it singles will unfortunately get themselves i bad situations…soooo all singles who are feeling hopeless

    DO NOT SETTLE, YOU MIGHT COMPROMISE BUT DON’T EVER SETTLE…it’s much better to love your spouse then to be stuck with just anyone!



    1. the exact age gap is hard to put a number on it, but as of 3 years ago the research that was done revealed approximately 3 to 3.5 differential. I don’t know if any updated research has been done.

    2. What has been done so far is raise awareness about the issue. That led to the most significant accomplishment to date i.e. breaking the stigma against slightly older girls. It’s not 100% yet, but shadchanim say they can redd shidduchim (girls the same age as the boys or even slightly older) that 3 years ago they wouldn’t have gotten to first base with.

    3. The current efforts are helping the older girls as there is a trickle up effect. The faster the community moves at implementing the various ideas needed to alleviate the Age Gap, the better the chance for the already older girls to still get married.

    4. Boys starting to date slightly (only slightly) younger is very much in play as that has the capacity to save A THOUSAND girls. However this is not the forum to divulge details of what is being worked on. When it comes to fruition i’m sure you won’t miss it.

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