I believe this was in the times of the vilna gaon and if i have it wrong pls correct me. I heard the system then was the marrige was pre arranged when the boy and girl was very young. The futute father in law would take care financially of his future son in law. And best part, the boy or girl have the option of saying no (which happened) most defaulted to the one that was designated
1 peace of mind
2 if it didnt work out, you dont have to sift through so many options
3 people would mature quicker
In the old system, there weren’t as many choices
We still have parts of that system. Like the traditional Jewish dowry that you speak of, the girl’s father today still usually supports the boy in learning or starting out in marriage or simply setting up the new home. And by some communities in Klal Yisroel today (Chasidim, some Sefardim) the shidduch is more or less arranged, even if it is done at a later age then the tradition you cited.
Old shidduch system?
BRING IT BACK B’KOROV.
the old system was way better, the current system is highly flawed but it would be hard to go back in full, just try to get there as much as possible
Any cons to this?
in the olden days they were more tolerating. so the boy or the girl would be Ok even if he/she is not exactly as they would want him /her to be. nowadays, i dont think thats going to work.
In the “good old days” most Jews lived in villages (with no more people that the typical shul, and often far fewer), and the nearest village was often hours away. Consider if one had to find a shidduch from a single shtiebel in Brooklyn, and the next shtiebel over was in New Jersey – and cities such as Baltimore and Boston were a week away. The role of the shaddchan was very different back then, and people were probably a lot less fussier. Oh,did I mention than most women died from complications of child birth, and most men (and childless women) rarely survived to middle age, and few children lived long enough to become parents.