Younger siblings waiting for older to get engaged

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    It’s a long standing minhag for younger siblings to wait for an older brother/sister to get engaged before starting shidduchim. We are now in the midst of a shidduch crisis which is leaving thousands of frum girls unable to find a marriage partner. We know that as a girl gets older it becomes even more difficult to find appropriate dates & get married.
    Was the accepted Minhag intended for today’s difficult situation? Should a younger sibling risk remaining single do to this Minhag?
    I’Has Daas Torah weighed in on this difficult question?
    My personal feeling is that a sibling should not be expected to wait longer that 2 years before entering shidduchim. I don’t think parents should sacrifice the chances of marriage for a younger sibling due to the hardship of an older child. Please ask your Rov for hadracha in this subject.

    Sam Klein

    When I was single many years ago, I had MANY younger silblings get married before me and each one that approached me I told them with Faith and trust in Hashem “don’t wait for me, Go walk down the chuppa and don’t worry about me”

    If you maintain your life to a life based on Faith and trust in Hashem then you will never be worried about you or your daughters getting married based on the shidduch crises or for any other reason, for we all know that Hashem is the real shadchan who is mezaveg zivugim already 40 days before the neshama was born and when the time is right for the person to get married Hashem will setup the shidduch up through a shliach physical shadchan

    May all the girls in the shidduch crises find their zivug very soon with putting their Faith in Hashem

    Reb Eliezer

    We find that this was Lavan’s argument which was wrong for not telling Yaakov Avinu ahead of time and cheating him. If the older agrees that the younger marry first, fine.

    Reb Eliezer

    Sam Klein, you don’t seem to believe in hishtadlus, so don’t go to a doctor. The midrash says, יכול שהוא יושב בטל ת”ל בכל מעשך אשר תעשה


    We did not hold back younger children from dating / getting married because an older sibling was still single.

    Haimy – You asked “’Has Daas Torah weighed in on this difficult question”? Since as you state it is a minhag I am not sure Daas Torah has to give a blanket opinion. As with most questions relating to shiduchim individuals have to consult with their “rav” or whoever they ask their hashkafa shailos to.

    Sam Klein

    Sure every person must do their hishtadlus.

    But in regards to a doctor or medicine, if someone is on a high level like a gadol hador and he wouldn’t take the medicine for him it wouldn’t be a lack of hishtadlus cause the tzaddik doesn’t just know that only Hashem can heal him. The pills are like avoda zara to him so it’s not a lack of hishtadlus.

    May you one day reach this high level of a gadol hador and start to realize that every act in your life and every breath you take is a gift and coming directly from Hashem. (not only cause you went shopping or made money. Everything comes from Hashem it’s just a matter of how Hashem sends it to you. One person can make a million dollars from 20 years of work at 50k a year and another person Hashem can send in an instant with a lottery ticket winner that just happened in Israel last week to a poor man and it was his first lottery ticket he bought in his life, he didn’t always buy tickets all year long)

    Reb Eliezer

    Some people don’t want to win a lottery like that because it is a test as we say every morning don’t bring me to temptatiion because it can lead to shame.

    Sam Klein

    Every person is put down here on this temporary physical world to be tested by Hashem, and if there’s one thing that every jew knows-even reform jews-its the fact that IF A PERSON COULDN’T HANDLE A TEST YHEN HASHEM WOULDN’T PUT HIM INTO THAT POSITION FOR THAT TEST” so no one could ever ask why am I not married yet or why don’t I have a livlihood now C”V cause every test a person is in they can handle otherwise they would not have that test.

    The good news and happy ending of the other side of the story is that, every test a person passes from Hashem raises him/her to a higher level and brings the person to another harder test from Hashem and each test you pass brings you higher up in kedusha and closer to Hashem and accomplishing your mission in this temporary physical world.

    Remember from pirkei avos: this temporary physical world is just a sidewalk path to get us to the real world upstairs.

    Reb Eliezer

    Sam Klein, we find knowledge among the goyim. We can apply Ericson’s theory of child development together with the Rambam in Perek Chelek. There are stages of development which come with obstacles. We mature when we can overcome the obstacle for that stage. There are levels of the neshomo. The obstacle is the yetzer horah. When we defeat it, we are given a higher level of the neshomo as the yetzer horah cannot be stronger from what the neshomo can take. The Rambam says that different stages have different desires.


    If a young man or woman meets his/her bashert, than it would be going against what the Ebeshter intended in order to avoid hurting the feelings of an older sibling. As other posters noted, first approach that sibling and convey your hope and confidence that they too will meet their bashert but having done so, “seize the moment”.

    yaakov doe

    If I had followed that minhag I’d still be waiting. At the age of 71 the older sibling does no seem to be moving in the direction of marriage.

    Sam Klein

    A big zchus for a person to get-any-kind of help they need from Hashem. Daven for someone ELSE who needs the same shidduch/child that you are waiting so long for. And the seforim say when you daven for someone else YOU get answered first.

    May Hashem always answer your heartfelt tefillos right away. As we say 3 times a day karov Hashem…. Hashem is close to all who call out to him WHOLEHEARTEDLY (and not just reading from a siddur or tehillim)


    I don’t think it’s always the best idea.

    There was a famous maaseh that happened in the times of the Rishonim. The younger sister was old enough to be married, but her older sister was an awful person (I think the term “shiksa” is actually used) that no one wanted to marry. A bachur was interested in the younger sister, so he pays off a nobody to marry her with the assumption that the marriage won’t last. B’kitzur, a lot of bad things happened, but the older girl managed to be happy with her husband and famously said ” In token of which duty, if he please, My hand is ready, may it do him ease.”


    Simple solution: feed the older sibling to a troll. Younger sibling is now the older sibling.


    Mods: these are the times I wonder if you were sleeping at the switch. Why post a useless comment like DEVNY’s?

    My job is to worry about appropriateness, uselessness is somewhat out of my realm. -29


    Can anyone actually prove that this is halachically acceptable?
    Preventing someone from getting married and inflicting unnecessary pain sounds kind of evil.
    Lets look at the situation
    two girls aged 24 and 21 are on the market with the 21 year old getting engaged first. Age 24 feels pain over this. So the theory is prevent age 21 from going out to not “inflict” said pain on 24.
    Several problems
    1) 24 is only feeling pain because she is jealous and lacks bitachon. A baal middos would be happy for the sister
    2) 21 didn’t inflict anything, she simply got engaged. At most you could “blame” Hashem, not the sister
    3) Preventing people from getting married sounds a lot like the sins of bnei eli. What gives a parent the right to inflict (and imprison) 21 ?!
    The only possible way to do this correctly is with the full agreement of 21, otherwise you are causing harm that you have no right to cause.
    A normal parent doesn’t do this to their kids. Unfortunately I know people who did it with disastrous results. I know girls who went behind their parents back and BH got married.
    I would never do this to my children and have told them for years that Hashem is in charge of their shiduchim and each will get married when the RBSO wants it to happen.


    I am the eldest and still unmarried. My younger brother wanted to enter shidduchim and I agreed.
    The Shadchonit was also married to the Av Beis Din. She sought the permission of her husband. Both of us sat before him (Av Beis Din) and he formally asked me if I gave permission to my brother to marry before me.
    I did so and then he told the Shadchonit to go ahead and make suggestions to my borther.

    It that way my permission had been concretized.


    mr. or ms. lowerourtuition, you’ve clearly missed the point of my post: I’m trying to show how my post is just as useful as every other post in this thread. Seriously, no younger sibling should have to wait for an older sibling to get married first. That’s ridiculous. My post is there to simply show how dumb the whole conversation is to begin with.


    I’ve spent a couple of days looking into this
    I’m sorry to actually bring some facts to the CR but if you are interested here goes.
    There is definitely an Inyan in waiting and maybe even for asking mechila/permission from an older sibling.
    It seems to stem from a tosfos in kiddushin that says that since Yaakov had no response to Lavan we see Lavan had a point. There are several places in Shulchan Aruch that address the inyan in regards to a case of; a man saying he has married one of two sisters but doesn’t remember which, do both need a get or only the older (since the way of the world is to marry the older first)

    There is even a couple of modern tshuvos on the matter.
    No where do I see that this is a minhag (2 years) or that this can (or should) be forced on the younger sibling.
    It seems that the younger sib owes this as a courtesy ie derech eretz (and shalom bayis within the family)
    To quote one tshuva “use your sechal”


    devny: had you stated this instead of your troll post I wouldn’t have commented.


    Mentsch1: I really had a hard time understanding your point. Aside from speaking with your younger sister or brother and expressing optimism that they too will soon find their beschert, how would it possibly help them for you to forego an opportunity to marry someone you love and respect and delay starting your own family?? Obviously you engage your sibling with great empathy but it make zero sense to wait and wait and wait…..


    I’m sure you read my original post where I called the practice of enforcing a child to wait for an older sister to get married imprisonment and evil.
    My second post was an attempt to take feelings out of the equation and quote sources.
    Here are two more I found

    Igros Moshe EH 2:1
    case involves two brothers. Rav Moshe says brothers dont wait bc there is a mitzva of p’ru u’revu. Says nothing about a need to ask mechila and says the younger brother has nothing to feel guilty about and should pursue the shidduch

    Mahrsham 3:136 (Rav Scwadron, grandfather of the magid)
    Also states doesn’t apply to boys. Brings down that it applies to girls as a din in derech eretz (in other words no one can force her to do this). his specific case involves a 21 and 27 year old girl and says she should pursue the shidduch offered bc who says the older will get married and why should she turn down her chance. My interpretation is that He certainly implies that every girl has a right to use her own judgement.

    As for the OP who called it a “minhag”
    Based on my research . For boys certainly not true. For girls there is a din in derech eretz for waiting a respectful period of time bf actively putting herself out there (to be determined by the girl) but if something good comes up she should pursue it.

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