Forum Replies Created
“Remind me again, why am I taking this seriously?!?”
Perhaps because it’s more fun than doing the dishes waiting in the sink?! The things we do to avoid our responsibilities… :)JK
Out of curiosity, why have you been “pushing for polygamy for the past 20 years”?
“This is even more poetic than the language itself ever was”
Good line :).
For someone with your needs, I think I’ll do it for free. See you then.
I appreciate this story. Thanks for posting it.
I don’t know where “taleisim” comes in, for starters; my comment did not reference your exciting pet peeve. Secondly, if you weren’t “making a joke”, you have a very poor manner of communication. “Too bad” in your last sentence simply serves to reinforce the fact that you come across as juvenile. You can tell us you’re 65, or 72; and I’m William Sutton. Such is the nature of the internet.
And I think you should refrain from referencing the Kedoshim in your rants, in your attempts to be oh so humorous. Feh.
I think this is going beyond the pale. Some of us, even those that don’t know Yiddish, don’t appreciate a “joke” about the Kedoshim in Europe. You must be very young to think this is funny…
You do sound like you’ve put a lot of thought into it. I only brought up your situation because I don’t like to see good people get “finger-pointed” at as immoral when they might possibly be doing the right thing for them.
I give you a bracha that you should have enough parnassa to send many children to school without taking on another job!October 29, 2009 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm in reply to: Tznius Support Group PLEASE WOMEN ONLY, even reading #665265
I’m with Tzippi.
Mod80, I do see things that are not appropriate for open viewing, but do not feel comfortable emailing it to you. I know my husband would be horrified to know I am discussing these things on an open forum. Is there a female mod who can serve as a contact?
I don’t want to sound ornery, but at the same time, wanted to give you some food for thought:
In another thread, you noted that you would like to redo your kitchen with more expensive materials, in order that it should last for 40 years. You also noted that you know you will need to ask for a tuition break.
Now, I’m no judge or morality, and have no moral wisdom whatsoever to tell you if this is or isn’t appropriate. However, of course you know that those who pay full tuition, plus are asked to contribute more and more over the year, are filling in for those who need to ask for breaks. I people who are asked by their children’s schools for extra contributions over and over, because the schools are in desperate need. They are happy to help, and consider it tzedaka. However, it is actually tzedaka that is needed because the school giving you a break because you can’t afford the full amount of tuition. Are YOU putting yourself in a situation where you would like a “better” kitchen, to need to “accept” a break, which actually takes money out of others’ pockets to close the gap created by breaks?
I am making no judgment at all- simply pointing out that your finger-pointing at what you judge “immoral” may not be appropriate in light of the things YOU do. Perhaps what you are doing is ok, perhaps what they are doing is ok. Perhaps none of you are moral, perhaps only one of you are moral. Who knows. But perhaps it’s better not to point the “moral” finger, when it is so easy to find morally questionable “doings” in the finger-pointer.
Please don’t take offense, just meant as food for thought.October 29, 2009 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm in reply to: Tznius Support Group PLEASE WOMEN ONLY, even reading #665245
“Come on, ladies! Anyone else want to share their difficulties or struggles?”
Hi NY Mom,
I don’t feel comfortable discussing these personal issues in a forum that is almost certainly read by men, so please don’t feel I (or others, if this applies to them) don’t support such an important topic and your (and others’) powerful contributions. I’m cheering all of you on in the background!
Although I believe that Kollel students should receive stipends in the same generous grant amount ranges as those graduate students in the serious science programs on grants, I know that Kollelim do not have the funding available for the (very roughly) 20,000 Kollel students around the country.
(The following is intended as chizuk for Kollel families like neatfreak, and not addressing anyone who feels Kollel families should not be on programs, be in Kollel, or any other variation on the topic. To each their own positions- everyone has a right to their own.)
However, I am thrilled that the possibility exists that my tax monies may journey their way to a Kollel family’s home, via government programs. I am fully aware that the amount of benefits paid to Kollel families are statistically insignificant as compared to the general population receiving grants, such that if not one Kollel student applied for programs, my taxes would not go down even a cent. However, I take heart from the old horse story involving a Yeshiva collector. Although I do not recall the name of the Yeshiva referenced, there is an old story of a collector trekking from town to town by foot, in a frayed coat, gathering monies to support a Yeshiva. Once, a generous donor supplied the collector with a horse and wagon to alleviate the difficult annual journey. In one town, a donor gave an amount that was significantly less than his usual donation. The Rosh Yeshiva later inquired of the donor why this was so, and the donor explained that he didn’t want to support the acquisition of such items like horses for collectors- he thought he had been donating to directly support Torah learning. Replied the Rosh Yeshiva: Ah, but it depends on your kavonos and merits. Some people merit that their monies go directly to the Yeshiva. Some people only merit that their money goes to a horse (in aid in collection activity).It depends on the donor… The donor gave the full amount.
I think of this in regard to my taxes. Although I need to pay taxes, and know that Kollel families are not the cause of existing or ever-increasing taxes, I do know that my taxes go to individuals in need of assistance. There are many individuals in need in my state. I hope that I merit for “my taxes” to benefit Bnei Kollel, and that my tax monies thereby attain nitzchiyus in that merit. Of course, it is good to know that general tax monies are helping *all* in need, but I feelings and kavana are as stated above.
Kollel families- chazak! May you continue to uphold the world with such single-minded application to Torah study.
Not looking to participate in the heavy dynamics here, just wanted to give a word of encouragement to neatfreak and all those similar:
Kol hakovod to you for choosing Kollel life; it’s not easy, and I thank you for the Zchusim that you give Klal Yisrael, from which I hopefully benefit.
I’m glad that some of my taxes go to help those who are learning in Kollel (and don’t feel guilty; I know quite well that my taxes would not go down an iota even if not even one Kollel existed), and although the ratio of Kollel to other benefit-takers is tiny, I hope that some of my taxes finds its way to you. Hopefully, I am zoche to this.
Kol hakovod, and keep giving your husband chizuk!
Thank you, sammygol! May you be blessed!
Is the 30-min oxidizing time for kyolic intended to make it more palatable, or for medicinal purposes? That is, if one can handle immediate ingestion, is it *more* effective, or less?
The opening post put forth a question about the working poor. The working poor can be found in every segment of society, from Chassidic to Yeshivish to Modern Orthodox to RW Conservative to LW Conservative to Reform to Reconstructionist to everything inbetween :).
There are *some* communities that have a significant portion of the population poor, due mostly to *currently* being in Kollel; the OP was about working poor, not Kollel, and perhaps a segment due to “lack of training” secondary to the Kollel issue.
In BP, a large portion of the population is Chassidic, and this population does not frown upon work; to the contrary, there are many males who are working even prior to marriage. In Flatbush, there is no *large* Kollel population in comparison to the general population- they are more of a relative minority. So the majority of “working poor” in Flatbush are poor because they are poor, not because of eschewing education/training. There are multitudes of “teva” reasons why someone may be poor; there is no need to list them. The Williamsburgh population is not a majority Kollel population, and neither is the Monsey one. Neither is Highland Park, Passaic, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Yardley. Yet there are working poor in each of these locales. I am not including E”Y in this post.
When people discuss the “Kollel effect” on subsequent earning ability, they must be talking about basically one community: Lakewood. That is the only community that has a Kollel/formerly in long-term Kollel majority, from which we can determine societal impact of Kollel/concept of eschewing training/education in the early adult years.
So…how can it be that a discussion on how to give a leg-up to the working poor devolves into a discussion of Kollel? Does no one see the working poor right in their own backyards? Does no one see the many struggling families in their own, non-“very yeshivish” communities? Whether Lakewood has a problem or not should not be the entire discussion- it is only ONE community! True, it is an important one, and a leader in Torah learning and dissemination. But numbers-wise, there are hundreds of communities around the USA, (not to exclude the working poor in Manchester, Golders Green, or Toulouse) and their total population numbers and working poor numbers far exceed those of one community, even a large community! Are the working poor in the Five-Towns to ignored?
In fact, the tuition requirements of some of these locales are far above those of “in-town”, exacerbating an already difficult situation. I think tuitions are a primary cause of financial distress, among other causes.
Talking about “Kollel families” and the families who don’t allow their child to get a kosher education (that will vary among families- some need a single-gender university, some a correspondence/online format of education, some encourage their children to follow natural talents such as carpentry, plumbing, musical prowess, etc) is to kick the real problem under the table because it’s so much more interesting (and the adrenalin rushes in) to talk about how ideology caused the problems. Perhaps the community(ies?) in which the problem is related to ideology is high profile, but numbers-wise, it is a small segment of the larger problem.
Discussion on how the “kosher” factor affects earning ability makes sense, because many Orthodox families don’t want their children on mixed campuses, and the Jewish ones available are not always an option for everyone. Furthermore, not everyone is cut out for white collar work, and there are many trades that can be mastered with the right, hands-on training/apprenticeship. Can we say we have a culture problem because not everyone wants to/is able to become a doctor or lawyer? I personally believe the correct hishtadlus does not necessarily mean one *must* attend graduate school leading to one of the top professions. One, for reasons of ability- it is Hashem who gave one the ability to become a physician. Two, for reasons of hashkafah and halacha- if a parent feels their child does not belong on a mixed campus and there is no local medical school, it seems the right hishtadlus-related decision to make another parnassah choice.
In summation, there is a real problem of working poor in communities around the USA, the majority of which do not have a Lakewood mentality, and I haven’t seen any less financial distress in Modern Orthodox communities or in Litvish communities that are open to kosher education/training than in Lakewood (I am familiar with all three above).
So…does anyone have ideas about the query in the OP?
Oh, and thanks for staying on topic!
Not a problem; it was a suggestion, and you’re free to reject it. That was my “opinion” that I voiced, and now I’ve heard yours.
All the best.
I would love for the mods to focus on topic maintenance in the threads. So many threads begin with an interesting topic, and are then hijacked by someone who is looking for any opportunities to further an agenda, or by someone who sees the thread as a way to shore up some poor self-esteem by knocking the original poster’s question, or by someone who feels the need to insert themselves into conversations that appear to be over their heads by offering inane or attack-dog like put-downs.
I do NOT want to name specific threads, but I think the volume and variation of threads on the CR should enable any poster to participate without changing the topics on OP’s. The volume of traffic here is beyond massive, and I’m amazed at the job the moderators are already doing to control the flow. I know it’s an almost impossible job, but…I would love a little more weeding out of unrelated to topic comments…
AZ, I wasn’t saying the fees were similar, but the analogy of being paid per successful result after numerous attempts seems to work.
“Most important, don’t let negative comments from others let you feel bad about yourself. Every minute that you are working you are helping to provide food, clothing, shelter, and tuition to your family, and easing your husband’s task of providing financial support. You don’t need that negativity in your life.”
anon, I’m with you all the way.
Many moms need to work these days, often because one income does not cover tuition fees and basic mortgage/rent, utilities, food expenses. Living “tight” does not help the landlord get his rent check or the bank the mortgage check, nor does it help your kids’ schools with your tuition owed. For many, eschewing luxuries or extras still does not pay the tuitions for a large family or the utilities used, etc.
So go to work with confidence, be a loving and emotionally attuned mom to your children, and as far as managaging, here’s a tip: Don’t do ANYTHING to impress your neighbors or friends- your guests will still like you if you serve extremely simple shabbos meals, you will still have your friends if you give them a simple 2-item shalach manos, your neighbors will enjoy the “homey” look of a home that looks lived-in when they come to borrow sugar, your children don’t “need” you to try two stores to get a matching ribbon for her dress, your school will still accept your tuition checks even if you don’t volunteer for their parent event, and the laundry won’t run away (we wish it would :)) if it needs to stay in baskets for awhile until you have time. Let go, enjoy life, and put your energy where it counts.
May Hashem give you koach to raise a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted family!
I don’t know that I gave you advice on “how” to date, but I replied to your query of why isn’t the old way of parents asking around and finding someone suitable good enough for today; I replied that there’s nothing wrong with that route if you don’t want to go the “formal” route of visiting a shadchan etc. If the old route works for you, go for it; many shidduchim are still made that way. If it is not working for you and you see the need to go to a shadchan who is a stranger to you, submit written information because they don’t know you, etc, then why are you asking why this is the current method: you yourself obviously think it is the best way because you are doing it, and have not had successful with the more family oriented method. Of course, you could be seventy years old, married with grandchildren, and asking this as a theoretical question, and I mean my reply as a theoretical too.
So, in summation, it’s only a “business” when you yourself choose to make it by contacting a stranger and formally asking for assistance.
If you want to know “how” to date, I’ve got some really good ideas, and I charge :).
“Why do “professional” shadchanim THINK and EXPECT that they should get paid????
Do I get paid for davening every day? Saying a bracha before and after I eat something? If so, please tell me to whom do I go to, so I can collect? I won’t have to work anymore and I’ll retire.”
Your screen name is “working”. How can you accept a paycheck for your work? Don’t you think you should be doing it for free, solely l’shem mitzvah? If you are someone’s bookkeeper or accountant, don’t you think it’s a big mitzvah to help someone out with their finances; how can you take money? If you are a nurse or a psychologist, how can you take money for something that is so clearly a mitzvah, helping someone get better?! What does your personal brachos that you say to Hashem have to do with getting paid to help someone? Are you a lawyer? A plumber? Don’t you know what a big mitzvah it is to help someone out of trouble? These are all really “chessed” endeavors, that today have become trades and professions, for which you collect a check. Should you? Perhaps not! I could use some of those services myself! (probably a psychologist, after shaking my head so many times from this dialogue :).)
Your real estate analogy was good. The “shadchan” trade is a trade of chessed, just like a nurse, a lawyer, and a plumber. Pay properly, or next time you need a doctor, after he gives you the script for antibiotics and the bill, tell him he should be doing this for a chessed and it’s a chutzpah that society has turned chessed into a paid venture. And when you need your resume redone for your own professional ladder-climbing (of which I’m sure you’re no longer accepting a paycheck, now that you realize how wrong that is), after contacting a talented writer who spends a couple of hours rewriting your resume and tells you the fee, please inform him that helping someone find a job is the highest form of chessed, and you are astounded that he would even think of charging for this noble chessed.October 21, 2009 2:39 pm at 2:39 pm in reply to: Tznius Support Group PLEASE WOMEN ONLY, even reading #665205
haifagirl, that story is incredibly moving; thanks for sharing it.
BESTIMA, so was the one you shared.
Both really made me turn inward and do some introspection.
Aside from the fact that perhaps you are unfamiliar with the mekoros stating you need to pay customary rate to a shadchan (not a “gift”- that you can save for me for educating you :)), I like your analogy to a real estate broker. Finally, an analogy that makes sense to me, better than the ones I’ve come up with.
“If people would stop paying such exhorbitant amounts, which apparently they can afford, then perhaps those others who cannot afford it would be able to benefit from those services as well at far lower costs. I would love to see a truly GREAT shadchan refuse to take mroe than $500 for the shidduch. I am betting that she would get more people coming to her, and the others would be forced to lower their fees.”
I think it’s the amount that bothers you, which as I noted before, is so puzzling to me. I think it’s much more important than a band, wine on the men’s tables, or a shmorg. I am the type that buys my children’s shoes in Target, gets hand-me-down clothing from relatives, and doesn’t know what the inside of a restaurant looks like, because of financial reasons. And yet, 1500 to pay my child’s shadchan seems far from “exorbitant”, it even feels like underpaying. If parents think it is important enough to save up for chassunahs, this is an important piece of that. When a parent writes a list of chassunah expenses and how much to save up, the shadchan’s fee should be front and center, although much less than so many other, almost frivolous things that are “must-haves” on most lists. A band is a “must-have”, and the shadchan fee is “exorbitant”? Something has happened to our priorities along the way…
And I thought I wouldn’t be posting on this anymore…sorry 🙂
a couple of guest folding beds
10 folding chairs for guests/simchosOctober 20, 2009 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm in reply to: #991271
Thank you, Mod80. If I notice anything else, I’ll let you know. B”H it’s not a frequent occurrence here, though! Thanks for such quick feedback.October 20, 2009 5:16 pm at 5:16 pm in reply to: #991268
I’m no expert on L”H, and certainly no paragon of virtue in this area. However, I’m personally afraid of making decisions (such as posting my negative opinions on a specified group) on my own with my own determination of “toeles”, without a very thorough review of the laws, or alternatively, a consultation with a rav versed in these laws.
I remember when I used to have a regular seder in the laws of L”H, and the guidelines for “toeles” were stringent. I understand your feelings, but from studying the sefer, I’m not sure if a personal feeling of “if we discuss this publicly on our forum and they make some changes, I might donate and they’ll get more” passes the criteria. Especially, especially, on such a public forum. Especially since there is no reason to think that this particular public discussion is going to have a direct effect on the possible toeles outcome.
It’s possible that you will discuss this with a rav expert in the laws of L”H, or study them in depth and breadth yourself, and get a psak/determine that it is indeed fine to do so. But L”H is dangerous territory with terrible nitzchius, and for your own sakes, would best be handled with extreme of caution and double-checking.
Please be moichel me for the perceived “mussar”; I could use some myself, and perhaps I’m attuned to it because I am nichshol myself.
I think that’s a little rude. Some of us are careful regarding which threads we participate in, and how we participate in them. Some of us who are careful about the above sometimes make mistakes, and are happy for reminders.
Here’s a revision on your comment: “If you think you are too above-board for this thread, no one is forcing you to be here! Don’t post on this thread if you have an issue! That’s the end of my non-drasha.”
Sorry for the sarcasm; I am rarely like this. But I think your comment was way, way out of line. If you think you are beyond reproach in the area of your interaction with females, then I envy you. Stay out of any threads that discuss self-improvement in this area. For some of us mortals, we think it is important.
pg, I don’t think the analogy works for other reasons, but just to nitpick: clients have ample legal recourse if their attorney did something in violation of these codes of ethics, procedures and civil law, NOT if they are dissatisfied with the outcome. If the outcome is unsuccessful, they have absolutely no legal recourse to recoup the fee for services, so long as the payment was not predicated on successful outcome (as is sometimes the case).
So unless the shadchan violated civil law or ethics/morals (I’m sure it can happen), “ample legal recourse” in the case of a lawyer has no bearing on this conversation.
mybat is correct. It doesn’t seem that you want to go the formal shadchan route, and why not do what you feel is the optimal way, to “[tell your] parents [so they can ask]around if there were any girls/boys that might fit the description of what [you are] looking for in a spouse”?. Why do you have a problem with that way that you describe? Your parents don’t need your resume, and your parents’ friends likely don’t either.
I like the comparison to the violinist; it makes sense. But it’s not *exactly* the same, because no one is seeking out the violinist, begging him to practice for a possible gig- if they would, the artist might well say, “well, if it means so much to you that I put in this work specifically for you, I’m going to charge per hour”.
In general, the violist waits the the big gig, the artist waits for the big break, but it’s self-oriented- they are doing the work of practice and attempts for themselves, and if they get recognized by others, they’ve made it. In that sense, the comparison doesn’t work; the shadchanim are sought after and requested to make efforts on the “consumer’s” behalf. I would say more similar to a gardener who is asked to put in efforts towards tilling the soil, making choices of seeds, planting it and tending to it, and the desired end results don’t always materialize, but the efforts are still paid for. Of course, if a gardener gets a bad rep, he will be out of business, and similarly people usually gravitate to shadchanim who are known as successful, though the term has very different ratio meaning for gardener and shadchan.
I think I’m getting carried away with my metaphors, and should just stick to doing what I feel is right in my own little backyard and keep quiet on the rest. I think I’ve more than used up my pixel space on this board :), and I want to mind my manners :).
Please. I think you didn’t mean that question.
“The CR is just words on a computer screen.”
That’s the mistake I think is being made here. However, everyone should assess the situation using their own standards and yardstick and act accordingly.
I’m not disagreeing with you, just noting that it would take a sea-change to effect the kind of change you are talking about. Although it might be true that you often pay a lawyer for time and not for results (not always), and for that matter you pay a gardener for his time, not waiting to see if his efforts bore fruit and the garden bloomed the way you envisioned, it has not been done with shadchanim this way previously, and change is always hard.
Thanks for replying, oomis
“I guess I am a little more idealistic and feel there are certain mitzvos people should do for others without thought of compensation because a) they are in a position to help and b)I was brought up that way.”
Although I said I wouldn’t continue, I do want to make the point that I feel I cannot be idealistic “for other people”. In my own personal life, I do give many, many hours of my time for chessed, although I can’t specify in such a public place. I was also brought up to be idealistic and to give without thought of compensation, and that is how I and my family conduct our lives. I was ALSO brought up to be extremely careful with other people’s parnassa, and to pay people properly. So I cannot be idealistic for other people, I can only be idealistic for myself. For me to say I feel x amount of money is unnecessary to pay a shadchan is not me being idealistic, it is me being mercenary trying to save a buck while I know good and well I will not be doing the same to the band.
Furthermore, although in my work I do a lot of chessed, I don’t work for free or for “token amounts for hakoras hatov”, and I don’t expect the shadchanim to do any differently. I am sure there are many shadchanim who give ma’aser of their time to help out the poor in shadchanim, just like I do in my profession.
If there are no sources for paying for unsuccessful efforts, and though I don’t know too much, I’ve never heard of one, do you think it would be a good thing if it became “the norm” to pay a minimal amount of money per “episode” of shidduch efforts? (episode meaning as relates to one specific shidduch suggested and worked on.) Do you think it would encourage more people to become shadchanim, or the flip side, perhaps discourage people from making an all-out effort on their child’s behalf, because the process, which can sometimes drag on for years unfortunately, can get too expensive? I’m not sure on which side I stand on this, other than a mentchlich expression of hakoras hatov which can of course include a monetary gift at the discretion of the family. What do you think?
I don’t know why they are not paid for time invested for matches that don’t work out, and it’s possible that the trend should change here- I’m not qualified to be the one to change this, although what I would do in my personal life is what I believe to be, proper.
The time-honored “trade” of shadchan has always been paid for a successful shidduch, the amounts obviously keeping up with “inflation” with variations in and across communities. Hakoras Hatov as shown in a token gift, even monetary, is simply mentchlich for efforts invested by a shadchan that do not result in a successful match (hakoras hatov expressed in conjunction with the shadchanus gelt is I’m sure always appreciated as well!) and I’m sure people with appreciation often do so in some form or another.
If your suggestion takes off in some form or another, I would think that is a positive change.
I don’t know what The Truth is, but I do know that I’m with truthsharer on this one, and it has been a little startling for me for a long time.
It’s a bit of a stretch to compare a Rav saying something jokingly to a forum full of mixed ages joking with each other. Try a more comparable situation: imagine a scenario in which your husband brought home a few friends/chavrusas one evening. Imagine you coming in to the kitchen and chatting away with them, pulling up a chair and enjoying the camaraderie, and throwing in some good well-timed jokes and making everyone laugh. From the way you described your husband, I think he would turn colors. Imagine a couple of your friends happened to come in at that time, and you all sat around the table enjoying a good shmooze. That may be fine in some circles, and it is not my place to judge or to determine if something is tznius or not. But from the way you describe yourself and your husband, it seems quite inconsistent.
A lot of people make this mistake, and think the internet gives carte blanche for all things considered highly inappropriate for their own everyday behavior, so long at it is “anonymous”. As long as someone has identified themselves by gender (sorry haifagirl :)) either through screen name or through blog content, the scenario is not far from the one I painted in your kitchen. There are real live people behind each screen name.
Again, I am not judging one’s personal tznius standards, do not give mussar on this topic- I’ve got loads to do on my own before I can turn around and offer criticism to the next person. It still remains that truthsharer assessment seems to me to be accurate, and those who don’t flirt/trade jokes (really, dictionaries don’t do justice to the everyday connotations of some words/actions) in person should realize that it’s much the same on the internet. I’m sure I can look back and find instances of where I’ve done this myself, I’m the last person to judge.
Thanks for your reply. I responded to each component beneath the quote:
“Your second paragraph puzzles me more than it puzzles you. Caterers, bands, flowers all have charges that are pretty similar to each other. There are variations in the industries, but that’s why people shop around and pay for what they can afford.”
Shadchanim too, have charges that are pretty similar to each other these days. I have frequently of $1000 for each side, and $1500 as well. I once heard of $2500 (!) and rarely, $500, but the “standard” is pretty widely known and quite similar.
“I could not afford to make my daughter’s wedding at the Marriot Marquis, but I COULD afford Razag. I couldn ‘t afford a million hot smorg dishes, but I paid for what I could afford. I got gemach items, because they, too, were less, though I LOVE fresh real flowers.”
There ARE cheaper ways of engaging the services of a shadchan. Using family members or good friends (if they have the skills, the patience, and the many hours available) can be a cheaper option, because sometimes they will feel bad to accept the regular amount (although as I’ve said previously, I wouldn’t dream of underpaying the standard rate just because someone is a friend, and I know that lots of people have paid the “industry standard” to friends). Another way is to ask around and mention discreetly to a few people that you are looking for a shadchan that does it for the chessed only, and does not take money (or just takes a “hakoras hatov gift”. Most people want to pay shadchanus, not a hakoras hatov gift, although hakoras hatov should always be a centerpiece of this process.
“I do NOT view a shadchan as a vendor. That is too impersonal.”
That is exactly what is so sad for shadchanim. Because it is “too impersonal”, they should not get paid at least like a normal vendor? This is exactly what makes it so uncomfortable for shadchanim. The “job” of shadchan has been around for hundreds of years. The old “shtetl shadchanim” worked long and hard at their job, and did it for parnassah. So do many of today’s shadchanim. The difference between a shadchan and another service vendor is that shadchanim, for the most part, are doing this with an incredible passion and desire for people to find their zivugim, and there is a lot of “mitzvah” in the efforts. I would say similar to an extremely dedicated doctor, who of course gets paid for his services but is completely passionate and selfless in order to save lives.
“But at least people know what they are getting in service from all the above mentioned providers before accepting the service.”
Particularly because some people (although far from most) feel that shadchanim are there as chessed machines, to be called at will to help their child, it is important that shadchanim state their fees at the outset. It is uncomfortable, but important. It can be said neutrally, “I would love to help you; your daughter/son sounds like a wonderful person. I charge $1500 from each side, but of course that is only when there is a successful match”. From the consumer’s point of view, not knowing what the fee is in advance is no excuse not to pay the industry standard.
“You do NOT know what (if anything) the shadchan will find for you, and it really is only long after the fact that a shidduch can be deemed successful or not.”
Of course. Shadchanim are generally not paid for unsuccessful efforts, so that is not an issue. As far as a successful marriage, the band doesn’t wait to see if the marriage is successful, why on earth should the shadchan? The shadchan offered a match, the two individuals are (hopefully) adults who are making their own decisions regarding the suitability of the individuals for marriage, and unless the shadchan willfully lied or was grossly negligent about information, the couple made the choice to wed, and the service of a successful introduction needs to be paid.
“While I agree wholeheartedly that a shadchan should be shown some measure of hakoras hatov, if not professional, but a friend of the family, a relative, etc. a professional shadchan should have a reasonable fee that they charge.”
This is what seems to be the problem here. Shadchanus gelt is money paid to a shadchan for a service. It is hakoras hatov to enclose a warm note with the payment. (and a colored tie, like ronsrs did to his Rabbi in addition to the Rabbi fees :))
“I do not think that $1,500 from each side is reasonable”
This, or an amount similar to $1000 is the standard. You paid more than $1000 for the band/photographer duo, and didn’t tell them that it “wasn’t reasonable”.
“and I ask again, where is that written?”
As noted, the same place it is written how much to pay your gardener for yard work, your hairdresser for a sheitel wash, your high-school tutor for your child, your carpenter for your furniture repair, and your electrician for your outlet work. Do you ask “where it is written” for any other service that someone provides? It seems so inappropriate that of all “trades” the shadchan one, which involves so much thankless efforts, should be debated regarding fees as in “where is it written”. When a secretary comes for a job interview and feels $13 an hour is too little, the boss doesn’t say “where is it written that I need to pay you what you feel is appropriate, $15? He either pays, or chooses to engage the services of the secretary. Even more parallel, when you find out references for a new wig stylist and discover that her fees are $35 a wash and set and you are accustomed to your years ago rate of $15 a wash and set, do you say “where is it written that I need to pay $35?”. No, you either decide to engage her services despite the fees that your friends told you about, or you decide not to do so.
“If they don’t have the money to pay such a fee, does the boy or girl get given back to her parents? It really is not the same thing as paying for the band or flowers.”
Why is it not “really the same thing”? In which specific way is it different? I would say a shadcham is more important than flowers (to put it mildly), and if one can only do one, er, I think the choice is obvious. Flowers without a chassan/kallah are not very helpful.
“And should someone poor, as I stated in another post, never be redd shidduchim, because the shadchanim know there is no “real” money coming out of this for them? Maybe the poor families have no recourse to marry off their daughter or son – they have no people who have approrpiate shidduchim for them.”
That is a very important point, except for the sarcastic “real money” reference. A band would not offer services if they know that the consumers cannot pay, unless arrangements were made in advance and the band is doing it for tzedakah. The ugly reference of “real money” is because you feel the shadchan should be putting in hours and hours of his/her time for a chessed, and don’t realize that it is a trade just like any other, albeit imbued with mitzvah, passion and dedication, just like those incredible selfless doctors one hears about. If a shadchan, unsolicited, reds a shidduch to a family that he/she knows is extremely poor and will not be able to afford band/flowers etc, I would think the shadchan is planning on not accepting the usual and customary fees, and doing it solely for the mitzvah. B”H, there are many wonderful shadchanim who do incredibly selfless mitzvos, and I’m sure the poor of the community are thought of, just like in so many other areas.
“This mercenary approach makes me feel very sad.”
I am sadder about the climate of “let’s avoid paying the shadchan his/her customary fees”. It is a chiyuv to pay a worker on time, and the important work of the shadchan should not be left out because we “feel” shadchanim should not be paid a living wage for their efforts (at least for the successful efforts; unsuccessful efforts don’t have the tradition of being paid, but here is where hakoras hatov fits in, and is very much appreciated- a heartfelt note, a candy platter, a gift certificate, or even a modest monetary gift). In fact, it appears that it is the one who wants to avoid paying shadchan fees that is mercenary, not the hard working, underpaid shadchan.
“Again only the wealthy are deemd worthy. I cannot believe Hashem smiles on this.”
Hashem does not smile when people do not pay their workers and services providers, of that you can be sure. When I go into the store to buy a computer desk, and realize that the prices are above what I can afford and seem “for the wealthy”, my attitude is not that I am not “deemed worthy”. Nor do I bear a grudge for the poor storekeeper who is charging normal and customary prices for well constructed desks. Unlike a desk, a shidduch is infinitely more “essential” :), and one cannot simply give up and decide that one will have to pass. That doesn’t make the industry standard cruel, just like it doesn’t make the price of tomatoes sometimes cruel. It just means that just like in the other areas of wedding efforts will the poor need to have accommodation for them, either in the form of a shadchan doing it solely for mitzvah (a hakoras hatov note is always appreciated), communal funds earmarked for such matters, or another route. I haven’t seen anyone complain about how expensive even the cheapest halls are (who will start a thread on that :)), and say the poor aren’t worthy, lets demean the service fees for the hall rental because not everyone can afford it. Really and truly, I do not mean to minimize the anguish of those that cannot afford; I myself have to think about every purchase. But I don’t think it’s fair to pick on one wedding-related service, the shadchan, and ask why some aren’t deemed “worthy”. Perhaps the bands should play for a token “hakoras hatov” gift as well.
“Please do not think me to be of the opinion that people have no obligation to makir tov for something so important. I just question the amount of hakoras hatov involved.”
I only think well of you, and think that you are sorely mistaken in this particular area. As I noted before, you are an extremely intelligent person, as well as a nice person. And I think if you thought about it some more, you would realize that the usual fees paid to a shadchan are a pitiful (although standard) amount paid to the one who played such a crucial role in the marriage, in comparison to the photographer and caterer (who ALSO need to be paid on time and not made to feel that they have to run after their hard-earned money for services rendered), and in comparison to the likely hours and hours of difficult work invested in the successful outcome. Some shidduchim are fairly simple, most take many hours, some take an enormous amount of time, and that is why there is a normal, community standard, albeit with variations.
I think it’s best that I end here, because I’ve said what I think is important for the parnassah of hard working individuals, but to continue is to irritate you in the process, and I don’t know what is the worse. I never expected to dialogue this far, but surely it’s time for me to stop.
I continue to think well of you, and hope that you are ok with this dialogue.
All the best.
“I think all modest people have trouble asking for compensation, especially if compensation is not their only motivation for the work. Many of us do work we love, and the compensation, though necessary, is not the prime motivator. Stating the compensation makes it seem as if we are totally pecuniary”
I’m with you on this, ronrsr. It takes a lot of experience discussing these transactions upfront to feel comfortable stating the fees. Those in the service industry seem to have this problem much more than product vendors. I can just see the shadchanim being asked for their fees, and that apologetic look when they need to state them. I just used the services of a carpenter to repair something, and when I asked him the price, he stated one while looking apologetic and explaining why it needed to be that price, then offered a lower price without even waiting for my reaction. Needless to say, I paid him the original, higher price, and I hope I gave him confidence by telling him that most people, like myself, don’t provide their services for free or for inadequate compensation, and he should feel comfortable charging the full amount. He left after the job smiling from ear to ear.
These gemachs are great. Many gemachs have “suggested” prices, because their purpose as a “gemach” is to help out financially. I think a “suggested” price makes the renter feel really comfortable if they are only able to pay less, and I give a lot of credit to all of those gemachs (from flowers to gowns and beyond) that give so much of their time for such a chessed, usually l’ilui nishmas a loved one.
As a side-note to my comment, there are some industries in which it is normal and expected to negotiate. I prefer to err on the side of caution, but would not think it inappropriate if the vendor truly “offers” the original price with the expectation that it will be subject to negotiation resulting in another, “final” price. Such as a house being offered for sale, in which the seller is expecting that potential buyers may offer a bid a few thousand lower than the “asking price”.
And with that, it is way past my bedtime :). Goodnight, CR.
I know just what you mean. I want to know fees, final fees, and don’t appreciate being told at the end that “an extra x amount for the y”, when I had specifically asked for the final price at the outset.
On a related note, I find it distasteful in the extreme (to put it very nicely) when people ask vendors “can you just throw the x in, since I’m buying y and z from you”, or “do I have to pay for the x?”; it puts the vendor is such an uncomfortable position, and makes them feel they either have to give a discount where they hadn’t intended to (and likely cannot afford to) or have to come across as money hungry grubbers not generous enough to “throw x in for free” or give other unintended discounts. When some acquaintances tell me how they got such “great deals” by using these tactics, I am revolted, not impressed. If you can’t afford it, don’t use the vendor. If you can’t afford the 3 piece band, don’t bully or sweet talk or guilt trip the vendor into a lower price, go with a 1 piece band. If you can’t afford the normal and usual for your community shadchan fees, don’t use one, or raise money for one. If you can’t afford the gardeners’ fees for your lawn, don’t bargain with him until he is afraid that if you don’t get your way you will badmouth him to the neighbors- just accept that you can’t afford his fees and cut your own lawn.
On the topic of Shadchanim, I do truly think that shadchanim should not rely on people knowing the community norms, and should mention the normal and usual fees at the outset, so no one gets a surprise. Most people who are “in the parsha” do inquire of their friends what the typical fees are, but it is always best to be upfront right at the beginning. It is to both parties benefit; no one wants to spend hours working on shidduchim for a family, and discover afterward that the family feels paying what amounts to three dollars per hour for time invested is just fine.October 18, 2009 5:02 am at 5:02 am in reply to: Tznius Support Group PLEASE WOMEN ONLY, even reading #665148
Have you ever mentioned this to your physician? This sounds medical in nature, and should be addressed as such. Unless, as ames suggests, your hair was tied too tightly; I’ve experienced that.
Re the unfortunate story you mention: This is sad, but doesn’t relate to the issue at hand, whether you are supposed to pay for your plumber, your electrician, your band, your caterer, and your shadchan, or not.
There are unfortunately bad apples in every service industry, and I’ve heard some really unappealing ones about shadchans. For every story, though, I am sure there are countless more of shadchanim who give their heart, soul, and endless hours to a service that seems to be quite underpaid. There are horror stories of band players, electricians, and doctors who’ve amputated the wrong leg. That doesn’t mean the entire industry shouldn’t be paid. It does mean that we need to be careful before we call up a shadchan to enlist his/her services.
Firstly, you’re comments here are always so intelligent, that I’m truly surprised at your advocacy of people abdicating their responsibility to pay for services rendered.
Regarding the “in which which sefer does it say you have to pay $2000”, that is truly a puzzling question. In which sefer does it say how much to pay for the wedding band? For the caterer? For the gown rental? For the invitations? For that matter, in which sefer does it say how much to pay your cleaning help? Your hairdresser? Your electrician? Don’t most people understand that they need to pay for services rendered? Except for the most “Es kumpt mir” type of person, most people know that when they use a services, they pay for it. Even if my neighbor, an accomplished plumber, fixes my bathtub, I will still make sure he accepts a regular fee- I’m not looking to get out of paying just because I have a good relationship with my neighbors. Kal vchomer someone who is not my neighbor, and who I call specifically because he/she is known as a shadchan, with no prior friend/family relationship! (I would still pay my friend/family the appropriate fee, as I do not get any satisfaction out of “getting away with not paying”, and if they refuse, I would send an expensive gift).
As far as the family not having the money for ANY of those things mentioned, that means they are not doing those things. If there is someone who is not having a band or a caterer for their wedding, they might also not be able to use the services of a shadchan. Or, just like their might be a tzedakah organization in town to help with the caterer expenses, the family might need help with the shadchan fees. A nice shadchan who knows that a family will likely be needing tzedaka funds to finance a basic catering package might offer a discount on shadchanus fees, in order to do their end of the tzedaka, but that is what it is, tzedaka. The shadchan is no less an important service vendor than the band.
I think it would be best if Shadchanim state their fees at the outset. I think $1500 from each side is more than fair, but each community may have their own norms. The gown rentals don’t take “whatever the renter thinks is fair”, and neither does the caterer, the band, or the wine store. It is fair to the family to know the price at the outset, so they aren’t surprised that they “have to pay” for the service. The price should be set based on the average amount of hours invested in a successful shiduchim (yes, there is great variability, and yes, and average can still be determined by a veteran shadchan), and on a reasonable fee per hour.
Someone who feels they don’t have the “extra money” lying around should also question themselves if they have the “extra money” lying around for a band or a caterer. Each family can determine if they are interested in the services of a shadchan, and can decide they they are not (either relying on friends and family to red shidduchim, or not going the formal shidduch route at all), just like someone can decide that they are making a wedding in their backyard to save the expenses.
In my own dealings with shadchanim, I have been surprised at the amount of time they invest in each attempted shidduch, and feel bad that conventional norms do not have shadchanim being paid for unsuccessful attempts (although I am sure they appreciate the occasional thank you note or other small token).
If you can remain goal-oriented, NYMom, more power to you, and I respect you.
I still feel discussion in some arenas may produce the opposite of the desired effect, but that is my opinion, and each must make their own decisions.
May Hashem help you in this endeavor.
“is that a reason to fail to encourage, through public discussion, proper mitzvah observance – be it Shabbos (which won’t bring out the naysayers) or be it tznius (which will)?”
IMO, yes. When a sincere person begins a public discussion on improvement in a specific area, and instead of bringing like-minded people to the table to brainstorm on how to improve general awareness and greater appreciation for the mitzva, it serves as a magnet for mocking, trivializing, and elaboration on why it’s NOT a worthy area in which to improve, others read and are inevitably impacted. It doesn’t bring Kiddush Hashem, it brings negative vibes on the Mitzvah.
I think you understand now. Your intentions are good, but this may not be the best place for the topic.
Now, if you had chosen the topic of improving Shabbos observance, you might have received some even-keeled feedback. I don’t think you would have anyone say, the bain adam l’chavero was great in the early days when countless were forced to work on Shabbos, so let’s not focus on the nitty gritty minutiae of the Shabbos laws; obviously, working on improvement today is unrelated to any specific ma’aleh of yesteryear; we should be working on ALL areas, and having made achievement or not in one area does not preclude working on another. Nor would you have someone say, we’ve come such a long way from the chilul Shabbos of early immigrant years, let’s applaud our hard working men for coming so far and stop obsessing over small things like squeezing sponges. You will also not hear things like perhaps you’re jealous of people who keep Shabbos according to halacha, and how about just stop looking.
So, NYMom, you picked the wrong topic :).
The age of the “complimentee” (does the CR allow me to make up words?) We’ll let it pass just this one time…80 may also count. Perhaps a married 28 year old is in a different stage than a teenager, and comments need to be tailored to situation, complimenter and complimentee personalities, etc.
Either way, it is wonderful to see a thread about tznius, and reflects well on every contributor to this thread.
I agree that a variety of approaches may be helpful. A thread in a general forum is very appropriate, and not mutually exclusive with creating a climate of “Tznius is IN”, one person at a time. However, you need to be prepared to address or ignore (as you see fit) responses from individuals who do not yet appreciate the need to work on tznius as a Klal. By it’s very nature, an open forum is very “open”, and a sincere discussion initiated on improving tznius can easily segue into “this is not an important issue to work on”. If you can maintain the focus of the discussion despite this, while keeping the tenor pleasant and goal-oriented, more power to you.