Is it time to end the “freezer” – the rule that says that young men who come to one very large Yeshiva from Eretz Yisroel may not date until Tu B’Shvat?
The answer should be a strong “yes” because – a growing number of young girls are not getting dates, and many are just not getting married even several years later. Statistics of still single alumni of Beis Yaakovs in Lakewood, New York, and across the country are very high.
There are a number of systemic causes to this.
- The first cause is the age discrepancy between eligible young men who date and eligible young women who date creating a very unequal pool of candidates. Currently, the average age of young men when they begin to date is 23.1. Young women generally begin somewhere between 18 and 19.
- The second factor is the growth rate, bli ayin hara. Each year, there are more and more graduates of our girls’ high schools – the four year delta makes a greater discrepancy between the pool of availability.
- A third factor is the freezer. What the freezer does is that it adds an extra 4 months (at least) to the discrepancy. If the age discrepancy was say 3.6 years – then this increases the pool discrepancy by some 1/3 of a year or 10 percent.
10 PERCENT IS 10 PERCENT. We need to address these issues and make systemic changes. A good analogy would be a school with 300 students, but there are only 200 desks. If we do not provide the extra desks, there will be 100 students that are not seated. We need a great tikkun here.
Those fine bnos Yisroel with incredible midos, and chessed, and appreciation for Torah and Kavod HaTorah are in pain. They are literal agunos – because they are chained to singlehood for so long.
The reality is that if someone doesn’t have money or remarkable yichus – the phone calls just do not come. The telephone might as well have cobwebs all over them.
The fact is that our inaction has let our daughters down.
Many cry themselves to sleep at night wondering why we have neglected them. These are bnos Yisroel! Descendants of Avrohom Avinu, Yitzchok Avinu, Yaakov Avinu! We really need to see and feel their pain in that months go by and there is not a phone call.
If we truly see their pain and suffering – then no one would ever argue, no one could ever argue to retain the freezer status quo.
We need to change it. Our Gedolim have said it. The Chazon Ish zt”l. Rav Elyashiv zt”l. Rav Shteinman zt”l, Rav Shmuel Auerbach zt”l and Rav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l. Our living heintigeh Gedolim are saying it. [See the link here.]
V’ahavta l’rayach kamocha applies to our suffering daughters as well.
True, we should not do anything that can risk lessening chas v’shalom the kol Torah in our Yeshivos – but let’s figure it out. If we put our collective heads together we can maintain a high level of hasmada without causing needless pain to so many. We can make extra sedarim for those that are dating.
We really need to make a tikkun because every year we delay – we are causing hundreds of girls not to get married.
[Rabbi] Yair Hoffman.
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.
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