MAILBAG: Mocking a Serious Issue Doesn’t Fix Our Tzaros


After seeing the responses to my original letter, I feel the need to respond.

Firstly, I want to address the many hundreds of suffering girls who may have gotten hurt by the horribly insensitive and shameful comments that some have written. Please know that those commenting are just a few unpleasant people, while the vast majority of us feel your pain and want to help. They know that this situation is not your fault and that you are all amazing girls who deserve the best possible partner in life.

I would also like to address those who commented negatively by expressing dismay at my lack of apathy to the many hundreds, if not thousands, of girls who are struggling mightily to deal with this crisis. My appeal was to the hearts of Klal Yisroel to feel the pain and act upon it. Instead, sadly, it seems that the hearts of some are not only not pained, they are also ready to heap scorn and openly mock their suffering nieces, friends, and neighbors.

Regarding the topic at hand, I first want to clarify which crisis I am discussing. I am referring to the situation going on now in the yeshivish communities where a decent boy gets very many suggestions while a great girl (whose father is not wealthy or choshuv) gets very few suggestions. Such girls can literally wait months – and yes, sometimes years – to get a ‘yes’ from a boy.

For these girls, the problem at hand is not them being “selective.” You need something to select from to be selective. The fact is that they are not being given even the most basic chance of finding a husband. There are girls in their twenties who never went out on a date!

This is a very real scenario playing out right now in hundreds of homes in Lakewood, Brooklyn, Monsey and in many out-of-town communities. Whoever has other issues that they want to discuss is welcome to pen a letter of their own, but I ask them to please not distract from the matter at hand.

To those who ridiculously question my not following Daas Torah, my response is: Do you not consider Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel shlit”a to have daas torah? Did you see his interview with Mr. Gary Barnett before you wrote your comments? You also seemed to have missed the kol koreis signed a few years back by all the leading gedolim in both Eretz Yisroel and America urging bochurim to get married younger.

Furthermore, a substantial portion of the Roshei Yeshiva convincing bochurim to continue learning in their shiur for three plus years, thereby creating a larger age gap, are fine lamdonim in their forties and low fifties. I am pretty sure that all sane people would agree that saying a shiur to twenty-year-old bochurim does not automatically give a person the distinction of being the standard bearer of daas torah. They are fine people who are working hard to make their bochurim into lamdonim; however they are not gedolim, nor do they claim to be. They do not carry the achrayus for Klal Yisroel, nor do they claim to.

Moreover, I do not think there is any comfort for a girl or her family in knowing that the reason that she may rachmana litzlan stay single her whole life is because daas torah decided that this is what she deserves. This does not sound like the daas of the Torah that we accepted from our loving Father at Har Sinai, דרכיה דרכי נועם וכל נתיבותיה שלום.

To those עמי הארץ who said that there is no shidduch crisis and there is only a bitachon crisis, I would once again refer them to the above-mentioned interview with Rav Elya Ber. If these people feel that they understand bitachon better than Rav Elya Ber does, then I wish them well.

Inaction on the basis of bitachon makes as much sense as telling our brethren in Ukraine that we don’t need to help them, and they should just stay in Ukraine and have bitachon! Of course, the person going through the tzarah has to strengthen their bitachon, but Klal Yisroel as a tzibur is transgressing לא תעמוד על דם רעך every moment that nothing substantial is being done.

To those who felt the pain in my letter, I want to confirm that the pain is there and it is very real. It is not my personal pain as I do not have an older daughter in shidduchim. Rather, it is the excruciating pain of my neighbors and friends that I feel so acutely, and I am appalled that others are seemingly oblivious to that pain.

To the distinguished YWN pollster, I would say the following. I too have a son who is just turning twenty-one and I have an extremely hard time entertaining the thought of marrying him off at this time. But I know that if we all jump in together to create this attitude change, we will be successful. It will be difficult at first, but the knowledge that through this we are saving the futures of our precious daughters will give us the courage to persevere.

To those who feel that boys at 20-21 are too immature to get married, I can testify that my son has some friends who are a bit chassidish and a few of them got married at age twenty. These boys went to the regular mainstream litvish yeshivos and they are not any more mature than my son, and b”h they seem to all be doing fine. I do not believe that there is any credible statistic showing that the divorce rate is any higher by chassidim and litvish Israelis than it is by us. Change is not easy, but if it’s important enough for us to help our daughters, we will see it through, and Hashem will help us to see much nachas from all of our children.

To those who feel that girls should get married later, that may be a good suggestion, but I personally do not see how that can be enforced, whereas boys have roshei yeshiva who can easily effect change by structuring the yeshivas differently.

To summarize, this crisis is real, and it is very painful. The primary cause of it is clear to anyone who is willing to give five minutes of honest thought to our exponential population growth. Our society created the problem, and we must do everything to fix it. The time for debates and discussions is long over. Now is the time for action.

A noted Lakewood shadchan said in a recent magazine interview that he sees the situation for girls continuously getting worse. We must act now. We must reach out to all those who can have an influence on creating change and plead with them to please open their eyes and do all that they possibly can to bring about change immediately. We need to especially urge the young roshei yeshiva to not only focus on the shteiging of their talmidim, but to realize that they carry a huge achrayus for this agonizing situation that Klal Yisroel is facing.

Lastly, to all those who will post comments, I ask you to please read the letter carefully before you do so. Try to understand and absorb the message before shooting off your remarks. Please write with sensitivity, as people who are in pain will be reading your comments and your words are playing a role in a debate about a critical, personal, and painful topic.

A simple yid with a heart.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for taking the time to write about a tzara that ought to pain us all. May you and gantz Klal Yisroel seen only Yeshuas Bkarov

  2. Thank you bringing awareness to this issue as it should be of grave concern to anyone who has a heart. Sadly it is more popular to do “brand name chesed” and forget about issues that are just as important if not more.
    It’s our daughter’s our sisters, nieces and neighbors.
    You bring up a point which is a suggestion to marry off our daughters at a later point and quickly brush it off by saying “but I personally do not see how that can be enforced, whereas boys have roshei yeshiva who can easily effect change by structuring the yeshivas differently”

    I would like to share a few of my thoughts.

    You feel marrying young and immature is not an issue based off chasidim and divorce rates.

    A, if you actually believe in that are you actually ready to let your son marry a girl by meeting her once or twice in your dining room with that same statistic?

    B, a successful marriage is not one that doesn’t end up with divorce rather one that has solid Shalom bayis and a healthy environment and there’s no statistic for that

    C, obviously a big crowd feels that 20 is too younge and you are asking them to get married younge despite it to save our daughter’s while a simple solution of girls waiting to date when they are 23 which I can’t see a problem with is simply being brushed off as “I don’t see a way to enforce that”

    D, there are many ways to potentially create that change if the need is so dear

    May hashem help us conquer this issue as this is something that should be on our minds constantly

  3. This crisis alarm has been sounding for close to 20 years.


    If the parents and family’s of the boys and the girls have not yet all voluntarily mobilized together to change the dating patterns , then essentially , they themselves have ruled that this crisis does not exist. Because otherwise the community would have already gotten together in their own and changed things.

    Old guy !

  4. I will approach the comment with a diifferent twist. Our entire shidduch system is the victim of a myth that has all of us in its claws. We have created the “straw man” of the “learning boy”. Now, this is not only about the aspirations of the bochur to remain klai kodesh and learn long term, but it is even more about being fit to live life at someone else’s expense. I am fully aware of the עשרה בטלנין that shoud exist in every community. But we have taken this to extreme levels that are not sustainable and create havoc. Gone are the days when we respect the learning of the Baal Habos who is fulfilling the guidance of the Torah in supporting his own family – except when he becomes a big donor to a yeshiva that makes him guest of honor. Gone are the days when we guide bochurim to pursue their talents and skills towards being ehrliche Yidden – tossing that away to cookie cut them into kollel yungerleit.

    Some readers will declare me an apikores. Go ahead. But I will feel bad when someone talented to bring much to the klal is sentenced to a kollel life that produces inferior learning, no sense of fulfillment in life, and strife and poverty at home. Oh, the shver pays the bills?

    This dynamic limits so many potential shidduchim. There has never been any way for the Roshei Yeshivos down on Earth to know just what a Bas Kol said for any shidduch. What if that Bas Kol paired a girl with “working boy”? May, just maybe, we have tampered with those shidduchim, and we created this monster of singles communities?

    Just a thought.

  5. Kol Hakavod for this article. I honestly was near tears seeing some of the comments to the previous article. There is a fire burning by our Bnos Yisrael….. because of our inaction as a community we are literally creating many Agunos. I know there is reference to the Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel in the article but we must internalize that because we didn’t listen to Daas Torah of closing the age gap and Bochurim starting Shidduchim younger, we are hurting the Bnos Yisrael. Today is the 20th of Teves and a few hundred Bochurim must sadly wait till Tu Beshvat which is another month to start Shidduchim contrary to the Daas Torah of all the Gedolim in Eretz Yisrael. If the Freezer would be till Chanukah it would only help countless girls. It is time to work together and make some serious changes in how we have created an unsustainable Shidduch system that is getting worse by the day.

  6. Let me give an instant immediate but absolute accurate rebuttal:- Many Boys too are having a very hard time getting themselves married, and it is NO picnic for boys either. Don’t let anyone kid you otherwise nor doubt me on this remark.

  7. I have a solution: Stop obsessing about yichus and money. BINGO!!!
    That would indeed sove the issues but our (Yeshiva) society and system is flawed fractured and broken. We cannot simply tell people tro stop obsessing about money-our own Rabbeim, our own askanim, our own Roshei Yeshivos put Chashivoson money-every time we hold 36 hour CHARIDY fundraisers to snag 5 million dollars, every yeshiva event that offers “sponsorship opportunities”, every building campaign that plasters the faces of millionaires across the tri-state area in the Yated…Every sing ad for luxurious pesach programs that will run many families north opf $50K for 10 days…..we are killing our own children in front of our own eyes, our boys are growing up with a sense of gaiva and self entitlement, our girls are way past the JAP stereotype and focus more on becoming influencers than a true bas torah. (Unless daddy takes us to Israel and gets us in to all the gedolim for a nice photo-op (after breakfast at the Waldorf)
    Nothing will change because our socierty in general is moving backwards rather than straight ahead and we dont want it to stop.
    The so called MoDox community with all its flaws by and large does not put the same chashivus on money-everyone wants money but decesions about dating are not based on a piece of paper and how much money she has is not a priority- Fakert- how he will be a Baal Achrayus and take care of a wife is the focus.

  8. A few thoughts,
    Where all agree
    Shiduchim was always “kashe” even bemay chazal
    Everyone wants bnos yisroel to get married bekarov
    All theories have good kashas
    Lemaseh the roshei yeshiva didn’t do anything drastic, u ask why? they too have einiklach in the same boat ? The teretz is that any big move for klal has numerous ramifications in the big picture , no godol believes he has the playtzos nor the sure answer, aside that no one has the power.. as an example rav shach rav chaim. Wanted a dif derech halimud in the yeshivos yet they couldn’t..nothing about yahadus today was designed by humans.. did anyone think 52 mesivtas in lkwd and no English when the American yeshiva derech was to have hs english…hosheeva shoftainu kevarishona
    One small thing that cud help is by the chassidim both sides get the resume at the same time so something is cooking on both sides and if the girl says yes many times the boy will think twice before a no, the big q is that in the end there are weddings every night and many don’t have yichus, money,looks…etc look at your hs yearbook the great catches didn’t always go first..the tzaar is a yom venoira

  9. Your line that you cannot be considered to be too selective when you have nothing to select from, is spot on. My sons had loads of suggestions when they were on the market and I have daughters on the market who have at least as many מעלות as my sons and the silence is frightening. This situation is very, very not something klal yisroel could allow to continue. You can’t blame this on Hashem. חז”ל instituted leniency משום עיגונא. They didn’t just say that Hashem will help.

  10. Thank you. Every word in this article is 100% true and I could not have stated it better. I wish you siyata dshmaya that through your excellent letter, people should finally understand the issue better and effect change. And you are clearly no simple yid.

  11. I completely agree with you and feel your true and emotional pain for our loving sisters waiting for their zivvug to be sent to them directly from Hashem who is waiting for their wholehearted call of prayers for help.

    This is due to a major problem effecting the entire world today-jewish or not-called FACING REALITY. what happens sadly today when God forbid tragedy strikes? %98 of the world will block it from their face and say what does Hashem want from me? I have nothing to do with the September 11 tragedy or the coronavirus pandemic mahgeifa going on worldwide. I don’t work in Manhattan, I don’t even visit Manhattan what does Hashem want from me? But the truth is in the back of our heads we all get Our loving father Hashems direct wake up call. We’re just not ready to FACE REALITY AND OPENLY ACCEPT HIS CALL for serious teshuva and achdus together and say Hashem we get your message and we will all do teshuva together as one loving nation. So we leave Hashem no choice but to keep sending us horrific wake up calls for serious teshuva and achdus together. Do you know any parent in the world that likes to punish his children? But sometimes there’s no choice it’s for the kids benefit. What do we call that? A potch of LOVE and years later the child will even come back and thank his parent for doing it for his good.

    As a honest parable from a phycologist today. When parents have a problem child in school that just needs a little extra help with work and is not so bad like handicap then %70 of both parents will say our child is not so bad he’s still passing his grades in school etc….. And not a failure. Now the kid is a young third grader but by the time he’s in eighth grade he’s going to be such a issue why? Cause they couldn’t FACE REALITY AND OPENLY ACCEPT AND SAY yes our child needs some extra help and we as responsible parents need to do something about it NOW while the issue is small both in young age and only needs a little therapy help boruch Hashem.

    Let’s all bring this situation to our entire life in golus for the last 1900 years. Why have we still not woken up as one loving nation together to FACE REALITY to fix the issue of Sinas Chinam that destroyed our holy second Bais Hamikdosh so Hashem can send Mashiach already bkarov to rebuild it? With all honesty, the Sinas Chinam today is worse then when the second Bais Hamikdosh was destroyed because of it so how can we expect it to be rebuilt without first FACING REALITY and solving the issue THAT WE UAD 1900 YEARS ALREADY TO WORK ON?

    on another perspective to bringing Mashiach already bkarov. If we really want Mashiach already to come then we need to YEARN for Mashiach but we all know the honest truth that today were so happy in Golus.we have planes and cars and computers and even the ruchnius gift of Shabbos to enjoy and rest like Gashmius. Hashem says to his Malachim look how happy my children are, I gave them everything they need, when my loving children klal yisroel together start to YEARN for Mashiach then I will send it to them.

    May we all wake up immediately bkarov to FACE REALITY and beg our loving father Hashem wholeheartedly to send Mashiach already bkarov together as one loving nation.

  12. Those who assert there is a “crisis” keep referring to the girls sitting around passively and waiting for the boy (or his representative) to initiate a meeting. Consider the radical idea of a young woman who is anxious to meet her beschert become an active party and reach out herself to meet and engage with boys they believe might be a good match.

  13. When we compare Litvish young couples to Chasidish where the Chasidim get married very young I (Litvish) have many Chasidish friends whose children did so but is was explained to me by them that the couple eats by the parents and no real decisions are made alone but with input from the parents as they are taught how to workout issues and how to run a home while on the Litvish side the couple is mostly on their own and therefore the need for maturity is quite important!
    A couple of my daughters were not married until 23 one of them not even getting names until she was 22!! We did not sit around crying and worrying we went on with life relying on Hashem to send the right boy at the right time- one of the boys was the same age as my daughter so she had to wait for him to be ready!!
    A son of mine who didnt go to Eretz Yisroel but stayed in American Yeshiva did not feel ready to date until he turned 23 and he was open to dating same age or even a bit older girls, which he did but did marry a girl about 2 years his junior.
    I know when we studied Jewish history in school the Rabbunim of different countries didnt paskin for those in the countries they werent in so I am not sure how Israeli Rabbunim paskin for Americans.

    An interesting note: In my fathers days (boys) getting married at 23 or 24 was the norm, when i was dating
    the norm was 21-23, now its 23-24
    Also its a little wrong to say that Chasidim dont have their Shiduch crisis but in their case its the older boys who are the issue

  14. I understand and appreciate the tzar of Bnos Yisrael.
    At the same time however, saying the answer is everyone should start dating across the board at 20/21 is irresponsible.

    It’s true that many guys could be ready by then, however there are many many many guys who are not.
    As far as Daas Torah, R’ Elya Ber is great!
    A well known Rebbi in my Yeshiva though (which I won’t name) has said better to get married later then marry and divorce earlier.

    Obviously you’re right in that for many guys it is indeed shayach for them to start earlier, at the same time though, guys must not be guilted into starting before being ready to help others.

    As far as your comparison to Jews lives in danger in Ukraine, wow. That’s truly shameful. No need to invoke Jews being blown up just like no need to compare this crisis to the shoah. Gosh.

    Either way, I do appreciate the pain.
    I agree that guys starting earlier would help.
    I’m arguing sensibly though (and perhaps you’d agree) that every individual must make their own decision and not just “all jump in together.”


  15. To follow up on my comment.
    I’m speaking as a buchar about 23/24 who hasn’t started dating yet.
    I don’t feel guilty or responsible for the shidduch crisis because I have my own inyanim to deal with and heal from in the realm of mental health and otherwise before starting.
    And there’s plenty of guys who are in therapy or dealing with other things which are very important to be taken care of before shidduchim.

    Again, I appreciate the pain of the girls.
    And I will admit that I can not fully be masig the extent of their pain.
    At the same time, it’s important to be considerate to struggling guys who are not in the position to be thrown into shidduchim at that age.

  16. Not an expert here, but could it be also that girls (or parents?) are looking for a certain type of a boy who is learning full time? Then, it is no surprise, that this boy will be looking for either a well-learnt shver or someone who can support him in further learning. Would situation be the same if you take into account boys who went to colleges , or into jobs that do not require colleges? We here hear sometimes from boys like that who also feel they are undervalued. These boys will not require you to be rich, as they expect to earn honest living themselves, so good middos might be enough for them… They may even prefer someone who is not intimidating them financially, so that they can feel independent and not need to maintain the same high financial standard the wife had at her parents.

  17. The sick just get sicker!

    I mean if this was a real concern and real pain it wouldn’t be posted here on YWN and wait for comments from a bunch of people whos identity is hidden.

    I’m 25 and in the process like I commented on the first sick letter and there is nothing more to do than daven and keep strenghting the emunah all this is no point at all!

  18. Being that girls are more spritual then boys, there are more quality girls then boys. If you want to solve the crisis, then bring back the OTD boys, while your at it. not all boys are capable of sitting and learning all day. Maybe have them go to trade school to learn to earn a living so they can support a wife. That is one of the 3 things a father is obligated to teach his son!!

  19. I am sorry Mr letter writer but this whole push for guys to marry younger is misguided and you admit it yourself.
    You say “To those who feel that girls should get married later, that may be a good suggestion, but I personally do not see how that can be enforced”
    So if I understand you, we seem to have an excellent solution where by we close the age gap and they guys don’t have to get married at an irresponsible young age. It’s a win win. No one, boy or girl can date till 24, age gap closed crisis solved.
    So instead of bashing the guys over the head and forcing them into a relationship they can’t possibly manage at such a young age. Why don’t we push the girls to not date till 24 for the good of klal Yisrael. Tell all the seminars to teach the girls how important it is for all their holy sisters to wait till 24 to date.
    I am sorry but until this suggestion is promoted and tested you have no right to push guys to get married younger.
    And another thing, how to inforce it? Simple, let those same gadolim from eretz Yisrael sign a letter that no girls should date till 24. Then presumably all the rabbomin and roshie yeshiva will want to comply with the psak of the gedolim and refuse to be mesader kedushin at a wedding for a couple younger than 24. I hope no one is offended by this but I just have never heard a good explanation for why this hasn’t been tried. If the situation is so dire all options should be on the table.

  20. it is life—stop converting and fixing our young to Asians, Negros….stop this first…..we do have our own in all of the above selections not by choice

  21. Most of these girls would never consider a working man, or a Baal Teshuvah or a Sephardi.
    These men are worthless; they are lower than animals; they are human garbage.

  22. Klal Yisroel has a lot more to do than focus on Bitachon!!!!!!!!!
    if you don’t see this crisis unfolding you are BLIND. Stop trolling, stop commenting, stop blaming.
    GET UP AND DO MORE AS A PEOPLE & AND AS THE AM HANIVCHAR. every yid that stands by is responsible for the lack of shechina and shalom from resting in batei yisroel that could have been built. We need to put in real change….Hashem’s children deserve to get married, even those without wealth. start setting people up for who they are and for what their neshamos represent rather than just background.

  23. EVERYONE stop commenting on the article, the comments are futile. stop trying to analyze each metaphor, comparison and detail. we are BIGGER, BETTER & SMARTER than that. EVERYONE knows what the author is trying to represent and there is no way to beat around the bush and deny this reality. SOMETHING we are doing as a klal is REALLY not OK. we need to do better to remove this KITRUG

  24. To all the girls out there, we truly feel your pain. Hashem should bentsch all of you with tremendous
    סייעתא דשמיא
    Hashem should help all of you with wonderful Shidduchim.
    Please do not get upset with those nasty comments. I am sure that 10,000 people read these letters and if there are 5 not nice comments that means about .00005 %.
    Some of those not nice comments are related to boys that went to a Simcha during the evening and they drank wine, liqueur, schnapps, brandies, vodka and all kinds of cocktails and now they are drunk and started to comment.
    To all the girls:
    Please Please Please, when you daven for a Shidduch, please also put in one prayer for all those boys whom can not control themselves and they drink schnapps, wine and liqueur at a Simcha and also Friday night.
    These boys really need help. Some of them drink way too much. They don’t know when to stop.
    A lot of boys do not drink. I am referring to the ones that do drink.

  25. This letter is to shed some much-needed clarity on the Shidduch crisis and some of the solutions that are being worked on. Let us start with the facts:
    The fact is that for every boy currently on the market there is approximately 5 to 10 girls on the market (depending on how many months it is since the last freezer opened up). Just in case you think this is a typo, I’ll rewrite it: for every boy currently on the market there is approximately 5 to 10 girls on the market. Now, of course, in any given year, the number of girls and boys entering the market, is not that far off, but because of the buildup of girls from each year that are not yet married, and the fact that almost all boys get engaged within a year of entering the market, the current ratio is where it is. This is not an opinion; it is a fact. You can go to any kehillah in Lakewood and count the boys and girls on the market from that kehillah, and you will get approximately this ratio. It can be argued why this is the ratio, but it cannot be argued if this is the ratio.
    So, for example, if this coming year, there will be 1,000 boys entering the market (plus a handful of boys still on the market from last year), and there are 5,000 girls currently in shidduchim, only 1,000 girls can possibly get married this year. Even if we hire 1,000 new shadchanim, and offer a one million-dollar shadchunus fee for each shidduch, only 1,000 girls can possibly get married this year. Even if every girl decides to settle and agrees to go out and get married to any boy who they get a yes from, only 1,000 girls can possibly get married this year. Even if each girl does every segula possible and says the entire tehillim every day, only 1,000 girls can possibly get married this year. This means that unless more boys enter the market this year, 4 out of 5 girls on the market cannot possibly get married this year. All the tefilah in the world cannot help 1,000 boys marry 5,000 girls. So of course, tefillah could (and iy”h will) help more than 1,000 girls get married this year, but the only way it could do so is by causing more boys to enter the market this year.
    Now of course, for each yochid, every bit of hishtadlus can help to give them an edge over the other girls, and ensure that they are from the 1,000 and not the 4,000. But collectively, this hishtadlus cannot help the klal. And when a kehila gets together to hire shadchanim to look out for them, this is a great idea for them to give them an edge over other kehillos (or at least level the “playing field”), but it cannot help the klal as a whole.
    Many people feel that there are not enough shadchanim. They point to the fact that shadchanim are bombarded with calls and texts and cannot possibly provide the necessary attention to the girls.
    Let us use an analogy; imagine there were only 100 houses for sale in Lakewood, but 10,000 families looking to buy houses. The brokers would be inundated with calls from buyers and would not possibly be able to return their calls. Now, you may ask, if the brokers are so busy and don’t have enough time to return the calls, why don’t more brokers enter the market, considering that brokerage can be a lucrative field. The answer is that the market cannot support more brokers. The amount of brokers in a city is determined by the number of sales that take place; not by the number of buyers. If more brokers enter the market, each broker would not have enough sales to justify their involvement. They would be very busy the whole day talking to buyers, but they would not be productive, as they would all just be fighting over the same 100 houses. It might be a bit smoother for the buyers if there were more brokers, as they could get thru to the brokers more easily, but the brokers wouldn’t be able to create more sales.
    It is the same with shidduchim; There are enough shadchanim to service the 1,000 shidduchim that take place. When a boy wants to get thru to the shadchan, they get thru right away. In fact, they usually don’t have to call the shadchan altogether; the shadchan calls them. And when a girl gets a “yes” from a boy, the shadchan has ample time to talk to the girl. But of course, there are not enough shadchanim to return calls to all the girls seeking shidduchim, because there is not enough productive work to justify more shadchanim for them.
    Now, there could be many other advantages of having more shadchanim: There may be some girls that have a disadvantage over other girls with regard to reaching shadchanim (less connections, etc.) and adding more shadchanim could help level the playing field. Additionally, there is the handful of bachurim that don’t get married within the first year, and perhaps more shadchanim could help these bachurim get married quicker and thereby eat a bit into that the “4,000”. Additionally, more shadchanim could help make the process less stressful for the girls. It could also possibly help better steer singles away from getting engaged to the “wrong one”, thus preventing broken engagements or marriages. These are all very important benefits and could justify the importance of adding more shadchanim. But we must realize, that at end of the day, more shadchanim cannot possibly make any significant dent into the shidduch process. In fact, nothing at all can, unless more boys enter the market.
    How we can get more boys on the market, or even if we should get more boys on the market, is for da’as torah to decide, but the first step to solve this crisis is for us to realize what the problem is.

  26. The answer is definitely not to guilt someone out of learning in Yeshiva, if he’s actually ok top of his sedarim and making a solid effort. Not every 21 year old guy is mature and responsible enough to get married

  27. First of all I’d like to say from personal experience that in the Litvish world Bochurim are not ready to get married earlier but not necessarily because they are immature but because they don’t have enough learning under their belts. It also happens to be that slot of them are immature. But let’s leave the later reason alone .
    Everyone knows that the best time for learning is when a person has nothing to worry about. For this reason it used to be that the Alter Mirer got married in their late twenties to early thirties partly because very often in those days when someone would get married their days of learning would be over. So this way by the time they got married they were at least a Shtikle Talmud Chochom and not an Am Haaretz.
    These days there’s something called Kollel which is very in style and a person could get married earlier and continue learning. But still when one is a Bochur he has no worries and his learning is better. Therefore 20-21 is still too early.
    But after all that is done when Bochurim are ready to start dating you have these 22-23 year old boys who only want to date girls that are 18-20. So in my personal opinion I think that’s where a major part of the problem is. Daas Torah isn’t telling these boys to look for older girls.

  28. Are there really thousands and thousands of women in their 50s, 40s and 30s that never got married, whereas there are only few men those ages who never married?

  29. it would be also helpful to note the many young boys who are falling off the wagon due to the fact that they are not suited for yeshiva style learning at all or need other outlets as well as yeshiva style learning.
    instead of acting defensively to this issue and picking up the pieces after they fall (ie after the boys are already struggling with drugs, going off the derech, other behaviorial issues and thereby taking themselves out of the pool of potential shidduchim for many girls) it would be amazing if we could mainstream the idea that not all boys are cut out for our current yeshivas (where many boys are coddled and creativity is stifled) and create a new MAINSTREAM system where boys can learn trades, hobbies, and other skills that are healthy outlets, and with half-day learning programs. and im not talking about sitting in a circle with a guitar and talking about our feelings but actual skills that can translate into a huge self esteem boost and be healthy outlet for regular boys.
    a huge part of the issue is that so many average frum boys lack necessary life skills or middos or are below the yiddishkeit level of many average frum girls due to the society we live in where boys and men are struggling to know their purpose.
    lets mainstream alternate schooling ideas for boys. many of them can grow up and avoid the struggles that so many teens and young adults are facing if they are in the right environment and receive the right support at a younger age – even in elementary school. and lets mainstream the idea that to marry a plumber, entrepreneur, electrician, contractor etc – not white collar college professional (also good) or yeshiva forever learner (also good) but an independent self made man (who is also learning) is not a bad thing but actually BETTER. this grounds up solution may not fix our crisis today, as so many boys in this generation have sadly been turned off forever, but may avoid one in the future.

  30. I have given the matter much thought through the years, and I have come across a solution that in all seriousness should not be considered insensitive shameful: we need at least one Yid to recognize that Rabbeinu Gershom no longer applies in order to be mekadesh the bnos Yisroel left without a shidduch. We only came onto Rabbeinu Gershom when polygamy was controversial among goyim. No Yid will go to jail for polygamy today when states have legalized all abominations. We need to eliminate the stigma surrounding polygamy. I am willing to be that Yid, and I have no shame. I am ready to disregard Rabbeinu Gershom for the sake of bnos Yisroel, so they may live (through descendants) in fulfillment of mitzvas puru urvu too. I am actually 100% serious. I can solve your problem. Please be in touch.

  31. I’m curious: if Hashem decides that a person isn’t supposed to get married till 28. And they get no dates till 27.
    Is that a crises or a Chesed? After all Hashem has saved them from years of dating with no toeles.

  32. It is sad that people just comment, ‘Well the solution is simply…’
    Actually, that is the main point of this article, I think!
    First, we must start with math. Being ‘picky’ is relative. If there are not enough boys, they naturally will look for better terms, that is called supply and demand.
    Saying to have bitachon, is illogical, yes illogical! One person can have bitachon that he/she will find a shidduch and sleep well while waiting. As a community we can’t rely on girls getting married to non-existent boys!
    There is no ‘daas Torah’ to have a problem. Roshei Yeshiva make rules that suit their yeshiva. If others have other agendas they can and should complain.

    As far as the calculation from last letter, Doom777 said that it is really a small problem. I wish we could ‘math away’ the problem. Yes, 6.6 children means a very, very large gender gap in our community.
    In the general population, the birth rate in the US is 1.64, less than the replacement rate of 2.1. The growth is from new immigrants not children. In the frum community, growth is much much higher than in the general population (not times 3).

    Lastly, we can’t tell girls just to wait, but we could encourage them to develop a career, that would take a certain amount off the market, not a specific girl who wants to get married now. Just like the Fed raises interest rates, but does not tell people, ‘Don’t borrow money or spend too much.’

  33. SchmendricK: You fully live up to your posting name. I doubt even a single woman (much less two) would want to go anywhere near you and your sick polygamous fantasies.

  34. Could somebody please write an article incorporating anything of value in the above comments? It would be good for people who want to become informed on this important issue without wasting their time.







  36. When girls are expected to fulfill the man’s obligation in the Kesubah ie. supporting him financially, that’s when the Shidduch crisis began.

  37. In the bentchen we praise Hashem for giving us a be-kovedike parnassah. This is the missing puzzle piece.

    A yeshiva has the responsibility to prepare our young people for life. Every mesivta high school and post-high school yeshiva should institute a vocational track so that the graduates can look forward to having a successful parnassah by the time they marry.

    As for spending one’s life in kollel: For most learners, it’s a cop-out from real life and very cruel to the one who foots the bill, often the schver until he drops dead of a heart attack from all the stress. The kollel was only meant for the yechidei segulah.

    In Hungary, young men learned full-time until marriage. From then on, they either engaged in business and learned part of the day or went into rabbonus or chinuch. And Orthodoxy was extremely strong in Hungary, so don’t even try to say that such a derech is not proper.

  38. It appears from this article that besides for the shidduch crisis there is an analytical crisis with people unfortunately not able to analyze an article and draw proper conclusions. If the author is stating that there is an uneven amount of boys and girls – why all these ridiculous comments for example stop worrying about money and yichis etc.. have to do with anything. Even if no one cared at all about these there would still be an uneven amount of boys vs. girls . Numerous other answers as well such as we need to daven harder etc.. will still not produce boys from the ether as r elya ber states. It seems people just write comments without even digesting the article? What is up with that?

  39. @Shmendrick
    100% AGREE!
    Let them all come to me; i’ll support them. Just don’t get legally married.
    The fact is that there are more girls in the world than boys. FACT OF NATURE.
    Nature made this reality because it helps in reproducing to save the specie.
    Go to La Isha, you will see the ratio of girls to boys is 100:1! FOR REAL
    The Human Race was meant for polygamy – that is NATURE!
    Make a statistic: count all the Mazel Tovs: there are more baby girls born in a given year than boys. Just use LKWD as boxed group for counting – it’s a fact – nothing can change that, other than polygamy, or killing most baby girls – like they do in India and China

  40. Look at this sentence.
    “The fact is that for every boy currently on the market there is approximately 5 to 10 girls on the market.”
    Before we start problem solving the whole shidduch crisis, let’s start with providing a basic education to all our kids and teaching them a little math. (I’m not the grammar police but English classes wouldn’t hurt either.)
    There are so many false statistics and “facts” that are not factual built into these articles that it’s hard to take them seriously.
    We’re rachmanim bnei rachmanim and it’s natural that in our hearts we want to help those in pain. We’re also endowed with brains and we’ll have to use them if we want to be in a position to help.
    Just look at the author dismiss the much better solution of women starting to date later instead of trying to marry off boys who aren’t ready and you’ll see what I mean, but that’s not the only example.

  41. Let’s take a step back. Maybe the whole system of shidduchim in general has the wrong approach. What if several boys and girls would meet in a tznuis group setting without knowing who is rich or poor or learned or not and then see who likes each other just from talking. After that if a boy and a girl like each other the families can meet to do checking up and discuss further. That way a lot of people will meet who otherwise never would have been considered.

  42. I also join in the camp that agrees with the anonymous letter writer. However, in order for change to take place it requires more than writing an anonymous letter. It requires action. If any of the people who wholeheartedly agree that there is a problem and a big one, ask yourselves, what am I doing about it? Telling people, “but Daas Torah says…” does nothing. Here are some suggestions to people who really want to make a change.

    1. Approach both Roshei yeshivas and gvirim directly and individually and discuss it. If the gvirim agree, ask them to withhold $ or put pressure on the Roshei Yeshiva to change.

    2. Approach the girls HS and seminaries to encourage girls to start dating later. Speak to girls who date young and explain that they are part of the problem.

    3. Create an organization that will consult one on one with both girls and boys to discuss life plans and explain how they can help klal Yisrael by changing their dating starting age. Encourage them to ask a sheayla and not just go with the flow. If they respond that they did ask a shayla go after the ones giving this advice.

    Just some ideas. Open to hear more. Kvetching does not help. Plans of action do.

  43. And how many guys go to a singles event get told to pick a few girls to go out with only for the female ally shadchan to say “she said no” without any effort. The answer definitely isn’t stop learning at 21 for everyone. There’s also a young divorce crisis R”L.

  44. “What if several boys and girls would meet in a tznuis group setting without knowing who is rich or poor or learned or not and then see who likes each other just from talking. After that if a boy and a girl like each other the families can meet to do checking up and discuss further.”

    Great idea but take it one step further. Let the young men and women interact with one another and if there is the right chemistry, give them some time to get to know one another without the pressures of families “checking up” and “discussing”. If you are old enough to consider marriage and a family, you should be able to perform the requisite diligence on who you are marrying. In most cases, the younger generation is a lot more savy on how to perform “background checks” than their parents. Of course, the advice of friends and family is always helpful, but let the principals make their own decisions on whom to spend their lives with.

  45. Reb Elya Ber is a tzadik gomur but he is a daas Yohid, the Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva have a mechalech and a mesora that creates this freezer environment, we have no right to challenge such chashuvim who are the leaders of Torah Yiddishket in America, what the Modern Orthodox do has zero impact as we dont follow the YU way, which has been in the news alot lately for bad reasons.

  46. aryeh you made some very good points , its time for the nasi project & gary to put out up to date current numbers its more than 10 years since their posted stats , CURRENT DATA is crucial gut shabbos

  47. The writer must start wearing a shtreimel and bekeshe, and sponsor the same for all the bochurim. Once he and they do that, everything will be hunky-dory.

  48. The solution if for our schools to teach Jewish history realistically. People today (not just Yidden) are continually whining how bad it is, without realizing how much more wonderful the world is today than in the “good old day.” Ignoring things such as genocide now being considered a crime against humanity rather than tool of public policy, think how wonderful it is that it is now rare for people to die while being of child bearing age (in the past, it was rare to live past childbearing age, especially for women). It is normal for children to continue their education into their mid-20s, whereas in the past only a handful could avoid entering the job markets as pre-teens. And in the good old days, people married at puberty or soon thereafter since with life expectancy so low, there really wasn’t much “thereafter” to look forward to. With changes in communications and transportation, Yidden can travel thousands of miles to go yeshiva/seminary, and come home again Bein zmanim (in the old days, a trip of that length might takes months or years). We sometimes complain about shidduchim that force one family to travel great distance to the wedding (in the old days, your choice was largely limited to your own village, which was as many families as a typical shul today, or perhaps a few villages down the road).

    The naive view of history is why Americans freaked out over Covid. They complain how food and housing which are radically cheaper than a in the 19th century when you take into account wage levels and quality. If people appreciated how good it is, the problems referred to in the original posting would seem much smaller, and easier to cope with.

  49. @Gadolhadorah, your name I worry might be mebazeh actually gedolei hador. I honestly should post my comment with my real name and address for the purpose of polygamous shidduchim rather than under the name “Schmendrick” so that G-d forbid anyone mistakes my comment as sarcastic. I am serious. Gadol, you can criticize me, but I assure you I have much more Ahavas Bnos Yisroel than you. It hurts me very deeply to think that there are in the world perfectly good Bnos Yisroel whose eggs fall to waste when they could be raising good, healthy, ultra-intelligent children with my gift. These Bnos Yisroel deserve to fulfill mitzvas puru urvu too as their very lives depend on it. I am willing to take upon myself a lot of very serious and demanding real obligations in relation to those bnos Yisroel who would like to fulfill puru urvu. When you criticize me, do you imply criticism of Avos Yisroel who committed polygamy? G-d forbid…

  50. Gadol: the point of checking is because to avoid problems that a young men or a young woman would not consider for lack of life experience.

    For example, if every one of the siblings went of the derech, it is a risk, but a young and infatuated mshudach may not consider it.

  51. I think that it’s time we accept that organic matches may be a solution. Others here have proposed the same. Right now doing the something the same way (tradition) won’t produce different results. (That is if this is a subject worthy of the bandwidth.)

    And remember too, if they are old enough to consider marriage they are old enough to be called men and women, not boys and girs.

  52. Be mevatel going to Eretz Yisroel. Period. All roshey yeshiva are scared stiff of a certain “shall be left unanamed Rosh Yeshiva in E”Y ” who between him and his proxies are leading the yeshiva world by the nose.

    The matzav has become that you can only get the elite boys to your yeshiva if you can convince them that your “reshima” by that R”Y in E”Y will work.

    He must be put out of buisness. period.

    Then the whole staying extra year by local R”Y to make it on to the covetted reshima and the extra wasted 2 years in E”Y can be eliminated.

    But this can only happen if ALL R”Y do this together. I know some tried including Reb Elya Ber and Reb ELya Chaim but they need ALL to make a unifed stand together to break “that unanamed R”Y in E”Y” chokehold on Klal Yisroel.


  53. Halacha, Kedusha
    After reading more than 50 letters, the people sent in, no one is talking about Kedusha.
    Tefilath Zake that is said before the holy day of Yom Kippur. The first paragraph clearly addresses the Avaire of a boy that does not listen to Shidduchim until when he feels like it. A boy like that beyond a shadow of a doubt transgresses the Avairos mentioned there.
    Unfortunately, the American Goyishkeit is so seeped into the Yeshivishe World, that they don’t realize that getting married is the basics of being a Yid.
    Tefilath Zake was not written by a Chasidishe Rebbe. It written by the Chai Odem, a Talmud of the Gro Z”L

  54. If it’s a serious issue, than stop all this blither blather. There are good jewish working boys that get less dates than most girls. If you want to moan and groan about your lot, do it privately.

  55. Many many boys need a dating coach. It would resolve a lot of problems. Practically all boys in the ‘system’ have never spoke to a girl, let alone dated one. Even boys who’ve gone out a many dates amd think they’re experts, need advice. I can’t even begin to tell you how many success stories I’ve heard after the boy went to a qualified dating coach. Either a rebbe, mashgiach, etc they need someone who can describe and explain how to properly talk to a girl. Etc.

  56. @YWN suspend Schmendrick’s account- sarcastic or not there’s a limit to what we should be reading, and what you should be commenting. Your disgusting ideas and remarks are hideous and how dare you even mention the holiest of the generation (the Bnos Yisroel) in such an inappropriate regard. Putting the name Rabbeinu Gershom in your znus filled comment is an insult to the Torah as you are most definitely not on his level nor on the level of our Avos. Your comment being anonymous does not give way for you to degrade HaShem’s Children in any regard. To anyone that thinks Schmendrick’s comments are at all funny or amusing, then you know there is something wrong with your internal dignity.

  57. Just pointing out that I have redt close to 30 shidduchim that in my opinion were well thought out and none of them even went out. Sometimes it was the boys that turned it down and sometimes the girls. Not always are the system to blame.

  58. To the letter writer:
    You wrote: “lack of apathy” instead of lack of “empathy”.
    I would also like to address those who commented negatively by expressing dismay at my lack of apathy to the many hundreds, if not thousands, of girls who are struggling mightily to deal with this crisis.

  59. To not common common sense and the rest of you
    Either give chizuk to help the disaster or do something about it. Stop your open end bashing

    Do something good in life

  60. In Yerushalaim I’m far away from this shidduch scene (though I see relatives coping with it) but the following story I read many years ago might be useful. A wealthy girl from a few hundred years ago found it impossible to make a shidduch because of totally baseless rumors about her spread by an enemy of her father’s until she finally was forced to take a boy from the very very bottom of the social scale even after soaking her Tehillim with her tears, but those tears got her four sons who grew up into very big Rabbonim. Tachlis.

  61. The Vilna Gaon wrote that his two biggest regrets in life was his failure to 1) instate saying Birchas Kohanim during the week in Chutz L’aretz and 2) end the cherem against polygamy.

    Rav Avigdor Miller also said (it’s available in his voice on his tapes and is printed in one of the recent Seforim from him) that if the Gedolim today thought it necessary, they could end the cherem against polygamy.

    If a girl was (say) 45 years old and never married despite trying hard (as so many r’l are), I think a nice number of that demographic would consider it if it were acceptable in Yiddish society.

  62. The system teaches the boys to keep learning and therefore to look for a girl with money.
    The girls are taught to support their husbands in learning even though this is simply impossible for many
    What a ridiculous system we have created

  63. I’m assuming a third letter is going to come from the publisher as he’s trying to convince everyone here that we are mocking an issue he thinks is an issue. So the first one just said his point and we said our point. The second one said why when we say our point it’s calling mocking the issue he’s bringing up. So I wonder what the third letter is going to say? Maybe that his issue he’s bringing up is not an issue? I don’t think he’ll agree to that he’s just trying to say what he thinks is a problem and that whatever we replied back that it’s mocking the issue…

    Again I’m in Shidduchem now and I don’t feel that writing an article on YW and waiting for responses and then writing a second article being upset about the replies you got will fix or change any issue in the Shidduchem world! I have my friends name in mind and he has mine. I give charity to people that need help. I learn an extra limud when I can. I help people get food for Shabbos. I dispatch for an organization. These are just a few of many examples that will help us understand that Hashem is running the world at all times and no one can do anything he doesn’t want and it’s all in Hashems hands. That will be called doing our hishtadlus in Shidduchem! Not writing an article on YW! Shame on you!

  64. As Rav Matisyohu Solomon said, it is a terrible situation and you must be nosei b’ol and it should pain you. However, this is a part of golus, and pushing for more bitul Torah (like it or not, in his view, starting to date at a younger age would cause a huge amount of bitul Torah) will not solve the issue. He goes on to say that being nosei b’ol would require you to daven for mashiach (read into that what you want).
    Perhaps you ought to grieve with those suffering and allow the gedolim to address their differences between themselves. If it truly bothers you to the point that you must take some form of action, you should go talk to these “fine lamdanim in their forties and fifties” and see what they have to say.

  65. Shmendrik,
    If you have a job that you can afford five sets of Yom tov clothing for each of your wives, I want to do what you do for a living. Unless you plan on learning in Kollel and having them support you. This is win-win. This will be your great selfless act to fixing klall yisroels problem.
    May we all be zoiche to have children to grow up just like you

  66. Most commentors before me focus on when to start dating, How many dates you should have, yichus and money etc. I’m sure everyone is aware that this topic has been addressed ad nauseam and no one is changing anyone’s opinion. A few have mentioned what I believe is the real shidduch crises. Our connection with Hashem. Go through the Torah and we find TEFFILAH is what is needed in every situation to make things happen. Teffilah is the switch, and a person doesn’t know how many times he has to put on the switch to get what he requests. At the end of Masei Berashis we find Adam had to daven for rain so that the plants could grow. Then he had to name the animals so he should realize he has to ask for a wife. Yitzchok and Rivka had to daven 20 years for a child even after Hashem promised Avrohom that he will have children. Yaakov was promised that Hashem will protect him, yet he is forced to daven again when he meets Aisav. We davened in Mitzraim and then Hashem sent Moshe rabinainu,Moshe Rabainy davened 515 teffilos and was told “no”. Of course, we have to do our hishtadlus but if your rebbe says to start shiduchim at 18 years old you’re not going to convince a litviche bocher who listens to his rosh yeshiva to start dating before 22- 23. So, I say do your Hishtadlus whatever your mesorah is but DAVEN, DAVEN AND DAVEN. and especially for others in your situation

  67. @blue1, I honestly suspect you’re an establishment spook pushing a population control agenda. I didn’t mention znus anywhere. I said that I could solve the shidduch crisis through kiddushin of bnos Yisroel who did not get a shidduch so that they too can fulfill mitzvas puru urvu. Relations lashem mitzvas puru urvu within halachic kiddushin would not be znus. In any case, I could think of other ways to structure the arrangement halachically that similarly would not be znus that I only avoid mentioning because they are less conventional in practical halacha observed today. In my view they should be discussed among tamidei hachachamim with good middos. In any case, from my perspective the solution could be acquisition of acceptable, viable seed in any acceptable legal and halachic arrangement. Maybe kiddushin that lasts just the time of transfer/conception. If necessary to state publicly, I am opposed to any ma’aseh biah or any ma’aseh conception that breaches a lav, since Rebbi Akiva darshens from “kol basar” that any vlad whose conception breaches a lav is a mamzer. I don’t think a seminal donation from a non-mazmer would create a “mamzer” according to any opinion in chazal (would not involve any lav deoraisa)… Anyway, not advocating for any arrangement without approval of an appropriate beis din. I only came onto the idea because Yisroel on the whole has mismanaged the shidduch crisis, and it looks like the powers that be are pushing a pop control agenda rather strongly, which Yisroel should dodge as it can for the sake of those bnos Yisroel who are neglected completely. I denounce in the strongest of terms any Yid that does not take seriously those eggs that fall to waste unnecessarily of elder not yet married bnos Yisroel who G-d forbid never find a shidduch. It bothers me that a crisis ongoing for years could have been solved singlehandedly in a few minutes. That’s the shame and disgrace, not my words.

  68. Also, since goyim have on their law books today that polygamous “marriage” is illegal, two things, first, I don’t remember anyone learning dina demalchusa dina applies dinei issurin. Dina demalcusa dina is only in mammon. Second, why bother to try to get the state to recognize kiddushin anyway? Who is to say their concept of “marriage” even refers to kiddushin? Like, their concept includes all sorts of horrible things that definitely are not kiddushin. Maybe kiddushin should be seen as some other sort of arrangement that need not be even related to goyish authorities, like a private contract or transaction. That way, no issue with the goyish authorities for having multiple simultaneous kiddushin.

  69. Guys.

    Theres plenty of evidence by now to suggest that if boys were to start dating earlier then they do now, that it would create a shidduch crisis for the boys.

    Increasing the amount of boys entering shidduchim annually by a substantial amount,
    would cause there to be too many men and not enough women.

    This is a concrete fact that we are seeing in the chassidim communities, in certain segments of the Israeli shidduch seeking community, and in the older single community here in the USA.

    Please know that these organizations that are pressing the boys and their parents to start dating at 21 are working for the exclusively and only for the girls, even if it means a resulting shidduch crisis for the boys.

    Therefore, these organizations should be completely ignored by the boys and their families for theyr own good and well being.

    Guy who’s been around the block and seen it all .

  70. We can take Libbi’s concern of unmarried boys wasting zerah, and use shmendriks idea of artificial insemination to solve all our problems.
    The roshei yeshiva can set up a sperm bank, and the rebetzin will be in charge of dispensing the zera to the appropriate girl (all done with discretion and tznius.)
    And the wealthy shmendrik can support them

  71. the issue for women isn’t just kids, its also about having a gol-darn husband you goofs!

    it’s about having a wise, responsible, loving husband (preferably a talmud chochom as well) who can provide for her, give her good advice/console her throughout her life.

    and no we are not to have zera dispensers. bnos yisrael are not anonymous/fatherless children-factories