It’s not just demographics

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12 Responses

  1. Shlomo says:

    You should take your own advice that “Orthodox posters are reminded that familiarity with cultural references and Hebrew terms are not pre-requisites for reading Cross-Currents.”

  2. mison says:

    “the vast majority are better prepared for marriage and motherhood at a slightly later age.”

    Bingo. Glad to see we’re finally recognizing that this is true, even if our entire framework for dating/marriage is based on social constructs from hundreds of years ago (I see this as the case in all sorts of UO to MO circles, albeit to varying degrees). With that in mind, shouldn’t something be done, or at the very least discussed, to make it easier for singles to be single (VH’MY)?

  3. Michoel says:

    Since Rabbi Rosenblum mentions the Steipler and the Chazon Ish in an article on shidduchim, I’d like to share a peripherally related thought. The story of the Steipler’s meeting the Chazon Ish’s sister is often quoted to show how awesome the Steipler’s yiras shamayim was, refusing to sit on safek shatnez (so the story goes). I think another important limud is that the Steipler traveled a very long journey to meet her. It has become quite common that boys with “lists” expect girls to travel to them for a shidduch. Parents that allow or even encourage their son’s to do that are doing them and their future daughter-in-law a disservice. In the course of my (over)involvement in Torah and Science issues, I saw recently that the Torah Sheima brings a medrash that is m’dayik in the lashon of Parshas Noach: “Zachor v’nakeiva yehiyu, if the the zachor is chasing after the n’keiva, let them in to ark. If not, do not let them in.” I don’t have the sefer in front of me but the clear idea (maybe the medrash says it or maybe it is Rav Kasher) is that if the femal is chasing the male, it is a sign of moral corruption. Obviously there may be circumstances where it is appropraite that the girl travel but it should not be the general rule.

  4. Steve Brizel says:

    Kudos on a superb column on an issue that generates much unnecessary pyschotic behavior within all of our communities. R P Krohn has a wonderful tape recorded shiur on what is important and trivial in this regard.

  5. HILLEL says:

    The Shidduch problem reflects the totally unrealistic, materialistic orientation of far too many young people, who have been hoodwinked by the gentile environment of romanticism and materialism.

    We need to reject the false and totlly unrealistic secular propaganda that constantly assails us, and to reconnect with our true Torah values.

    We need to readjust our thinking and priorities to reflect what HaShem wants us to accomplish in this life.

    Only then can we properly assess who is really suitable to help us accomplish our Torah goals in life.

  6. Charles B. Hall, PhD says:

    My wife and I met on We had a lot in common, but we had checked different hashgafas on the profile. Fortunately we did meet and we turned out to be very compatible. Had we treated the profile as a checklist, we might never have met. It is bad enough that quantifiable matters can disqualify a shidduch before the couple ever meets, but for something as vague as the definition of “modern orthodox — machmir” to do so?

  7. Dati Leumi says:

    “Even in terms of the ideal of long-term learning for the husband…”

    Why is this THE ideal and not an ideal? This sentence flies in the face of an otherwise very insightful article.

  8. de la costa says:

    it should also be said that ther is a place , along the religious spectrum, for boys who do not want to sit and learn, and for girls looking for earners rather than learners. i hope the system has a place for these 2nd class ‘rejects’….

  9. Fern R says:

    Like Mison, I am very glad to see that people recognize that women (in general) make better wives and mothers at a slightly older age. I know this from my own personal experience as a woman and from observing other women.

    For example, I know a very lovely woman now in her fifties. People who knew her when she was a young mother would hardly recognize her today. She got married at 18 to a man who was 20. They, not surprisngly, didn’t have very much money, but had three very rambunctious boys, back-to-back right away. The stress of being poor and inexperienced with three little boys got to her. She screamed at her children and husband daily and all three boys remember being hit with a belt on a regular basis. When the mother had a disagreement with the family’s rabbi, she demanded that they leave the shul. That was the end of the family’s involvement in any sort of Jewish community. If she had been just a little more mature, and if the family was on a little better footing when it came to finances, I think things would have been much different.

    It’s not just anecdotes though. Every sociological study done on this matter has shown that very young mothers are more likely to abuse their children, and that the children of very young mothers are more likely to have delayed cognitive development. Of course this is not to say that there aren’t many wonderful mothers who had children when they were 18 and 19 years old and the children grew up to be wonderful adults. But if we’re talking about broad ideals for an entire community, then we really should think seriously about encouraging girls to wait until they’re in their mid-twenties before getting married and having children.

  10. David says:

    Steve Brizel made reference to a tape by Rabbi Paysach Krohn on the subject. I highly recommend it. He has some terrific anecdotes that underscore how priorities have gone haywire in the world of shidduchim. One in particular is very relevant to the point Rabbi Rosenblum makes in this article: A woman called Rabbi Krohn to inquire about a bochur was was suggested for her son, and he told her that he is a very fine bochur, learns well, middot, etc. she then asked, “But is he a mechadesh?” Rabbi Krohn exclaimed, “How many chidushim is he going to say when he’s up at 3 in the morning with a crying baby?!?”

  11. Michoel says:

    I posted on the previous shidduchim discussion that the idea of telling girls to start shidduchim later was a very bad one. I’d like to retract that statement in light of the many women that have posted explaining the advantages of being more mature. However, I still maintain that for those that have the maturity, earlier is better. Also, I strongly disagree with Fern’s assuming that socialogical studies are necessarily relevant to the discussion of Orthodox shidduchim. In the general society, a very large percentage of very early marriages are not what we would call “stable situations” to say the least.

  12. Bob Miller says:

    Why not put aside all preconceptions about age and make decisions based on the maturity and other qualities of the people involved?

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