Volume 25 Number 26
                       Produced: Wed Nov 27 21:03:18 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Shidduch Dating
         [Aaron Aryeh Fischman]
Shidduchim (2)
         [Adina and Carl Sherer, Yehuda Poch]
         [Chanie Wolicki]
         [Jeanette Friedman]
The Shidduch dating problem and a possible answer
         [Elanit Z. Rothschild]


From: <afischman@...> (Aaron Aryeh Fischman)
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 22:22:56 -0500
Subject: Shidduch Dating

Anonymous Bochur (and a Yasher Koach to him) wrote:

>I think that the entire shiduch system needs to be revamped, and that
>the rabbonim should look very seriously into this problem.

	Let me preface this by saying that I am happily married, and my
experience probably did not come close to Bachur's 'nisyonot'
[Troubles]. In fact my wife was never on a shidduch date.
	However, I have had enough 'odd' experiences, and have heard
first hand many more, to agree with Bachur whole heatedly. If a system
is set up where 'chitzyonot' [extraneous items] such as brims, fish and
shirt colors are the ikkar [most important] and not truly important
items like personality, background, and life ambitions (learning, job
etc..) then the system is in dire need of repair.
	I have friends who are set up on shidduch dates that they know
will fail, because they fear that their reputation will be besmirched by
insulting the shadchan. I have another friend who was set up with
someone that was completely incompatible, and after telling the shadchan
that it would not work she overhears 'We must find someone for this
boy'; she had merely been the next someone.
	I applaud Bachur's stance, and wish him hatzlach (I will not say
I'm Yirtzeh Hashem by you), and hope that the process will change soon.
	My wife adds that Bachur writes that

>When shadchanim make it the goal to marry people off without
>TRULY considering the people involved, we see the results in the large
>number of divorces in the FRUM community

The people being set up are the ones making the ultimate decision about
getting married to each other or not. The shadchanit does not force them
into marriage, so the divorce rate is not neccisarialy their fault.

Aharon Fischman 				Aliza Novogroder Fischman
<afischman@...>			fisch.chips@worldnet.att.net


From: Adina and Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 08:27:58 +0000
Subject: Shidduchim

I started to write this letter to the anonymous poster about 
Shidduchim, but upon second reading decided that it might be 
appropriate to the whole list.  I'll leave it to the moderator to 

Your letter to mlj was quite moving - I was not aware that there was 
so much shystering going on in the world of shadchanim.

I was fortunate to be introduced to my wife by the younger sister of 
an old friend.  In general, when I was dating (it's been a while, I'm 
married fifteen years), I found that the better the person knew me, 
the less likely it was that I would realize five minutes into the 
date (or sooner) that the young lady was clearly inappropriate.  As 
such, I was more inclined to investigate women who were suggested to 
me by people who knew me.  It sounds to me like your problem is with 
"professional" shadchanim - unfortunately, I realize that most of the 
shidduchim out there are done by "professional" shadchanim since most 
of us married folks have neither the time nor the knack for trying to 
make them.

I realize that there is a lot of materialistic superficiality (how's 
that for a phrase?) in the fruhm world today.  About a year ago, a 
friend who is quite wealthy and whose son learns in one of the finest 
(black) Yeshivas here told us in horror about being at a wedding and 
hearing his son's Roshei Yeshiva advising boys not to date anyone who 
could not provide *two* apartments (one to live in and one to rent 
out for income).  Clearly, to me at least, this ought not to be the 
number one criteria on the list.  But if Roshei Yeshiva are saying 
such things then IMHO only Roshei Yeshiva who are bigger than them 
"B'chochma ub'Minyan" (in wisdom and numbers) can change this.

I realize I have not provided you with any solutions to your problem. 
I do appreciate your raising my awareness of the amount of shystering 
that goes on in the "professional" shadchanus world - I will 
certainly remember it when my own children's time comes IY"H some 
years from now.  And the next time you're in Yerushalayim, please 
look us up - most of the singles we know here are women. :-)

-- Carl Sherer

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Carl and Adina Sherer

From: Yehuda Poch <yehuda@...>
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 15:59:36 -0500
Subject: Shidduchim

In repsonse to the posting by <bochur@...>  (The Pobox Bochur):

I have Baruch Hashem never experienced [what] you
describe.  However, let me fill in some spaces here.

I live in Toronto, which is the fifth largest Jewish community in North
America (behind New York, LA, Chicago, and Boston, and I am not sure
about Boston).  Despite our size, the frum community here is really
close knit (about 35,000 people) and we "all know each other" for the
most part.  There are, to my knowledge, nine practicing shadchanim in
Toronto.  Of those, five charge a fee for their services, and one is
really outrageous.  All five have been divorced at least once.  The
other four do it for the mitzvah, and are all happily married (first
marriage) with growing families.

The community at large, meaning community institutions, within the frum
community, take absolutely no action in terms of shidduchim, singles
services, events, etc.  Anyone who does not want to pay the exorbitant
fees, or cannot, is forced to go to the smaller shadchanim who have
smaller clienteles and less time, or to go out of town.

In a city this size that is a shame.  It is an issue that the rabbanim
know about but refuse to act upon.

What ways exist for this problem to be solved in this community?  Can
anyone provide examples from other communities where similar problems
have existed?

\  \  \  \   |   /  /  /  /       Yehuda Poch		 __/\__
 \  \  \  \  |  /  /  /  /        Toronto, Ontario		 \  /   \  / 
  \_\_\_\|/_/_/_/         <yehuda@...>		 /_\_/_\  
           _|_                 http://www.interlog.com/~yehuda	     \/


From: <crew-esq@...> (Chanie Wolicki)
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 21:06:27 +0000
Subject: Shiduchim

        Anonymous wrote regarding the shiduch dating system. I would
like to comment on his post and add a few thoughts of my own. Anon wrote
that he is around 30, FFB, solid yeshiva and secular education, learns,
gives tzedaka, etc. I would guess that his "flaw" is that he works. It
is a great paradox that many girls (at the urging of their parents and
teachers/principals) want to live in a certain style (custom shaitels,
late model cars) but absolutely will not date a working boy! The girl's
parents are expected to support the young couple, very comfortably, for
several years. Of course, MOST people cannot support several married
children, but we have bought the myth that all Jews have money.

        In addition to the money problem, many people have unreasonable
lists. Sure, I would like to marry a 31 year old doctor who is handsome,
loaded, ba'al chesed, warm-hearted, etc. Reality dictates that not every
guy I date is a doctor, or even a professional, most are older than I
would like, "only" decent looking, making a living but not Rockefellers,
etc. I have narrowed my list of must haves down to the important things
- hashkafa, personality - and broadened the range of external qualities
I can live with.

        Many men (ranging from divorced men with several children to the
50 plus bachelors) have unrealistic requirements - they will not look at
a girl larger than a size 8, they all want never-married girls in their
20's, etc.  Of course, many women also have lists - we all want rich
guys, etc. We all have to seriously think about what is truly important
in a relationship. As one rabbi said at a singles event recently, your
date does not have to be the world's greatest conversationalist. You
have to be able to address the real issues; you have the rest of your
lives to learn to make small talk.

        Anonymous wondered what could possibly be going through people's
heads when they make the most inappropriate suggestions. I have heard of
some bizarre shiduchim, but I would not knock shadchanim overall. I
think the problem is often with the candidates themselves. I went out
with someone who has not aged in the nearly 10 years he is living in
Monsey! What is a shadchan supposed to do? Refuse to set the guy up, or
try his best to find someone who might be compatible, based on the facts
the shadchan can glean from the story the prospect tells?

        Instant solution: BE HONEST AND BE REALISTIC! What really
matters?  How important is it, as Anonymous mentions, what color shirt
her father wears on Sunday afternoons? Don't lie about your age - and
don't get hung up on how old he is, either. Very few issues are really
so important you should reject someone sight unseen. Go out. You might
not like each other anyway, or you might be pleasantly surprised to find
that the mate of your dreams has been waiting for you to decide that
petty things aren't that important after all.



From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 09:48:22 -0500
Subject: Shudduchim

Hooo boy! Anonymous struck a chord. Read his posts carefully and you
will see what is at the heart of the issue that drives me crazy--the
domestic violence issue.  When everyone is focussing on narishkeit,
basic menschlichkeit goes right down the tubes.  I really feel bad for
anonymous, because just from his post, I am sorry I am not single and at
least 20 years younger. He is definitely a mensch.  And he knows the
 And he's right, the system needs changing.
 And it's all part of chinuch and this business of boys and girls
regarding each other as different species, and not relating to one
another as human beings, and not being allowed to get to know each other
before getting married, and worrying about money and money and money and
money, and fake values that contribute nothing to a couples' happiness
or parenting skills.  Indeed, if this is how parents behave, what will
their children do? After all, children are only tape recorders of their
parents, unless someone breaks the recorder.
 Tell me why the brim of a hat will tell you if a boy is mensch?  And
what good is learning if all you care about is if a girl worked in a
specific camp? I never even heard of those Camps.  Are girls from Camp
Hedvah and Bnos treyf?
 What is this business, of "This is your test in life..live with it."
Great Judaism. Girls are depressed and want to kill themselves? No
kidding. Me too, I tried like crazy--what was there to live for?
Beatings? Because it was my nissayon in life? Where have I heard what
anonymous heard? In my own life!  Many battered women hear it from their
rabbonim.  Ma zeh?

This is not tikkun olam, this business. This is not Torah. This is not
menschlichkeit.  I don't know what it is, but where is Jewish leadership
when you need it?


From: <Ezr0th@...> (Elanit Z. Rothschild)
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 1996 22:29:36 -0500
Subject: The Shidduch dating problem and a possible answer

In a message dated 96-11-23 21:56:24 EST, Annon. wrote:

<<  Would _you_ want *your* child to have to,
 l'chatchilla, deal with [marry into] a bi'deaved situation
 [person/family]?! >>

I have a couple of comments and questions on your post, mainly this

To tell you all the truth, I have not yet begun to go out on dates,
mainly because I am not of marrying age, but even though, please take my
comments seriously.

First of all, a bit of history of MYSELF--- I have gone to yeshiva all
my life, first elementary school and then an all girls high school in
NJ.  My parents never attended yeshiva but were brought up in a VERY
traditional home (i.e. full kashrut in the home, all chagim kept,
shabbos meals with family, Jewish values and traditions, etc.).  My
parents, suffice it to say, are not religious, but too have raised their
children in a very trational home, and because of that, brought up 3
baalei teshuva- now a 20 yr old female, 17 yr old female and 13 yr old
boy.  My parents (and the rest of our close knit family) are very
respective of that.  Baruch Hashem, we have not had the problems of
"regular" baalei teshuva kids, who don't have kosher homes, places for
shabbos, etc.

Now, my sister has become of "marriagable" age and we all have joined in
on the "hunt" for a shidduch for her.  Many thoughts have crossed my
mind about this: will he care that my sister is a baalat teshuvah?  Will
he care that my mother does not cover her hair?  Will he still be
willing to eat by my parents even though they eat non kosher OUTSIDE of
the home?  Will he be willing to accept my family the way they are and
not ask for anything else until they are ready for it?  I believe these
are real questions.  I know the kind of man my sister is looking for.
She wants someone more to the right than YU, wears a black hat, makes
time for learning, basically a good Torah Jew- does the things that you
mentioned in your post.

Is it hard to find a man like that but with the values that I mentioned
before that?  I don't know.  I hope not.  I hope that a ben-Torah will
be willing to accept a bat-Torah no matter what her backround is.  True,
some are harder to deal with than others, but it is all the same.  As
one of our senior courses that I am taking this year, we learn about
"cults and missionaries" because most of us will be going to college
after a year or so and we might be faced with that situation.  Our
teacher, Rabbi Tovia Singer, flies all over "deprogramming" many benot
and bani Torah who have been caught up in this.  He is most of the time
successful.  He always goes on to tell us that they have since married
wonderful men or women and are raising beautiful Torah Jewish families.
Would you want to even go out with one of these people?  They might seem
so insecure, depressed type of people, but you don't know half of it.
They have unfortunatly fallen to their yetzer hara, something that we
ALL do at least once in our lifetime.  Thank G-d they passed that
nissayon and they are able to continue.

This situation is like others that you have mentioned- all "bi'deaved
situations."  But, do you know what?  Who cares.  How do you know that
the basheret that Hashem chose for you is not one of those girls?  Maybe
it is time for you to be tested with this.  Maybe Hashem wants to see
how you would handle the situation- you really think you love a girl but
she has one skeleton in her closet- what do you do?  Do you find a way
to get around it so you can marry the girl or do you say forget about it
because you are too scared to confront it?

What type of girl are you looking for?  What is a non-bi'deaved
situation? What do you think should be done?

Chag Chanukah Sameach,
Elanit Z. Rothschild


End of Volume 25 Issue 26