Volume 25 Number 35
                       Produced: Wed Dec  4  7:37:05 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Josh Backon]
Shidduchim (2)
         [Yehuda Poch, Elanit Z. Rothschild]


From: <BACKON@...> (Josh Backon)
Date: Tue,  3 Dec 96 8:02 +0200
Subject: Re: Shadchanim

Apropos Shadchanim, I happen to have come across a SEFER entitled
SH'ELOT UTSHUVOT HALICHOT YISRAEL which is meant to decide problems
arising from shadchanut as well as in other areas of brokerage (e.g.
real estate agents).

Josh Backon


From: Yehuda Poch <yehuda@...>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 11:41:19 -0500
Subject: Shidduchim

>From: Adina and Carl Sherer <sherer@...>

>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.

The key here, I believe, is two-fold.  Number one is that the
professional shadchanim must break themselves away from the mold of
"what should fit" and begin introducing people based on their
personalities and hashkafas.  Out of the four shadchanim in Toronto who
do it for the mitzvah, I have been set up on two dates in four years
here.  Neither were in any way applicable.  But since they were
interested in aliyah, the shadchanim figured, "why not".  One was three
years older than me, and one was way too secular for me to the point
that we had exactly nothing to talk about, and ended up going to see a
movie instead.

To my knowledge, these shadchanim know of at least 50 women I do not
know, but for some reason they refuse to even discuss setting me up with
any of them, because in their minds something wouldn't match.  But the
two I did get set up with were disasters.

The second is that the community of baalei batim must begin to take on
their part as well.  Carl's point is fantastic.  The best shidduchim are
made by people who "know you really well".  Shadchanim almost never do.
If every ba'al habayis would invite two girls and two guys of similar
ages over for every shabbos meal for two months, the number of shiduchim
would drastically increase.  No knack for it is needed.  Invite them for
a shabbos meal, and leave the rest up to them.  If it doesn't work, at
least you tried, and you can always invite them again with another

>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 am looking for a girl who will love me as much as I love her, be a
good mother, be interested in the same things as me, be spontaneous and
outgoing and friendly, loves music, and is at least decent looking.  The
only quirk I have is that she should be at least medium height, since I
am 6'3", and 22-25 (I am 25).
 Now, tell me, is that so difficult?
 I am a university educated man and I am quite "domesticated" as well.
I have no sisters, so I learned how to cook and take care of the house.
I love kids and I like to think that I am a very caring, sensitive, and
romantic person.  I am not "chareidi".  I went to Bnei Akiva yeshivas
through high school, and then to university.

One other idea is for ba'alei batim who are on line to join singles
groups and lurk.  Perhaps they can introduce two people who might not
otherwise think of it.  One such group is <shidduch@...> run by
Raizie Steinberg.

>From: <crew-esq@...> (Chanie Wolicki)

> 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.

Why must all parents have money?  And what is wrong with struggling a
little at the beginning like our parents and grand-parents did?  Like I
said above, I am not chareidi.  I don't wear a hat of any brim, but a
kippah.  I actually would prefer my wife NOT to wear a sheitel, but a
hat, beret, or snood.  (I just don't like sheitels or the state of mind
that goes with them.)

But this is not just a problem in the "chareidi" community.  It
transcends hashkafah, and exists throughout the frum world.  Even more
so in the "more modern" areas, since there are fewer shadchanim who
practice there.  But at least things are not QUITE as superficial in the
M.O. world as they are in the more "chareidi" sectors, believe it or

>        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.

That is the important thing.  And this problem exists in the M.O. world
as well.  It takes more people narrowing their lists.

>        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?

The latter.  But on the other hand, it is also the shadchan that can be
responsible for these bizarre shiduchim.  I have a friend, who is M.O.,
learns every day, is a doctor, and is financially stable.  Before he got
married, he got set up with a girl who wore a relatively tight red dress
on their date.  When she saw that he wasn't wearing a hat, she feigned a
headache and demanded to be taken home.  Talk about mixed signals.

Yes, the candidates must have their own heads sorted out first.  But it
is also the duty of the shadchan to figure out whether they have their
heads sorted out, and if not, not to waste the time and the money of
someone else.

I once specifically told a shadchan, in answer to her question, that I
would not consider dating someone who was just becoming frum, since
there would be too much upheaval going on in her life for her to
consider a long-term relationship.  (I would consider a ba'al teshuva,
but not one who is just now becoming frum, that's all.)  Two days later,
this shadchan set me up with exactly the girl I told her I would not
date.  I told the shadchan that I had no intention of calling and
re-stated my reason.  I never heard from that shadchan again, in what is
now approaching two years.
 Sometimes, the shadchanim have no idea of what a person is looking for,
and more importantly, the shadchanim don't listen when they are told.

>From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)

>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.  

And that is VERY important.  From both sides.  Unfortunately, this is a
big issue in the frum world.  But it is an issue that will not go away
unless three things are done.

1. Shadchanim must refuse to setup such people.  I know of a case here
in Toronto where the guy was 22 and the girl was 19 when they got
married.  They got divorced two years later, after a child, because he
beat her. Since then, he is remarried, having been set up through
shadchanim in the interim.  She is still single.  Although she is
extremely attractive, and still young, she has been married and has a
child, and most men will not look at her twice because of that.  I can
understand that, even if I don't necessarily agree with it.  The point
is that he has very little baggage relative to her.  He got remarried
after being set up.  But she is stuck with the kid and even shadchanim
may not help her out.  So the abuser wins again.

2. The beis din in all communities must stop being afraid to take on
this issue (abuse).  If a case is brought to the community, provisions
should be made for the community to force the couple apart and to demand
a divorce.  The abuser must be made to be the victim by the community.
There must be some provision for forcing a get and for enforcing the
ketubah obligations of the male when the get is finally given.

3. The Jewish community must undergo a public awareness campaign the
likes of the one being done in the non-Jewish world.  Jewish women must
be made to feel comfortable confronting the issue within their own
marriages, AND outside them in the larger community.  There is a
tremendous amount of horror on the part of the community when such cases
are made public.  The sympathy elicited is useful, but it is rarely
tapped.  The community has the ability to provide shelters and
counselling, as well as peer support, but if the victims of such abuse
are afraid to come forward, none of this will help.  It is still a
problem in the non-Jewish world, but it is slowly being solved.  It is
high time that the Jewish community take its head out of the sand and
realize what is going on in its own bedrooms.

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

From: <Ezr0th@...> (Elanit Z. Rothschild)
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 18:58:43 -0500
Subject: Re: Shidduchim

In a message dated 96-12-01 22:18:16 EST, Shimon Lebowitz wrote: 

<< BUT... I draw the line at eating in her parents house. with all the
 discomfort, no... pain, involved, I cannot see eating in the house of
 someone who is openly not religious, not shomer shabbat, and keeps
 kashrut 'sometimes'. while I greatly admire (Really!!) their effort to
 keep a kosher home, either because they themselves want it, or in
 respect of the children's desire to keep kosher, I as a person coming
 from outside do not feel I can accept the 'hechsher' of such people. >>

 From experience, I can tell you that my parents never, under any
circumstances, allowed my siblings and I to invite anyone over without
telling them what type of home we live in.  That was a must.  Although
difficult to accept, my parents knew that that was the right thing to
 BUT, since my parents were married, as it stemmed from their
upbringing, they always kept an OU kosher home (weird as it may sound!).
Now, I really don't feel like I must defend the kashrut of my home, but
I was just never able to understand this: since a kosher home was always
kept, with separate dishes (sinks too!) for milchig and fleishig and
Pesach, I don't see any problem with it.  Now, I know that this
situation is pretty rare among non-religious people, but it seems pretty
"kosher" to me.

I don't think that I personally would be able to marry someone who
refused to eat in my parents' home, being that so many precautions have
been taken since the time of my birth!  As I said before, it is a pretty
rare situation, but it is a pretty fortunate situation as well, that I
could only thank Hashem for.  Making decisions like that based soley on
the fact that a person is not shomer shabbos, IMHO, is premature.  You
must first come to know the person, if possible, because I know that my
parents are very knowledgable about our religion and its halachot and
would do nothing to put their children in a "bedieved" situation.

Chag Sameach!

Elanit Z. Rothschild


End of Volume 25 Issue 35