Volume 31 Number 76
                 Produced: Sun Mar 12 16:45:53 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire
         [Carl M. Sherer]
Who wants to marry a multi-millionaire (5)
         [Bill Bernstein, <BarqueCt@...>, Joseph Geretz, Stephen
Colman, Levi Keil]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 16:28:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia

Hello All,

We are still in the sporadic state for me, but I've got a few minutes and
am making decent connection right now, so I'm going to try and get off an
issue. I hope to be able to do several more over the next few days, and
then we will go back to normal mode shortly after Purim.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 20:18:33 +0200
Subject: Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire

Chaim Shapiro writes:

> After a long discussion about the perversions involved, a non Jewish
> student asked me a very good question.  How is this different than all
> those cultures that marry their daughters for money?  He was not
> referring to Judaism, but his question raises a good point.  How is this
> show (aside form the voyeuristic element) different than frum people who
> marry individuals simply because the perspective match has Yichus or
> money?  How is this different than young men demanding 150 K for 5 years
> support before giving their consent to date a young lady?

Funny, my wife and I were just discussing this issue this morning, 
because we found out that a friend's son is leaving his wife after a 
very brief marriage. 

I don't think there is anything wrong with yichus being a factor in
determining whom one wants to date. Yichus may (not necessarily does)
indicate that the prospective mate has fine qualities that are difficult
to teach and to learn, such as a sense of calm, a sharing nature, an
empathy for others, etc. While these qualities can be acquired, they
require a lot of hard work and dedication to master.  Just read one of
R. Zelig Pliskin's books if you don't believe me :-).

But I have a hard time with yichus being the only factor, and a harder
time with money being the only factor that determines whether or not a
couple will meet. Those who decide whether or not to meet a prospective
mate solely on those bases are shortchanging themselves at best and
setting themselves up for an unhappy life at worst (IMHO anyway). And
unfortunately, I do see the parallel with the television program that
Chaim describes.

> The real question here, I think, may be, what role does love play in all
> this? Shouldn't a relationship be built on love and understanding, not
> money and vice?  

A relationship should definitely not be based on money and vice.  But
love and understanding mean something different (IMHO) to married people
than they do to single people. When you're dating, and you're falling in
love with someone, and even in the early stage of marriage (i.e. BK -
before kids :-), I think you have a lot more time to share with each
other that isn't pledged to someone else.  You have more time for long
talks, dates that last all day long, and so on. To put it in
perspective, when Adina and I were dating, I was a first year law
student (first semester). I used to sit in the law library from 9:00
A.M. to 11:00 P.M. (with a few hours of chavrusas thrown in - we all had
chavrusas in the law library then) and then I'd come home and speak to
her on the phone until 3:00 A.M. every night. I'm too old and she's too
tired for that now :-)

I think you have to use the time that you date and the early years of
marriage to build a base so that you can continnue to strengthen your
emotional connection after you're married, even though the physical time
you have alone is often much less. Once you're an established couple and
you have to spend more time with raising children, work commitments (for
those who didn't have them before they married) community obligations
and so on, time is at a premium. You have to *make* the time for each
other. And the time that you make often isn't anywhere near enough to
say all the things that you want to say. IMHO making a marriage work
when you have less time to do it in requires a greater and deeper love
and understanding than when you got married, but it's also of a
completely different character. I could tell you that I love and
understand my wife much more than I did when I married her and that
(hopefully :-) she feels the same about me, but unless you've been
married for a while, you may not understand how our love (we're married
19 years after Tisha b'Av IY"H) is different from the love of a young
couple starting out.

So the end of this rambling section is that yes, (IMHO) marriage is and
should be based on love and understanding, but not necessarily the same
kind of love and understanding that you have as a chosson (groom) and
kallah (bride) starting out.

> Could this be why there is much more divorce today then
> ever before in the frum community; money has superseded more important
> considerations?

I think that's a bit too simplistic. IMHO there are a lot of other
reasons why divorce is on the rise. I think the following (among others)
are as important or more important than money as a cause for the rising
divorce rates:

1. Couples rush into marriage too quickly without getting to know each
other at all. That can be caused by lots of things. I'm not a
professional, but I know several couples who, in retrospect, took the
plunge without getting to know each other well enough first.

2. Whatever else you can say about it, divorce is much less of a stigma
today, even in fruhm society, than it was a generation or two
ago. Sometimes, one spouse or the other decides that they don't want to
make the effort to save a marriage.

3. Sometimes one spouse just finds marriage (or children) too difficult
and cracks. This doesn't happen often, but you would be amazed how many
times Adina and I have seen it on the support group lists for sick
children (B"H most of the marriages that have broken up on the support
group lists involve people who are not Jewish, let alone fruhm). I would
imagine that difficulty in conceiving children could bring about a
similar result. I'm not sure you can predict when that will happen and
with whom.

4. Sometimes couples don't have a strong enough base and just drift
apart. The drifting can be encouraged by not having enough time
together. I think that's more a function of modern society and the
demands that it places on all of our time than it is a function of fruhm
society in particular, but obviously fruhm society has been affected by
this trend.

5. Sometimes (not often, but we know of cases where it happened), one
side fools the other about a character or other flaw.  IMHO that's a lot
easier to do when dating is crammed into a small number of dates over a
short period of time. That's why, although I see no point in dating
until one is ready to marry, I do think it's important for a couple to
go out several times (not just 2-3 as is often the case in certain
circles today) so that it becomes more difficult to hide things like an
abusive temperment, an unbridled pursuit of money, or a past that one
may not want to reveal.

I'm sure there are other factors also. And yes, the pursuit of the
almighty buck can definitely be one of them IMHO.

-- Carl M. Sherer

mailto:<cmsherer@...> or mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il
Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son, Baruch Yosef ben
Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  Thank you very much.

From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 15:28:09 -0600
Subject: re: Who wants to marry a multi-millionaire

 Chaim Shapiro asks about the difference between the latest TV vulgarity
and a common practice in shidduchim.
 First, I don't watch (or own) a TV just to avoid demeaning garbage like
this.  When I do see this stuff (at motels or whatever) I am always
impressed with how shallow it is.  Anyway, the premise of the show is
that money buys happiness.  This is contrary to the well-know dictum, mi
ho'oshir, hasomeach b'chelko (who is rich? One hapy with his lot).  In
"our" community, marriages, even arranged ones, are based on the premise
that the couple will build a "bayis neeman b'Yisroel" a home true to
Jewish tradition.  Our marriages and families are geared towards this,
rather than towards the happiness of the individuals (obviously a
succesful family will come from happiness, but it is not the raison
d'etre).  If people look for yichus and money (important factors to be
sure, but not necessarily decisive in good marriages) I would be melamed
zchus (optimistic) that they do so with the thought that it will result
in Jewishly more committed families.

From: <BarqueCt@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 11:28:50 EST
Subject: Re: Who wants to marry a multi-millionaire

I think part of the difference between the gross TV show and traditional
arranged marriages is, WHO does the arranging.  In traditional settings
(Jewish or otherwise) it is the families, who have their children's best
interest at heart (hopefully), who arranged Shidduchim.  Yichus,
parnasa, and OTHER CRITERIA which will make a husband and wife happy are
only part of the equation.  On TV, it was money and looks, with no other
values. No one expects this marriage to last.  
David Locke
Boca Raton, FL

From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 11:39:41 -0500
Subject: Who wants to marry a multi-millionaire

Chaim Shapiro wrote:
> How is this show (aside form the voyeuristic element)
> different than frum people who marry individuals simply
> because the perspective match has Yichus or money?

Astounding! Do you actually know of cases in which this has occurred? In
my entire life, I have never heard of a frum person marrying someone
else simply on the basis of Yichus or money. I'm sure that these factors
are the motivation for the initial proposal of many matches. I don't see
anything wrong with this. A similar background for both parties is the
foundation for a successful match and a long and prosperous
marriage. But to suggest that the actual marriage agreement is based
solely on the fact of money or Yichus? I have never heard of this.

Kol Tuv,

Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.

From: Stephen Colman <stephen.colman@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 00:48:06 -0000
Subject: Who wants to marry a multi-millionaire

I felt very sad when I read Chaim Shapiro's comments:

'How is this show (aside form the voyeuristic element) different than
frum people who marry individuals simply because the perspective match
has Yichus or money?  How is this different than young men demanding 150
K for 5 years support before giving their consent to date a young lady?'

I have been zocheh to have married off one son last August and one
daughter getting married (IYH) on 2nd May (YES AFTER PESACH - but before
Rosh Chodesh - and as an aside, in the London frum Kehillah there is -
so far - at least one wedding on the Tuesday, the Wednesday and the
Thursday after Pesach all during the beginning part of the sefirah and
without any objections - yet all belonging to various shulls of the
charadi Kehillah !!)

I therefore feel that I have a small amount of knowledge in the world of
the Shidduch. Not the Chassidishe but the Litvishe world - my son learns
in Mir and my future son-in-law in Gateshead now and possibly Reb Tzvi
after the wedding)

Both my son and my daughter have been out on approx. half a dozen
shidduchim before they found their zivug. My wife and I made intensive
enquiries about the proposed matches before our children met them. The
enquiries ranged from the physical (height appearance etc - although
only cursory as appearance is of course subjective ... 'but let's find
out in any case...'), to personality, midos, life intentions, and
included discussions with his/her rebbes/teachers/friends etc etc
etc. All this was to establish whether - at least on paper - there was a
basis for compatibility. Yichus may indeed help to colour in the outline
picture but, in our experience at least, is not a foundation post to
build on the relationship. More important is the hashkofo and midos of
the intended shiduch.

I have no reason to doubt that the other side in all cases thought along
the same lines.

Money ? It has never been a major point of discussion. Yes, brief one
liners about commitment to help the young couple, but we certainly have
never come across the 'sale' of a son or a daughter as per Chaim
Shapiro's post !!! Chas veshalom. Is this what goes on in USA ? I am

My daughter has 2 jobs in kiruv/outreach & has always been fully
committed to remain in that field, and would only consider somebody who
will be 'in learning' initially and eventually move on to support
himself in the fields of kiruv/chinuch. She fully accepts the
responsibilty of supporting a husband in learning (with parental help of
course)My son will iyhcome home in Ellul and will immerse himself in the
commercial world. In neither case was there ever a thought of buying a
son-in-law or selling a son.

'Love' ? Does love come into the equation before marriage ? Surely we
learn from Rivka that marriage comes 1st and love will follow. That is
why we take so much time and effort to ensure the compatibility of the
young couple before they even meet. If the couple are attracted
physically, have similar hashkofos and good midos, then there is a good
basis to work on. (Chemistry between the couple is obviously the
clincher - but that can hardly be called 'love' when they have met maybe
5 or 6 times...)Work on the marriage, be kind and attentive, think about
each others needs, learn and grow together - and that love will be
formed and will continue to grow throughout lifes ups and downs.

That, at any rate, is our experience of the 'frum' world of shiduch.

Stephen & Esther Colman

From: Levi Keil <leo_keil@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 11:18:21 -0500
Subject: RE: Who wants to marry a multi-millionaire

This is nothing new. Didn't Rivkah agree to marry Yitzchak sight unseen?


End of Volume 31 Issue 76