Wednesday, December 21, 2005
SHIDDUCH CRISIS:THE OTHER SIDE
Aside from the blogs by the so called rebels, disapproving of everything and everyone in orthodox Jewish life, the most popular blogs are the ones by single people decrying the awful situation that is today’s Shidduchim.
Having been there, I can empathize but offer little advice as I really don’t know what to do or what can be done about it.
Having been there, I’ve observed that not one of my many “friends”, if the word “friends” has taken on the meaning of casual acquaintances that call only when they need something, had ever tried to set me up. Their wives, coming from various cities and towns, must’ve known many girls that could’ve been an appropriate suggestion. A cousin, a friend, a neighbor...
Yet it never happened, none of those stay-at-home-spend the days at malls-wives ever suggested anyone.
Partly because I was hurt and slightly offended by their neglect, I try not to act in the same manner.
Shidduchim candidates often sigh how disillusioned and how torturous the road to one’s zivug (destined one) is.
They rant on blogs and in real life they kvetch and cry. Very understandably so, as a lot of emotional energy is often invested only to be rewarded with disappointment.
The flawed system is criticized endlessly and shadchunim are blamed for thinking too much of the potential monetary gain instead of thinking about appropriate matches.
These claims are legitimate, yet there is another side too, which I’d like to discuss today.
The following is not directed at anyone in particular, it is just a common recurrence that I think leads to hurtful and unpleasant situations.
The story on the other side of the mirror.
I suggested a Shidduch to a friend of mine. I extensively researched the girl, talking to common acquaintances and relatives.
In other words when I was ready to suggest this girl to my friend I was armed with answers.
Then he shot his questions and I was silent.
What’s her relationship with her grandma?, how intelligent is she exactly?, is she interested in my type?, would she be agreeable to do this or that etc…?
To make a long story short I inquired further for him and while the outcome was very optimistic, he just couldn’t give me an answer. There was no question of long distance traveling or expending a large amount of money, yet it took him over a month to give me an answer.
By that time the girl was out of town and when she returned the slight interest she had showed a month earlier had totally vanished, probably because she felt insulted he found it necessary to research her past and present with FBI tactics before taking her out on a single date.
The point of this account is that now he really wants to go out with her, but she’s not interested anymore.
I can’t guarantee that she would be had he acted more reasonably, but I got the feeling that it was the long wait for his answer that completely turned her off.
What happened to the way it used to be in my days? You went out, you talked to the girl, you got to know her and made the decision for yourself. It almost seems like today's dating generation wants to start at the third or fourth date.
1) How much does a shadchan cost?
2) Which branches of Orthodoxy use these matchmakers?
3) Why can't the single person find their own match? They know themselves better than anyone. Why can't they be trusted to pick their own mate? Or is it not a trust issue?
It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I am not trying to be offensive. I am just curious.
My husband tells our son he should take his time, marry for love, and be happy. Myself, on the other hand, have a different perspective on the matter. I tell him I hope he marries soon and finds someone Jewish whom he loves and has children quickly. My husband becomes very upset when I tell him this, but this is how I feel. What should I do, lie about it? I told my husband if our son marries a goyim, it will clearly be HIS fault!
My daughter is still young, and not physically able to do much right now. Be mindful, however, she will receive the same advice (at least from me.)
Stacey - Those are all great questions. As no one else has yet answered them, I'd like to take a stab at them:
1)Depends on the shadchan. Many do it for free, either for the joy it brings them or for the "mitzvah" of bringing two people together. Others see it as their profession. Those, who I refuse to go to, on principle, often charge $50 for the initial consultation and $1000 per side if their is an engagement (fees vary, but this is a pretty standard rate).
2)Much more common in the ultra-orthodox world, but does occur in the modern world to a lesser extent as well.
3)I don't think it is so much a trust issue, although many are matched when quite young (17, 18, etc.). The main issue is that there is little intermingling of the sexes, so there is no real opportunity to meet someone at say a bar or a concert. A shadchan, or parents, or friends, are the only way many will get to meet someone in this world.
I understand why it's done, but I think a lot of the "crisis" would be alleviated if orthodox Jews couyld meet members of the opposite sex in more natural settings and get to know each other in a natural context and not the artifucual boundaries set up by the frum world...
What doesn't he go on a date with her, ask the questions he has to her face, interact with her and form his own opinion.
You know..... its just so crazy it might work.
This topic has been hashed and rehashed. there is no perfect solution. people have managed to get married in the last 5,000 yrs. lets keep it goin people!*smirk*
It is possible that your bashert could pass you by..
The Gemara says that that's the reason why you're allowed to make a shudduch on Yom Tov..beacuse it's possible that someone else could steal away your bashert!
I am all for the friends setting things up, and have tried doing it myself for a friend.
AFI. You hit it right on the head, let them go out and see for themselves if they work together. All the time when parents call me to get info on friends of mine, I feel like telling them to bug off and let the kids decide for themselves if that's what they want.
Iwe want to know more about your private day to day life
come and vist my site I put upa spicy piece about ahassidic woamn I dated
Patt-Thanks, U too!
Frum Singles-Because I was hurt by their not caring enough, I don’t want to act in the same manner, I just get frustrated some times as upcoming posts will demonstrate.
The Real- thanks. I’ve said that to a few parents already but it wasn’t taken very well.” WE will decide what’s best for our son (we, um he needs prestige, name, yichus and the like, very important qualities in a good wife)??
Dating master-Thanks and yes I know your blog is quite spicy.
I set up a guy and girl, the guy had the diamond, they were waiting for the dor yeshurim test, and then she got cold feet. She is too comfortable with living by mommy. The list goes on. Then there is me. And my problem is that no normal guys can handle the wild side of me,, and then also appreciate my depth. Go to a shadchan, say that you want someone with chasidishe leanings, and they set you up with a guy who wears white socks shabbos,, I went to florida on the plane a lady tried to set me up with a guy who has some lubavitch roots,,, 6 generations ago!! Today he is not really shomer shabbos, but its ok,, he will come back for the right girl. I listen to my friends,, I wish I was good at shidduchim they tell me,, and then they go home to hubby at night, and I go home to four beautiful walls. I always say yes to a fone call. I dont believe anyone else can tell you if someone is for you or not. What sounds good on paper is not necessarily up my alley, and what ppl would never put together, sometimes results in the most beautiful relationships. Shidduchim I find are an enigma unto their own. They are a paradox full of contradictions to anything that remotely begins to make sense. I guess its about siyata dishmaya. Thats the only conclusive answer I can come up with. To dig deep within yourself, and daven your kishkess out.
Annymously-Great post,I admire your writing style and the fact you can use humor to write about this subject.
sometimes results in the most beautiful relationships I've seen that happen so often I start to wonder wheter it's not better to bring together exclusively non compatible people:)
Thanks for your comments on my blog Prag :)
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