It’s Tu B’Av – Put the Girls in the Freezer


freezerBy Elisha Ferber

We’ve heard it over and over again: there are too many girls in the parsha of shidduchim, and too few boys to match them up with. There is a disparity in the numbers of boys and girls.

Some have disputed or distorted the depth of the problem, attributing the crisis to insufficient community involvement in shadchanus, picky parents of boys, and “dollar-seeking.” While all of these may be true, we must realize that these are a results of the shortage problem, not the causes of it.

Consider the following. The same parents who are picky when their sons are in shidduchim, suddenly become very easygoing when their daughters are in shidduchim. While support makes all the difference for their son, money, to a certain extent, is of no importance for their daughter.

While it is difficult to come up with hard numbers to support any percentages, claims, or representations being made, by simply analyzing the situation, certain facts become glaringly obvious.

If a boy in the parsha is going out on a steady basis and a girl in a similar situation does not go on a date for months on end, then there are obviously a lot more girls available than boys.

If shadchanim can get a “yes” from girls within hours of the shidduch being redd, while they have to wait weeks before getting an answer from a boy, then we all have to admit that there is a problem.

The recent surge of interest by the klal in alleviating this disastrous situation is heartening. But the sad truth is that as long as we don’t seriously address the vast “supply” problem, all that will result is a lot of wasted time, energy and sincere effort.

No matter how many community shidduch groups we organize and convene, and no matter how many housewives turn into full-time shadchanim, not much would change.

If there are, say, 70 boys for every 100 girls, then only 70 of those girls will find a shidduch. While you may be successful in getting “your” shidduch to work, simple mathematics tells us that it will be at the expense of another girl’s engagement. While you may dismiss this as callous, this is painfully true.

What we first learned as 5-year olds playing the game of musical chairs is just as true today. If there aren’t enough chairs, then no matter how many times you play the game, and no matter how you continue to shuffle the chairs, at the end of the day, the same number of people will remain unseated. The only thing that may change is who was lucky enough to get a seat. The analogy to shidduchim is obvious.

What we have accomplished recently with these discussions is nothing more than the equivalent of turning up the music, picking up the pace, and making the eventually unsuccessful game of musical chairs a little more frantic.

The most encouraging solution suggested so far has been for boys to start dating at a younger age and with girls closer to their age.

This is an encouraging idea, but also not the answer. This solution relies on the unlikely premise that difficult decisions will be made by those most unaffected by the problem: the boys and their parents. This is painful to say, but it is probably true.

The same mother who is having problems marrying off her own daughter sees no reason to “burden her son with marital responsibilities at such an early age.” The boy who is learning seriously in yeshiva at age 21 sees no reason why not to continue learning undisturbed until 23. “What’s the rush?” is the common refrain.

Even if boys would begin dating at age 21 or even 20, this will still leave a 2-year disparity between the boys and the girls, who generally begin dating at 18.

While the above suggestion may slightly alleviate the problem, it is not a complete solution.

If anyone has the power to solve the problem, it is in the hands of those we would think most unlikely: the parents of the girls…

The solution? Put the girls in a “freezer” until the age of 20. Very simply, girls would not begin to go out on dates until they turn 20-years-old. Yes, this may sound laughable at first, but think about it:

– Taking the 18- and 19 year-old girls off the “available” lists would drastically narrow the market. The number of available girls would be cut by thousands.

– Parents who don’t think their 18-year old is really ready to get married wouldn’t have to bend unwillingly to the pressure from those pushing to “marry her off anyway.” She would be protected from that dreaded “ticking time clock.”

– Coupling this with the suggestion that boys begin to date younger, boys would automatically begin meeting girls closer to their age, eventually bringing the age-disparity-gap to a close.

– The stigma of the single 24-year old girl would be gone. After all, she was only allowed to begin dating at 20!

If this would become accepted – and perhaps mandatory – in the community, then shadchanim would no longer redd shidduchim to those girls younger than the age limit. All people would focus their efforts on these, more aptly-matched, girls.

Girls coming out of seminary would have a year or two “without pressure,” during which they could put away some money for after marriage.

We would no longer have the sad spectacle of girls watching their friends get engaged while they are left behind.

When the boys’ “freezer” was first introduced, people said it was “impossible,” “far out,” and “could not be implemented.” That idea is now widely accepted, and has been successful.

The girls’ freezer it is not an ideal or even mildly conventional solution. But we are faced with a severe, and certainly unconventional, crisis.

There are those who would rather take a wait-and-see attitude and simply encourage people to become shadchanim. Some people are uneasy about implementing any kind of new approach, especially one of this magnitude. This is a sad mistake. Sticking our heads in the sand in the hope that this problem goes away is drastically unfair to all the eligible girls out there.

It is widely known that the DeBeers Diamond Conglomerate constantly, actively, and tightly controls the world’s supply of precious diamonds, never letting the supply outnumber demand. They rightfully know that if too many diamonds were to be available to their seekers, people wouldn’t consider them to be worth such immense amounts and their value would diminish.

It is time we begin to show that we treat our daughters like the diamonds they are.

{ Newscenter}


  1. “While all of these may be true, we must realize that these are a results of the shortage problem, not the causes of it.”


    Explain how that is not a cause? You start a fire and then you sell fire extinguishers. How do you dismiss that to be OK out of hand?

  2. How appaling that the author of the piece above advocates putting the girls in the “freezer” on tu b’av. This is completely k’neged the gemara in Taanis daf 26b where girls were encouraged to go out and dance and maybe get a shidduch …(You know – the gemara that calls for the girls to go out and dance and for the unmarried men to come and look and take their pick…)

    Perhaps if we followed that gemara and wouldnt lock the girls in the closet, and put them through the obvioulsy failed shidduch system – maybe then we wouldn’t have as big a problem.

  3. this is a great article. I was thinking as I was reading this that girls at the age or 18 or 19 are not even ready to get married they just do it because there is pressure and parents make them. let them have a chance to grow especially the fact that they come back from seminary on such a high and they dont even really know what they want. because the seminary “brainwashed” them to marry a certain type of boy they all want that until reality sets in and they see that its not really for them. Let them wait till 20 so they can grow and become independent and not rely on mommy and daddy for everything!

  4. Wow!
    Someone with an innovative, revolutionary, exciting and sensible great solution. B”H
    Now, all parents and their girls lets ALL stand as one – as all yidishe’ girls did on Tu B’av many years ago – and through achdus as this – caring for each other, we CAN and WILL IY’H succeed in significantly, finally solving this huge problem!!!

  5. Takanos such as this can’t be enacted in this day and age. Unless there is a wide concensus among gedolim or a certified navi behind this.
    Even for a “reasonable” age such as 20, not 22.

    And if it does get off the ground, all I can say is, the boys had better be worth the wait….

  6. nice article, however , my shas states several times that bas ploni -ploni- all this is decided 40 days prior to birth….so there is no need to give hashem eitzus & suggestions how to bring to friution all the zivugim.

    hashem took us out of mitzraim,spit the yamsuf… it was huge nissim, so are zivugim, combrable to krais yamsuf- just pray to hashem to find your basherta!! just pray & make the suitable hishtadlus

  7. Even though such a solution is not our first option, and even harder to implement, it works mathematically. Here in Eretz Yisrael, there is no such problem on such a large scale. What is the secret of Eretz Yisrael’s shidduchim? Bochurim usually start looking at age 20-21, and girls have two years of seminary, in order to get a teaching degree (almost standard here). THE POINT IS, if we encourage (not force) girls to find a career, before they get married, they will put themselves in ‘the freezer’, at least partially, so the age gap will narrow by itself.

  8. This is one thing I will never understand. If you have a problem that not enough girls are getting dates, how will cutting them out of the dating process at certain times get them more dates? How can reducing their shidduch opportunities work to increase their shidduch opportunities.

    Every girl that gets married at 19, is one more girl that can be taken off of the list, and will not need to be addressed when she is 20, 22, or whenever.

    In the numbers of the writer here, (even if you accept them, which I’m not sure that I do) where there are 100 girls for 70 boys, how will it hurt the situation if 10 of those girl get married at 18-19. All that means is that there will be 90 girls and 60 boys, when the girls turn 20. Same overage of 30. Plus you will have the added advantage reducing the stress of any aging from the lives of those 10 girls. Sounds like a win-win to me!

    As far as accepting the numbers here, even Project Nasi, at the height of its pessimitic marketing campaign that was shut down for a number of reasons, only said that there were 110 girls for 100 boys, an overage of 9%, not 30% as this writer states.

  9. OK so lets say my daughter, wife & I agree to postpone dating for marriage until my daughter is 20. What’s to stop my neighbor from ignoring this advice and therefore allowing his 18 yr old daughter to date the 21 yr old boys? All that will happen will that boys will still date and marry girls that are much younger than them and my own daughter will have lost out on 2 years of dating opportunity.

    Your solution will only work if there are NO EXCEPTIONS, i.e., that EVERYONE does it. But the problem is that even if everyone agrees to do it, there will always be incentive for SOMEONE to start dating earlier in order to get a step up on everyone else. Before you know it others will mimic her (out of necessity, of course. Can’t risk falling behind, no matter how “wrong” it is!) and soon everything will be back where we are now.

    I cannot tell you what solution will work, but I can assure you that it will have to be one which takes advantage of each person’s self-interest. It will be impossible to get a solution to work if people feel that they, personally, might lose out — even if they agree that it would be good for the Klal.

  10. And one more point. The success of the boys freezer has absolutely nothing to do with trying to balance the market. The boys freezer was introduced by one yeshiva (yes, I know the largest one) for the purpose of strengthening Torah learning there. Thery did not want people coming primarily to date. The first purpose was to learn. In that sense, it is a success. It had nothing to do with trying to balance, or to unbalance a market.

  11. It’s an idea but why would an individual girl decide to wait 2 years to date. If she wants to start dating she will and she should. And who is anyone else to tell her otherwise? Older single girls are in a very hard place. But in many cases they may have to “compromise” or remain single for who knows how long.

  12. If you want to treat your daughter unlike a commodity, don’t suggest treating her the way DeBeers treats their diamonds. She is a person, not a mineral. Do what is right for her, and daven, instead of trying to “control the supply”.

  13. Brilliant idea! I’d like to see one girl’s mother, though, who will agree to implement this. The girls’ mothers are all out there kvetshing and crying but any shadchan will tell you how unwilling to compromise on any foolish detail many of them are, how ludicrous it is to find mothers bemoaning the fact their darling is still single, and in the same breath refuse to consider a suggestion because the boy is half an inch too short or they heard he’s outgoing but not charismatic enough, or they heard his sister-in-law has a cousin who is divorced.

  14. I agree, excellent idea. It will also give time for girls going for a degree to finish their degree before gettimg married, or at least start it.

  15. 1. has any daas torah been consulted on this. From the fact that not one rosh yeshiva has been quoted it does not seem like they are behind this idea.

    I do not have children in shidduchim yet, but if in the future my 19 year old daughter is redt a perfect shidduch would I really say no for the greater good and possibly ruin her future ch”v? Unless I was directed to do so by a gadol b’yisroel, I wouldn’t take it on myself to do that.

    2. comparing this to the boys freezer is ludicrous simply because the boys freezer was implemented by one institution. There is no similar institution where 90% of marriageable age girls belong which could enforce such a policy.

  16. I know of a personal Rosh Yeshiva who refused to sign on a similar statement years ago. He actually encouraged his daughters and granddaughters to go out early.
    I think we have a huge problem not just on websites but in letters to editors where everyone has become a self proclaimed gadol hador.
    It is pure nonsense to listen to people who stand on soap boxes and give their ideas. Follow your own rov or rosh yeshiva, and you will not go wrong, but don’t listen to someone just because they have a ‘good idea’. It says “Asei lecha rav”. I never saw anywhere in Pirkei Avos where it said to follow everyone else’s advice.
    Hatzlocha and in the zechus of listening to daas Torah (and not daas Haklal) we will be zoche to see our girls married off.

  17. The world is DESIGNED to have more girls in shidduchim than boys. That’s why polygamy is muttar al pi Torah (and the Sefardim have no issue having multiple wives) and only men can have more than one spouse.

  18. I used to redd shiduchim but gave up due to the unreasonable demands that parents had to accept a shidduch. When a girl who is 22 or 23, mother wont let her go out because “he didnt go to the right yeshiva’s (true story) or because their not the right family for us(not balebatish enough) you end up with a shidduch crisis. Then at 30 they call begging to set up their daughter with a working BT ben torah but he’s not interested because he has a long list of 25 year olds waiting for him!Focus on the real stuff, dont be arrogant and no shidduch crisis.

  19. We can’t ignore #13 claim assertion to the reality…
    Listen – I believe if there is something that we can implement that will help a situation then we are expected to do so. Who said Hashem wants the situation to remain this way.
    Hishtadlus means that it’s incumbent on us to do whatever it naturally ought to take to address any issue we face – and then realize that Hashem put it in our mind and gave us the challenge and opportunity to do that!


  20. I don’t really understand these shidduchim plots. I have a friend who is 25 and is engaged to a 19 year old girl. They are very happy and are a very good match. We all know that Hashem was going to make this shidduch happen, but why should society force this couple to wait another year before finding each other? The idea of making girls sit at home and wait is silly.
    The shidduch crisis is a perfect storm. There is no one answer that will solve it.

  21. Great idea, but were sitting over here on the Yom Tov of Tu B’av

    It’s sad because many people have plenty of Dibur but not much when it comes to M’asa.

    Let’s try and be m’chazik this area especialy for the older singles.

  22. It’s so sad to see that out of 27 comments there are only about 3 which mention Hachem. This must be the real problem of today’s shidduchim: it seems most of us have forgotten Who is mezaveg zivougim. Yes there seems to be more girls than boys but since when does am Israel rely on teva? The Thora explicitly sais that Hachem has already decreed who we should marry before we were born. Where is our emouna ?!? What we need to do is pray harder, stop being so picky and close minded and help each other out. If shiduchim hadn’t become just another market, ie who can sell the more, who can get the most expensive, who can flaunt it more…then perhaps we wouldn’t have today’s crisis. Just btw in the city where I live there are as many men as women who are in their late 20’s or 30’s and can not find their match. The problem is US and our misconceptions about shidduchim and marriage.

  23. great idea, if the roshei yeshiva of a couple of the largest yeshivas would back and enforce this plan it could have a real shot of working

  24. First of all I think its very peasant like to use the term “freezer” for anything non-edible – it sounds highly unsophisticated, actually.

    Secondly, the whole article suggests that there is a solution. The Nevi’I’m Achronim foretell that right before Moshiach there will be an issue with the amount of girls and boys. The solution is MOSHIACH.

    We need to get ourselves – as a whole Klal Yisrael out of the freezer –

  25. If you have sechel & know that we have to work pretty much with derech hateva, then you know that a girl with a couple of years of work experience, and/or towards her degree (and a little savings doesn’t hurt) is more appealing to many boys’ mothers. And some parents are even (gasp) insisting that their girls takeh work for a year & grow up a bit.

    For those who insist on joining the race when the girl is 19, with no skills, no savings (and, if she’s doing a degree, will be doing it for a couple of years after marriage), well, obviously, Hashem takes care of them too.

  26. The problem in the chassidic circles is just the opposite. there are more boys than girls. Boys are getting older and are having an extremely hard time finding a shidduch while the girls can pick and choose.

  27. While the author’s intentions may be noble, the suggestion lacks intellect and bottom line advice. Any suggestion that would prohibit any of the genders to date until a certain age is a terrible idea. There are many girls who by chance started sating when they were 20 and are now older and single. We need to find a way to encourage a proper method of increasing shidduch dates and matchmaking. By prohbiting anyone to go out for anytime whatsoever, the hard sad endfact will be less marriages and a larger crisis.

  28. 1st of all get some facts. Don’t tell people they should pass up on good prospects for their daughters because of hearsay and speculation.

    2nd of all unless this becomes widespread (some sort of takana, which you can’t enforce) no one should pass up on ANY prospect for their daughters.

    So why are you making people worry for NO REASON?

  29. This is all a load of last weeks cholent. Get a life! Statistics are for goyim. I’m an upper 20’s working, single, yeshivish, ect… Only girls I get offered during the ‘off season’ are BT’s, Geyrim and splits from wrecked families. What is there something wrong with me? Is there something wrong if i’m looking for someone who shares a common background? But, noooo! its the 70-50 split, or the 18-19 year old’s vs 23-25. You know what it is? Its a bunch of shortsighted parents telling their kids that they’ll have a great life

  30. Please know to diferentiate between adressing a problem with proposed solutions to helping G-d run his world. Putting girls in freezer is totally against halacha & is not an option. This article reminds me of what someone once said “I’m not G-d but I’m his closest assistant”

  31. The solution – already encouraged by many roshei yeshiva and gedolei Yisroel – of encouraging boys to go out with girls older than themselves solves the problem in a much more conventional manner.

    In the chassidishe velt, it is very common for boys to marry girls who are two years older than themselves. If more yeshivos and PARENTS would encourage this it might go a long way to alleviating what we call the shidduch crisis.

  32. The sentement behind the susggestion is very noble, but practically it will never work. Also, the problem is not a demographic problem, it is a socialogical problem.

    The only way to change the issue is to change the attitude of the population to the subject of shidduchim, which implies a change in the approach towards chinnuch.

    Some areas that need to be considered are:

    1. Accepting that all people are unique. This implies that not every girl is cut out to be a kollel wife and not every boy is cut out to be in full time learning his whole life.

    2. Accepting that nobody is perfect. Everybody has a skeleton in their closet as it were. Beware the perfect family!!!

    3. Ikkur/Tofel. Can we produce the standard we expect of others?

    4. Our children are human beings, not trophies.

    5. Work out why you want what you want! A good way to figure out what you really want.

    6. Perhaps instead of asking whether there is money, we should ask whether the money is kosher! But then again that may be too much to ask!

    7. Understand that the goal of shidduchim is to produce a happy, well balanced and fulfilled couple who will produce happy, balanced and fulfilled children.

    8. You have to live with whoever you decide to marry, not your parents, not your rebbeim and not the shadchan. Therefore don’t be scared to say no.

  33. Two issues need to be highlighted.

    But first; the article is excellent. The solution is as mathematically correct and as socially doable as the ideas and solutions discarded in the first part of the article.

    1) “Going out” and “dating” are goyishe terms and hashkofoss. Bayis ne’eman beyisroel should not chass vesholom be founded on that. “Going out” – a bass-yisroel? Dating implies multiple choice, until you find the matching one. (Akin to shopping for matching tiles.) And maybe there is something better that will come up. s why accept the acceptable. Choice, YES. But only after a reasonable suggestion has been fully met and investigated and found not suitable

    A “meeting” would be a much better term. (As in “I am not yet meeting”; “I am going to be meeting someone that night…”)

    2) Bass ploni liPloni in the Gemara was before Rabbenu Gershom. The 2nd wife was presumably ALSO called out. (And is probably still called out, but the first to take the place “wins”.)

    What has happened is that mortality at childbirth has virtually disappeared. Most families, if they look at their genealogy, will find more than one “zivig sheni” in the last 3 or 4 generations of their line. Many were girls unmarried before. (My treeline has 3 of those! All after 1860.)

    It is impossible to imagine any girls today who would settle for “2nd place”. Similarly, young married women would not be able to even consider this for someone else.

    Boys/men would find it easier (and it would probably cause a decrease in the “roving eyes” syndrome…)

    So why mention an idea that has crash-landed before take-off?

    Because there are many 30+ girls with a ticking bio-clock. Single parenthood is acceptable in today’s general society. Many single (and married) women have successful careers of their own. They do not need a husband for financial support. (Do I hear voices in the background saying aderabba?)

    So, envision this wacky idea: At age 30 (or whatever) a girl could have a ksav from a beis din of muvhakim, to be the 2nd spouse (without the secular registration) to a Ploni. She would live as a single mother, with regular visits from her husband, father of her children, at mutually agreed upon intervals (perhaps even required in writing). She could have very meyuchasdike children in such a system.

    There are 2 things standing in the way. Shtayim sheheym achass. The girl (#2) and the original wife (#1). Both wold have the same objection. (2 = 1).

    We live in a world where a marriage is a one-to-one relationship (which most often ends up in a 1.25 to .75 relationship.) Women expect equal status in marriage (although they very often take the 1.25 part.) Neither #1 nor #2 would even consider a compromise.

    No, this won’t work. Changing the “dating” concept is wacky enough in the 21st century. Changing such a life attitude? No. “I”ll do anything to help my 34 year old best friend to find a shidduch. But to change MY whole perspective of life? Zoyss Loh.

    Ani maamin that someday 2 young women will see the incredible mitzva inherent in this. And Hashem will give them both shefa brochois.

    VeNomar Omeyn.

  34. To Maamin (30): you think Rabbeinu Gershom didn’t know this?

    Bubbie (43): we are producing excellent, capable boys. What do you suggest we do to prepare our boys for life?

  35. The idea in theory is good but practically will never come to fruition, I would like to propose that the Rabanim could make a Takanah that there should be no shadchanus gelt for making a shiduch for a girls under 20/21 that way somehow money might motivate shadchanim to focus more on the older girls and help contain the crisis.

  36. The author seems to forget and doesn’t mention even once that Hashem is mezaveg zivugim. Everyone has a zivug predestined. People have become picky and demanding and probably missed their basherte when it was presented to them. The solution is to start looking at the middos of the person and watch how things will all work out according to the master plan.

  37. #42, can u please back up what you said about neviim achronim foretelling an issue between the number of boys and girls? Please quote chapter and verse (perek & passuk) or at the very least tell us which Navi, and give us some sort of idea where this is mentioned. I have never come across any such inyan, but admittedly do not know Tanach by heart and could be missing something. If anybody else out there has a source, please post!

  38. Working Guy,

    Hang in there! The right girl WILL come your way!

    You’re doing what’s right for you; you know it and your bashert will know it; if someone can’t see that then she’s not the one!

  39. Despite all the naysayers, this COULD work, if the Gedolim and Askonim agree that it should.

    It would need a heavy endorsement by the Gedolai Hador (R’ Shteinman, R’ Kanievsky,R’ M. Solomon etc)

    They should clearly state that seminaries should change to a 2 year program, and that Shadchonim should not get involved in redding shidduchim to girls under 20.

    This would place a terrible stigma on those girls/families/shadchonim that try to “skirt the competition” by going out earlier, as they would be going against the clear directive of the great gedolim of our dor.

  40. Some might dispute the accuracy of the facts here. However simple math proves that a large age gap is definitely a BIG problem. If the average family has, lets say, 5 children in 30 years, that is 150% growth of the yeshiva population every 30 years (5 children/2 parents). This is 5% growth per year (150%/30). This means that for every year the chassanim are older than kallahs, there will be 5% more girls on the market than boys – if 23-18 is average, that means 25% more girls!
    This is a big problem, which must first be recognized, before we can solve it.
    My only suggestion (I think this has been suggested in the past)is, maybe someone could start a fund that pays a bonus to shaddchanim if the girl is within a year of the boys age.

  41. For all those that are quoting gemaras! There is also a gemara that says ben shemona esra l’chupa. and after esrim tipach atzmosov. What happened to that gemara?????

  42. as a parent of both married children and singles as well as two in the shidduch parsha( both girls) the decision of when to date needs to be personally decided by the parents with their child’s strong input. I married at 19 -my husband was 23 and it was right. Others in my immediate family married older and it was right too. You cannot make such a blanket statement. What will work is going back to focusing on the important things like midos instead of on a neighborhood or profession or size as a dating criteria and before anyone says my children must be obese they are both very petite and one has a profession and one is studying. I say this as a person who has been called numerous times for shidduchim and even asked once how heavy the mother was in case the daughter might get as heavy as her mother. WE NEED PARENTS TO REFOCUS NOT THE KIDS

  43. Seems like many on this thread like the concept , just dont see it being able to work logistically… I have a suggestion.
    for years people have been trying to make takana wedings & havent really succeded.

    maybe we enforce takana weddings , but allow regulaer weddings if you marry a 22 year old girl….

  44. #48 I wish there was a way to reach you. We are looking for a normal decent working boy and our daughter is not being redd to them because shadchanim do not listen when told what she wants- they know better. She is 22.

  45. Perhaps the most logical solution in our dual income society would be to lift the cheirem on marrying 2 wives (legal polygamy issues aside) to reallow a Yiddishe momme to be home with the kids instead of the cleaning help. This will kill 2 birds with one stone and benefit the singles crowd.

  46. why dont we check the birth rates – lets first see if there are more girls born than boys, then go look for soloutions

  47. To #58 “Yosh”.

    NeviimAcharonom – she may have meant Kessuvim Acharonim (aka “Apocrypha” – Ben Sira, Chashmonaime, etc.) which were mot accepted by Knessess Hagedolah as sifrei Kodesh.

  48. #44 – B”H SOMEONE has taste and a
    semblance of class!

    Btw the solution is Moshiach, folks! It scares me to see how very few get this.

  49. It’s a great idea for girls looking to work or go to college, however there are many girls who have different goals and want to marry, raise a family and stay out of the work force. Maybe these girls have money from parents for support or those who choose a simpler life style. Forcing girls to get a job or go to college (what else could they do to pass time until they reach the age of 20?)seems unfair.

  50. #56 and #60 (and others):
    Both of you further prove my point (I wrote #28). What chutzpah do we have to say, “The gedolim SHOULD DO x,y, or z”?
    Last I checked, it was the gedolim who told us what to do, they don’t need us telling them what we want. They are smart enough on their own.

    I wrote before that I know of a rosh yeshiva who was asked to sign such a letter in an ad and he refused to sign!

  51. Last year the Nasi Program published a chart citing the results of a survey they did in 22 Bais Yaakovs across America. Bottom Line: 13 percent of girls in shidducim for 5 years are still single. Only 3 percent of boys from similar background, going out for 5 years were still single. While we should do everything to help those 3% boys, I would guess that it’s virtually impossible, for various reasons, to have 100% boys married. Therefore,we must conclude that there is no shidduch crisis for the boys, only for the girls. Pickiness is not a factor here, since the boys are getting married despite their pickiness (although it may cause other issues).
    For those who think that we’re leaving Hashem out of this, perhaps we can say that Hashem is opening our eyes and showing us through simple elementary math exactly what the root cause of the problem is, and leaving it up to us to come up with a solution through derech hateva- as that is the way of this world.
    The solution is not so hard to implement. A meeting of shadchanim must be arranged by Rabbonim or other leaders, and shadchanim must be told that they should absolutely stop redding shidduchim to the 19 year olds (preferably even 20 year olds) It would take some time, but if this becomes the norm, the imbalance of girls to boys would slowly improve. This would solve many of our shidduch problems, as most are due to an oversupply of girls compared to boys. To those who think the girls/mothers would resist, they are absolutely wrong. They would be thrilled. Just ask any 19 year old. Also, the kindergarten cut off dates have been getting earlier, so lately the girls are really graduating at an older age then ever- making things seem even more rushed after sem grad. Believe me, the girls would be thrilled if the normal age for starting shidduchim would be 21, aside from all the reasons mentioned in the article.
    For those above who don’t understand the math of the age gap, watch this simple-to- understand slide show from Nasi.

  52. Re “it could work”: any exceptions, like a bright girl who skipped a grade, or girls who opt out of twelfth grade to go to Gateshead, etc.?

  53. Why do we have such weird wrong views on shidduchim, and the roles of girls and boys? I’m not going to address each one individually, because 65 is just too much.
    I will only reply to one comment who suggested that the klal shouldn’t come up with ideas, and we should only let the gedolim speak for us. While it might be true that we need to turn to our gedolim for guidance, the power of the people is enormous. We have great minds among the people, and there’s no reason to silence that because we aren’t gedolim yet. (Or gedolos, since I’m a woman…) All of our great ideas need rabbinical backing, but we can also come up with ideas. Hashem loves each of us too, and knows we have the potential to reach gadol (gedolah) status too. We need to be able to think for ourselves. My teacher once said that change starts from discussions around a Shabbos table, and I think she was right.
    I’d also be interested in hearing the source for the nevuah about a shidduch crisis, if anyone knows…

  54. to # 65 and 68, How about if not everyone agrees with this idea? My daughter got engaged at 19 and married just as she turned 20. Who says girls would be thrilled to go out at 21? My daughter personally would have been miserable had she had to wait around, whereas another daughter of mine was not ready to date even at 20. Each has their own derech.

    As far as we each have the power to reach gadlus status, I’ll take the advice of a rosh yeshiva than a self appointed gadol on any website or institution.
    I don’t believe your ideas are correct that we each should think for ourselves. To me that borders on apikorsus, although I could be wrong. Something about that attitude sounds heretical to me.
    I’d be curious to hear other comments on that issue.

  55. This suggestion of the author (which is actually a repeat from last year and perhaps two years ago) is being implemented extremely effectively, not by takanos, not by prohibiting younger girls from dating nor by insisting that shadchanim are “assur” or lose compensation if they make a shidduch for a girl under the age of 20.

    What is slowly but surely rolling across the North America is the concept of communities (and schools) appreciating and compensating people who set up dates for girls who didn’t just start dating (vague on purpose).

    This is already active in 4 communities and two schools and over the next few months it will be adopted by an additonal 5 large communites imy”H.

    The natural result (and the proof is in the pudding from the places where it is active) is a tremendous amount of shidduch attention for the girls who didn’t just start dating and thus far more dates and shidduchim for them.

    This is a extremely effective way of closing the age gap on the side of the girls by creating a ruach where boys will be redd to more girls who didn’t just start dating.

  56. To Being done already: what is the age for compensation in this plan?

    There is a trend to push the girls to get more qualified in the workplace, I guess because it’s clear that parents can’t do what they used to be able to do (for whatever factors: family size, tuition, helping out parents who are living longer and may not have retirement plans, whatever they may be).

    My guess is the next step will be guiding the boys to be more resourceful parnasa-wise as it will be clear that not only are the parents maxed out but the wife’s income may not be enough; sometimes things come up; there reaches a point where a family needs the mother home at least part time; etc.

  57. Note to moderator: Can we ban all uses of the words “apikorsus” and “apikores” from this blog. The word is tossed around so loosely that it has lost all serious meaning and has just become an ad hominem attack on posters with whom one doesn’t agree.

  58. 1. boys and girls are already getting married at a older age then ever before. Lets not try and increase it even more. Some negative effects could be: girls will have that many less fertile years married and there are many challenges faced by young singles which marriage remedies
    2. Polygamy is assure so its not an option and even if it was it creates the opposite problem i.e. more single guys then girls.

  59. 1.Daven really hard and NEVER ever give up!

    2.People need to seriously work on their middos in yeshivas they need to give around the clock shmuzzen on how to be a mentch, how to treat people with respect, and when boys are in Bais Medrash they need to be given mandatory speeches on what it means to be a good husband, giving, considerate ect.and how to date properly-they need hadracha!Every boy whether working or learning should have a Rebbe!

    3. Say goodbye to the lists! No more lists a girl doesn’t need to be number 456 on some boys list.

    4.The boy and girl get redt the same time and they both have a week and a half to look into the other- if they need more time then they call up the shadchan

    5.When a shadchan calls up someone and says I have someone for your child don’t give the name ask them is your son/daughter busy if yes then DON’T give the name. If their not then redt it!

    6.Peole seriously need to get their priorities straight!The most important thing in the world is to make sure your child marries a mentch, a big baal middos, and someone who has Yarei Shomayim- not someone who is going to make me as a parent look good because they went to yeshiva/seminary x , or they have money or have yichus!

    Hatzacha Rabba to all! May Hakadosh Baruch H send ll those who need o find their zivug they should do so Bekarov with much Siyata Dishmaya and clarity!

  60. lets be realistic chasidim dont have a crises because the mary same age.the excuse that the boys are not mature at 19 is stupidity.
    If not, teach them midos and mature them.

    .the fact that a 23 year old boy marries an 18 year girl is the problem.

  61. Being a 17 yr old bais yaakov girl, I personally would not like to be put in the freezer any time soon. I mean, come on, it’s easy to say someone else should do it, but would I honestly choose that for myself? If I am mature enough or not to get married in a few years is one thing… but let’s say I am: I’m not sure how willing I would be to push off trying to find my bashert! that would take a lot of gevura!


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