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


By 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. We don’t have to wait for the time it will take for some universally accepted takana. We don’t have to engage in social engineering.
    We can just start being menschen now.
    If, as you maintain, people are inconsistent when it comes to their sons and daughters, let them be consistent.
    If, as you maintain, “support makes all the difference” and if all things are equal people will choose the girl with money over the one without, don’t be so quick to choose. Find out at what cost that money is coming. Do some more checking and see if everything is truly equal and don’t rely on the resume. Look for the girl who’s really right for your son and with whom he’ll build a happy bayis neeman.
    You really are talking about money. You say that the girls should have a year or two to put away money. Well, whoever they put away money for better be worth it. Parents, start making your boys into young men who will be worth it.

  2. When girls go out into the workforce ,they lose some of the idealism they got in high school and seminary. If every girl worked 2 or 3 years before getting married ,the tzura of new Yidishe mothers and wives would become watered down.

  3. It won’t work. Parents of daughters will not take chances and let their daughters hang around till 20 to date. First of all many girls who hang around till mid or late twenties get modernized as they are more exposed to the secular world. What is the solution. Simple. Litvish or heimish girls should marry chassidisha Boys. There are more boys among chassidim. In the older single world ages 40 and up there are many singles who have given up. I myself know of several very wealthy frum nice guys who have hard times getting married even once. One guy I know is worth 50 million dollars and does not even date. Others I know who come to Shul every morning and on Sunday’s go to the park playing basketball with their friends. I think many singles are full of fear. With today’s rising divorce rate people are scared. I tried to setup some people and it’s not easy. Older singles think ten times before going out. Younger ones are easier but then there are weeks of research being done. Maybe if Trump gets elected the society will be less complicated.

  4. The only way to enforce this is for the boys’ freezer to have a staggered “defrost” period. When the freezer opens it should only “defrost” to boys who are dating girls 22 or older. After 3 months it should “defrost” to boys dating gils 20 or older and after an additional 3 months it should “defrost” completely.

  5. The author offers a suggestion without knowledge of any numbers therefore this is not a reality and makes no sense. where are the numbers or polls showing that the actual fact that there are more boys then girls. Once you have that information then explain how any process changes the numbers. The reality will still remain simple no matter what age the boys start or the girls start. If there are really more girls then boys then no matter what you do there will still be more girls then boys regardless of how you try and twist this.

    Lets do a simple calculation and keep the numbers as easy as the author does. 70 girls to 100 boys
    70 girls are lets say divided in 2 groups – 35 under 20 and 35 over 20
    100 boys – 50 between 20 and 23, 50 over 23

    You want to say if you make the 35 girls under 20 wait until 20 you now have a pool of 70 girls over 20. Yet, you still have only 70 girls for 100 boys. So regardless of age, or when you let each gender begin to date, the bottom line number remains – 70 girls for 100 boys. All you did was improve the pool of choices from 35 to 70 for the boys to choose from but you did nothing to change the bottom line.

    • your math is off. The following #’s are for illustration purposes to explain to you the idea. There are 70 girls who are 19 years old now, and there are 70 boys who are 19 years old now. There are 65 girls who are 20 years old now, and there are 65 boys who are 20 years old now. There are 60 girls who are 21 years old now, and there are 60 boys who are 21 years old now. There are 55 girls who are 22 years old now, and there are 55 boys who are 22 years old now. There are 50 girls who are 23 years old now, and there are 50 boys who are 23 years old now. So here you have it- EQUAL amounts of boys and girls per year, but not the SAME amount from year to year. That is called POPULATION GROWTH. There are many ppl who do not understand the meaning of population growth. If you don’t understand it, you must accept it, because it is math, and not disputable.
      Now look at what we are doing. We are not matching up the 70 girls who are 19 to the 70 boys who are 19. We are matching up the 70 girls who are 19 to the 50 boys who are 23. (with some exceptions, of course) If we continue to do that, it is a disaster. If we have the boys start shidduchim at age 22, and the girls at age 20, it minimizes the disaster. simple as that.


        SO how do you explain that in the West Bank ,they claim there are some 10,000 more males than females ,many of them american born?

  6. I thought of this years ago!! I’m sick and tired of “the boys side” being blamed. This would be a very good idea. The fact is, most girls aren’t truly ready to get married at 18. They have nothing planned out. Just as a non-learning boy shouldn’t date until he has his immediate future worked out (school, job, etc), so too a girl.

  7. If there is an oversupply of single Jewish girls, then why do we continue to accept single female converts to Judaism?

    Every time another single giyoret converts to Judaism, this increases the oversupply of single Jewish girls.

    When a giyoret get married, she is takes a Jewish husband away from a Jewish girl who was born Jewish (unless she marries a gair).

    Giyorets are often far more attractive than girls who were born Jewish, and they convert to Judaism because they want to marry a Jewish man.

    Some Jewish girls will never get married because the Jewish man they were originally destined to marry was taken by a giyoret.

    • Swarm logic.

      Ger conversion is judaism. The wife added by conversion is someone meant to be jewish. She replaces no other bride.

      Forever humane thought sees G-d swindles no bride. The soul must find its mate.

      Detrimental next grain is not the humor of Israel. This is a dangerous hate felt concept above. The jew can find a spouse if the King makes it so.

      Hashem is the King.

  8. Correct me if I am wrong, but the boys freezer was not implemented by patents, shadchanim, or the system. It was implemented by a yeshiva. And any boy who wants to start shidduchim earlier can. Just don’t be at a bais medrash that has a freezer.
    Since girls don’t go to bais medrash at all, much less one with a freezer, then I don’t see it working. Just like boys who want can opt out of freezing, so can (and will) girls.

    • If a group of askonim/rabonim/roshei yeshiva call together a gathering of shadchonim, principals, etc and make a takonoh that they should absolutely not red any shidduchim to any girl until she finished her first year out of seminary, not give any information about a girl that age. If the roshei yeshiva tell the boys, they should not go out with girls that age etc etc. it can work.

  9. This is in response to oy vey. ther are not more girls than boys. There are more 19 yr. olds than 23 year olds because we have a population growth

  10. Is this article a joke?. 70 boys for 100 girls. This has been studied many times over, the birth rate is essentially 50:50 boy and girl.

  11. Again, all you experts are forgetting HKBH! Just keep on making one kefira statement after another. That will really help you get on HKBH’s good side. Be NORMAL and keep davening non stop with Emunah peshuta. Hashem wants us to turn/return to him exclusively. Get that sheretz out of your hand while you are davening. Truly believe that ONLY Hashem can help you – NO ONE ELSE! All you have to do is the basic hishtadlus and leave the rest to HKBH. Don’t ever give up. The yeshuah can and does, come in an instant. May all of Kllal Yisroel meet their zivug in the perfect time.

    • That, and – ourselves. As mentioned in another comment there are many fine gentlemen who are written off as too old. I totally agree than a 25-yr unmarried lady is a diamond who for whatever reasons is not yet married and who soon will be, and surely not a spinster, but the same applies to a gentleman, who by the way happens to have the biological capacity to conceive at any age.

  12. Yeshaya perek 4 passuk 1

    וְהֶחֱזִיקוּ֩ שֶׁ֨בַע נָשִׁ֜ים בְּאִ֣ישׁ אֶחָ֗ד בַּיּ֤וֹם הַהוּא֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לַחְמֵ֣נוּ
    נֹאכֵ֔ל וְשִׂמְלָתֵ֖נוּ נִלְבָּ֑שׁ רַ֗ק יִקָּרֵ֤א שִׁמְךָ֙ עָלֵ֔ינוּ אֱסֹ֖ף חֶרְפָּתֵֽנוּ׃
    In that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, “We will eat our own food And wear our
    own clothes; Only let us be called by your name— Take away our disgrace!”

  13. Yeshaya perk א passuk א
    וְהֶחֱזִיקוּ֩ שֶׁ֨בַע נָשִׁ֜ים בְּאִ֣ישׁ אֶחָ֗ד בַּיּ֤וֹם הַהוּא֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לַחְמֵ֣נוּ נֹאכֵ֔ל וְשִׂמְלָתֵ֖נוּ נִלְבָּ֑שׁ רַ֗ק יִקָּרֵ֤א שִׁמְךָ֙ עָלֵ֔ינוּ אֱסֹ֖ף חֶרְפָּתֵֽנוּ׃ (ס)
    In that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, “We will eat our own food And wear our own clothes; Only let us be called by your name— Take away our disgrace!”

  14. Chazal addressed this 2,000 years ago when they declared that 18 was the age for marriage and forbade Torah without work. As is the case with many of our problems if we followed the words of our sages we would be in a lot better shape.

    • Charlie,
      What about the 3 chamuros?
      The 7 Noachide categories for all Humankind?

      How does this fit with your politics and weltenshaaung?

  15. (How do you explain that in the West Bank ,they claimed a couple of years ago there are some est. 10,000 more males than females ,many of them american born ?)

    There used to be many more boys than girls going off the derech ,ipso there were less good boys

    Today that is hardly case any more

Leave a Reply to M S Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here