New York – To Solve ‘Shidduch Crisis’ And Plastic Surgery

    162

    New York – I know I’m going to be crucified, but if the appeal I make below helps even one girl in shidduchim, then it will be worth all the fury and outrage that shall inevitably descend upon my soon-to-be beleaguered head.

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    The other night, I was invited to a fascinating new shidduch initiative. Endorsed by leading rabbonim and spearheaded by a few righteous women valiantly trying to transcend the spiraling “shidduch crisis” in some small but meaningful way, the concept was to bring mothers of eligible young men together with young women looking for shidduchim (members of both groups were pre-screened and issued personal and discreet invitations by the organizers) in both a balabatish setting and a dignified way.

    Everybody knows that the experiences of boys in shidduchim–in contradistinction to their female counterparts–is vastly different. This is the harsh truth: The mothers of “good boys” are bombarded with shidduch suggestions on a daily basis – a veritable barrage of resumes either flooding their fax machines or pouring out of their e-mail inboxes– while those with similarly “top” daughters sit with pinched faces anxiously waiting for the phone to ring. The disparity is bare, bold-faced and veritably heartbreaking: In the shidduch “parsha,” boys are constantly being courted and pursued, while the best girls’ resumes barely elicit a modicum of interest.

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    As a friend recently told me: “When my nephew was 19 and started shidduchim, he went out with 19-year-old girls. When he turned 20, he still went out with 19-year-old girls. He kept getting older, but the shidduchim that he was “redt” continued to be 19-year-old girls. Now he is 24 and baruch Hashem just got engaged –to a 19-year old girl.” Sadly, women do not have this same recourse.

    To rectify this inequity, a few concerned mothers brain stormed together and concluded that “shidduch resumes” (which never even existed as a concept when I was dating 35 years ago) fail to accurately capture the essence of the person being “summed up” and often–especially in the case of the girls– get lost in the shuffle. One organizer told me: “The boys’ mothers barely give the girls’ resumes a passing glance–they are so overwhelmed by the sheer numbers coming their way–and it becomes a daunting task to sift through them. And the resumes themselves are severely limiting. Can you really get a genuine sense of who the girl is from the resume? What does it tell you about her personality, her character, her intellect, her neshoma? It is demeaning to reduce a girl to a few sentences.”

    The rationale underlying the new shidduch initiative was this: If eligible girls would be given personal and meaningful “face time” with prospective mother-in-laws, they would be able to present their qualities far more efficaciously than a cold and lifeless curriculum vitae.

    Now for my full disclosure: I am the mother (baruch Hashem) of a great boy. He is continuously sought out, “in perpetual demand” (kinehora). I should be grateful that in shidduchim, he “wields the upper hand.” But as a woman who identifies with and feels great compassion for the throngs of girls in a parallel universe who are not being chased, I feel a little sad each time the fax machine cranks out yet another resume for my son. I know full well that there are fantastic girls out there who are his equals–perhaps even his superiors–who are NOT receiving comparable treatment. They are neither being hounded nor pursued half as vigorously as he, and they are denied the latitude of choices that he receives every day. I ache for their mothers who repeatedly call the shadchanim who never call back, but are visibly more responsive if you are the mother of a boy. Inwardly, I rail against the unfairness of it all (although the shadchanim are completely innocent of any wrongdoing, whatsoever; it is the system that is at fault– not they—the stark realities of supply and demand). Thinking of the mothers who do not have the privilege to wade through as many resumes as me, I try consciously not to revel in the continuous stream that cascade over my desk. I know how fortunate my son is, and I feel for those who aren’t.

    So, when one of the extraordinary women who organized this event invited me to participate, I was actually reluctant to attend. Quite simply, there was no need. But because I like and respect this woman so much, and wanted to validate her efforts, I RSVP’d “Yes.”

    “How are you going to work this?” I asked. “How are you going to ensure that all the girls get equal time? Are they not going to feel degraded? Is this process not going to end up even more demeaning than a resume?”

    The organizer assured me that there would be facilitators on site who would introduce each girl to every mother. The facilitator would escort the mother to the tables where the girls sat, and be hyper-vigilant that no girl gets bypassed. I wondered how many girls would feel comfortable with this arrangement and actually show up, but as I said before, I wanted to support my acquaintance’s endeavor with my physical presence, so I went.
    The gathering was held in a beautifully appointed hall, decorated with cozy little tables draped in elegant tablecloths, with a sumptuous smorgasbord in the center of the room laden with fruit platters, petits-fours and drinks. It was clear that the organizers had paid fastidious attention to the smallest detail, and had labored hard to make the physical environment as elegant and dignified as the general atmosphere that prevailed in the room.

    I was jolted by two different things when I opened the door to the hall. First, the sheer numbers of single girls in attendance made my jaw drop. I had hardly expected this kind of attendance, never suspecting that so many young women would have the courage to show up. It could not have been a comfortable situation for any of them – even the most “chilled” and outgoing amongst them must have felt a tad awkward. (Personally, I felt so ill at ease and nervous, all I wanted to do was pick up my pocketbook and flee). I gave them tremendous credit for doing something so proactive and gutsy. I stood uneasily with some of the other mothers, waiting for the facilitators to arrive, making small talk. Most of the mothers with whom I conversed loved the idea, but I was deeply anxious about navigating the brief encounters: How to gently ferret out vital information from these sweet young ladies without making them feel interrogated, evaluated and ultimately…judged? (Which in fact was the case.) How to end the meeting in a tactful and kind way when it became clear that they weren’t for my son? Should I feign enthusiasm and interest after the crucial few seconds in which I had already made this determination to spare their feelings, or should I move on more quickly, to maximize the time I had left? My stomach churned. How do I dance this waltz without stepping on anyone’s shoes? I should have been thinking about my son, but all I could do was worry about the girls.

    The second thing that jolted me when I opened the door (and which I know will incur many a mother’s wrath, but which I feel I must speak about) was the conspicuous and glaring lack of make-up on a significant percentage of the girls’ faces. I was stunned. The girls knew why they were there; there was no attempt at pretense on anyone’s part. The mandate of the event was to give them the opportunity to present themselves in the best possible light. Why weren’t they?

    Let me tell you about this particular population of girls: They were between the ages of 21 and 24, and mostly seeking “learning boys.” (The organizers’ plan for the future is to hold additional events for other age groups and different categories of boys: learners/earners, professionals, working boys only, etc.) They were eidel, frum, sincere, intelligent, and committed to the learning ideal. But even the most temimasdika ben Torah is looking for a wife whom he finds attractive. Yes, spiritual beauty makes a woman’s eyes glow and casts a luminous sheen over her face; there is no beauty like a pure soul. Make-up, however, goes a long way in both correcting facial flaws and accentuating one’s assets, and if my cursory inspection was indeed accurate (and I apologize if the girls used such natural make-up that I simply couldn’t tell), barely any of these girls seemed to have made a huge effort to deck themselves out.

    Since most of the young women at chasunas seem quite presentable, I couldn’t shake off my sense of disbelief as I looked around now. What were they thinking? How had their mothers allowed them to leave their homes with limp hair and unadorned faces? With just a little blush, eyeliner and lip-gloss, they could have gone from average to pretty. There are very few women who can’t use a little extra help. Even the most celebrated magazine models can look downright plain when stripped of all cosmetics, al achas kamah v’kamah girls who are not born with perfect features. So what was going on? Were they in denial about the qualities young men are seeking in future wives? Yes, it is somewhat disillusioning that men dedicated to full-time Torah learning possess what these girls might perceive are superficial values, but brass tacks: they want a spouse to whom they are attracted. The young men themselves might be too shy or ashamed to admit it, but their mothers won’t hesitate to ask what for some is the deal maker/deal breaker question, namely: “Is she pretty?”

    Thankfully, every one’s conception of attractiveness is different; beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and a woman’s intellect, personality and soul can have a tremendous bearing on the way in which her beauty is perceived. Still, there is trying, and then there is not trying. The mystery perplexed me: Why hadn’t some of the girls gone overboard in presenting themselves in the best possible light? I felt like shaking them in despair. As I further scanned the room (I had started assuming the role of disembodied observer once I realized that I was at the wrong event; my son is learning full time now, but plans to pursue a Ph.D so he wasn’t appropriate for this particular group), I could not help but notice the number of girls who could have vastly improved their appearances–gone from plain Jane to truly beautiful–if they simply made some effort. The truth of the matter is, I mulled, one way of looking at the story of Purim (and there are so many different prisms through which it can be viewed) is to see it as the narrative of the tyranny of beauty ruling every society in which Man (and woman) has ever lived. Vashti incurred Ahachshverosh’s wrath because he wished to parade her beauty and she refused (bad skin day). The women of the kingdom who vied for the Queen’s throne were given twelve months to prepare for the beauty pageant – why hadn’t some of the girls at the shidduch event taken a mere half hour?

    Some women who are deeply religious or intellectually inclined may delude themselves into thinking that their male counterparts will only see, appreciate and cherish their inner beauty, and that will (or should) be their overriding priority. All other surface qualities will be secondary, subordinate to the place where their neshoma stands. Truly, it is an ideal that I passionately share with them–the yearning to be seen in a soulful way, visible to the heart but not necessarily the naked eye– but unfortunately we are not living in an ideal world.

    Many years ago, I had a conversation with Georgie, the internationally renowned hair stylist and sheitelmacher, who brought a certain new aesthetic to the frum world when she first launched her business. Georgie told me then that she wished she could persuade young women in shidduchim to participate in “make-over” sessions with hairstylists, cosmetologists and wardrobe consultants, who would help them achieve their best possible look. “I am often shocked by how little these girls do for themselves,” I vividly remember her saying. “How will they ever find a shidduch?”

    Surprisingly, a well-known story about the Satmar Rebbe t”zl drives home this point. During his incarceration in concentration camp, the Rebbe refused to eat the meager provisions that were customarily doled out to the inmates–the proverbial crust of bread and watery soup–because of kashrus concerns. He subsisted solely on the portions of raw potatoes that Hannah*, a young woman working in the kitchen smuggled out to him daily – at great risk to her own life. The Rebbe tzl had tremendous hakoras hatov for her sacrifice, and always publicly acknowledged that she had saved his life. Later, they were both placed on the Kastner train, and found refuge in the safe haven of Switzerland. When the urge to re-embrace life asserted itself, and young refugees started dating and getting married, no one courted Hannah, who had lost all her teeth during her years of privation. One day, the Rebbe summoned his Rebbetzin, and handed her a large wad of cash. “Please give this to Hannah,” he said, “and instruct her that she should use the money to pay for dentures. And after the dentist has repaired her mouth, please tell her that she should use the rest of the money for makeup.” Soon afterwards Hannah became a kallah.

    If the Satmar Rebbe t”zl – a tremendous Torah giant who resided in such lofty realms –could perceive what the obstacles were to Hannah’s attainment of a match, surely we (l’havdil) who dwell in far lower spheres should confront the need to make our daughters as shidduch-worthy as possible, no matter what it takes.

    Mothers this is my plea to you: There is no reason in today’s day and age with the panoply of cosmetic and surgical procedures available, why any girl can’t be transformed into a swan. Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her life.

    Recently, an acquaintance of mine reported the happy news that her first cousin had become a kallah for the first time at the tender age of forty. “She wowed her chasan with her beauty,” she said. “That’s what gave her an edge over the other women her age.” Then she paused. “Let’s see…she had a nose job….gastric bypass …botox injections….her teeth were capped…..and she wears violet-blue contact lenses…There’s practically nothing about her that’s real!” she laughed. “But…guess what? She’s getting married next month!”

    I grew up a homely teenager. My weight and my frizzy hair were just two of my issues. I still cringe when I think of the pain that was my constant companion. Even though I excelled in school, and my writing had been published from the time I was eight, nothing could ameliorate my self-consciousness, the terrible ache of knowing that I was not pleasing to the public eye.

    One day, when I was 19, and a particularly angst-producing dating situation had ended in disaster, Dr. Jean Jofen z”l, an extraordinary woman whom I was privileged to have as a mentor, turned to me during a discussion, and apropos nothing at all, suddenly asked me why I hadn’t done anything to make myself look and feel better? I was speechless. She was right, what she said was simple and obvious, yet no one had ever asked me before. I just thought you had to take what fate dealt you; it never crossed my mind that you could change things or eliminate them altogether. (I don’t think pro-active was even a word then, or a concept, either).

    Jean urged me to take some cosmetic steps that changed my life: a diet, hair-straightening, and most significant of all: a “nose job.” The resculpted nose gave me newfound confidence and spurred me to continue along a path of self-improvement. I lost 30 pounds and found Ollies, a hair-straightening salon in Queens that actually managed to tame my unruly locks. And my dating situation got much better. Although I have never trumpeted this part of my personal history in such a public way, I am doing so in order to hopefully give chizuk to the multitudes of young women who struggle – unfairly – in this very frustrating shidduch “parsha.”

    So, my dear sweet mothers who are bristling with indignation at my thesis and feel deeply offended by my proposition: please do not be hurt by what I am suggesting. I truly want to help. If your daughter’s shidduch prospects are being hampered by a flaw or problem that can be banished or remedied, please give her the emotional and financial support to correct it. Yes, I know that we all want to be cherished for who we are inside, but whether we like it or not, appearances do count. And no Yom Tov demonstrates that reality more than Purim.

    It is no crime for a young woman in shidduchim to enhance her appearance; in fact, it is probably an imperative. And though she may not save the Jewish people from genocide, putting her best face forward will definitely help her perpetuate Klal Yisroel in a microcosmic way, giving her that extra edge in finding her zivug and building a bayis neeman, please G-d very soon.

    Yitta Halberstam is the author and co-author of eight books, including the best-selling Small Miracles series (Cincinnati, 1997-2003) and Holy Brother: Inspiring Stories and Enchanted Tales about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (New Jersey, 2002). Her most recent book is the anthology Changing Course: Women’s Inspiring Stories of Menopause, Midlife, and Moving Forward (Cincinnati, 2004).


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    162 Comments
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    kalman1
    kalman1
    11 years ago

    Good idea

    11 years ago

    Quite a funny article.

    grandpajoe
    grandpajoe
    11 years ago

    This whole shidduch crisis is becoming the biggest chillul hashem that I ever saw. I am a Holocaust Survivors son – when those of us from that generation we did not go through all this meshugas. We saw a girl, or a girl saw a bow they met and shoin.

    We are investigate too much today.

    We are looking for false answers – the real answers are with the indiduals – step back and jsut look at the person’s midos – don’t think about the material things.

    Perhaps if people did that we may be blessed and the shidduch crisis move on

    11 years ago

    Sometimes a few small changes can make the difference. For example, girls should not YAWN on dates. YAWNING is offensive, shows lack of midos, and will quickly insure that the girl will not be called for a second date. Secondly, do not wear BLACK, sorry girls you are no longer in high school wearing uniforms, seeing a girl pushing 30 wearing a black pleated skirt is ridiculous. Wear COLORS! If you lose a few pounds DO NOT wear tight fitting clothes, it just makes you look heavier! Finally, under NO circumstances take out any electronic device during your date. If you follow these very simple suggestions, you too can be married shortly!

    11 years ago

    Plastic is good.

    So is cash, check, and debit card.

    What I’m getting at is that good looks only gets a girl half way there in today’s “shidduch crisis”. The harder problem to solve is how do you get a boy to marry you if you or your father can’t afford to support 5 years in Israel.

    The day it becomes acceptable in the yeshivish world to go to college and get a job by 18 (age for chuppa), the shidduch crisis will be over.

    missyid
    missyid
    11 years ago

    Instead of teaching our boys not to be so shallow why don’t we encourage girls to change their looks. At that same token if the boy wants the beauty then he should probably line his pockets with cash.
    The author of this article should probably explain why, if her son is such a hot commodity and he gets shidduch requests all the time and the ball is in his court … he is still single?

    CantFightStupid
    CantFightStupid
    11 years ago

    When are we going to stop treating our daughters like employees and objects. They have to submit resumes, hope they get a call back, and then go to the guy who accepts the girls offer of how long she will support his learning before he goes out. When will our boys “man up” and takes care of his wife like a man is supposed to.
    This whole process treats women like they are objects. It is no wonder that our divorce rate is so high, we objectify women and don’t treat them as equals in this shidduch process.
    Maybe the men should submit resumes and let the girl know how they are going to support them?

    RebKlemson
    RebKlemson
    11 years ago

    the article makes many valid and strong points. I’ve been saying this for quite a while. There is a lack of effort or care in appearance and that is what causes many to look away. I dont think surgery is the answer, but get a makeup kit!

    1LofaRide
    1LofaRide
    11 years ago

    Dear G-d in heaven if this is the solution, what have we become? The source is boys that percieve the ‘sheker hachayin v’hevel hayoffe’ as something real. Why not address the cause of the problem?

    family_guy
    family_guy
    11 years ago

    We need to start a gemach to help people that are clearly very unattractive. There are so many young boys and girls out there that can’t get a shidduch because they are very ugly and too poor to do anything about it. Good cosmetic surgery costs a lot of money (at least $10,000 per procedure) and many poor Jews just can’t afford it. Poor girls and boys are at such a disadvantage in the shidduch scene, it’s time to help them even the odds.

    BLONDI
    BLONDI
    11 years ago

    im just curious, where, how, when was this? will it be held again, with more public knowledge? more mothers of boys need to be in attendance…

    BeKind
    BeKind
    11 years ago

    100 per cent emes! Kudos to the author.

    11 years ago

    I seriously think the author of this article should have her head examined. She exemplifies the cause of the so-called shidduch crisis. These poor young women are being subjected to a “meat market” situation and all the author can do is complain about their looks?

    Aryeh
    Aryeh
    11 years ago

    Perhaps if the boys guarded their eyes a bit better, they would have normal expectations and not get a fright when seeing their new kallah without any makeup!

    kc2yfo
    kc2yfo
    11 years ago

    read the article ,only conclusion is its sad how shallow frum people have become

    sane
    sane
    11 years ago

    If your son is such a great catch, then why isn’t he married yet? Why are all those wonderful girls not good enough for your son? Hypocrite!

    11 years ago

    dear yita, you remind me of the new york mets’ managing staff. Instead of them making their team better in the off season, all they did was lower and move closer the home run walls. Instead of improving their team, they lowered the competition. you feel we should do the same. you want us to lower our standards in the boys who are dating and instead of preaching to them that they should care about things other than looks, you just reinforce that.

    missyid
    missyid
    11 years ago

    Here is a novel idea … instead of the mothers of boys meeting with the girls, how about the boys meet the girls themselves. If it is within Yitta Halberstams hashkafa to suggest that girls focus on making their physical attributes so attractive then why are we preventing the boys and girls from being in the physical presence of one another? This whole process is so shallow and so narrow minded it literally makes me want to throw up. These things mostly go on in the East Coast and more specifically New York. Girls in school are constantly told to dress in ways that practically make them look matronly and that make up is too attracting so it is not tzanuah … so how are they supposed to enter the world of dating with a completely different mind frame? And then what is the point of the make-up and dressing well and even plastic surgery if the mothers amongst themselves are disqualifying girls because the family uses the wrong color table cloth on shabbos or they do not go to the right bungalo colony or the girl is a healthy size 8 as opposed to a zero. These mothers need to stop being so shallow and stop teaching their sons (and daughters) the same.

    CantFightStupid
    CantFightStupid
    11 years ago

    When are we going to stop treating our daughters like employees and objects. They have to submit resumes, hope they get a call back, and then go to the guy who accepts the girls offer of how long she will support his learning before he goes out. When will our boys “man up” and takes care of his wife like a man is supposed to.
    This whole process treats women like they are objects. It is no wonder that our divorce rate is so high, we objectify women and don’t treat them as equals in this shidduch process.
    Maybe the men should submit resumes and let the girl know how they are going to support them?

    Insider
    Insider
    11 years ago

    Heartfelt words of wisdom. This is presented by an accomplished personality from within our midst, who lives with us and shares our communal experience. If, as the reknown writer imparts, if but one young girl achieves a shidduch and a life of happiness because of this column, the painful price of its publication is willingly sacrificed. Such are the thoughts and the sentiments of saint. If the Jewish religion did have a formal distinction of a saint, this writer would be adorned with it.

    itzik18
    itzik18
    11 years ago

    I am a shadchan and I find that the girls are much more picky than the boys. The boys I work with are having a hard time getting a second date and they are great guys.

    mewhoze
    mewhoze
    11 years ago

    fix the nose, the chin, the eyes, the teeth, the hair and anything else. men do the same and when the couple has children they will look at each other and say…whose eyes does he have? whose nose is that and so on.
    lol

    Berel13
    Berel13
    11 years ago

    Some boys could use some cosmetic work and weight loss as well

    11 years ago

    It’s true, the worst boy can get a decent girl. However, a very fine girl can have the most nightmarish time in finding a decent boy.

    11 years ago

    “I know I’m going to be crucified,”

    This well meaning lady should not use such a word, it has very bad connotations for the Yidden.

    DACON9
    DACON9
    11 years ago

    EXCUSE ME? this is absurd to work on the exterior and not theinside of the person. Attitudes of the girls, the dressing or lack of cleanliness of the young men.
    The healthy habits of many kollel guys. Throwing used tissues on the talble. overwieght, walking like a duck, the girls picking and picking on his hair and tie, his lack of ablity to carry on a conversation. He learns, she works, all ready there is a miscommunication. To many things before any doctors visit. Long ago I visited the toshe rebbe, I asked a gentleman i forget his name why do all the woman dress and look alike, not like in flatbush with a little style.He told me, see the table you are eating at? look at the fish and vegetables. That is your woman, and after we eat I will continue. After the lunch he told me,,,, see the table now? dirty empty only bones from the fish.THATS YOUR WOMAN. OURS are as beautiful inside as outside, Every day they are a bride to us.

    11 years ago

    another attack on girls by hashem.
    first he created too many girls. then he made today’s boys a bunch of geonim who the poor girls can’t afford to support. then he gave the girls bad noses.
    maybe if we would stop coming up with ridiculous initiatives and just let hashem run the world he wouldnt have to keep reminding us he’s there e.g.. france

    11 years ago

    What ever happened to the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” Why do we need one girl to be beatiful for every guy. Every wife should be beautiful for her husband. Instead of guilting the girls and their parnets to get plastic surgery, teach the boys that nobody is perfect and everybody has his ir her own flows. If you marry for lust, the marriage will not last!!

    11 years ago

    No doubt, there are far more HIGH quality single girls out there then single boys.

    mewhoze
    mewhoze
    11 years ago

    #6 is right, how about having the boys actually meet the girls themselves. YES!!
    LIVE AND IN PERSON…obviously in an acceptable setting , not a dark movie theater.
    During my time dating was permitted and socials were encouraged. That is what people from Young Israel did. They had events for guys and girls to socialize together and mingle and hopefully find their beshert.
    I think there was less divorce back then.

    zippobel1
    zippobel1
    11 years ago

    I first read this article around Purim and thought that it was a joke. Now seeing it republished for more people to read and unfortunately take seriously, it makes my stomach turn. The woman who wrote this article and others who think like her are the cause of the Sidduch crisis. Why should girls dress up and put on a little bit of make-up when a boys mother is going to take one look at her and say yeech. Unfortunately in the world we live in children are being taught the only thing that is important is on the outside. Don’t give the girl/boy a second look if they are heavy, not pretty enough, or if their parents don’t use the right kind of dishes. Forget about what’s inside that’s not what you are marrying. You want a size zero and don’t worry about brains,you don’t ever have to talk to her. What a mess.

    PowerUp
    PowerUp
    11 years ago

    yeah yeah, take a trief idea, and kashur it with the satmar rebbe z”l.

    sheker hachein vhevel hayofi, obviously every girl has a basherta, so that means that for every girl, there is a boy out there waiting for the right minute. hashem is busy all day creating shdichum………

    11 years ago

    wow what a great mother in law yitta would make.!

    11 years ago

    I read this article and my first reaction was that the editors simply posted it 2 weeks late since it must have been meant as part of a purim spiel….than I realized, no, this yitta lady is actually serious. How sick are we to be suggesting that a baas melech has to undergo surgery and its associated risks (yes, even cosmetic surgery) in order to attract the attention of some mother of a bochur who likely has no job or parnassah but considers himself to be such a metziah. This yitta lady is a prime example of how low we have sunk. Our daughters are not some cows at the State Fair which we hope might get chosen for a blue ribbon by the judges. A young yiddeshe woman should willingly choose to remain single rather than humiliate and devalue herself by submitting to “Yitta-insanity”. It is Yitta who needs help, not the bnos yisroel who are what the Ebeshter created them, not the product of some plastic surgeons in need of additional $$.

    Secular
    Secular
    11 years ago

    With all due respect to the author:

    There are so many problems with the Shidduch process today, I don’t know where to begin.

    For starters: ” the concept was to bring mothers of eligible young men together with young women looking for shidduchim (members of both groups were pre-screened and issued personal and discreet invitations by the organizers) in both a balabatish setting and a dignified way.” The fact that ‘young mens’ mothers are called to first meet with young women is appalling and demeaning. How do we expect these young men to act like men when we as a community don’t trust them to take the first step in becoming a Man ,that is, finding a wife. (Not to mention, those ‘pious’ among us who won’t even call a girl before the date.)

    This perpetuates the notion and furthers the expectation that these are nothing more than children who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions. If that is indeed the case, they should NOT be in the Parsha and wait until they are sufficiently mature to find a spouse.

    Did anyone ever hear of the old Jewish custom that used to take place on Tu Be’Av? I refer everyone to the Talmud in Taanis last page. (nobody brought their mommy)

    11 years ago

    Too bad today’s kids are searching for the wrong thing. Beauty is skin deep.

    11 years ago

    As upsetting as it may be, what Yitta is saying is 100% true! She doesn’t say anywhere in the article that a girl MUST have plastic surgery, as the title implies. However when you see some frum single girls (and plenty of married women as well), sometimes you just wish you could make them over!
    Forgive me for using the reference here, but when you see people try out on American Idol looking all dumpy, and then get made over by stylists, IT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN HOW THE WORLD JUDGES THEM! Yes, it’s a talent competition — people should judge them for their voices alone — but that’s just not how the world runs. Yes, boys should be able to judge girls by their sweet ehrlichkeit and stellar middos, but that’s just not how Hashem made them.
    I’m someone who improved a lot with marriage – a beautiful sheitel works wonders. But I look back on pictures of my dating days and cringe… would it have killed me to color my hair a bit, lose a drop more weight, wear nicer clothes? When you’re on display, you’re on display.

    11 years ago

    I did have an issue with the fact that Yitta used the Purim story by likening our yeshiva boys to Achashveirosh and our girls to Vashti. There’s no mention of the fact that Esther refused make-up and perfumes but got chosen anyways for her inner beauty… and because it was Hashem’s plan. Ultimately Hashem is looking out for these girls, but, as I think Yitta is implying, Hishtadlus may need to be redefined.

    11 years ago

    In previous decades through the 1970’s, you didn’t have a Shidduch Crises to the extent that it exists today. The reason is because the PARENTS and GRANDPARENTS of todays generation were able to meet on their own. Today’s youngsters would be shocked to know that many of their parents DID NOT MEET with professional shadchanim but met at kumzits, in college, yes, yingerluch in the old days your mama and tata went TOGETHER to Brooklyn College. The Shidduch crises and the resulting silent holocaust of unborn Jewish children lies squarely on the shoulders of today’s right wing rabbis and rebbetzins!

    11 years ago

    the fact that anyone agrees with this article shows how deeply in trouble our community is. this is so off from what our lives are suppose to be and the satmer rebbe recomending false teeth,ie reconstuction, is not at all the same as cosmetic surgery. if this is indicative of the empty,materialstic and goyishe life are children wan’t to live,we’re in a lot more trouble then a reltively simple surgery can cure.

    disturbedyiddishemama
    disturbedyiddishemama
    11 years ago

    What an outrage! On what possible level could this speed dating be OK? Especially with the MOTHERS of the boys. Where is our kavod for our beautiful Yiddish Techter? And to add insult to injury, you don’t like how they look!?!?!? She doesn’t have to look good to you – only to her bashert.

    As usual, let’s throw every problem back on the shoulders of women. All of the world’s problems, including the shidduch crisis, always our fault. What a huge crock this article is – especially when the author goes all Biblical with her interpretations – give us all a break. Particularly the beautiful, eidel girls. By the way, I am the mother of four sons.

    11 years ago

    The problem with young women having cosmetic surgery is that when they are middle aged it can look bad, look at Joan Rivers, Phylis Diller, some rebbetzins. Better to avoid a medical procedure that can end up killing you.

    MaidofCH
    MaidofCH
    11 years ago

    A problem with some of these women (& men) might lie in their personalities, not just their looks. They might be disturbed or socially stunted. I’ve seen some who were “reasonably attractive” yet totally lacking social graces — in public they will act in a totally neurotic or juvenile manner. It seems, though, that men can get away with such behavior more than a woman can, since he can always find a neb case or someone lonely or desperate enough to put up with him, at least for a while.

    Often, I have seen women, usually older, walking around, even on Shabbos, dressed like bag ladies — or, best, frumps. They often come across as either weird, farfrumpt, or severe. Although a little bit of make-up (OK, a lot), or even nip & tuck might be helpful, it won’t compensate for someone who is by nature just not the conventionally feminine type. As someone once told me, “Sorry, but I can’t get a brain transplant.”

    This doesn’t mean I don’t endorse physical enhancement — but within reason. Just don’t expect it to hide deeper problems.

    Balaboos
    Balaboos
    11 years ago

    This is the funniest column VIN has posted is recent time….I needed a good laugh!

    Miguel
    Miguel
    11 years ago

    I don’t see how it’s any different than going on a diet. Starve yourself and eat like a rabbit so you don’t God forbid gain an ounce. Now the boys will like you. It works, but it’s still not the real you.

    clear-though
    clear-though
    11 years ago

    I will not involve myself in character assassination although this woman deserves to be shoved in some cave and never let out. For 2 reasons!
    1) sheer hypocrisy!
    At the beginning of the article she claims that the Shidduch resumes are not adequate enough, in her words “And the resumes themselves are severely limiting. Can you really get a genuine sense of who the girl is from the resume? What does it tell you about her personality, her character, her intellect, her neshoma? It is demeaning to reduce a girl to a few sentences.” end quote
    I definitely agree.
    But then she goes on to suggest that we completely remove ALL personality from the girl. Instead of trying to solve the problem, she suggests to completely remove ‘the girl’ from the shidduch and instead put in a live, photo-shopped plastic ‘model’ who will take the place of a sweet young girl on a date! Absolute insanity and madness. I cannot understand! She is a hypocrite and she is a very sad woman.
    Secondly, if we were to choose some kind of facial correction, we should NOT choose plastic surgery. It is a very short term solution. You only have to look at Michael Jackson to see the long term effects of plastic surgery.

    Nirah-Lee
    Nirah-Lee
    11 years ago

    You’re gonna need a lot of plastic . . . to pay for all that plastic!

    Halaivy
    Halaivy
    11 years ago

    Lets follow the Chadishe motto, they have no shiduch crises!
    teach your children from a young age that “Sheker hachain vehevel hayofi”
    The parents go first to check out the girl if she is a yiras shomayim and check her midos they also inquire from friends about her and if they approve the boy meets the girl and talk about the serious issues in marriage.
    The divorce rate among chasidim is extremely low because the experienced parents are the first ones to have an opinion and then the boy and girl meet just to make sure that there is love on first sight.

    twb88
    twb88
    11 years ago

    It is quite interesting that you claim to care so much about these girls yet this article shows a very different agenda on your mind.
    Did you ever wonder if maybe the Jewish community is sending mixed messages to their girls? On one hand they must be so tzanuah to the top degree: no talking to boys, cover your legs, elbows, collar bone, Chas veshalom to show your toes! On the other hand, the minute they graduate high school they are thrown into the lion’s den to date, lest they turn 20 and become an old maid. No mind is given to whether the girls are ready to date, whether they even know what they want with their own life, whether they are ready to be wives and inevitably mothers (which must follow immediately).
    I am pained every day when I hear of yet another friend of mine getting divorced! The crisis is not with Shidduchim, it is that this pressure is causing girls to marry before they are ready, often to these ‘sought after boys’ with major issues, which everyone neglects to inform these innocent girls of!
    Plastic surgery for real?! Never mind that you assume everyone has the money for that, but are you serious? Take a good look in the mirror at what the real crisis here is!!

    11 years ago

    You say it’s the way of a man to want to be attracted to a girl. I say most men are completely turned off by girls who overdo it. Simple natural makeup is what they want. I laughed out loud when you wrote that some girls may have been wearing such natural makeup that you weren’t sure if they were adorned. That is the norm! Simple makeup to let your best features shine!
    Since when are girls required to wear wedding or evening makeup for an occasion other than a wedding!Most of those girls probably didn’t want you to think they were painted too much, & decided to let their natural beauty show. But it was not enough for you. Then I got to the best part: endorsing plastic surgery as the answer? Wow, how could we not have come up with this on our own!I’m completely baffled as to why you wrote this article.
    Do you really believe you have solved the shidduch crisis with this drivel? You honestly think plastic surgery is the answer to all the girls out there who are doing everything to find their bashert? And it is simply because they are not attractive enough? As if there are not 100’s of attractive, gorgeous, put together, and even bombshell girls who are still single! Just in NY!