NASI: Solving the Shidduch Crisis – ‘Think bigger’

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(VINnews) — Rabbi Yitzchak Reichman appeared on Dovid Lichtenstein’s “Headlines” podcast to discuss the Shidduch Crisis. Rabbi Reichman was representing NASI, the North American Shidduch Initiative, which, among many other missions and programs, has spent many years working to close the ‘age gap’.

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Rabbi Reichman was asked if eliminating the so-called Lakewood BMG “freezer” would help solve the problem.

He replied. “The freezer itself is three months, of course lowering the age gap by 3 months would be helpful, [but] it is not a solution. Since it is a 3-4 year gap, it needs more than that.”

Rabbi Reichman explained the wide-ranging benefits of the longtime Lakewood yeshiva policy. “The freezer…is for the toeles of the boys’ learning and even for shidduchim. And most boys accept this. To take a few months and have a good foundation, to be able to be osek in shidduchim from a stronger place.”

He added, “Whenever this issue of the freezer is brought up, the answer always is, it is not really a solution, we need to think bigger.”

He also observed that the boys could come earlier and enter the freezer, since it is built into the system, and thus the freezer itself is not the factor.

Lichtenstein asked Rabbi Reichman if numerically speaking, there are girls who simply do not have a corresponding man who has never been married, for example, a lady in her fifties who has never been married.

Rabbi Reichman replied, “There definitely are women who are reaching middle age–there are not enough unmarried men in the community for them. That is a fact. Sometimes they go out of the community….Sometimes there is a situation of a zivug sheini. In terms of zivug rishon within our community, the numbers make it very difficult”

Listen to the audio discussing the freezer:

Discussing whether there are numerically enough men in our community:

 

Rabbi Reichman was asked how he knows there is a shidduch crisis, and responded by going through both the statistical and anecdotal evidence, which sadly, many or most members of the Charedi community are enormously aware of.

Listen to his response here:

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE:

Rav Reichman is a former Rosh Chaburah in Lakewood, and former Magid Shiur in Yeshiva Heichal HaTorah. He is currently a Rebbi in Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah.


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Voice of Reason
Voice of Reason
11 months ago

I’m not convinced of the numbers. One cannot challenge anecdotal evidence, but real numbers in our community are difficult to obtain. Several attempts have been made. It doesn’t take much to refute the sampling here, so even statistics are of limited meaning. No one can deny that there are singles who are struggling to find a bashert.

But the problem lies elsewhere, and I find this quite foreboding. We are living in an era where one can use the “Torah” label for any excuse, and we fall for that with astounding gullibility. Yes, the Kol Torah is immense, and it is truly a Kiddush Hashem. Learning is the greatest thing in the world. But we retain bochurim in yeshivos believing that they are being mekayem the world. Often, this is simply not true. Learning al taharas hakodesh is great. But not everyone belongs in this for the long term. Many would be happier and following Ratzon Hashem by becoming frum, Torahdig baalei batim. Yes, we need Rabbonim, Roshei Yeshivos, Mashgichim, Maggidei Shiurim, Poskim, Dayanim, Sofrim, Shochatim, etc… And those possessing the traits that fit these roles need to be nutured, developed, and supported. Everyone needs some dedicated learning time. But pushing the agenda of long term yeshiva and kollel learning is irresponsible.

We have devolved into shunning the working frum Yid who is koveya ittim, raising a Torah family, and generous with tzedokoh. We stop that form of disgrace when a mossad is showered with megabucks, giving the donor recognition and honors. We might consider them a potential mechutan, since full support for long term learning can be certain. But that is not the derech of Torah. Divrei Chazal send us quite a different message.

So our girls are brainwashed into looking for the serious learning boy. And a boy who works, seeks training in a career, and continues his learning in a serious way is considered second fiddle. And more boys are looking to realize their potential by doing this. Girls won’t consider them. The serious learning boy, of which there are fewer real ones than those claiming that label, is able to auction himself off to the highest bidder, with selectivity that yields lots of rejections.

I haven’t an interest in blame anymore. It’s not the Roshei Yeshivos, not the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, nor the menahalim of girls’ schools. It’s a culturally accepted value that has no merit any longer. It was once appropriate to replant Torah in America. When we will listen to Chazal, we will have much to show for it.

Mr. Cohen
Mr. Cohen
11 months ago

How many girls would consider marrying, or even dating, men who are only one inch taller than them?

How many girls would consider marrying, or even dating, men who are the same height as them?

(I won’t even ask about girls dating men who are one inch shorter than them.)

How many girls have problems with obesity that they NEVER solve?

The_Truth
Famed Member
The_Truth
11 months ago

To reverse the age gap, just need for men to date & marry women older than them – same age, a year or 3 older, nothing so far out. There are marriages like this and I dont think it is so so uncommon.

amil zola
amil zola
11 months ago

If they must be called boys and girls, are they really old enough for marriage?

The_Truth
Famed Member
The_Truth
11 months ago

One solution would be to implement an honest and practical approach to earning a parnosa. If boys come who go into “the freezer”, would come out as men who could support a family, it would not be such a pressing issue for girls to wait to get married a few years later.

M T
M T
11 months ago

Why don’t we take a step back and “listen to the message” of what Hashem is trying to tell us from the delay of singles getting married.
Can it be that the rush to get engaged and married is causing young men and women to be I’ll prepared for Shalom Bayis and their roles of husband and wife?
We live in a different generation than our grandparents did in Europe.
Most young men starting shidduchim then had a job. If they were learning, they either moved into their in law’s house or town and was supported by them. Very few women, such as the Chofetz Chaim’s wife, worked to support their husbands in learning. It took a lot of time running the house and raising a family.
Nowadays, when things are much easier gashmiyusdik we put more pressure on mothers to run a home and support a family. Many times this leaves no time for investment in Shalom Bayis. Use the years of waiting to prepare yourselves emotionally, spiritually and financially for your roles of husband and wife. That is using the time well.

shimon
shimon
11 months ago

Thank you Rabbi Reichman for coming forward and telling the truth. Many people don’t have the courage that you have and you should be commended. In fact many people don’t even have the capacity or willingness to understand the root issue and how the age gap works yet they continue to spew forth ridiculous theories that are generally irrelevant at best and nonsensical at worst.

Pekak
Pekak
11 months ago

Either the boys have to get married younger or the girls should wait.

Bernhard H. Rosenberg
Bernhard H. Rosenberg
11 months ago

Why is there a Shidduch crises? Perhaps it is because in the chess game of life, it is the PAWN who suffers the most.
THE TORAH holds the answers to all our questions; however, human beings, with G-d’s help, are needed to overcome so called obstacles.
If only we, the pursuers of Torah knowledge, would realize that the battle is immense and the time is short. Instead of playing the Glatt Game called “Frumer than Thou,” let us communicate love and knowledge , let us act in the image of G-d; only then will we be worthy to be called Frum Yidden who walk in the “Glatt path”. In the words of Rav Kook, “Just at the Second Temple was destroyed by acts of brotherly hatred, the third Temple will be built by acts of brotherly Love.”

Dr. Alex Morales
Dr. Alex Morales
11 months ago

Very simple solution to this problem but nobody here is going to like it. Stop letting the boys go through picture books like they were ordering takeout food. Full stop.

Start giving only the girls the picture books with resumes and letting them pick instead.

When the boys get over their yetzer horah ideas and their mother’s crazy ideas that they are moshiach, and get to see the girls who would actually consider them as husbands, watch how quickly the situation sorts itself out.

Let the girls pick the boys, as many as they like, and all of a sudden the shoe is on the other foot.

Mr. Me
Mr. Me
11 months ago

The biggest issue is that there are enough people who are not interested in getting married mostly men that is the root of this issue.