web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.

Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

What Were We Thinking?

Illustrative Photo: Yeshiva Bochrim (Students)

Illustrative Photo: Yeshiva Bochrim (Students)
Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

Share Button

A quick perusal through newspapers, magazines and recent books reveals a plethora of titles such as “The Pre-Adult Male: Listless and Confused,” “Where Have the Good Men Gone?” and “Why There Are No Good Men Left.”

These all bemoan the difficulty the modern woman has in finding an educated and employed mate. Some posit that women have left men behind as they pursue higher education at greater rates than men and are outperforming and out-earning them in their careers, which has resulted in a difficult dating scene for successful women seeking educated men with a job. Per a recent study showing that 75 percent of women wouldn’t date an unemployed man, this would seem to be a widespread problem.

As you would expect of a nation with the mission of being an ohr lagoyim, we have avoided this problem entirely. In fact, we have pulled a hoax of such proportion that one almost expects to see the Elders of Zion crouching in the shadows and pulling the strings to effect it.

We have educated our young women, our future wives and mothers, to believe that not only is a young man with a job or a degree not to be sought after, but he is in fact someone to be avoided at all cost. Our daughters now seek precisely those men who are incapable of supporting them and their children.

While such an arrangement may bear fruit for the Rebbe Akivas and Rachels among us, have we attained such heights of hubris as to believe that our chinuch produces no other product? Our girls have been trained, en masse with no regard for whether or not they are suited for such a lifestyle, to ignore, repress and reject every urge they have for self-preservation. How our educators have managed to overcome thousands of years of maternal instinct and biological imperative boggles the mind and should inspire vast amounts of research by anyone with totalitarian ambitions.

We have arrived at a point where single men defer leaving yeshiva to attend college or begin working because they fear the negative impact this will have on their shidduch prospects! This is worlds away from the model demonstrated for us by Yaakov Avinu. The Seforno explains (Bereishis 29:18) that Yaakov offered to work for Rachel for seven years because he had arrived at Lavan’s home penniless and without a means of supporting a wife and children, and “there is no doubt that a tzaddik wouldn’t marry a wife and raise children without the means of supporting them.”

We are doing these young women and men a grave injustice. Entrusted with their education we have extolled a lifestyle that is antithetical to Torah and condemns many of them to a life of financial difficulty. Many studies reveal that a primary cause of marital conflict is financial stress. Today, with marriage under attack on multiple fronts, do we truly feel comfortable adding the virtual certainty of monetary difficulties to the many challenges already facing married couples?

Sowing the seeds of marital destitution and dissent, we saddle our women with the curse of Adam in addition to the curse of Chava. Who is held accountable when these young women are exposed to the harsh light of reality as they struggle to act as mother, wife and breadwinner with a husband who, even if he desired to assist in supporting his family, has none of the prerequisite experience or education?

Isn’t it time to admit we have extended proper motivations to the point of absurdity?

The Ohr HaChaim (Shemos 18:21) questions why it was necessary for Yisro to be the one who advised Moshe Rabbeinu to establish a system of courts. After all, this suggests a lack of wisdom among Bnei Yisrael as no member of the tribe had arrived at such a solution. Not only that, but the Torah portion in which we are given the Aseres Hadibros is named after this newcomer! He answers that this advice had to come through Yisro to teach future generations that Jews have no monopoly on intelligence and that we should seek wisdom from all sources.

There are many faults and flaws in modern, secular culture, and it is as astounding that we would need to turn to outside wisdom for this truth as it was in the case of Yisro, but can you imagine the reaction of single women in secular society who despair of ever finding a working man if they knew we were actively encouraging our daughters to seek men who have no means of supporting them?

We have become so accustomed to the situation that, like the proverbial frog in the boiling water, we fail to recognize how unnatural and dangerous it is. Throughout the ages, society – Jewish and non-Jewish – has recognized the obvious insanity of such a course. Why don’t we?

Share Button

About the Author: Ari Lapin is a medical student and entrepreneur who writes on Torah issues, politics, culture, and his experiences in the never dull world of shidduchim. He can be reached via www.arilapin.com.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

108 Responses to “What Were We Thinking?”

  1. I blame certain "sems" (seminaries), and the emotionally castrated "rabbis," who allow these girls to be influenced by their gaivadik "Rebbetzins." This is nothing less than feminism which has snuck into Judaism in disguise! http://esseragaroth.blogspot.com/2012/12/jewish-feminism.html

  2. I wish that there were more orthodox Rabonim that felt and wrote that way.

  3. Daniela Esthetician says:

    I was thinking about this the other day. A lot of this has to do with the same fear that is messing up a lot of people the world over, good people, bad people, religious people, anti-religious people, everybody. There is a fear taking the world over of either losing power, failing to regain power once lost, or losing freedom of some kind, expression, choice, or independence. In the case of Jews going nuts no matter the belief system or background, so many seem terrified of themselves or others being fooled or had by somebody else's influence. I see Frum and non-frum terrified of each other and their respective surroundings. I see Frum especially terrified of anything secular. It seems to me the biggest driving factor toward this must learn must not work ideal is the fear of what might happen to a young man exposed to any secular environment that is necessary to be educated or to work with others in a job. So as not to reveal this fear, they romanticize about the holy life of a kollel guy. I normally hate the criticism of "you should be more secure in your beliefs rather than be so strict about not being in contact with other people" because usually the person leveling that criticism is being condescending, but I can't help but think it in this case. :(

  4. I don't understand why the author chose the photo of the hasid on the front, but if I am right as to why, it is total loshon hara, public humiliation, slander, and should be taken down.

  5. Daniel Lapin says:

    Regardless of the newspaper, the author never chooses the accompanying picture or even the headline/title. That is the job of the journal's editor

  6. Daniel Lapin I edited my comment, thanks for the feedback.

  7. Alen Reyhan says:

    Great article! Our community should definitely get a copy of this.

  8. Susan Kanina says:

    Authors usually do not choose the accompanying pictures (often they don't even get to pick the title of a piece). Dan l'chaf z'chus.

  9. Allen Stern says:

    May we can start with the Jewish Press not printing stories about Kugel.

  10. Ruti Liza Dardashti-Wolf says:

    I was just discussing this issue with someone today! Our generation is on a downward spiral unless something changes. Who will support the next generation?

  11. Tzadik Vanderhoof says:

    They also don't even get to choose the final wording of their text or how much of it is cut out

  12. Tally R. Eb says:

    you just figured it out now? committ the next generation to a life of poverty…

  13. Tina Kauffman says:

    Not what I read recently on a FB page. On this page, a plethora of women only wanted to dated professional men, with a substantial bank accounts.

  14. One must realize,given today's values in the "frum" community, the רמב״ם would remain single.

  15. Douglas Kent says:

    I live in a neighborhood where most young men go to work full time.THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE MAKING A LIVING!!! The dirty little secret (and it is not such a secret) is that mommy and daddy are being used as an ATM. Pick on the yungerleit all you want. With few exceptions…mommy and daddy pay most of the rent,tuition,mortgages,food,SUVs. If you feel superior because you don't learn you are only fooling yourselves.A pack of "fronters".

  16. How true, Yossi. I've been berated by shadchanim if the prospective young man had any way to support the future family and so have my friends

  17. Sharon Orbach says:


  18. Nadav Reis says:

    The article is good except for the fact that is a gross over generalization. It is the same generalization that leads the secular media to preach that no charedim work, to which many readers happily buy into. There are two sides to every story, and this article highlights one extreme side as if it were the truth.




    The Jewish populace seems too busy confronting themselves to realize that there is a shidduch, the tragedy before them. All of us are engaged in the “I am Frumer (more religious) Than Thou Game.”

    Yes, the chess game of the Jewish people does exist and it consists of numerous players including Kings, Queens, Pawns and Knights. Let us analyze these players. The Kings and Queens are found everywhere. They are better known as the “Better Than Thou” contingency representing, with nose held high, the so-called “ultra ultra”, whose main function in life is to supervise and interpret the motives of others.

    The J.A.P., a term which applies equally to both sexes, reigns supreme. A true J.A.P. is one whose true emotions and feelings of dedication and idealism are hidden under the heavy burden of appeasing self-righteous motives. Is it any wonder that some young Jewish singles seek elsewhere?

    AND YES, let us not forget the elite, the “Yechis (status) Seekers”. “Remember my son, you belong to a righteous family; avoid the Baal Tshuvah (a non-observant Jew who became religious), after all they may change their ways. Remember who you are and where you came from.”

    And if these were not sufficient, the Kings and Queens engage themselves in the “I AM GLATTER THAN THOU PAGENTRY.’ This requires the ability to openly criticize others regarding their mode of dress, their eating patterns, recognized certified Kosher products are not acceptable, the fictitious Glatt pickle is preferred, and, of course, an open attach against religious leaders, their ammunition being the infamous non-existent 14th century Chumrah (strict legal view) entitles one to acquire membership in this select group. The only problem is that no one wants to be a follower and thus the leaders continue quoting profound statements found in the tractate “Buba Meisah (fairy tales).”

    Now, the heroic Knight enters the arena. This individual, male or female, traditionally minded and filled with the love of Torah, wages an heroic campaign. The Knights are represented by clergy and lay leadership who open their hearts to Jewish young people communicating the love and harmony of the Torah. Numerous Rabbis are fighting on the front lines to create a vibrant Jewish community. Young people are engaged in Shabbatonim, retreats and seminars in an active attempt to spread Yiddishkeit; yet, too often, Jewish organizations seem more interested in the establishment of plush swimming pools than in financing such religious projects a community mikvah (ritual bath).

    THESE KNIGHTS, however are confronted by numerous foes. Rabbis are challenged by the Glatt contingent whose battle cry seems to be “The Mechitzah (separation between men and women in the synagogue sanctuary) is not high enough.” Some musmochim (rabbinical school graduates) forget that they are not the leaders of the congregation and consider Shabbat and Yom Tov a day to play “Challenge the Spiritual Leader.” Others are more compassionate; instead of aiding the Rabbi, they just lean back awaiting the opportunity to privately render their illustrious Psak Din (Legal decree). This is the prelude to the “Let’s create another Shtibbel (synagogue) game”, starring these above mentioned unassuming geniuses of Jewish Law.

    Forgetting the great “Tuna Fish and Bubble Gum Controversy” of yesteryear, let us turn to other significant and crucial issues. The agunah, divorce and conversion procedures, together with the existing problems of Mamzeres require our immediate attention. Yet, they too cannot escape the “I am glatter than thou game.” We are informed that a sanhedrin (universal Rabbinical Court) is needed in order to solve many of our numerous halachic difficulties. The only problem, of course, is that we cannot agree on membership to the Sanhedrin.

    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.”


    Subject: : "Dating in the Yeshiva World" OR ANY OTHER WORLD BY DR. ROSENBERG

    YouTube help center | e-mail options | report spam

    stevenperkal has shared a video with you on YouTube:

  20. Aviva Henoch says:

    I'm unfortunately very familiar with this problem!

  21. Chaya Chertok says:

    frum world: interesting food for thought!

  22. Izzy Moskovits says:

    Could not agree more!

  23. Pearl Feder says:

    Working in the Educational system providing "equitable" services to yeshiva students, I constantly come across boys from the Chassidish yeshivas who cannot read or write in 8th grade. Many of these yeshivas do not start English until they are I third grade Yiddish/Hebrew and stop learning English when they go into 9th grade. Shame on the schools for discouraging English Education, shame on the parents for going along with it.

  24. Torah learning as the highest ideal is a beautiful concept. There are practical realities, however, that are being ignored. The paradigms keep shifting and they will continue to do so. We're in the middle of of one where there won't be too many wealthy in-laws who can float the young couple. We have to stay open to various options. Poverty is really tough on Shalom Bayis.

  25. You are my hero, Ari Lapin. Perfectly written.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Hamas terrorists prepare their version of peace.
Terrorists Greet Hamas-Fatah Unity with Rocket Attacks on Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
Al-Aksa Mosque was claimed to be the site from which Mohammed ascended to Heaven, but it was built nearly 50 years after Mohammed died.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Israeli police enter the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian protesters.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

More Articles from Ari Lapin

Rebbeim are consulted on all of life’s major decisions and a fair number of minor ones.

Illustrative Photo: Yeshiva Bochrim (Students)

Our daughters now seek men who are incapable of supporting them and their children.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-were-we-thinking/2014/01/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: