web analytics
July 3, 2015 / 16 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Too Many Degrees Of Separation


Kupfer-120911

In my previous column I mentioned that a matchmaking initiative called the NASI Project was generating an avalanche of discussions, debates and disagreements regarding its value in effectively dealing with what is referred to in Orthodox communities as the shidduch crisis.  It seems that pro or con, no-one has a “parve” opinion about it merits or feasibility – but everyone agrees that there are too many older singles whose path to the chuppah is getting more arduous and out of reach.  For them and their hand -wringing parents, there are sleepless nights, despair and heartache.

I suggested another possible tool in helping the unmarried to change their status quo, and borrowed from an exhortation from America’s Homeland Security to ordinary folk – keep your eyes and ears open, and if you think you saw or heard something noteworthy, tell someone.  Anyone, young or old, single or married, who knows or is aware of someone single, should be part of a proactive process in setting that person up.

Even ten-year-old Malky in Brooklyn can tell her 23-year-old cousin in Chicago about her wonderful 21-year-old babysitter – and get the shidduch ball rolling.

Everyone can be a shadchan.   There have been numerous matches from shidduch suggestions that came from the most unlikely sources.

I know of a case where a quiet, middle-aged accountant happened to mention to his chavursah that his wife’s 24-year-old nephew was visiting from out of town.  His learning partner casually said that his neighbor had a daughter who was 23. They told their wives. The couple is now happily married with a baby.

In particular, married people can be an invaluable resource in getting people set up. One way is to invite singles in their community to a Shabbat meal, whether with both genders together or separately (if that is their haskafah), find out more about the individuals, and when at a gathering, like a tea, wedding, shiur, at the gym, or even at a poker or mah jong game, swap stories and network with their friends.

People across the frum spectrum bemoan what they feel is a dearth of “good” boys or girls.  But I strongly believe that is not the case, that there actually are plenty individuals of both genders to go out with. The reason it seems that there is a limited selection of worthy candidates to date is because the observant olam has created an enormous obstacle – one that has greatly hindered and horribly impacted this generation’s ability to get married.  I call this phenomenon: “too many degrees of separation.”

How many of us have made shidduch suggestions that we really felt, based on our knowledge of a particular boy or girl, had a lot of potential, only to be told by a parent or the single her/himself, that it wasn’t shayach – not appropriate or didn’t apply.  In a majority of cases, the suggestion was summarily turned down, due to what I view as very flimsy nuances of religiosity. Not too long ago, almost indiscernible “variances” in Yiddishkeit did not exist; they weren’t even blips on the “radar” when setting people up.  However, in today’s veldt, any gradation or hint of a difference can invalidate someone’s suitability.

Here are two true stories (with minor changes in the details) to illustrate this self-imposed degree of separation:

Mrs. A. calls Mrs. B. to suggest her sister’s daughter for Mrs. B’s son.  Mrs. A. herself has a daughter in the parsha, but the girl wants a long time learner and Mrs. B’s son learned in bais medrash for several years, but also earned credits for a college degree and makes a decent living.  While he goes to a pre-Shachris shiur and davens with a minyan and learns in the evening, he nonetheless is a “working boy” and not for her daughter.  Mrs. B. thanks Mrs. A. for thinking of her son for her niece, but shares that he is “busy” (currently seeing someone). However, she on the other hand knows an erliche boy for Mrs. A’s daughter; he is planning on learning indefinitely. She mentions the “Black Hat” yeshiva this fine young man attended. Mrs. A. immediately turns the offer down.  It’s not the “right” Black Hat yeshiva for her family and not shayach.

A girl, 27, is redt a shidduch.  She is a lovely young lady but tall and people are reluctant to set her up with boys she will tower over. A boy, who is 26 lives in a small but heimishe community and comes from a “nice” family known for their philanthropy and middos.  And he is tall.   He is willing to meet her even though she is “older.” She however, says no. Why?  In the photo she was shown of him, he was wearing a colored shirt (as opposed to a white one). She feels their “hashkafos” aren’t compatible.  He is too “modern.”

About the Author:


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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Too Many Degrees Of Separation”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
United Nations Building, New York City
The United Nations Has Israel’s Blood On Its Hands
Latest Sections Stories
Rav S. R. Hirsch

Last month we outlined how a few years after Judah Touro’s death a public movement was inaugurated by the citizens of New Orleans to erect a monument to his memory, and that opposition to this tribute came from a number of rabbis throughout the country who claimed that Judaism forbade the erection of any graven […]

Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

Marceau suggested a dark reason for his wordless art: “The people who came back from the [concentration] camps were never able to talk about it…. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.”

Anna Henriques, who hopes to one day head back to Jamaica, says, “Rabbi Raskin must be willing to respect what exists in Jamaica. The way to the future is to gently bring in the traditions of the past and at the same time embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Jamaican people.”

The Silver Platter has it all: gorgeous photography, oodles of useful tips and, more importantly, incredible recipes that you will find yourself making again and again.

It may be that seeking to connect with the past is rooted in the impermanence and impersonality of modern life.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

Everyone in the kehilla can get involved, she added, and mothers can network with each other.

On her first ever trip to Israel last week, popular radio talk-show personality and clinical psychologist Dr. Joy Browne, whose spirited broadcasts regularly attract millions of listeners across North America, paid a visit to OneFamily headquarters in Jerusalem in order to learn more about the physical and emotional challenges faced by victims of terror in […]

With the famous Touro Synagogue, a variety of mansions, each with its own distinct personality, as well as the beautiful coast, Rhode Island makes for an excellent vacation spot.

To avoid all this waste and unnecessary anxiety, let’s break the task down step by step and tackle each one at a time.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-060515-Supermen

There are fathers who bravely step up to the plate and fill in the maternal vacuum with their love and devotion.

Kupfer-On-Our-Own-NEW

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/too-many-degrees-of-separation/2011/12/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: