web analytics
November 1, 2014 / 8 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Shidduch Battlefield (Conclusion)

       In my previous column I wrote how apprehension has replaced anticipation when a son or daughter enters the shidduch parsha. What used to be a time of excitement a generation ago, when young frum men and women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, etc. dated and eventually married – has today become one of worry, as girls wonder if they are deemed worthy enough to get on a boy’s ” list” – let alone be asked out on a date – and boys seem to be on a dating merry-go-round – going in circles and not getting anywhere.

 

      Why has the natural process of finding a mate and getting married become an ordeal in the heimishe community?

 

      Before I express my thoughts on the matter I want to emphasize that I am not a social scientist or a psychologist. I’m someone who had children in the parsha as well as having friends whose children currently are in the shidduch scene. My comments are based on their collective experiences.

 

      This sorry state of affairs as I see it, is the inevitable outcome of an unfortunate mind-set that has imploded in our frum community- that of “kimt mir” literally translated as “it’s coming to me” but meaning “I deserve” Young people and/or their families are saturated with a sense of entitlement, the by-product of gayva - preening inflated pride.

 

      People seem to think that they are way above average – that there is something special and superior about them and consequently they have to be very selective over who they are m’chidduch with – who they can let their children marry.

 

      Money, looks, and yichus (status) are on the top of the list, which is understandable to an extent. Why not want this for your child? Unfortunately those who feel this is coming to them reject wonderful shidduchim, young men and women who have great midos and are true avdei Hashem, just because they fall a little short in the looks, money or status department. So these amazing young people are overlooked and ignored and getting older. Meanwhile the fussy parents often end up with their own “gems” tarnishing with age – because often their kids are rejected by those who consider themselves to be on an even higher level. Ironically, most of these families have a skewed view of their own “importance.” They are not the “big deals” they like to gloat that they are.

 

      There is also too much focus on the superficial and not enough on what really counts – midos, maturity and flexibility.

 

      Instead people accept a shidduch based on ever increasingly ridiculous criteria, such as the quality of the robe the mother wears on Shabbat, the brand of the frozen gefilte fish she serves, whether the bubbie lugs her groceries in a cart or instead takes a car service after shopping. I recently came across a new one in The Jewish Press in which a woman writes that a pre-teen boy from a heimishe family who spends his summer at home as opposed to his school’s summer camp in the mountains will damage his ability to make a “good” shidduch.

 

      Intelligence agencies probably do not scrutinize job applicants as thoroughly as our community does when considering a shidduch. I won’t be surprised if things will get to such a state that the dating candidate will be checked for the kind of diapers he/she wore – whether they were brand name shtatie (fancy) or just generic.

 

      In my day – if a family was shomer Shabbat and kosher, if the boy/girl went to a yeshiva or had a Bais Yaakov or day school education that was good enough for most Orthodox families. We’ve become so stuck on labeling people and evaluating them accordingly based on nonsense – like the kind of hat the boy wears – instead of focusing on what’s in his head. There is so much micro-labeling that it’s a wonder that any two families match. I sincerely believe that if it were halachically allowed, brothers and sisters would marry because no one else would be good enough for their parents. (As it is, in some circles, cousins marry each other for generations.)

 

      And of course kids from divorced families are “treif.” Never mind that there are so many organizations for off-the-derech kids – kids who are on the street, or still home but who secretly are alcoholics, drug users or who have eating disorders – who come from two-parent “heimish” families. And what about those young people who grew up in one-parent homes who are now leading lights in the community?

 

      Those who had a parent who died of a disease like cancer are also on the “not for my kid” list. Many of them have elderly grandparents. I had friends who sadly died of breast cancer years ago and yet their mothers are well into their eighties. Obviously, the Angel of Death has his own timetable.

 

      When our community judges each person as an individual – not as a statistic; when people get off their “high horses” and see in the mirror that they are actually “riding on mules”; when we lose our collective sense of “I deserve only the best” – but use superficial criteria in assessing what the “best” means, then I truly believe the shidduch crisis will resolve itself and the trip to the chuppah will be once again one of welcome excitement.

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 “The Shidduch Battlefield (Conclusion)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Sections Stories
Collecting-History-logo

Undoubtedly the greatest manifestation of his antipathy was his infamous declaration: “[Expletive] the Jews. They don’t vote for us anyway.”

West-Coast-logo

Chaplain Winkler along with the other OJCB chaplains work tirelessly on a daily basis to ensure that all of the Jewish prisoners religious needs are met.

Eller-103114-Busy-In-Brooklyn

“I work around the Jewish calendar, always trying to think of creative spins,” noted Chani.

“Without a high school diploma, you couldn’t work as a garbage collector in New York City; you couldn’t join the Air Force. Yet a quarter of our kids still walked out of high school and never came back.”
– Amanda Ridley

My mother-in-law is totally devoted to her daughters and their children. Her sons’ children on the other hand are treated like second-class citizens.

The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews is designed to tell the whole thousand-year story of the Jews in Poland.

This past summer was a powerful one for the Jewish people. I will always remember where I was on June 12th when I found out that Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnapped. I will always remember the look on my sister’s face on June 30th when she told me that they were found. I will […]

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

The Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

My eyes skimmed an article on page 1A. I was flabbergasted. I read the title again. Could it be? It had good news for the Miami Jewish community.

Students in early childhood, elementary, and middle school were treated to an array of hands-on projects to create sukkah decorations such as wind chimes, velvet posters, sand art, paper chains, and more.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-092614-Books

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

Kupfer-080114

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.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.

Lately I have been hearing quiet grumblings from people who admit that they regret not encouraging their sons to get a post-high school education after a year or two of learning.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/the-shidduch-battlefield-conclusion/2006/07/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: