web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



The Shidduch Battlefield (Part I)

      (Dear Readers: I wasn’t going to continue on this topic but it seems that shidduchim – or the difficulty in getting one – is an issue that is on everybody’s mind. It almost seems that as soon as the baby is born, there is worry about a shidduch.)

 

       When I was a camper way back in the previous century, there was a game we would play called “Capture the Flag”.  Campers were divided into two teams with the goal of finding and attaining the other side’s flag. You could be sneaky, conniving, aggressive, etc. As the saying goes, “All’s fair in love and war.”

 

         In today’s shidduch scene, it seems to me that every unmarried frum male or female is playing a personal version of this game; except that the goal is to “capture” a spouse. On this “battlefield,” there are no teams (unless you include family and good friends who are looking out for you). Each player is on his/her own. Your peers are not on your side, for they are your competitors. And it’s brutal out there.

 

         There was a time, not too long ago, when there was a child considered of age to enter the shidduch parsha (usually in the early 20′s for the girls – a couple of years later for the boys, an age viewed nowadays to be approaching old maid/bachelorhood) and there was a sense of excitement and anticipation in the family. After the initial phone call, mothers would mentally envision the gown she would make and the fathers would stock up on the schnapps.

 

         If the date didn’t work out, the attitude was, “so what, there were ‘plenty of fish in the sea,’ and opportunities to meet them.” Many marriages were the outcome of teenage pairings that began years earlier at camp. College age students met in class or on campus in a designated area frequented by the frum students. Many friendships that began by sharing notes or studying together also resulted in shidduchim. Introductions by friends and family ensured a steady stream of potential spouses, and shadchanim were glad to take on new clients for those who preferred going that route.

 

           The mood in 2006 is diametrically opposite. In many households (even those that are considered “having it made,” shidduch-wise: i.e., above average financially, yichus, great-looking kids), when a child – especially a daughter – enters the parsha, apprehension and a gnawing anxiety fills the household. It is a situation that can almost be likened to the just-below-the-surface angst an Israeli family experiences when their son is drafted. An ever-present unspoken question hovers over the family. “Will there be a good outcome? Will we get through this intact?”

 

         Why this foreboding and unease? It’s because, sooner or later, nice heimish boys and girls ended up under the chuppah. This is no longer a given.

 

         In recent discussions with childhood friends and acquaintances, many strongly feel that if “they were out there” now, as opposed to 30 years ago, they doubt that they would have gotten married. Some had been “pleasantly plump,” or had frizzy hair or “Jewish” noses, or were fashion mules as opposed to clothes horses. They are convinced that in today’s shidduch climate, they wouldn’t have even gotten on “the list” – let alone get dates. Look at our daughters, they say. They are slimmer, better dressed, with manicured hands and waxed eyebrows – and the phone barely rings for them. The shadchanim won’t even take down their information – let alone set them up.

 

         “We dated on a pretty regular basis and all got married. As for those of our friends who didn’t, it wasn’t from a lack of opportunities. “What happened?” they ask in wonder.


         Why has the journey on the road to matrimony become an uphill battle on what feels like the path to hell?

 

         Before I address that question, I want to point out that the despair many parents are experiencing regarding whether their daughters will successfully “capture the flag” is not one-sided. Many mothers of sons have told me that their boys have become what they call serial daters – dating one girl after another. And not by choice. They endure numerous rejections and have to start all over again, sometimes after dating a girl several times. Months, and even years, of dating is depleting their finances, their physical and mental energy and even worse, their egos.

 

         Time after time, on both sides of the fence, apprehensive, anxious parents watch as their children shrug off their wounds and attempt another foray onto the shidduch battlefield. All they can do, it seems, is grab their Tehillim and pray.

 

(To be continued)


 


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 (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder
The Foul Stench of the Ferguson Fallout
Latest Sections Stories
Rabbi Maurice Lamm

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

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

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-112114

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

Kupfer-092614-Books

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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/the-shidduch-battlefield-part-i/2006/06/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: