(10th in a series)
By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA
(For questions about my MA, see my full Masters thesis on “The Second World War and Jewish Education in America: The Fall and Rise of Orthodoxy” published in 1983 at www.jpi.org/holocaust/.)
Following the 8th in the series about Shidduchim of “Questions and Answers in Response to Sending Girls to Seminaries” and the 9th post of the “Audio: Sending Girls to Israel and the Shidduch Crisis: Controversial Solution.”
Here is a selection of a number of important typical exchanges that I have had via email with various concerned people about this subject. All names and contact information have been removed to protect privacy.
Question: “Rabbi Rudomin: Why don’t you have a Singles event instead of just talking about the issue? Even if you got 1 shiduch out of it – wouldn’t it be worth all this talk? Lo Hadibbur Ikar Elah Hamaaseh. I personally am hosting singles this Shabbos.”
Answer: Hi and thanks for your Email. I used to host many such events in the 1980s and 1990s, and hundreds attended over the years and we had a few people get married over that time as well, B”H. It was geared more to the BT type crowds but all sorts came to the guest lectures and social events I organized. I used to have backing, but in the last 15 years I have been on my own with limited resources. But I still do very much support the concept. In the very Frum Charedi Yeshiva circles they do not have such events at all, so my “talking” and “writing” about it is actually the best we can to in terms of both “advocacy” and “lema’aseh” so to speak. By the way, some people took great offense at my last article because they decided I was being “offensive”! Personally I ask myself why they are incapable of having a rational discussion? In the meantime be Matzliach and be well and have a wonderful Shabbos. Please keep on giving me feedback as it helps me think! Best wishes, Yitschak Rudomin.
Question: “Rabbi Rudomin, I enjoyed your articles, though I wish the obstacles we create would not be there. I have a story to relate to you which happened just yesterday. My wife is called by a friend. She was contacted in the context of being a ‘family reference’…After being convinced, this woman turned down the possible shidduch because the child was “too smart”…Oy!…You’re right, Houston, we have a problem! Does it get better? Thank you for listening.”
Answer: Hi, yes it get’s better if you only keep plugging away, keep an upbeat attitude, and treat the whole saga as a life and death struggle to find the right spouse for your child and not to drag out the process. It’s like a form of childbirth, it may less than 9 months or more, but it’s very painful and at the end of it all, we yell out Mazel Tov, it’s a “boy” or “girl”! So hang in there and let your wife be the one to do all the up-front negotiations they are much better at it than men and they pick up many more nuances that men miss. I guess again, it’s like childbirth and it’s a woman’s job to be the “mid-wife” because doctors (meaning men like us) just like to “slash and burn” and we are too rough for all the Krumma Cheshboinas that go into calculating and setting up Shidduchim. Be well, be Matzliach and have only Brocha and Simchas in your life and the lives of all your family members. Have a Freilichen Purim! Yitschak Rudomin
Question: “I never do this. But your article upset me so much I feel obligated to tell you you might be committing a very big sin if one person is not מקים המצוה תהיה בארץ ישראל
Because of you.”
Answer: Hi and thanks for your Email. Not sure what you are saying, because the Bais Yaakov movement to educate Jewish girls is not part of the Zionist movement, they are not the same the thing. If people want to make Aliya, I am for it 1,000%!!! But I am opposed to sending our vulnerable and naive and hormonal teenage daughters alone to Israel or anywhere to study for long periods of time as long as they are not married.
We can and must and do have post-high school seminaries for Frum Orthodox girls right here in the good ol’ USA where they can learn and get all the credits and even do extra courses and live at home and be under the supervision of their PARENTS who can then also help them with selecting dates and Shidduchim. When the girls get married they can make Aliya with their husbands right away, I am all for that 1,000%, and that is what I told my own daughters as well. So you are definitely misunderstanding me. I will be happy to correspond with you in more detail, please feel free to be in touch with me. Be well and all the best and have a wonderful Shabbos! Sincerely, Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin.
Question: “Are you going to tell me more than 50% of people that go to Israel for whatever or whenever don’t grow from it. Then maybe you can say that.”
Answer: Hi, I am all for JEWS making aliya and visiting Israel. I am also for Jewish Education. I am all for Jewish Education for Jewish girls. Going to Israel, does NOT “equal”” Jewish Education for girls. In the Torah world many post-high school girls go to seminary in Israel. It is not “required” in Torah Education to send girls or anyone to Israel because Torah Education takes place in Torah Schools, known in the Torah World as Yeshivot (for Jewish boys) and Beit Yaakovs (for Jewish girls). It is NOT “the job” of Yeshivot and Beit Yaakovs to send ANYONE to Israel, they are not working for the department of Aliya for the Jewish Agency. Yeshivot and Beit Yaakovs are there to teach the Torah of HaShem to the Jewish People. Marriage is a requirement for EVERY Jew, male and female. The age for marriage to start is 18 years in Jewish Law, as the Shulchan Aruch rules. The Shulchan Aruch also rules that one may delay marriage to study Torah, but preferably not longer than 20 and for special scholars maybe a few years longer. Jews who observe the Torah and Halacha and want to keep the Mitzvot should TRY to start to get married starting by 18 according to the Halacha. It may take more time, but marriage is a top priority and must not be neglected because it is a very serious objective and it may take a few years to find one’s true Zivvug (spouse) so the sooner one starts the sooner one will reach the critical objective of standing under the Chupa with your wife/husband.
Marriage has to do with every human being’s development and one must focus on getting that job done (of getting married) and then one can think of moving to Israel if one lives outside of Israel, inside Israel there is no excuse and a Torah Jew must try to start to get married by 18 since they are already in the Holy Land and must do the Mitzvot. For ANY Torah-observant young Jew getting married is MORE important than going to the Israel army, there are plenty of secular Israelis, both Jews and non-Jews (e.g. many Russian Olim are NOT Halachic Jews), who do not want to get married young who can and do serve in the IDF. If a young person wants to make Aliya at a young age, God Bless them, that is a great, let them take their mothers and fathers and siblings and entire families and you too and move to Eretz Yisrael, it is a great Mitzva. But if one is not going to make Aliya, then a year in Israel for most post-high school girls is just a very nice trip that has nothing to do with what they are planning, and hopefully they should be planning to get married ASAP. If not, and if they are not focused on getting married ASAP then they have joined the ranks of the many singles and are part of the so-called “Shidduch Crisis”! I could go on, but please tell me if you are following me so far, and if we are on the same page and speaking the same language, otherwise we will just go around in circles talking past each other and that is a pure waste of time, unless you want to learn something from me as I am an outreach Kiruv rabbi and teacher of Jews who are ignorant about Judaism. Shalom and be well! Yitschak Rudomin.
Question: “I’m not sure if you or your wife can help. I’ve got a son…he’s looking for a girl…Any chance you have a good idea please email me back? One never knows who’s the Shaliach.
A gut voch.”
Answer: Hi, hope all goes well. As you requested I was in touch with the young lady and I asked for her Shidduch Resume and photo yesterday and she sent it to me today and hopefully it will meet with your approval…So here goes, and BeHatzlacha Rabba, she is an exceptional and wonderful great girl and very dynamic and on the ball, if I had a son I would set him up with her myself! I cannot give a better recommendation than that. Zeit Gezunt un Zeit Gebentched! Sincerely, Yitschak Rudomin.
Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin lives in Flatbush and is the Director of the Jewish Professionals Institute www.jpi.org and his wife Zahava, although they are not Shadchanim, have counseled many in the area of Shidduchim and dating. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718 382 5610 and 718 382 8058.