Questions and Answers in Response to “Sending Girls to Seminaries and the Shidduch Crisis”

16

8th in a series

By Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin MA

Normally, I would wait a week before formulating a new article. But because of the strong debate surrounding my most recent article about Sending Girls to Seminaries and the Shidduch Crisis,” which has garnered almost 250 comments here on Matzav, I feel it is important not to misunderstand me and to try to understand the subject and not lose focus by making personal attacks on me.

I would like to thank the editors at Matzav.com for being brave and wise enough to understand that we are trying to help the situation and not make it worse!

First of all, some commenters have made comments about my “MA” so I will clarify that first. Both my BA and MA were undertaken under the guidance and advice of major Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshiva. Anyone is free to read my comprehensive 250 Masters Thesis on “The Second World War and Jewish Education in America: The Fall and Rise of Orthodoxy” that I published in full and free of charge online at www.jpi.org/holocaust/ that was completed in 1983 at Teachers College – Columbia University to help me in my work in Kiruv and Chinuch working with secular Jews. Every single Rov and Rosh Yeshiva that has seen it has complimented me on it and has told me that is was a Kiddush HaShem. Readers are free to read my full MA thesis and let me know what there is “not” to like about it and I will be glad to respond to them as well.

Now I would like to post here a typical selection of 8 “questions” I received via Email and then the answers I gave them. Names have been omitted to protect privacy, while my answers commence with “Response“. Thank you so much!

Question 1:

“Rabbi, I read your article with great interest – the one pertaining to seminary for girls and its connection to the purported ‘shidduch crisis.’ Thank you for taking the Nachshon like leap and publishing thoughts that are on everyone’s minds, yet few – at least, those in positions of authority – are willing to speak on.”

Response:

Dear ____, Thanks for your Email. Thanks for getting where I am coming from! Keep Davening for me! Below are a few responses that I just wrote. I am sure you will appreciate the responses! All names have been removed to protect privacy.Be well and please stay in touch with me! Sincerely, Yitschak Rudomin.

Question 2:

“Subject: People like you are why I went off the derech. I read your article. It was disgusting. You talk of women in such a degrading way. As if they are a “crop” for men to pick before they “wither on the vine” at the age of 20. I understand the point of what you were attempting to make and perhaps it’s a fair point but the way you said it was disgusting. Very typical of the black hat frummies. You people are everything that’s wrong with Judaism.”

Response:

Hi ___, PLEASE call me! I would like to talk to you! Let’s talk. My number is 718 382 5610 You can also come to talk to me personally, I will be glad to meet with you. I do NOT charge for anything. I live in Flatbush. You may have valid complaints but it’s not against me, I can assure you of that. Fond Regards. By the way, I am a long-time Kiruv rabbi and I have personally Mekareved hundreds of people during my life. I have never pushed anyone away from Yiddishkeit, Baruch HaShem. True, that I wrote the latest article for the very Frum crowd, it is not meant for people like you in any way. As I say, please call me and we can talk some more, so you will see who I am and what I say. I can relate to what you are saying better than you can imagine. Sincerely, Yitschak Rudomin. See my Kiruv website at www.jpi.org .

Question 3:

“How would you look at a Sugya where a person, even if well intentioned, was promulgating an argument that caused Chilul Hashem on a massive scale?”

Response

Dear ___, Thank you for your Email. You may be surprised but I have received many Emails from people who agree with me, and are telling me a few times over that I have “hit the nail on the head”! In life, nothing can be achieved without some level of risk. No pain, no gain. No teacher or rebbi can succeed without stirring debate. This was the 7th of a series of articles and it is not even scratching the surface of the situation. Until now virtually everyone was raving how great my articles were, so okay the 7th one caused a ripple, so what, the world is going to end, people will have heart attacks, or do we want to get to the bottom of this so-called “Shidduch Crisis”?

If you have better ideas please write up your own articles and let’s hear what you have to say, I will be glad to be the first to read them — and give you my criticism in more than one-liners. Just please don’t send me Yeshivisha Leitzonus style one-liners as if that is supposed to mean something! Can you explain what is the “chillul HaShem” EXACTLY that you are referring to because I just do not see it. I am a Kiruv rabbi, how do you suggest to people “politely” that they need to be Frum or Frummer?? Believe me my articles come from Ahavas Yisroel Lechumra. Maybe you have a better way? Or maybe you prefer that we all stay asleep and die a pleasant suicide???

I am not the “Urim VeTumim” and neither are you! I wrote an article, after being asked to do so, and it went up, and now people are having discussions. I am also not a Shadchan and I am not being Mezaveg Zivvuggim for anyone! I am having a discussion via an article, all counter-arguments are welcome! I am an open-minded person as I hope you are too. No one ever died from a discussion. We have a problem in our American Yeshiva Velt (actually we have many, but this is the one we are focused on for now) and it’s called the “Shidduch Crisis” now the question is what is causing it?

There are all sorts of theories out there and all sorts of dei’os and you and anyone is free to give your opinions. Please do not start to take comments out of context that I am making in a convoluted discussion in the comments section where anonymous people are being very irrational and not talking with clear heads, and make that into a gantza tzimmes. You are not being fair.

Insulting me is also not an “argument” it just tells me you have nothing to saying so you use divrei hevel instead. I am not saying anything new, if you haven’t heard of Yehuda Ben Teima, and his “editor” Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi who both say without any SofekBen Shemoneh Esrei Lechupa” and that goes for every Torah Jew! So far, Baruch HaShem Bizmaneinu the Chasidisha Velt and the Torahdikka Oilem in Eretz Yisroel has been successfully proving that both Heiliga Tannaim the Rebbi Yehudas, Yehuda Ben Teima and Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi knew what they were saying when they said “18 to the Chupa” for boys and girls. Sure if they want to get married earlier than that, as Yidden once did that’s also okay, and if they do not find their Basherts by 18 then Avadeh they will get married after 18 whenever their Basherts show up and they make a Shidduch.So not sure what you are saying.

Even the Gedolim are now calling on Bochurim to get married at 21, and that’s how this article got going, and all I am saying, if the Gedolim are asking Bochurim to get married at 21 then there have to be younger girls available for them to marry. It is not an “avleh” or an “eveirah” to say that a girl from a TORAH HOME at 18 or 19, or even 17 can and should get married. I know this is so “obvious” that it sounds like a “chiddush” to some people, some people say it sounds like a “chillul HaShem” to them — so my question is, again, do you think that what the Heiliga Tanna Yehuda Ben Teima and Rebbi HaKadosh Yehuda HaNasi the Mechaber of the Mishnayos is still causing a “chillul HaShem” Chas Vesholom, but saying up front “Ben Shemoneh Esrei Lechupa“???!!!

(I am not even going to go into what the Shulchan Aruch and Poskim would say, because they would for sure not tell us that what we are doing to our sons and daughters is “normal” by now, maybe after World War Two we needed everyone to be aShtikkel Ben Azzai, but B”H that emergency has passed us and we are now obligated to be normal Torah Jews and that means to try get married earlier as best we can.) Zai Gebentched and please be in touch with me. Kol Tuv,

Yitschak Rudomin Director: www.jpi.org/ ; Author www.jpi.org/holocaust/ .

Question 4:

Re: A 20-year-old has “withered?” Yikes. Thanks for the answer — I appreciate it. I read it and considered it closely, and what I would say is this: It’s true that the average American man finds a wife who’s two to three years younger than him. I work in child support enforcement, so I see a LOT of couples; the two-to-three-year age gap is almost universal. If you’d just said that and added, “So if we want to marry off a population of men aged roughly 21, the optimal age for their marriage partners will be 18-20,” you probably wouldn’t have inspired such a visceral “What? NO!” reaction from your readers.

The reason you’re getting that reaction is that you make it *sound* like — well, look. Here’s what it sounds like you believe: women are mostly good for breeding, so you should get them out there in the market while they’re “ripe” and before they become “withered.” The obvious implication is that women are valuable only for their wombs and maaaaaybe their earning potential. There’s no sign that you think women have any intrinsic value outside of their role in the family. Now, I would guess  that’s not what you really believe (after all, you’ve been married long enough to raise three daughters — and congratulations on both parts of that!), but it really is how you sounded. You gotta find a way to talk about young women that acknowledges them as *real human people*, who are valuable in their own right —  not just as a prospective wife or mother; not just as adjuncts or adornments to a man’s life; but as real people who are *worth something* whether or not they’re attached to a man. I’m talking about acknowledging the basic human dignity of women, here, and I think your article fell pretty far short of that. None of this means I think you’re a horrible person (or that you should care if I did!), but it WAS how your article came across and I thought I should flag you down and say, “Hey, your basic observation is accurate! But the wording, oh boy, it’s a problem — and it maybe reveals some assumptions you’ve been making.”… oh! And good shabbos. 🙂

Response:

Dear _____, Well put! And I hear you! You know it was hard to know who would read that article. It was written for a very Frum crowd that runs Matzav, but then it got posted around by various readers on Facebook and other places all the frustrated people came out of the woodwork. It was the seventh in a series and so far my “poetic license” was getting huge compliments. I did not even intend to write this article about seminaries but the editors of Matzav asked me to after they saw another minor comment I had written in response to a reader about seminaries, so I wrote this one up the same way with my inner muse and poetic license in full flow, and the words came into my mind, I thought about them, and I thought to myself how best to create a “poetic image” of what I am trying to convey. If you have ever studied English literature you will know that at the heart of all good creative writing, such as novels, poems, plays, the most important tool at the writer’s disposal is the “poetic image” that conveys the idea, and judging from the Emails I am getting I hit the nail on the head, and for others they hear something else, something they don’t like, and they then project a million and one things that are lurking and they want to gripe about all the time and out come all the jack in the boxes. Be well and please stay in touch with me! Sincerely, Yitschak Rudomin.

Question 5:

“Dear Rabbi Rudomin, My wife and I recently read your article on Matzav titled “Sending Girls to Seminary and the Shidduch Crisis” and were debating as the whether or not it was intended to be satire. Would you be willing to clarify Respectfully.”

Response:

Hi ____, Thanks for your Email. It is not satire, it is a deadly serious subject, that has to do with the fate of our Frum daughters, but my style of writing is to use a sardonic semi-humorous turn of phrase and style. I believe that the first rule of writing is “be readable”! I think I usually succeed with that! You know it was hard to know who would read that article. It was written for a very Frum crowd that runs Matzav, but then it got posted around by various readers on Facebook and other places all the frustrated people came out of the woodwork. It was the seventh in a series and so far my “poetic license” was getting huge compliments. I did not even intend to write this article about seminaries but the editors of Matzav asked me to after they saw another minor comment I had written in response to a reader about seminaries, so I wrote this one up the same way with my inner muse and poetic license in full flow, and the words came into my mind, I thought about them, and I thought to myself how best to create a “poetic image” of what I am trying to convey. If you have ever studied English literature you will know that at the heart of all good creative writing, such as novels, poems, plays, the most important tool at the writer’s disposal is the “poetic image” that conveys the idea, and judging from the Emails I am getting I hit the nail on the head, and for others they hear something else, something they don’t like, and they then project a million and one things that are lurking and they want to gripe about all the time and out come all the jack in the boxes. Be well and please stay in touch with me! Sincerely, Yitschak Rudomin.

Question 6:

“Subject: Shidduch crisis Rabbi: I read your article (matzah.com) and find myself very much in agreement that even from the get go shidduchin should be in process. The (American?) concept of finding yourself (seminary, travel, fun etc) before looking for someone else can be a delaying factor. The truest journey of self discovery requires a partner. Still,  comment please on the “checklist.” That of the singles and those of the parents-family. Such as: Money, FFB-BT, MO, Yeshivish, Chasidish, Looks, college diploma, Money, learning (yeshiva) history, family history- civil e.g. Marriage-divorce and yichis, Money, medical history (heritable disease), height and weight, siblings and their history, Money, shul affiliations, head covering -including type and color of hat etc. etc. and of course Money. By money I believe it usually means ‘Daddy’s'”

Response:

Hi ____, and thank you for your kind and wise words! Much appreciated! Your “check list” is spot on, not sure what you would like me to add, but unfortunately people now have the time to focus on all the nonsense and superficialities and then they wonder why they are stuck in a “shidduch crisis” of their own making because they are not plugged into reality!Please stay in touch with me and let me have feedback, it is very important to me when navigating such a volatile social issue.
Best wishes, Yitschak Rudomin.”

Question 7:

RE: Seminary in Israel. You have said it so well, you did hit the nail right on its head. Let me just add thing.I do have two daughters within a few short years they are going to marry of their own  fruits of hard labor. With God willing. When they were  of  marriage age. My father let him be well (not a youngster at all) taught me something very valuable. Give them away when they are coming after them and they are interested in grabbing your daughter and not when you decide to give them away, as there may be no TAKERS. This is the real issue today and  much more Bigger point. Does it really matter if the girl has a big resume with lots of degrees????? NO not at all. Does it matter if they boy has a law degree??? or is finishing up medical school??? Of course you have to plan how to make a living. But most important BELIEVE in GOD. I have no degrees and thank God I don’t, otherwise I would be sitting at a desk and counting the hours and adding up what am I making on hour. Forcing myself to work overtime. And would long be burned out. Now I am very much relaxed as I set my own hours and time. That same god gave me a talent and I sell. I don’t count hours. I would much rather count commission. Need I say more.”

Response:

Hi ____ and thank you! You are on the right Derech, Baruch HaShem, just keep on going and doing the right thing! Your father was a 1,000% right, he knew more than the modern geniuses who have created a so-called “shidduch crisis”! Wishing you all the best! Yitschak Rudomin.

Question 8:

“Subject: issues with seminary. Thank you for addressing girls seminary’s in a public forum, so many issues with this it’s hard to know where to begin. Although you have addressed an angle that I have never even thought of(how seminary affects shidduchim) I offer the below thoughts. Before we get into the issues of whether seminary is a good thing or not , I think we need to take issue with the marketing presented by the seminary’s. Its gotten  to the point where all of our daughters are given the impression that life will not go on without spending a year in Israel. Unfortunately not only have our girls bought into this but all the educators and administrators in our girls  high schools have been completely convinced themselves of this,  to point where countless hours upon hours are invested in managing this process of getting into a seminary. What kind of undo financial pressures is this burdening our families with? Middle class individuals from our communities are going around privately raising money to send their daughters to seminary. It’s hard enough to get thru 12 years of education tuitions but to throw another 25K burden on each girl in Klal Yisroel ? I know girls who work themselves ragged throughout their entire high school years just to pay for seminary. Is that what we want to burden our kids with? for what ?Are the seminary’s  making money or not? Who knows and who cares! The point is that we need not feel the pressure of attending. (I will say that I have never seen anybody going around collecting funds for a seminary).

Let’s continue now on whether seminary is a good idea or not. You have made a good argument against and I completely agree. Additionally I offer the following thoughts. Girls running around the country hefker – bad idea. Girls brainwashed into ignoring all family values they have been raised with and embracing the Israel seminary ideology. I have nothing against a learning guy or kollel and actually promote that lifestyle , but many families embrace a torah/balabus lifestyle which is 100% ideal as well. Girls wasting a year or 2 before going on to college education? Unfortunately we live in an era where a family needs 2 income earners to survive. Imagine taking the money you would spend on seminary and applying it to a down payment for your daughter’s new home – good idea. Please help change the mindset- it’s a terrible thing. Thank  you (wish to remain anonymous).”

Response:

Dear ____, Thank you for your Email. You are 1,000% correct!!! Anyhow, as for why you never see them collecting for seminaries that is because they have you over a barrel. Just figure, 100 girls @ $30,000 per year = $3,000,000, now if someone owned 4 seminaries, then if each seminary has 100 girls that makes it $12,000,000 a year!!! That’s a lot of money. Let’s say he only has 50 girls per year per seminary, that makes it $6,000,000 per year and even at only 25 girls per seminary per year times 4 seminaries that makes it $3,000,000 per year!! So you see it is an easy kind of business. Say expenses would be 2 thirds, then even from $3,000,000 he’s making a cool $1,000,000 a year, now if he owns them for many years, then say for 10 years on a small scale with 4 seminaries he makes $10,000,000, and if he has the seminaries packed with 100 girls each, then over ten years he made $60,000,000, yes that’s SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS, now imagine if they have sweet-heart deals and give kick-backs to people who refer them girls from America then the ones sending the girls to the seminaries are also on the take and making good money. Let’s say there is a commission of a $1,000 for every girl you send to a seminary, then if you send 50 girls a year, you are making a clean $50,000 commission. So you see it’s a HUGE racket and a great money-spinner and that’s why they push it!!! As a Frum lawyer friend of mine says who works for Standard and Poors, “it’s all about the money!” Now that’s real “chinuch” for you, right?? Wrong!!! Be well and let’s Daven we can get the message across! Best wishes, 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 rudomin@jpi.org or 718 382 5610 and 718 382 8058.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. What’s needed is an apology for trampling on the kavod of the bnos yisroel. I am part of the “very frum” and was nonetheless very offended by the condescending choice of your “poetic license”. Whether you intended it or not, if you received such a resounding condemnation, accept it humbly and apologize. It would make any future articles much easier to read.

    • You, like many others, are misunderstanding me and missing the point. I am not insulting anybody. Maybe this comes as a surprise to many people, not sure why, but in Halacha the ideal and correct time to get married is between the ages of 18 to 20 for everyone. Our modern times have brought many Brochas and B”H we have a huge Torah world now, and we can all get on with normal lives as Jews, so getting married earlier is the norm now in most Frum and Charedi communities, maybe this will help to explain it to you, feel free to Google and see what you get for “age of marriage in Halacha”, enjoy:

      When To Get Married

      At What Age are Men Obligated to Marry?

      Although young Jewish males become obligated to fulfill all the mitzvot at the age of 13, our Sages said that a man should get married at the age of 18, but no later than 20….the Sages postponed the age of marriage for men till eighteen years of age, warning that in any case, they should not postpone getting married beyond the age of twenty.

      The Prohibition of Postponing Marriage

      Our Sages said: “Until the age of twenty, the Holy One, blessed be He, sits and waits. When will he take a wife? As soon as one attains twenty and has not married, He exclaims, ‘Blasted be his bones!’” (Kiddushin 29b) – an expression of condemnation for failing to perform the mitzvah of pru u’revuru (“be fruitful and multiply”).

      Similarly, Rambam wrote: “The mitzvah of being fruitful and multiplying is incumbent on the husband and not on his wife… If he reaches twenty and has not married, he is considered to have transgressed and negated the observance of this positive commandment” (Hilchot Ishut 15:2).

      Other authorities, such as S’mag, Rosh, Rabbeinu Yerucham, and Tur Shulchan Aruch (E.H. 1:3) have also written likewise.

      Regarding the verse: “A time to give birth, and a time to die,” our Sages also said: “From the moment a man is born, the Holy One, blessed be He waits for him until the age of twenty to marry a woman. If he reaches the age of twenty but has not married, He says to him: The time for you to give birth to a child has arrived, but you did not want to, it is nothing more for you than the time to die” (Kohelet Rabbah 3:3).

      Additionally, our Sages said: “If a man reaches the age of twenty, but has not married – his entire life is in thoughts of sin” – because as long as getting married is not far off, he knows his passion is reserved for his future wife; but once bachelorhood continues beyond the appropriate time of marriage, and his passions cannot find their proper outlet – he becomes used to having sinful thoughts, and is unable to escape them all his life…. the mitzvot of marriage and procreation requires man to express himself fully and completely. As our Sages said, “any man who has no wife is not a proper man (Yevamot 63a), and lives without joy, without blessing, without goodness, without Torah, without a [protecting] wall, and without peace” (Yevamot 62b). There is a limit to how many years a man can continue living in such incomplete circumstances. Additionally, we have learned that delaying marriage beyond necessity causes a person’s yetzer (inclination) to overcome him, to the point where he cannot escape sinful thoughts all his life (Kiddushin 29b).”

      The above also speaks of delaying marriage to no later than 24 as a maximum, and says Israeli guys need to go the army etc, but B”H this does not apply to Frum people in the USA and even in Israel, the Frum families go all out to buy Diras (apartments) for the young couple, rather than wasting their money on expensive seminaries and the like that just wastes money on the wrong things and takes thetgirls out of thinking about the important Tachlis of actual marriage.

      Thanks,
      Yitschak Rudomin.

  2. Questions and Answers for You, Rabbi Radumin

    #1 – You have never turned anyone off Yiddishkeit…

    Clearly you have. Case #1: Me. As well as many others who read this.

    #2- It was written for the very frum crowd.

    And so? DOES THAT EXCUSE YOUR DESPICABLE, MISOGYNISTIC MENTALITY???

    What does very frum have to do w anything? I am a very frum Bais Yaakov graduate, writing this on filtered internet. Do you think very frum means naive, stupid and pliable?

    #3- You sincerely believe that girls don’t have the right for self-actualization. That we are just ‘vessels’ and can only become someone with a husband.

    And that makes me most sickened from your disgusting posts.

    If I were secular and becoming frum now, I would run in the other direction as fast as I could if I met someone as vile as you. I would run for the hills.

    #4- Boys want to marry girls who are younger, so girls must start dating younger.

    Guess what? Most girls don’t want to date younger. Who do you think you are to demand that girls sacrifice their desires so boys could have theirs? Welcome to 2016, Rabbi. Men don’t rule the world anymore.

    By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever spoken so harshly in my life. I am generally soft spoken and polite. I have certainly never spoken to a Rabbi like this.

    But you are no Rabbi, and I suggest you strip yourself of that unsuitable title.

    Goodbye. I will not be reading your idiocies anymore, nor will I be reading any of your pathetic responses.

    Shame on you

    I hope you grow up a bit, do some introspection and reflection, and come to realize how stupid you’ve been in the past.

    Until then, best of luck on your journey towards being a mentch.

    • Stop being so angry and obstinate and try to learn something please. It seems no one has bothered to teach you real Judaism, so here goes. It’s easy to find by the way, just Google “age of marriage in Halacha” and see what you get. Here is one example that you and all the others screaming could learn from:

      Halacha…The Appropriate Age for Marriage…

      The Mishnah in Masechet Avot (Chapter 5, Mishnah 21) states: “One should get married at eighteen.” Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch rules likewise that the obligation to get married begins at the age of eighteen.

      Why the Mitzvah of Marriage Begins at the Age of Eighteen

      Why indeed does the Mitzvah to get married begin at eighteen years old? One becomes obligated in all other Mitzvot of the Torah at the age of twelve or thirteen. What makes the Mitzvah of marriage different that it begins at the age of eighteen?

      There are several explanations for this. Hagaon Harav Yosef Chazzan (one of the greatest sages of Izmir who lived approximately two-hundred years ago) writes in his Sefer Chikreh Lev that the reason may possibly be because our Sages were well aware (even in those times) that a man is not yet prepared to marry a woman until he becomes more spiritually and financially stable, which usually takes place at around eighteen years of age; it is for this reason that our Sages did not obligate one to get married until this age. This is indeed the custom today when even great Torah scholars will advise certain individuals to hold off on getting married until the young man is more prepared for marriage from both a spiritual and material perspective.

      How Long May One Postpone Getting Married?

      The Gemara in Masechet Kiddushin (29b) states: “Rava said and the same was taught in the Yeshiva of Rabbi Yishmael: Until one is twenty years old, Hashem waits for one to get married. If one reaches the age of twenty and has not yet gotten married, Hashem says, ‘May his bones rot.’” One should therefore try (as much as possible) to get married before the age of twenty. Even if one has not done so, one should not postpone marriage for a very long time. One should strive to do so even nowadays as well; this is indeed the stance of Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef Shlit”a as well as all of the other leading Poskim of the generation who agree that one should not delay marriage for too long. (This matter and the opinion of Maran Shlit”a have been discussed at length in the Hebrew biography on Maran Shlit”a- “Abir Ha’Ro’im”-Volume 1.)…

      By the way, today, virtually all Frum boys and girls are supported by their parents for as long as possible, and very few actually have to go out to work right after marriage, whether they get married at 18, or 21, or 23, for example Kollelim support young couples, and there is help from the government in Israel and in the USA for those first few years as well, if need be.

      Please read up on this, as you are missing many steps in your true Jewish education, but hey, it”s never too late to learn!!!

      Thank you,

      Yitschak Rudomin

      • You write that virtually all frum boys and girls are supported for as long as possible. And that Kollelim support young couples.
        I beg to differ. There are many people who have the ratzon to help their children but can’t because of many good reasons, such as tuition and other expenses for their unmarried children, needing to help parents, etc. Hashem in His great chesed helped us rebuild after the war with a great shefa of wealth. We are in a different situation now and we do our children no good if we promise them something we can’t.
        As far as kollelim, yes, there are some out of town kollelim and others, such as night kollelim or other specialty sorts that pay. But the stipends most kollelim pay are nowhere near enough to base a solid budget on.

  3. Let me add these 3 more Q & As to the above:

    QUESTION 1:

    “Dear Rabbi Rudomin, I am emailing regarding your article on Matzav.com “Sending girls to seminary and the Shidduch Crisis”. I was very concerned about your stance that Bais Yakov girls be like chasidishe girls and get married at a young age instead of going to seminary for a year or two…I submitted a response to this particular comment which was edited by the moderators… I am therefore submitting my comment to you in person and look forward to hearing back from you with a response —

    I grew up in the Satmar community where as you know, girls don’t
    learn Chumash, Rashi, etc nor do they get a good enough secular
    education to even graduate high school so they are not eligible to go
    to college unless they get their GED’s first. The girls don’t go to
    seminary either but go to work once they are out of school and get
    married at a young age. And they don’t date either but rather they
    have one or two beshows after which they get engaged to someone they
    barely know. They wear seamed stockings, don’t drive, and shave their
    heads after marriage. They cook, clean, have babies, take care of
    their children and husbands and hold on to a responsible job while
    they are at it. They are not emotionally developed, nor are they
    mature, independent human beings with their own thoughts, opinions,
    etc. They are born for the sole purpose of catering to their husbands
    and there is no need to be independent, well-learned, emotionally
    developed, etc when you are taking care of a house, children, and
    husband. And while it may work for some women, it doesn’t work for
    everyone and they end up suffering because of it.

    It seems like you are advocating that Bais Yakov girls be like Satmar
    girls, that they just learn to cook, clean, sew, take care of the kids
    and husbands and be the sole breadwinner while they are at it. Why
    should a girl want to do all that? Especially since she is not
    obligated to get married or have children?

    You also say that the boys are complicated human beings. Why would a
    girl want to be around such a complicated person to begin with? But
    more importantly, why would a complicated boy want to marry an
    uneducated woman who will not understand him or be able to relate to
    him or be able to have an intelligent conversation with?

    But is that truly what marriage is about? Is it truly the role of the
    woman to cook, clean, sew, host guests, have babies, take care of the
    children and that husband etc. while also holding on to a responsible
    job and support the entire family while their husbands sit and learn
    all day. But isn’t it actually the obligation and duty as per the torah/ketibah of the husband to provide for and take care of the family?

    And do you realize how condescending and verbally and emotionally abusive you are towards the girls by calling them names and dismissing and invalidating their needs, opinions, beliefs, etc?

    Sadly, it seems as though you expect the girls to be submissive to the boys and to be their slaves in all aspects of life. And if you don’t think that you are advocating for girls/women to be slaves (and I can tell you from experience that Satmar women are slaves), then please explain the difference between a slave and what you are advocating and expecting from the Bais Yakov girls. I look forward to hearing your response.
    Thank you,
    A Satmar woman”

    RESPONSE:

    Hi and thanks for your Email.

    No I am not advocating that every group should be the same. Satmar is Satmar and Lakewood is Lakewood, and so on and so forth. No two groups will ever be identical.

    I am not sure about your own life, there may have been other things that happened to you that makes you angry. For example, there may have been sexual or emotional abuse from which you may have suffered so it is understandable and justified you have complaints, but do not throw out the baby with the bathwater as that English expression goes. Yes, it is a big problem and we are still trying to figure out how to solve such problems, like fighting cancer or other diseases in society it’s not easy eradicating it.

    I understand fully what you are saying, but you make it sound that all those Satmar girls who get married young will just be “cripples” and never become mature Jewish wives, mothers and people. That assumption is dead wrong. For thousands of years the women of the Jewish People were getting married young and ask anyone they all will tell you that their mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers were all the most amazing people! That is because no one remains young forever. A girl who is 18 today will be a mature woman of 68 in 50 years time. In addition what Frum girls learn today even in the most closed tight-knit Satmar communities she is still light years ahead of her ancestors from 100 years ago. The world creeps in on us from all directions, through technology, through the culture, through the media, through society, in many, many ways, the Chinuch system for girls is the best it has ever been in all the Frum Kehillos.

    Yes, you can take a “catastrophic” view and then paint everything “black” but in the same way you do that, it can be painted bright happy colors too. If all goes right and if the boy and girl are normal and treat each other right they are the luckiest people in the world when they marry. They have each other as best friends and they do not need to be sexually frustrated as singles are. You seem to overlook that being single over the teenage years is full a huge amount of pent up sexual frustration that is not healthy for people. It is not sexually healthy for boys and girls to be single and marriage is a natural way for both a young (and old) wife and young and old) husband to have happy normal sex lives within the bounds of Jewish Law and Life. Unfortunately the Modern Orthodox crowd allows many of their older kids when they keep them single and in college to use birth control and have pre-marital sex. I have lived and worked among the MOs and I know about them first hand. While the Yeshiva crowd by keeping it’s sons and daughters single until 21, 22, 23, 24 makes them suppress their natural sex drives as if they are “nuns” and “monks” in a world where the atmosphere of eroticism and sex is all around us everywhere.

    So my dear Ana you should be thanking God that you were born into Satmar where people lead natural lives with each other. You think Wall Street and Hollywood and colleges and bars are “better” places? think again, because they are not!

    You seem to think that the grass is greener on the more modern side, well let me tell you, I grew up not Frum, both my parents were Holocaust survivors but they did not want to be as Frum as their families that they lost in Europe, so I had to find my own way back to Yiddishkeit with the help of HKB”H of course. I went to a very Zionist Jewish school that was mixed for boys and girls and where everyone was treated equally. If you think it was a “gan eden” it was most definitely not! There is pressure on the high school girls to have sex with boys at Saturday night parties. Many kids are on drugs. Some girls go for abortions. A few kids start to commit suicide, from my high school class of about 180 graduating kids (yes it was a huge school with thousands of kids) about 30 have already died and quite a few suicides. People are not happy from a young age. Yet they are all the “dreams” you think you want to be, like successful educated women and liberated men and people who are very developed, but trust me they wish they would have even one percent of the naches that a young happy average NORMAL Satmar couple has.

    The Charedi Torah world is winning the race, and the Modern Orthodox are falling way behind. Of course the secular Jews have lost a long time ago, the proof is that they have all decided to marry Goyim and that assimilation and intermarriage is the way to go for them at near 100% intermarriage. Don’t forget I am a Kiruv rabbi first and foremost, and I know what is going on out there.

    The Frum world is working with a very simple “plan” to get everyone to be as close to 18 when they get married. This is based on the Mishna in Pirkei Avos in the 5th Perek, Mishna 25, that Yehuda Ben Teima says “Ben Shemoneh Esrei LeChupa” — “At 18 to the Chupa” that applies to boys and girls equally (that should make you happy….equality)! Now I did not make that up and neither did anyone today, it’s almost 2,000 years old, and Jews have been marrying any time either before 18 or right after, but the Golden Rule is set in stone, “at 18 to the Chupa” — and people are free to fit in everything else they want in their lives around that goal.

    Now the Torah also says that HaShem Blessed Adam and Chava to be fruitful and multiply, “Peru Urevu at Haaretz Umiluha” — “”God blessed them. God said to them, ‘be fruitful/fertile and multiply/become many. Fill the land and conquer it….” (Genesis 1:23) — now I did not make that up either! It is therefore a Mitzva from HaShem in the Torah and in Halacha to get married ASAP in order to have children and implement the Mitzva of Pirya Verivya as it is called, meaning marrying to have children because you cannot have children legally in Judaism for them to be Kosher Jews, since in order to do that one needs to be married to another Kosher Jew of the different gender.

    People can do what they like with their lives, they can go to Seminaries and they can go to the North Pole, they can sit at home and they can go on Safaris, as long as they are sticking with the program of Yiddishkeit to marry at around the deadline age of 18 and have children.

    Anyhow, in Halacha while women are to be respected and treated with the greatest of dignity, and Judaism and the Torah were and are the first to preach and practice that, nevertheless a woman cannot usurp a man’s position in this world according to the Torah, not my ideas.

    And yes, Feminism is as Treif as a piece of rotten pig as far as Torah-true Judaism is concerned. That is why you do not see it, and will never see it, in the Charedi and Chasidic worlds, and you can shout and scream all you want! Again, it’s not me or my doing! I did not invent any of this stuff. And yes, by now Millions of Charedi and Chasidic Jews believe and practice this! Take care of yourself and stay in touch!
    Yitschak Rudomin.
    Director http://www.jpi.org ; Author http://www.jpi.org/holocaust/
    rudomin@optonline.net
    718 382 5610
    718 382 8058
    ====

    QUESTION 2:

    “I read your article. It was disgusting. You talk of women in such a degrading way. As if they are a “crop” for men to pick before they “wither on the vine” at the age of 20. I understand the point of what you were attempting to make and perhaps it’s a fair point but the way you said it was disgusting. Very typical of the black hat frummies. You people are everything that’s wrong with Judaism….Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. But what’s to talk about? Your article speaks for itself. I am a guy but this still offends me. It’s so sexist and degrading. I used to be frum but i had enough of it. You won’t change my mind.”

    RESPONSE:

    Hi there, do you have a name? Yeah, you gave up Yiddishkeit so you can talk blah, blah, blah like the rest of them, c’mon man, I am making you a good faith offer, I am not conventional and can think like anyone out of the box. I was not always Frum, when I was young my parents who were Holocaust survivors did not want to be Frum like their parents were in Europe, but I found my own way back to Yiddishkeit, I am still finding my way back, and somewhere along the line someone (my Roshei Yeshiva) decided to even give me Semicha when I did not even ask them to, I guess that must also mean something, so yes I am a rabbi, but a very different kind of rabbi.

    I guess I am like Avraham Avinu altho he had it much harder than me or you because both his parents were Goyim yet he and his wife chose to become THE FIRST Jews, while you think you should choose to become a Goy! You want to be a baby and sulk in your corner for the rest of your life? go ahead, you are only ruining your own life some more, like that English expression says, you are only “cutting off your nose, to spite your face”!

    Anyhow, my offer stands, please call me and let anyone at Footsteps call me if they want and I will meet with you and talk to you any place as long as it’s not a Church or Mosque or some crazy place. I will even go toy Footsteps main office, or do they only like to have people who preach against Yiddishkeit over there, a new my way or the highway dictatorship of OTD rebels. My number is 718 382 5610, I can’t make a better offer than that!
    Stay in touch!
    Yitschak Rudomin.
    ====

    QUESTION 3:

    “Hi, My apologies for my rudeness in insulting your family, they didn’t write the article. I agree that maybe your point would have been better received without the comparison to produce, but I think that my point still stands – why not educate boys rather than ‘provide a cohort’ who will to as they are told and sacrifice their wishes/needs? Why not, instead of perpetuating the problem, fix it? Why not actually address the issue, rather than putting a band aid over a gaping wound? I’m not saying that young women must go to seminary in Israel, but I think that they should if they want to, and that this shouldn’t damage her marriage prospects, or nullify them completely.

    I understand that you weren’t writing to ‘idealistic BT girls’ but I also understand the world you write about. True, there are some girls that go to seminary as a kind of show of status, but I think that your generalisation is incorrect. My own seminary, and others that friends went to (Beis Yaakov ones no less, shocking I know) were filled with girls from the type of background you write about who went there to learn and grow. And whilst, yes, there may have been some who were put there by parents, I can assure you that they weren’t even nearly the majority. Also a side point, not sure how you (or I) know anyone’s real reasons for doing something unless you’ve interviewed each and every girl, and they have been honest with you… (the same goes for me).

    Do you actually think that women ‘expire’ after 20? What is this different class that you speak of? Is the way you write about girls just for shock value? I only mentioned being BT because I do think that the way you write about women is equivalent to how the non-Jewish world does. I have no idea if you’ve ever been in that world (I assume not, but who knows), and it’s really harmful narrative of women which you seem to replicate in your article. Reducing women to produce (even just to reinforce an argument) is a problem. Yes, I understand that you were writing for a very frum crowd, but it’s just unnecessary to reduce women to lesser than men in worth, and to basically say that they exist to serve men’s needs, however infantile. I know that this isn’t so much the subject of your response, but in your article you speak mainly of shidduchim and not of money, which by the way, varies between seminaries. Many of the ones that I and my friends went to were under $20,000 which is still a lot of money but it’s nowhere near 50…Regards”

    RESPONSE:

    Hi and try to talk nicely! We are in Email correspondence now, this is not war! Put down the hatchet! No one is going to or is able to re-educate Frum boys to think like girls. You seem to think that Yiddishkeit can become like North Korea, and maybe you think some Charedi Jews are like that, but you are not reading the situation right!

    The Charedi Torah world is winning the race, and the Modern Orthodox are falling way behind. Of course the secular Jews have lost a long time ago, the proof is that they have all decided to marry Goyim and that assimilation and intermarriage is the way to go for them at near 100% intermarriage. Don’t forget I am a Kiruv rabbi first and foremost, and I know what is going on out there.

    The Frum world is working with a very simple “plan” to get everyone to be as close to 18 when they get married. This is based on the Mishna in Pirkei Avot in the 5th Perek, Mishna 25, that Yehuda Ben Teima says “Ben Shemoneh Esrei LeChupa” — “At 18 to the Chupa” that applies to boys and girls equally (that should make you happy….equality)! Now I did not make that up and neither did anyone today, it’s almost 2,000 years old, and Jews have been marrying any time either before 18 or right after, but the Golden Rule is set in stone, “at 18 to the Chupa” — and people are free to fit in everything else they want in their lives around that goal.

    Now the Torah also says that HaShem Blessed Adam and Chava to be fruitful and multiply, “Peru Urevu at Haaretz Umiluha” — “”God blessed them. God said to them, ‘be fruitful/fertile and multiply/become many. Fill the land and conquer it….” (Genesis 1:23) — now I did not make that up either! It is therefore a Mitzva from HaShem in the Torah and in Halacha to get married ASAP in order to have children and implement the Mitzva of Pirya Verivya as it is called, meaning marrying to have children because you cannot have children legally in Judaism for them to be Kosher Jews, since in order to do that one needs to be married to another Kosher Jew of the different gender.

    People can do what they like with their lives, they can go to Seminaries and they can go to the North Pole, they can sit at home and they can go on Safaris, as long as they are sticking with the program of Yiddishkeit to marry at around the deadline age of 18 and have children.

    Now, it just so happens to be that having children is a mega job, I did not make that up, just ask anyone who’s had babies just how tough that is. Now, I did nor make up the inequality between men and women either, it’s also in the Torah that because of the sin of Eve tricking Adam to eat from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Eitz Hada’at Tov Vara, on account of that, Adam was cursed by God (not me) to work by the sweat of his brow, the serpent was cursed to crawl on the ground, and Eve was cursed in a few ways, also according to God in the Torah, this is based on the Pasuk that says:

    “To the woman He [God] said, “I will greatly increase your anguish and your pregnancy. It will be with anguish that you will give birth to children. Your passion will be to your husband, and he will DOMINATE you. ”

    Now, — if you don’t like this message, please do not attack me like a mad dog, take it up with God for saying that!!! See Rashi who explains it very clearly.

    Anyhow, in Halacha while women are to be respected and treated with the greatest of dignity, and Judaism and the Torah were and are the first to preach and practice that, nevertheless a woman cannot usurp a man’s position in this world according to the Torah, not my ideas.

    And yes, Feminism is as Treif as a piece of rotten pig as far as Torah-true Judaism is concerned. That is why you do not see it, and will never see it, in the Charedi and Chasidic worlds, and you can shout and scream all you want! Again, it’s not me or my doing! I did not invent any of this stuff. And yes, by now Millions of Charedi and Chasidic Jews believe and practice this!

    I hope you are beginning to see the direction of what I am saying. You may not like it, but it’s the truth as far as Judaism is concerned. Feel free to take on and practice Modern Orthodox Judaism, or Conservative Judaism, or Reform Judaism, or become a Jews for Jesus or whatever! But please do not confuse Torah Judaism with any of those fake brands!

    Feel free to ask me anything you like, and I will likewise feel free to give you honest answers. You may not like them, but at least you’ll be hearing about true Judaism for a change and not the silly hogwash that some folks may have put in your very intelligent head and you owe it to yourself to get at the truth and not walk around like a Hillary Rodham Clinton clone with her radical Feminist agenda and mentality ’cause while it may be great to be a modern Feminist and you may even get to be President of the USA, whoopee doo, like who cares, we are about to read the Megila where Vashti was the big Queen of Persia over 2,500 years ago and still “lost her head” in more ways than one, and then that great Jewish heroine Ester became the new Queen of the Persian Empire instead, at great cost to her because she was stuck married to that bad King Achashveirosh, but she sacrificed herself to save her people, but that’s another story. Take care of yourself and stay in touch!
    Yitschak Rudomin.
    ====

  4. I am a Satmar girl that got married at 18. I had two beshows and got married to the most amazing person ever and I wish everyone such a happy marriage as I have. Never have I felt like a “slave in any shape way or form but rather I have always been made to feel like the “queen” of the palace. Oh, one more thing, I have quite a few “Bais Yaakov” type friends and have felt that I am less than any of them. BTW I really enjoy the discussions that I have with my Bais Yaakov friends about cooking, cleaning and sewing. It looks like we have more in common than you think.

  5. another major difference and problem bet chassic way and …the non Chassidic go out with many girls/boys…the more one goes the more confused and many othe issues like al tarbeh, kedusha etc my immid fam siblings all with 10 child or more…the first was it and b’h happy. yes and there’s more divorce with thhe ones going out 10 times with 10 different

  6. You sir, are a total and complete fool. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about and are so caught up in your own ridiculous ideas that you cannot even fathom to see things from another’s perspective.

    • What is that “other perspective” please? If it is about Reform and Conservative Jews, I know quite well that they do just as the rest of America does and they know nothing about the Halachic guidelines of when to get married. Care to explain yourself so we can know from what point of view you are coming at this? Thanks.

      Yitschak Rudomin.

  7. You are justifying your disgusting statement about girls by claiming this is intended for a frum audience?! I am frum and I find your comments reprehensible!

    I have stated this as a comment to your original post but I will repeat it here: Sarah Imanu was well past her prime, yet clearly Avraham Avinu (and our Rabbis) understand her worth despite being “in a different category”. Esther, we are taught, became queen at the age of 90, clearly a “different category”, yet her beauty shown from within.

    • You are mixing up different things. Of course Esther was a beautiful Jewish woman, all Jewish women are beautiful, but actually some Meforshim say she was not, and that was also part of the Nes that she reached such heights. But that is not the point.

      Anyone should know what the Halacha is, and you and many others obviously do not, so here goes, let me quote FYI from the old Jewish Encyclopedia, and they were not even Frum, but at least they are Modeh to the truth, here goes, feel free to check this out:

      Age for Marriage

      The first positive commandment of the Bible, according to rabbinic interpretation (Maimonides, “Minyan ha-Miẓwot,” 212), is that concerning the propagation of the human species (Gen. i. 28). It is thus considered the duty of every Israelite to marry as early in life as possible. Eighteen years is the age set by the Rabbis (Ab. v. 24); and any one remaining unmarried after his twentieth year is said to be cursed by God Himself (Ḳid. 29b). Some urge that children should marry as soon as they reach the age of puberty, i.e., the fourteenth year (Sanh. 76b); and R. Ḥisda attributed his mental superiority to the fact that he was married when he was but sixteen years old (Ḳid. l.c.). It was, however, strictly forbidden for parents to give their children in marriage before they had reached the age of puberty (Sanh. 76b). A man who, without any reason, refused to marry after he had passed his twentieth year was frequently compelled to do so by the court.…”

      What don’t you get here?

      Sincerely,
      Yitschak Rudomin

      • I’d reply but Am Hanivchar took the words right out of my mouth. Clearly, it’s not what we don’t get but what you don’t get.

        But don’t listen to me, I’m over the age of 20 and have not only withered, by your words, but have fallen completely off the vine and am rotting in a field.

        I wish for your own daughters that they grow in Torah, Mitzvot, and develop their own, independent ideas and opinions, ultimately marrying a man who respects and values them for who they are…after they are 20.

  8. 18 is the age set by the Rabbis for MEN. Women have no official mitzvah to marry. You are also quoting Rishonim and Amora’im, when most 21st century Gedolim in America would NOT encourage boys to marry that young for whatever reason. We follow the Leaders of the day. They also know the Rambam and the Mishnah.

    You have clearly dug yourself into a deep hole. I suggest you quit while you’re behind. The oylam is very angry with you and you respond with insults and defensiveness. You should give it a rest.

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