Readers’ Matzav: The Girls Are Waiting – The Eretz Yisroel Freezer


shidduchimDear Matzav Editor,

Many people have suggested that the cause of the shidduch crisis is the “age gap” – the fact that boys are marrying girls who are a few years younger than them. Since in any growing population there are always more younger people than older people, there are many more girls on the market than boys, and therefore many girls cannot find a shidduch. The most commonly accepted solution to this is that boys should be encouraged to date older girls, who are closer to them in age.

I would like to discuss a different idea that people have proposed. I think that our boys should start dating when they are younger, perhaps when they are 21. Not every boy should start dating early; only the ones who feel that they are ready should do so. The obvious problem is that, currently, all boys are in Eretz Yisroel until they are nearly 23.

I would like to suggest that most of our boys should not go to learn in Eretz Yisroel. Only a small minority would go, while the rest would continue learning in America, perhaps going to learn abroad after they get married. This wouldn’t be something totally new. It would be the same way it was thirty years ago, when only some boys went. Some went to learn by Rav Berel Soloveitchik and some went to the Mir. But many boys stayed in America. Ask anyone who got married in the early ’80s and they will tell you that learning in Eretz Yisroel wasn’t the automatic thing that everyone did at that time.

Of course, many people will say that I’m not being realistic and that this is the system and there is no way it’s going to change. I would like to respond to this argument by first breaking it down into two separate concerns.

Concern number one: The years of learning in Eretz Yisroel are part of the fabric of the Torah world and it is too drastic of a step to stop it. The shidduch crisis, even if it will be completely solved by this, is not enough of a reason for boys to stop going to Eretz Yisroel.

Concern number two: Even if it is worth it, and the right thing is for bochurim to stay in America, it’s just not going to change; it is very hard to change the system.

Regarding the first point, although boys gain a tremendous amount in Eretz Yisroel, we have to first examine the enormity of the shidduch crisis.

There are many hundreds of girls over the age of 24 who are still single. There are also many hundreds more who are slightly younger, who have been on the market for a few years. This is not a small matter. This is a tragedy that literally affects everyone, as virtually every family has a close relative who is an older single girl. Although it would be a very extreme step if most boys would stop going to learn abroad, we have to consider that the alternative is also extreme. If we know that this is causing so much pain to hundreds of older girls, it is not a simple thing for us to just continue with the present system.

I would like to put this in a slightly different perspective. There is something in the yeshiva community known as the “freezer.” There are people who have the opinion that perhaps the freezer should be stopped, since there are so many girls desperate for shidduchim. There are others who suggest that it be modified, and boys should be permitted to date just older girls.

I would like to talk about a different freezer. I would like to refer to this as the “Eretz Yisroel freezer.” Think about it. For all practical purposes, over a thousand of our boys are “frozen” for at least a year and a half, not even considering shidduchim.

Twice a year, hundreds, if not thousands, of girls and their parents have something to look forward to. On Tu B’Shevat and on Shivah Asar B’Tammuz, the Lakewood freezer officially opens, and hundreds of boys enter the shidduch market. But they could have been on the market a long time ago! The hundreds of girls did not have to wait for them so long. They were in the freezer for nearly two years. It wasn’t the Lakewood Yeshiva that originally placed them in the freezer; the yeshiva just extended the Eretz Yisroel freezer for a few more months.

Perhaps the many benefits of learning in the “Eretz Yisroel freezer” is outweighed by the pain of so many girls and their families.
The second point that a skeptic would ask is that it simply isn’t possible for such a drastic change to happen. It is very difficult to change the behavior of the whole tzibbur.

The fact is that the entire tzibbur would not have to change; it’s just one chelek of the tzibbur – the boys themselves. There is one person whose opinion these boys take very seriously, and that is their rosh yeshiva. This is especially true for the many boys who are zocheh to learn by one of the ziknei roshei hayeshivos. If the ziknei roshei hayeshivos would each tell their current talmidim that the suffering of so many older girls has to stop, and they strongly request that the talmidim do not go learn abroad, there is no question that the olam would listen. I cannot imagine that too many talmidim would directly disobey the strong request of their own rosh yeshiva. Similarly, the younger generation of roshei yeshivos, many of them talmidim of the elder roshei yeshivos, will surely follow this p’sak and ask their talmidim to stay in America. This is not something that would require large ads in the papers or major asifos; it can happen very quietly, in the confines of the yeshivos.

I hope that people whi have a personal shaychus to the ziknei roshei yeshivos can present this idea to them.

I would like to end this letter with the following words, written by my wife, which perhaps can help us view this in the right perspective.

While over a thousand boys

Are shteiging away,
Day after day
Over their Gemaros they sway,

Across the ocean,
Over a thousand girls

While over a thousand boys
Are spending time in
The presence of many holy Yidden,
Taking advantage of the bochrishe yorin,

Across the ocean,
Over a thousand girls

 While over a thousand boys,
Are concentrating just to learn,
Without the yoke of parnassah to earn,
Dveikus baHashem they yearn,

Across the ocean,
Over a thousand girls

 While hundreds of boys
Learn the derech of
The Rov of Brisk,
Experience a mehalech that can’t be missed,
Observe non-materialistic lives
They never saw exist,

Across the ocean,
Over a thousand girls

While over a thousand boys
Are certainly gaining more,
Than they would have
On the American shore,
There’s something we certainly cannot ignore,

Across the ocean,
Over a thousand girls

Y.  L.


  1. Are you prepared to deal with the new crisis that this will create? Namely, the Divorce Crisis! Most boys I know are from from ready to get married at age 21. Those extra few years of learning, that you are so ready to do away with, are instrumental in the growth of these bachurim -making them more mature adults and bigger yorei shamayim. Their limud HaTorah during those years are unparalleled! If you are truly machshiv the Koach of Limud Torah, you could not condone such a suggestion!

    Why not tell the 18 and 19 year old girls, to wait a bit, perhaps get some studying under their belt or some money in their bank, and not flood the market, therby giving the 20-23 year olds a greater chance of dating those 23 year old boys!

  2. as the lovely poem illistrates, the boys gain tremendously in EY. The same girls who “sacrafice” in order to marry a learning boy can’t hold it against them for gaining an irreplaceable learning expierience that makes them better people for life.

  3. if you think thats the only problem with shiduchim you need help. if people would stop worring about money more people would get married and there wouldnt be a shidduch crisis. our frum society has lost its way and forgot what is important. people are more worried about whos paying for what then the mitzvah involved.

  4. These girls don’t realize that the boys won’t neccessarily learn very long after their chasunas because of money obligations. These few years in E”Y are precious to them. Don’t take that away from them!! Perhaps a freezer for girls would work better. Only girls age 23 and older can date. Let them get some real world experience first, like how to drive, etc. This will solve a lot of problems. Good luck to you all!!

  5. I appreciate the description of the pain but the solution proposed confuses the chicken and the egg. Firstly, in the 80s many boys did not go to Eretz Yisroel and it was much easier to get a date but I dated over 25 serious yeshiva bochurim in 2 1/2 years and they were mostly over 25. I didn’t date a one under 23.

    Secondly, my 22 year old son is in Eretz Yisroel precisely because he does not want to date. He is too young to get married. He is in a self-imposed freezer and if he would come back to the US for some reason he wouldn’t date anyway. As a matter of fact, when he left after pesach he was thinking of coming home succoth time and now he says succoth is too soon he’s thinking of pesach.

    Most boys are not ready to date and marry at 21 in our society and pushing them into it might cause a divorce crisis and a sholom bayis crisis that dwarf the current shidduch crisis chas v’shalom.

    I might also add that I have been increasingly receiving phone calls about him – a boy in Israel with no interest in dating – which have no possible positive affect. The calls just indicate to me that I could theoretically hold out for the moon – a bad message to a mother. Luckily I consider myself reasonably sane and laugh off the calls by telling the various well meaning folk that call that he is absolutely not dating.

    Sadly, the only possible solution to this problem is to get the GIRLS to date later. But what happens in a bad market is a sell-off and we are all (myself included) afraid to stop our girls from dating until they are 21.

    I don’t have a real solution – it is hard to imagine a systemic, imposed solution to this problem. But I do think a couple of things could help the problem:

    1) Shadchanim should not rush at the new crop of 18 year olds rather stay focused on the older girls
    2) If the freezer needs to stay for Lakewood’s sake, the trick of bypassing the freezer by getting engaged between Purim and Pesach or Yom Kippur and succoth should also be banned. It just introduces more unnecessary panic into an already over-hyped market
    3) Girls say no after inital dates more than the boys do. That has been confirmed by many shadchannim. Girls should be taught that a serious boy who has spent the last 23 years in yeshiva will 1) have a poor english 2) not necessarily be an excellent driver 3) have some poor habits that might make him appear boorish 5) Can still be excellent husband material

    I know that when my son does date, 23 with an education, parnassah, money in the back, adult young lady will be what I prefer – however, it will only take one or two “he’s not sophisticated enough for me” to give those 19 year olds a shot.

  6. A lot of girls are being frozen by their heimish parents.Maybe the Ribbono Shel Olam is not interested in the survival of only the “Besserer Menschen.

  7. To #5: Sounds like your son is a choshiver bachur. I have a daughter in shiduchim. How about giving me your number off-line?

  8. Somehow, until recent generations, in Iran the boys got married at 18, and the girls at 13 (on average), and despite the huge age gap, there was no shidduch crisis!

  9. So you think that the ziknei Rosh Yeshiva are unaware of this pain and are waiting for your suggestion that they should tell their bochurim to stay in America and get married and 21. That’s probably why they are the ziknei Rosh Yeshiva and you are a Matzav hocker whose wife writes poetry. Get real. The reason the Rosh Yeshiva don’t do this is because they deal with the sholom bayis issues of these guys while you hock and your wife writes poetry

  10. First of all your article is very well written, and thank you for writing such a beautiful article and of course the poem at the end. But there are few problems.
    1. The Rabonim have said few times already that girls shouldn’t start dating right away from seminary. Rather they should wait a year or two in which they could make some money, or pursue a degree so they could take some burden off their parents and future in-laws. However they are those girls, which they get married right away (whatever the reason might be) which start the whole shidduch’s tumult of that grade. The outcome is that you have girls who are 20-21 which are so desperate to get married even though technically speaking the potential bochurim are still in eretz yisroel.
    2.In the same note girls shouldn’t go to seminary in eretz yisroel because they could start college earlier or they could take the burden of fat seminary tuitions off their parents.
    3.As you stated you are talking to bochurim who are ready to go out and start dating. Sorry to break it to you these bochurim who are coming to eretz yisroel are far away from getting married in most cases.
    4.Inorder for the Idea to work
    A. You got to get the roshei yeshivos to sign or agree to such a thing.
    B. Even if the roshei yeshivos agree, they have to set up a system and yeshivos for bochurim to learn in. Just think of the high numbers, which we are talking about this lists, include rabeim, salaries, buildings for bate midrashim and dormitory,… . As of right now the bochurim who come back from eretz yisroel have very limited choices as it is.
    So even if this idea will work and it’ll take few years and a lot of money, effort and convincing on both the bochurim side and also on the side of their parents and roshei yeshivos to make this work.

    Any way good try how to solve the shidduch crisis. Just tell the boys and girls be realistic about shidduchim. That will solve most of the shidduch crisis problem, but no one has come with this simple suggestion yet. Because most boys and girls are looking for something which don’t exist yet, v’hamevin

  11. the poem is ridiculous,singles not married by 24 is nothing close to a crises!!!!! from what i understand the whole reason for the crises is because many single poor girls want to marry kollel guys but the guys want rich father in laws to support them. i don’t blame the guys there correct that if they want to learn for many years they should be looking for support from a FIL if hes willing to support them. all i have to say to the girls is tough, life’s not fair and its time to start looking for other guys and not be so picky.

  12. # 3 if the problem was money or some other reason that boys say no for, there would still be just as many older single girls, just different ones. Maybe more girls without money would be getting married but the boys they would be marrying would not be marrying the girls they would otherwise have gotten married to. There would still be just as few boys out there for just as many single girls.

    I think that the problem is in the numbers and it would be helpful if shadchanim would focus on the older girls instead of the girls just back from seminary. A few years ago, when two of my sisters were in shidduchim at the same time, shadchanim would sometimes call to redd a boy to the younger sister that was older than the older sister and just as appropriate for her as for my other sister! Sometimes it would be from the boys and sometimes from the shadchan. One 29 year old boy even said that my 27 year old sister was too old for him, he needed to go out with the 23 year old! If we continue to consider something like this acceptable in our community, then what can we expect.

    Come and meet the heligah bochurim from Ner Yisroel, Chofetz Chaim, Chaim Berlin, etc. who are not frozen or planning to freeze.

    Give up on an opportunity to be in Eretz Yisroel and breathe the air, daven at the Kosel, Kever Rochel, Maares Hamachpala and see the ‘toshevai haeretz’. Never!!!!

  14. I just had an interesting thought.Maybe shaddchanim should have to be certified and their fees should be regulated so that there would be no favoritism shown to certain groups.And here is another tzedaka idea in the making.Each community should have a fund for those in need of money to pay the shaddchin..Once a shaddchin knows he will be earning a fair amount for each shidduch,he will redd shiddchim more freely.And lets face it there are many many good smart well mannered etc.etc. boys out there.It is just an archaic and awkward way we go about finding them

  15. A person’s zivug comes directly from the RBS”O.

    Our generation talks about emunah and bitachon when it comes to Kollel which is a chosen lifestyle. A man is mechuyav in learning no matter what he is doing, be he a working man in the outside world or not.

    So long as our generation chooses to talk the talk for very selective walks in life shidduchim will remain a problem.

    It is time for this generation to take a long brutal look at itself in the mirror of mesorah. Have we really stooped to the low where we can talk as though we can change this situation through social engineering? Are we becoming frum apikorsim?

    It is time for our generation to start focusing on Yiraas Shamayim which will hopefully bring a renaissance to Mentchlachkeit which is frankly at the very core of the problem with today’s “Shidduch Crisis”, divorce crisis and every other crisis that involves interpersonal relationships.

    If people put themselves, heart and soul into the hands of the RBS”O and worried and tzittered over being Mentchlach to one another across the board rather than how long a list the boys have, the money to shelled out from each side and how “things look”, we would see before us a very different scene for our children. This is not new, after all this is what we were sent into Galus for, only we have dug our heels into the Galus we have been in for so long.

    May we be zocheh to have the strength to face the truth in a time when truth has been turned upside down and may we be able to bring ourselves closer to the RBS”O and have Geulah in our time.

  16. The Mishna says “Shemona Esre L’Chuppa.”

    It is time for us to start practicing this Mishna.

    (Most Chasidim already do.)

  17. Why are you assuming the girls have nothing to do other than get married, while the boys need the time to learn and grow? Can’t we take the pressure off girls from marrying too young, and maybe everyone can accomplish something in the meantime? If many singles prefer to get married a year or two after you want them to, maybe that’s what’s right for them. Then their marriages will be deeper and better since they’ve had a chance to mature.

  18. There is a simple and extremely effective solution and it can be implemented by ONE person.

    That is correct.

    ONE person alone holds the keys to solving the shidduch crisis.

    When implemented it will result in

    1. Boys having strong reasons to date girls their own age

    2. Boys stating to date slightly younger.

  19. The following two suggestion are Guaranteed to solve 85% of the crisis.

    1. Freezer. Tu b’shavat/shavuos.

    Tu Bshvat the freezer opens only for girls 21 and older. To date gilrs under 21 boys must wait till shavous. 800 boys a year with a selfish reason to date slightly older girls.

    What do u think they’ll do??

    2. Gradually Lower the entry age to bmg (and other post EY yeshivos.)

    Prior to this succos zeman announce that these are the cutoof ages for comoing to BMG

    Next pesach age 23.25
    Following succos 23
    Following pesach 22.75
    Following succos 22.5

    Boys will either go to EY earlier or stay a drop shorter.

    American R”Y are very supportive as they know that the learning in EY for a vast majority of the boys is not cracked up to be all that its supposed to be. Staying there 6 months less would do no harm.

    If boys come to BMG and other post EY yeshivos a drop younger and date girls 21 – we can put this crisis to sleep…….

    Re: these ideas. I know it’s not a question of if- just when- they will be implemented. The communal pressure that will be unleashed in desperation to save the thosands of agunos that are being created will be unbearable.

    It can start this weekend in Toronto!

  20. #18 believes that in the plan laid out in #19. If this occurs it will have a fascinating social engineering result… an ability for new places to open for boys who come back from Israel when they are 23.

    Also, if the whole system changes, boys will just come back and not date.

  21. #15- do you have a single daughter? i would like to go out with her, if she has youre hashkafos.

    #18- pray tell, who is this one person?

  22. I don’t understand. There is an explicit mishnah that says that 18 is the age for marriage. How can we overturn an explicit, unopposed mishnah? If boys aren’t ready for marriage when Chazal says they are, what are we doing wrong?

  23. Girls should not be considered over the hill when they are 23 with Hashem’s help they and their spouse will live to 120 together so even if they get married at 27 they will A”H have a 113 years together.Seriously let’s take off the pressure of getting married very young and concentrate on creating marriages that build a “Bayis NEEMON THAT lasts|

  24. I am not a professional shadchan but a few years ago, after having married off a few of my own, I decided to take this crisis business seriously. I tried, with the advice of my husband and married children, to set up some of the young men and women that we know. I am curious why noone else seems to have come to the same conclusion that we reached after much effort and no success. There is no “shidduch crisis”, it’s a people crisis! Many singles are extremely unrealistic in their shidduch demands, and don’t bother taking a good look in the mirror before they embark on their foolish pursuit of a nonexistant mate. Many are also hampered by the well-meaning efforts of parents who are demanding and unrealistic. I am truly sorry if my comment offends older singles who are genuinely trying to find their bashert and have not yet been zoche, as I know there are many decent, good-hearted singles out there. Unfortunately, what would help them most is a major change in attitude by the young men who are looking for super models and/or are disappointed when the girl’s home is less than palatial; the young women looking for an accomplished rosh yeshiva and/or a professional earning at least seven figures, and many others I have encountered. I still don’t know whether to laugh or cry when one very average (to put it mildly) young man we know nixes every suggestion with the request that we find him someone more sophisticated! There is no age related solution to this nonsense. Perhaps a mandatory in depth study of Mesilas Yesharim followed by a serious Cheshbon Hanefesh would do the trick.

  25. Reply to # 16


    “The Mishna says “Shemona Esre L’Chuppa.”

    It is time for us to start practicing this Mishna.

    (Most Chasidim already do.)”

    The same mishna says ben chameish esreh ligemara. Fifteen years old to gemara. Do you advocate that too? I hope so.

  26. I liked your poem a lot ,but I wonder why are these girls sitting and waiting .There are so very many things that they could be doing that will A”H be much harder to do when they are busy raising a family .

  27. The plan laid out in #19 is brilliant in it’s effectiveness and simplicity.

    There is no doubt the overwhelming number of boys will come back slightly earlier and date girls their own age

    wow wow….

  28. Boys are way too immature at age 21. Some would say even at age 22-23 they are too immature.
    In any case, they need to grow in their learning, and the “best years” for that are the two-three before they begin shidduchim. Once they get married it’s much harder. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.

  29. come back and not date?

    Who are you kidding??? how long do you think they will wait once the freezer opens.

    Not a very long time at all!!

  30. re #16
    what do you mean, chassidim already do? Chassidish family always did and still do! this site is pure litvish. I read these comments for pure amusement.

    If you look at the Litvishe Ziknei Gedoli Yisroel, and I mean only the elders, their owns shidduchim looked completely different than whats happening now. Although they married at an older age then their chassidish counterparts, their “zu gang” was far more in line with the chassidish derech. To be more specific, there was the powerful element of tzinua. Girls were never a show piece to be judged, ogled and then tossed. This is pure goyish. The kavod of the girl (not the boy) was crucial. A boy wanted a girl who was fine and erlech, someone to build a yiddish home. Thats it.The girl, on the other hand wanted to get married, period. And this is how things were from way back to sheshes yimeh bereshis.
    Now, in the frum litvish world, every mother feels her son is rosh hayeshiva material, and he needs a knockout girl, from head to toe and in between, (size is of paramount importance) with rich parents. All for her tzadik.
    Through out the generations, there was an unspoken understanding of tachlis. Today it is all bluff.
    And another thing, you hear more and more of a boy prosposing marraige, “Will you marry me?” Huh? Sure it sounds SO romantic, but who marries whom? Who gives and who recieves a keshuba?

  31. #14: People already complain that not enough people redd shidduchim; you want to limit the numbers further? Of course, when shadachanim are accused, by people like you, of “showing favoritism to certain groups”, that’s not much incentive for someone to want to be a shadchan! Perhaps you should stop speaking loshon hara about people who are spending a lot of time trying to help klal Yisroel.

  32. Will the (now older) girls respect boys who are even younger and less capable to shoulder their responsibilities? Aren’t we building in the need to support for that many more years? Why are we not letting these boys become men, on their own time?

  33. Sorry to say the person who wrote this Article needs help, or maybe is beyond help.

    I have no sympathy for her at all.

    Take your special purchase order & start scratching of the nonsense.

    In addition dont lower your self esteem for anyone just becasue they are Male & come from a famous brand name Yeshivah.

    There are only two basics that you have to look for when it comes to a shidduch,
    Number one YIRAS SHOMAIM & Number two is MIDDOS. all the rest is nonsense.

    Show me a real boy with these two Middos, now look carefully & you will see that he has it all.

    Stop Fashioning a label or figuring out how many yrs. he is going to learn, or how much money you have in the bank account & leave that to HASHEM.

    Stop with the Freezer nonsense & dont try to solve the worlds problems, just think about yourself & leave the rest of the world up to the CREATOR & let him worry about everybody else.

    there is a very famous chazel, Hakol Bidie Shomayim CHUTZ Miyiras Shomayim, Study this very carefully not just lip service, you will understand much better your obligations.

    I am in business & i never know where the next deal is going to come, all i do is try, BINGO
    G-D does the rest not me, i could sometimes work for hours in vain, just to see it fall apart in seconds. & sometimes it just keeps flowing like a river.

    its not me doing it or making it happen, i just do what they call HISTADLUS & the Master of the Universe does the rest.

    Now just think of what i wrote & think again, again & again. untill you understand .

    now good luck to you all.

  34. There is also the ‘non freezer crisis’. My three nieces, cousins, and young ladies in my area who are 23 plus are all looking for bochurim who have no freezer connection. Any ideas for them?

  35. sorry I offended you #34 if you are redding shidduchim and treating people in a bal kovidiga way your zchusim will be monumental because you have a part in creating more yiddisha neshomas.I did not mean to belittle the difficult task of redding shidduhim,.but you most know the heartbreak people face when the shaddchan says they will call and doesn’t, and never returns your calls.I appreciate that shadchunim are very busy it is very very time consuming,but believe me you can be “mechaya”someone by showing them you care.

  36. how come no one ever says there is a crisis for boys i know plent of boys who are great guys who barely get and dates!!!!!!!!!!

  37. #37 writes that the author of this article needs help or is beyond help and adds some other insults, then explains to us all that yiras shamayim and middos is all that counts.

    That is lovely middos to insult the author. You can disagree all you want (I don’t agree with the guy either), but to be rude and hurtful and then extoll the virtue of middos?

  38. very simple solutions
    stop the madness about full support. once the boys parents will have to pay 50/50 they won’t be so picky any more. Girls who have good jobs to pay their 50% but don’t have fancy lifestyles will now become more attractive to boys who will have to pay their share.
    Yeshiva boys today have no reason to marry quickly and can be picky who they want to date and marry.

    boys who have problems getting dates either have outlandish demands or their parents aren’t doing proper hishtadlus for them like picking up the phone and calling a few shadchens. I know plenty of boys whose parents think their son is the next gadol hador and deserves the richest, prettiest,skinniest, baal middos in the universe.

    We are in a vicious cycle. Girls have to go to college to become therapists in order to support their husbands. Girls who go to seminary to learn how to be teachers never use their skills because they are becoming therapists.

  39. I’d like to address all the people who are posting comments. I have been in this line of work for approx. 15 years as a shadchan, and for all who belittle each other one way or the other…please don’t. Without any experience it is just ugly to go back and forth, and speaking unkindly to one another. You have to be in it to understand the dynamics, and I assume most of you who are arguing the points are not. Even I, someone who has spoken to hundreds and hundreds of people throughout the years have yet to decide what the problem is. But I can sure tell you a tale or two.
    3 weeks ago I took my shadchan book and threw it into the garbage, hoping pickup would be soon so I would not change my mind as I have done so many times before. The reason: I am burned out. True, we do this voluntarily, but it is the most disrespected, draining, unappreciated work that you can imagine! If only I had a journal or voice tapes of all the calls throughout the years, I could put together an award winning book or documentary, and most of you would hide your face in shame.
    If you want my opinion, and I will give it to whether you agree or not…here goes: I work mostly in chassidish circles, but was always open to anyone Hashem sent my way. So I have dealt with all types. First and foremost, let me say, most of you are not “really” looking for a shidduch. You are looking for real estate, models,status, anything…but a shidduch!!!Oh, lest I forget, the hefty bank book would go a long way to making that boy or girl look much more beautiful than she actually is.Oh, you are all looking for nice families, of course, and “middos”…for sure!But suddenly a “not so special girl or boy” become very special with the right ornaments!!!!.
    You have confused the ikur for the tufel. You pretend you want this chushiva boy…oh yes, the best in yeshiva, will learn for “lifetime”. Of course, on your parents blood and sweat. The average boy holding seder, with good character? No, ” he’s only an average boy, I’m looking for a “TOP BOY”,DO YOU KNOW MY DAUGHTER???? YEH, I know your daughter. Do you know my son?Ask around, you’ll see. Yeh, I know, the best in yeshiva.
    Rabboisei…you can’t fool me anymore, and I’m tired of your shtick. You want everything before the wedding, and everything after.You lost sight of what it is that one has to look for when searching for a mate. This is not a forum to discuss this at length, but there is a lot to say and honestly, I don’t care anymore. It’s all a facade, everyone covering up what they don’t want another to see. I’ve been privy to the most interesting things through the years, and….I can count on my hand how many people really came across Lishma. They tell you “No, it’s not for me” before they even made a single call. “Es tzeet mich nisht” the most famous refrain. “es miz tzeean”. Really?How could it pull, if you haven’t done any homework to find out anything! Give me a break!And give the other party a break too!!!!! Don’t undermine someone else’s child because your heart doesn’t go pitter patter when I just mention the name! So, it’s not the girl or boy you are concerned with. You are concerned with anything but……!!!
    And this is the clincher: Yes, I volunteer, but I work for you, the oilem out there. And I make loads of calls a day…and when I ask you to call me back to tell me if it is interesting, after you ( have or have not)inquired, and let me know where to go from there, you tell me “No…I’m not going to call you back”. you call me. Hello? You are not making hundreds of calls a week! I am! And if I thought about your child today, and that goes for hundreds, all I ask you in return (after all, you are not paying me to work for you, and I make hundreds of calls without you even knowing that I am working for you) and you can’t appreciate my work enough to call me back about a shidduch that concerns you????? And when you say, “yes”, which is one out of a million, do you remember to call me back? No…you forget….well my dear brothers and sisters….I’m forgetting too….to call you!!!! Sometimes the chutzpa is amazing out there, as if shadchanim have nothing better to do than sit around and make untold amounts of calls all over the world. And to think, that after working for someone for a year, two maybe, a thank you note would be in order, even though you were not the shadchan, well….I did marry children, and was very aware of who the shadchanim were that were “purrening” for my child, and yes, I did write to thank them, and even gifted them….for their getreishaft and effort.
    If you want to know why people are stepping out of this field, ask anyone who tried this…I think I want to find another mitzva to do that can give me more satisfaction, and less aggravation, and could let me sleep at night. I want to choose a mitzva that could reward me with a smile at the end of the day!
    You can bombard me with all kinds of answers, but you didn’t walk in my shoes…..dear brothers and sisters….and by far…you have disappointed me in your character and mentchlichkeit. Most of you are phonies…and by that I mean, you want it all….where it suits “YOU”.
    Thank you matzav for letting me voice my personal opinion. And good luck to you all. I am still working off the top of my head, but no more ” spending useless hours” trying to be a lawyer, therapist, you name it….burned out!!!!!!
    And this is just the tip of it….

  40. Dear ex shaddchan I feel for you but I wonder did you ever deal with people{ not to sound to self righteous],like me.I do and always say thank you to anyone who redd my children shidduhim.While money is nice I never made it a priority because having money does not necessarily make for a better life.I I am blessed with wonderful children very smart,very personable very pretty and above all really frum and very menschlch.but I never said they were the greatest or that they or I needed the best or greatest out there,And I know I am not being humble when I say there are others like me and even better then me out there.So my question is,why didn’t you deal with people like me and drop the others who gave you such a hard time.Anyway I am sure your efforts did not go unoticed down here on earth or up in shmayim.Yasha koch!

  41. As a confirmed non-chareidi,and certainly after reading #43 ex-shadchan’s heartfelt comments, I can only laugh at the hole you people have dug yourselves into. Some of the solutions presented are highly creative, albeit worthless, and l’shitaschem, blatantly anti-torah.

  42. if ages are the key and boys cant marry younger than….
    stop trying to control peaple everyone can do as they see fit read the anthem

  43. I hear the 50/50 but as much as some of us want to help our children we can’t help any of them. It’s not that we don’t want to help them build a bayis neeman, but we simply can’t. If it the matzav changes, I for one say it will be my greatest pleasure.

  44. when i was 20 some one read me a shiduch, i was so proud “look I’m so mature that I’m even getting read shiduchim” i excitingly called my mother and she told me “NO I think it’s time to wait”… 3 years later I got marred B”H and I can say it’s a good thing I didn’t get married then I grew so much in E.Y. – I’m very happy I waited.

  45. #44. I never picked and chose who I dealt with. When someone called my house or I got their name and added them to my list, I always tried to help “everyone”. And I tried to make the effort to at least redd one shidduch to everyone, lest they think I don’t care or just wrote their name down. I wasn’t always successful, because I didn’t always have the right match(at least in my opinion), but my door was never closed to anyone. So, yes, over the years I did walk away from some, some being overexagerated…maybe one or two that I stopped..but you know, you always want to try and help and you think that this time it would be different, their values will change, they learned their lesson….but nah…it’s all the same,with one kid or with l2. Priorities are messed up. I don’t, even today, get a chance for people to investigate anything. It’s a no before I put the phone down. If it doesn’t “smeck” good….it’s good-bye. So, what’s the point.
    I can tell you that one out of a few hundred will tell me, fine…I’ll look into it. When that happens, it’s almost time for me to celebrate….cause it happens so seldom.Chassidim know each other alot. Especially each sect knows one another and if it doesn’t “feel” good, feel right, they are out the door. Which to me means: you don’t know the girl or boy in question….so obviously the mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, grandfather, yichus, money, whatever doesn’tfall into place…is not on your agenda, so the girl or boy don’t have a chance. The other things are more important and come into play way ahead of the keren. So there you have it, in a nutshell. Ask any shadcan, man or woman, and I happen to be female what pain it is to deal in shidduchim. You don’t get past the door!!!!! it’s always “it’s not for me, you have anything else”…so….go…try and figure. So I’m not figuring and my head is clearer BH.!

  46. Most intelligent people don’t believe that the age gap is a significant contributor to the ‘crisis’ in shidduchim. It is simply a convenient, undemonstrated theory that lays blame at nobody’s doorstep.

    It may account for a few dozen girls sitting home waiting, but not hundreds.

    Certainly no one with any amount of wisdom will use the theory to manipulate people on the grand scale such as you describe in this rant.

  47. the money is a derivative of the problem NOT the cause.

    In a unequal market all subjective factors play a role. Even out the numbers and most other factors will work themselves out..

  48. Ex-Shadchan Thank you for going through such aggrevation because of you there are probably many Holy Children now in this world.
    PLEASE brush off the dust and keep trying.
    Klal Yisrael Needs You.

    🙂 Thank You.

  49. #52 thank you very much. It feels good to be validated. Right now, I am on a long break, got to clear my head. For 15 years I felt like I was carrying the weight of everyone shidduchim on my head. That is what it feels like, day and night when your head is filled with names. You eat, sleep and dream names. It gives you no peace, as if these were my problems….so its very draining. I know the schar will be in shumayim…and I’m counting on it, trust me…the time, pain and effort should amount to a whole lot, hopefully Hashem will take it all into account when I come up for judgement.
    Thank you…it felt good.

  50. 70 R”Y signed a letter clearly stating that AGE GAP is the primary cause.

    In addition:

    A. It is eminently solvable (see #19)

    B. for those who need to place blame (not that it helps). The culprits are obvious… Both in terms of who causes the problem (albeit unintentionally) as well as those who can actually solve it… THEY ARE ONE AND THE SAME

  51. B’Chesed HaShem, several years ago, I was privileged to be part of Beis Medrosh Gevoha in Lakewood for a couple of years. While I never inquired about the details of certain Takanos that the yeshiva made (either then or latter on) regarding new talmidim being Oseik in Shidduchim, I was aware of the following consideration.

    It does not require any elaboration that, Boruch HaShem, Beis Medrosh Gevoha in Lakewood is one of the very foremost and largest Mekomos HaTorah in the world. Therefore, a person who attends there, automatically gets on himself a certain Chashivus – a certain “prestige” that “he learns in Lakewood!”

    Understandably, this prestige can be misused in that a person may want to come to Lakewood for this prestige.

    There are numerous very good reasons why a person should want to come to BMG:

    To study in the beis medrosh that was founded and led by the great Sar HaTorah, Rav Aharon Kotler, ZT’L, and to thus stand under the directorship of Rav Kotler’s heirs and descendants.

    To be among thousands of people who are doing intensive full time Torah study.

    To learn in very great advanced depth the “yeshivishe mesectos,” along with numerous upcoming Talmeday Chachamim who themselves will soon be delivering advanced deep pilpul shiurim – lectures in Talmudic analysis.

    To have numerous chaburos – learning groups – in which he can learn in great advanced depth with advanced deep pilpul shiurim all other parts of Shas and Poskim.

    So for a person though to want to come to Lakewood ONLY for the prestige is obviously an extremely shallow reason and is really an outright abuse of what this great yeshiva is.

    A major part of this prestige issue is that of Shidduchim: that part of this prestige of a person learning in Lakewood is that his “Shidduch status” is automatically raised up a good few notches; thus a man will think: “I will go to Lakewood so I can get a good Shidduch!”

    Furthermore, the Lakewood-Shidduch scene is not just the (shallow) issue of prestige; it is, even more, an issue of simple logistics: that since BMG is like the large “capital city” of the yeshiva world, there are numerous people there who have numerous contacts throughout the yeshiva world. Therefore, a man will — rightfully — think: “It would be good for me to go to BMG, for then I will be right in front of those many people who know so many people; B’Ezras HaShem, one of them should be able to find a good woman for me!”

    So here is a particular young man. He is learning well in a certain yeshiva; he likes that particular yeshiva very much and thus plans to learn there for several years. At a certain point though, he realizes that it is time for him for a Shidduch, so he goes to Lakewood. Boruch HaShem, he is quickly referred to a number of good people, who quickly make inquires for him. Boruch HaShem, they soon discover a very fine young woman for him whom he likes very much and in a couple of weeks the Shidduch is made. A couple of months latter, the actual chasuna – the actual wedding – is held. The new man and wife are now settled, and he is again learning shtark — in his original yeshiva!

    From the day of the chavrusa tumult at the beginning of the z’man – the school term – until two days before the chasuna when he left, he was at BMG for four months and eleven days — just barely over a third of a year.

    Is what he did right?

  52. (continuation of previous comment)

    I repeat, is what he did right?

    Yes, I think that this is a valid question that should be asked: “Is what he did right?”


    That’s right, he “used” the yeshiva!!

    He does not give a hoot about the yeshiva!

    He does not give a hoot that BMG is the sacred Beis Medrosh of Rav Aharon Kotler!

    (Oh, of course, of course, of course, as a Ben Torah, he well knows that Rav Aharon Kotler, ZT’L, was one of the foremost Gedolim of the last dor, but that has nothing to do with him.)

    He does not give a hoot that at BMG, he has a golden opportunity to learn b’iyun rav with full pilpul shiurim vast amounts of Kol HaTorah Kulo!

    (Oh, of course, as a Ben Torah, he well knows that, like every Jew, he has a Chiyuv – a legal obligation – to learn Kol HaTorah Kulo, but that is not what is on his mind now.)

    All that he cares about now is that BMG is an instrument for him to use to “get a good Shidduch”!

    At the same time that he does not care about BMG though, he goes over to the administration office at the BMG campus, has the staff there give him the necessary forms and process his application, has appropriate rabbonim of the hanhala – of the administrative faculty -take a good one or even two hours of their time to give him an interview and examination, impresses upon the rabbonim that he really, really, really wants to come to BMG, secures a seat in one of the botei midrashim, uses the sefarim there, secures a bed in one of the dormatories, uses the electricity, uses the water, eats the food in the dinning hall, etc., etc., etc.

    What is the HaKores HaTov – the appreciation that he gives? A day after — no, excuse me, two days BEFORE — his Chasuna, he is out of there! And the BMG Roshei Yeshiva do not even receive an invitation!

  53. (continuation of previous comment)

    Therefore, it is totally understandable that the BMG hanhala —

    First though, it must be clearly stated, that of course, the Mitzva of a man marrying a woman is the key fulfillment of our task of the Torah, and that the rabbonim of the BMG hanhala are certainly keenly aware of this. They deeply want every young man, and especially every young man who enters their doors, to get a good Shidduch. They will strongly exhort every young man, and especially every young man who enters their doors, that he must make every effort to get a good Shidduch. They will definately do whatever they themselves can to facilitate and help someone get a good Shidduch. They are extremely, severely pained by those students who somehow “fell through the cracks” and did not get a Shidduch and thus withered away.

    So, they certainly DO NOT want to put anyone “in the freezer”! They certainly DO NOT want to do anything that could, chas v’shalom, hinder anyone from getting a good shidduch.

    All that they do say — again, it was not important for me to find out the exact details of takanos – benificial regulations -that they made — is “Let’s act like a mentch; let’s be decent!”
    “You want to come to BMG, fine; so come, and be part of the yeshiva! Have an interest in the yeshiva! Care about the yeshiva!” And, on the contrary, doing this will HELP you with a Shidduch!

    We can easily imagine that when a BMG talmid will have a date with a girl, part of the chatting will probably be something like this, as the girl says to him:

    “So you learn in Lakewood; wow, that is very nice! How long have you been there? How do you like it there?”

    Obviously, the boy CANNOT answer anything that would even imply anything like: “Oh, I just came there for a Shidduch, and as soon as I get married, I’m packing out!!”

  54. Stagger the freezer (Tu B’shvat/Shvuos) and u can have your cake and eat it to!

    And we will solve the crisis.

    It’s so simple……

  55. The real crisis is that our community does not value single women as people. If we treated these young women with the respect that they deserve for their work and often volunteer efforts as well, if we recognized them for themselves and not merely as potential mates for men, if we saw them as people to be proud of and not as ‘superfluous women’ there would be no crisis. Maybe they would marry, maybe not, but at least they would not be treated as a burden on their families and the community.

  56. Oh my gosh, girls are still single at 23 and 24?!? Rachmana latzlan!!! Seriously… I know first hand that it’s frustrating to be constantly searching for “the one” for a long time and wondering when you’re ever going to find them. But come on, 24 is not that old. I know many people who did not get married till later in life (late 20’s and even early 30’s) and BH still have a beautiful, healthy family with many children, bli ayin hara. Their husbands find time to learn, the family has a solid parnassa, and they are happy and healthy. I could understand the concern if there were thousands of women aged 34 who were still not married and … but 24?!?

  57. Emuna, understand that these young women have been in the parsha for about 4 years. not necessarily getting dates often, and probably quite demoralized by the system. Of course if they and their parents have any seichel they can put things into perspective, that doesn’t mean that it’s not difficult and that thinking outside the box might not be a good idea.

  58. “I could understand the concern if there were thousands of women aged 34 who were still not married but ?!?”



    there are literally thousands

  59. I honestly feel that 21 might be a little late for boys to start dating. By that age, many have already wasted precious years in school, squandering their time on modern superficialities like athletics and so-called “social lives.”

    If a girl is still single at age 24 in this day and age, she should probably consider the fact that she’s doing something wrong, either on dates or in her t’fila. Let’s address these real issues and then we can figure out a solution.