Shlugging Up the Kasha – Sending Girls to Seminary


By Rabbi Yaakov Menken

In a recent piece, Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin discusses “Sending Girls to Seminaries and the Shidduch Crisis” and asks: “who are the American boys supposed to marry at 21 if all the good American 18, 19 and 20-year-old girls are away at seminary in Israel?” He writes that he will be glad to be “shlugged up,” and I will endeavor to do so. Besides belittling the Israel seminary experience for girls, in my opinion the writer appears not to understand why the Gedolim now encourage boys to begin dating at a younger age, and as a result is essentially advising girls to make the problem worse rather than better.

The writer dismisses the Israel seminary experience as a “dizzying” environment with “dreams of travel, touring, having fun, inspired lectures about all sorts of subjects, etc.” One could, of course, say similar things about yeshivos in Israel, but we obviously do not.

Rather, we point out that yishuv Eretz Yisrael, living in the Land of Israel (even for a limited time), is a great Mitzvah, that every 4 amos walked in Israel is a Mitzvah, and that avir E”Y machkim — that the very air of the land makes one wise. And, of course, spending time in Israel before marriage is conducive to the decision to return after marriage, which, as American Gedolim will be the first to say, often leads a young Kollel yungerman to greater growth in Torah.

Which of the above is not applicable to women? On the contrary, the growth in both Torah knowledge and Yiras Shamayim of most girls after a year in seminary is apparent to all. It routinely has a great impact on the type of house she wishes to build and the life she wishes to lead.

In order for young couples to choose to live in Eretz Yisrael after marriage, it is the wife’s previous time there that is arguably more critical. Gedolim routinely advise young couples to find a community where the wife will be happy, so far better for her to start off without fearing Eretz Yisrael as a great unknown.

Even without all of the above, seminary in Israel is also likely to be the first time in an observant young woman’s life that she finds herself dealing with daily situations and minor crises when she cannot call her parents for help, not unless she wants to wake them at four in the morning US time — or take an intercontinental round-trip flight for a hug and her mother’s chicken soup. Can the author honestly ask how spending a full nine months living thousands of miles from mommy helps to prepare a young woman for the “hard job of marriage, running a household, often with a full-time job to cope with, as well as motherhood and child-rearing?”

And, as I said, ultimately the author’s advice could hardly be more counterproductive. He claims that girls are in seminary “to age 20 or 21” (which incorrectly presumes that they are not usually dating by the age of 19) and suggests that younger boys need to marry yet younger girls.

That is the precise opposite of what the Gedolim are doing to solve the crisis, which is caused by our community growing at an incredible rate ka”h while boys marry significantly later than girls. As the enclosed chart demonstrates, in Lakewood alone the number of annual births grew from 2800 in 2004 to 3450 in 2008, and then to 3960 in 2012. This means an increase of roughly 5% per year. Thus if 19-year-old girls continue to typically marry 23-year-old boys, then simply b’derech hateva — according to the rules of nature — hundreds of girls will be unable to find spouses each and every year, just in Lakewood alone. This same growth, this same disparity between the number of 19-year-olds vs. 23-year-olds, is found in every Torah community.

The reason that Chasidim do not have this problem, and why Litvishe girls in E”Y (Israel) do not have this problem (at least, to not nearly the same extent), is because boys marry girls their own age. It has nothing whatsoever to do with “travels to far-off yeshivos or seminaries,” but only how long boys vs. girls wait to start dating. And given the choice between telling girls to wait until 23 and telling boys to start earlier, the Gedolim endorsed the latter option. One way or the other, telling girls to maintain the age gap by marrying even earlier is nothing but a recipe for disaster.

For all of these reasons, I sincerely hope readers will follow the approach advised by our Gedolim. Girls should continue to go to seminary, and on the contrary should delay entering Shidduchim if they want a 23-year-old boy. It is the boys who should date earlier and welcome shidduchim with girls their age and older. That, along with a lot of Tefillos, are the ways to solve this crisis.

Rabbi Yaakov Menken is the director of Project Genesis – and the co-editor of the journal

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  1. I fail to see a quote from you of which gedolim support seminary.
    If I remember the original article, Rabbi Rudomin stated that Rav Yaakov was against seminary for girls. In addition, while the experience may be good for some, many should not be there, for the same reasons that many boys should not be in E”Y.

    • I don’t recall saying anything about Rav Yaakov (do you mean Kaminetsky?) I can’t recall citing him.

      No one is “against” seminaries by the way, if it works then fine, but everyone is for getting married as soon as humanly and Halachically possible today. The obvious risks of waiting, e.g. such as the current massive “Shidduch Crisis” that is our main concern and focus, far outweigh all the delays.

      Yitschak Rudomin.

  2. yada yada yada…….. bottom line – Which Gedolay Yisroel? Which Mechanchim? Which Roshei Yeshivos? Which Marbitzei Torah? Which Rabbonim? Which therapists? Seriously Which anybody who is a somebody – Who does not own, run or work in a Seminary and does not live in Eretz Yisroel – thinks girls going to Israel for Seminary is a good thing?

    We have created this monster called Seminary so our girls are helped by their schools to get in to them if they want to go. Yet, these same helpers helping the girls, they themselves deep down wish this option didn’t exist. It is absurd. It is hundreds of thousands of dollars that could and should be used for other things.

    Nobody has the guts to end it so it will go on. If we establish a rule that anyone who sends to seminary in Israel must pay for it on their own with no scholarships and then that same family must also pay for their daughters Chasuna with no help then you will see how fast this stops. Problem is we are not strong enough for this.

    You want to give our Bais Yakov Talmidos another extra year of school before they go out into the real world? Thats great and for many of our girls it will be a wonderful year but do it local. No justification to spend all this money on Israel. No justification to cause all the pain and suffering of rejection letters. No justification for boys mothers to turn down shidduchim of girls who did not go to seminary.

  3. All this talk about boys marrying younger is not going to happen for one simple reason. Boys are not giving up the opportunity to learn in Eretz Yisroel simply because the learning the seviva there is far superior to that of the United States. Let’s not kid ourselves a 15 year old Israeli or for that matter a European know much more than an American kid that age because they are not surrounded by the total gashmius we are in undated with. All you have to do is come to the Mir in the morning when hundreds of Avreichim get off the buses from all over EYi In EY they can see gedolim like R’ Chaim and R’ Yehudah Leib and many others kollel families living with the bare minimum.
    If you want the bochurim to stay here and get married earlier the whole chinuch system has to change but I doubt that will ever happen.

  4. Well written and thought out. It explains, without hysteria, how going to seminary does not, in any way, contribute to the “shidduch crisis”. Kudos, Rabbi Menken!

    • How does he “explain” it, if we still have this massive and embarrassing Shidduch Crisis that everyone is shouting about? I think he’s just fudging.

      He does make an important “statistical “point though that needs to be Shlogged Op big time, and this I have heard this kind “statics drive interpretation” that is not a Torah Hashkofa in any way, from a few people: Basically he is advocating that we should keep girls virtual prisoners in seminaries because by freeing them up at a younger age (in my view 18 is not a “young” age for any girl to marry in any case) and by letting them be liberated to marry younger it will flood the Shidduch market, which is actually a horrible way to justify seminaries, or any Chinuch institutions, as if they were holding pens for the livestock to give the herds in front of them room and time and space to roam and graze.

      Sorry, but there is no reason that the constant new waves of up and coming tens of thousands of wonderful 18 year old Bnos Yisroel have to be punished like this to pay for the delaying tactics and and mistaken parental guidance holding and holing the older girls up in far off mega expensive seminaries, not of their making. If older girls want to delay they cannot force younger girls to wait in line. Because that is an absurd and cruel argument and fake social engineering that is now obviously failing flat on it face as we see with ever-growing menace known as the Shidduch Crisis.

      You can do much better than this Rabbi Menken!

      Yitschak Rudomin

  5. Thank you for such a well written article.

    I would like to elaborate on some points of the shidduch-crisis. First of all, it is NOT a so called crisis. It is a very real crisis. Since there is no copyright on the term “shidduch crisis”, anyone and everyone has given it its own meaning. The crisis is not about difficulty in finding a shidduch. It is the observable fact that in Litvish/Yeshivish circles in North America a great many young women cannot find a shidduch at all, because there are are not enough single men for them to marry. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you have 250 older boys, and 1,000 older girls, that 750 of them cannot possibly find a shidduch. As bad as the situation already is for the older women, it would be unconscionable to allow the problem to propagate to the next generation. We now know that the problem is the four year age-gap. Continuing to have a system whereby young men start dating at age 23 while young women start at age 19, only guarantees that over the next 10 years we will be adding 2,500 older single girls with virtually no chance of getting married. We already know what a four year age-gap does. Ask the shadchanim how many girls they have on their list over the age 25 and how many boys over the age 25. The numbers are so lopsided it is scary. Albert Einstein famously said that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

    The 90 Rabbonim that signed the kol koreh that bochurim should consider shidduchim at age 21, did so for one reason only – to stop this terrible problem form continuing to propogate to the next generation. The sooner our sons actually follow the advice of our Gedolim, and actually consider shidduchim at age 21, the sooner the problem will be solved.

    If you have a son age 21, you can be the start of the solution. Tell your friends, neighbors, and a trusted shadchan “If you have something good to redt for my son, please do so”. That one sentence has the potential to make a real difference, as others will follow your example.

    May we be zoche to see the day when all Bnos Yisroel have a real chance of finding their zivug. May we be zoche whereby the young women make a decision based on compatibility, instead of making decisions based on fear of remaining single. May we be zoche to finally solve the shidduch-crisis bb”a.

    • You cannot solve this Shidduch Crisis by only addressing the boys, it is as much about the girls as it is about the boys….Zachar Unekaiva Bara Osam!!

      You cannot say, well, BOYS “should get married” at a YOUNGER age, while GIRLS should get married at an OLDER age because that will never work because it’s screwed up even a monkey could see it’s Krum contrived UNNATURAL thinking. Human beings are not mice in a lab to be experimented with CH”V, every human being wants to marry, to love and be happy life as soon as possible, and that starts by 18 (even earlier!!) as the Halacha itself acknowledges and works with that date and age bracket 18 years of age.

      Sorry, but the cat has been let out of the bag, and once they are calling on boys to marry younger, therefore there will ipso facto also need to be girls who want to and are eligible already by 18 to get married younger to them.

      People will not listen to cold statistics charts that sound like they are coming out of secular cold college classes for actuaries and accountants, and not from a warm and friendly true Jewish friendly hearts and Torah minds, of cold statistics no matter how well meaning.

      People do listen to their instincts and follow the Derech HaTeva, since Derech Eretz Kadma LeTorah, and that de facto and de jure means boys who wish to marry at 21 will need to have crops (no insult meant ladies) of younger girls to date, while the older girls will have to face that they cannot hold up the waves of pressure to get married on the SHIDDUCHIM SUPER HIGHWAY OF LIFE that the 18 year old girls want and need as much as any other normal Bas Yisroel.

      Everyone deserves a fair share of life and THERE NEEDS TO BE ONE EVEN PLAYING FIELD FOR EVERYONE STARTING ASAP, not ten different sets of rules that works in favor of the seminary owners making even more big bucks and huge profits, that just angers and confuses everyone and adds fuel to the escalating Shidduch Crisis which is what your poor argument all dressed up with fake “statistics” arguments in effect results in.

      Think it over.

      Hopefully you do see the error and gaping holes, and heartlessness, in your so-called argument.


      Yitschak Rudomin

      • I don’t see how waiting til they are 19 is such a crisis. I think the crisis is not so much the age but the standards that are in play with regards to shidduchim.. 1. how much support can the kallah’s family pay? and other such criteria.. We are training our girls to be supporting their husbands in kollel.. how is this going to happen with 18 year olds right out of highschool? especially since many of their fathers are not huge income bringers themselves being that they were at some point kollel and chances are they have large families to support.. I think it’s naive to say that if girls don’t go to sem and get married the problem will be solved.

        • There are no magic bullets than can solve human problems. We can only go with the guidelines of Yiddishkeit, meaning what does the Halacha tell us, and not be alarmed by naysayers and alarmists.

          Of course if parents wish to send their daughters to seminaries then they will do so, it is not an illegal or wrong act. But that routine will eat up precious time.

          To say that a girl must be in a seminary in order to be married, is like saying every girl must have a driver’s license in order to get her marriage license which would obviously be wrong logic because you do not need a driver’s license to get married and similarly it is not necessary to go to a seminary to get married.

          When the time comes and you want to get married, then you go ahead and get married, or try to.

          And if someone says, hey you don’t have a driver’s license so how dare you get married before me because I am an experienced licensed driver, we tell them sorry but having a driver’s license does not give you or anyone the right to tell me when I should or should not get married.

          Just switch the words seminary with driver’s license and that is what some people like Rabbi Menken are saying not quite sure why, does an 18 year old girl not want to be happy as well? and know that she is at least on the right Derech starting the Shidduch process that may take her a year or two or more because no one knows when their Bashert will finally appear.

          While if she goes to Israel she is for sure out of circulation. She could just as easily be home, go to a local seminary, even work part time and take training courses if she wants, and also be available to date and be in that mode. This is exactly what I did with my own daughters and it worked great for all of them! They are all B”H married to great husbands and very happy!

          Going to Israel sends girls into dreamland when they have to be prepare to be in reality in the here and now in order to make the most of dating and Shidduchim a very tough human selection process.

          As for Kollel, I do not see problems in our times. For a father who wishes to and is able to support a son in law in Kollel he can very easily be very happy to have his daughter marry at 18, easily. Many times the parents of the boy have the means to support by they FORCE the parents of the girl to support, to me that is blackmail. If the parents of the boy can support the couple in Kollel then they should and therefore why can’t their son marry a good 18 year old Bais Yaakov girl?

          Obviously nobody gets married on the push of a button, so therefore many girls even though they may start dating at 18 will not find their Basherts right away, and so they cane easily use the time they have to take courses or learn a skill and earn money.

          In the big Chasidisha businesses they have young savvy Chasidish girls of 18 running whole departments, and they do well. If Frum business owners would pay such girls a good wage then the girls could easily support a husband in Kollel.

          In addition, in both the USA and Israel, there are good benefits to support families with low incomes, if they want to be Moiser Nefesh fro Torah it is not a problem.

          Yitschak Rudomin

          • With all due respect, you are assuming that all girls have the emotional /spiritual strength to deal with the ups and downs of marriage just because they hit a certain age. They are not off the parsha just because they are in seminary. Most seminaries allow girls to date after Pesach. If parents spend money supporting the man’s learning for YEARS, why can’t a girl get just ONE if that much?

            It is not ideal for families to be on welfare benefits and is a recipe for a chillul Hash-m because these young people are fully capable of doing what they need to do support themselves.

            Excuse me, but I have a brother in law who is the father of 11 children and even now before making chasunahs (he has one 19 and another 18) who is barely eeking by a living. Please tell me how he can support an additional family in addition to his own?

            As a person who went through my parents messy divorce, I can say that marriage is no game!! The couple has to have their eyes wide open and be willing and able to put the work into their marriage. I say that if the year in seminary gives the girls the strength/tools to do so then it is VERY important.

            Just for the record, I have a niece who is 19 and in seminary in EY.. while she is a very frum /serious girl.. she has a bit of maturing to do before she is ready to be married.. dont’ assume that just because someone is 18 or 19 that they are ready to be married.. some people aren’t even ready at 27!!!

  6. Thank you for your sechel.
    May I add another advantage to the year in Israel? These girls spend shabbosim in many homes of committed Jews who live simple lives. In contrast to their American expectations, they observe (and admire!) how these happy, healthy, ruach-filled homes of yiras shomayim serve plain rice as a shabbos side-dish on pashut earthenware plates in simple homes with plastic dining room chairs. I have been living here for over a decade and I am still overwhelmed at the values system in place here, which is so far superior to the one I grew up with in affluent Brooklyn.

  7. a simple start to solving the age gap situation is for shadchanim to tell parents that they will not consider a girl till she has completed a year post sem. that will allow a girl to solidify her hashkofos, be finished with or close to finished with her professional degree if she chooses that path, or a year of earnings in the bank before she undertakes to support a family. it would reduce the number of available girls by hundreds, and immediately change the dynamic. Too many boys are simply not ready to take on the responsibilities of marriage at 21 or 22. And, as a matter of fact, many girls are not ready at 19 either.

    • Shadchanim are NOT in charge of the lives of our daughters, WE ARE.

      We are the PARENTS and no one can care for our daughters and sons “better” than us the PARENTS.


      That is a real and serious part of the Shidduch Crisis problem, that too many people have empowered the OFFICIAL PROFESSIONAL Shadchanim — not talking about the wonderful Shadchanim who are doing it Lesheim Shomayim and the Mitzva of helping fellow Yidden and making Shidduchim to help other people — and

      Shadchaim must STOP dictating terms that only helps the Shadchanim’s bottom lines, they are after all doing if for the money, preying on the weak, needy and vulnerable, while parents care more and only about the lives and happiness of their children.

      Time to face what is really going on and stop feeding the people the cool-aid.

      Things are falling apart and we must fix, ande not pout ousrelves into an even deeper hypnotic tra
      Yitschak Rudomin

  8. I wish the focus was on marrying the right person for the right reasons. Compatible values and goals, plus readiness for marriage. age is just a number, not a personality trait. I do agree with what you’re saying about the math, but if immature 21 year olds marry before they’re ready, I really pity what they’ll go through and what their families will go through because of them trying to adjust to being responsible for other people when they can’t handle it. Marriage is important and we want people to get it right!

    All the people bashing the concept of seminary baffle me. Do you not value girls’ ruchniyus? Girls aren’t baby making machines, they are human beings who need to grow in their avodas Hashem and it’s patently obvious that in our generation, what they get in the home and in high school is not enough. We need a Sarah schneirer for this generation. But in the meantime seminary definitely helps! It was certainly life changing for me. I loved high school, I learned a lot on my own since I enjoy it, seminary didn’t “flip me out” but rather offered a chance for sustained growth, to move beyond what I learned as a teenager on a simpler level. Time for attention paid to Torah and only Torah, spend Shabbos with fantastic teachers and role models, a year of a chance to explore ideas in depth and improve my knowledge plus build my skills and confidence to continue learning on my own imyh for years to come, and to teach others. Thank you Rav Copperman zt’l for founding Michlalah and making seminary what it is for so many girls.

    And yes I found a shidduch b”h 🙂 my husband says the biggest shidduch crisis in pre war Europe was caused by the lack of girls education no one was teaching girls to value bnei Torah (the by movement was still nascent reaching a fewhundred girls I think depending when we’re talking about) so there weren’t enough girls who wanted to marry the full time yeshiva boys who were educated with such different values than them. We can’t let it go back to that! B”h things are much better now and girls education is valued and working well for many thousands of bnos yisroel…except by some internet commenters apparently …ugh. please, people, value women too!

    • Two thumbs up to you and your experience.
      There is something lurking at the edges of your post, and this, do the boys really want what the girls do? Is the system creating focused boys with a sheifa to learning or is there an attrition rate so that there are boys outside the system and THAT can be contributing to the numbers issue? Because by and large, it’s easier to be a good girl and good boy. Maybe we need to work on a chinuch system that doesn’t disenfranchise, but gives every boy the feeling of kol Yisrael yesh lahem chelek.
      And then we need girls who will appreciate these boys.

  9. My daughter will be going to seminary in E”Y next year and we will be borrowing over $12,000 from relatives to pay for it. We do not have the full $25,000 available and that’s with my daughter contributing to the costs. We are an average working family, my daughter is an average student and we hardly received any scholarship money so far. Why are we sending? Because of the pressure from the school “that my daughter will be one of three girls not attending seminary in E”Y and the other two have issues so we would be best off sending her”. When we mentioned that we do not have the money, they mentioned that somehow “everyone”does it and we need to be more proactive. When I spoke to “everyone”, I heard repeatedly how parents are borrowing the money and have no plan as to how they will repay it. “Everyone” feels this pressure, except those receiving giant scholarships or wealthy families. I approached a group of parents and tried to get a group of us who are in the same boat to keep our daughters in America where there is a significant price decrease in tuition and overall expenses and the school asked me to stop! I’m in agreement with Rabbi Menken that there are benefits to seminary in E”Y but if one can’t afford it, it is wrong! There are benefits to many things in life, but if I can’t afford them, common sense dictates that I can’t have them. I can’t afford to buy my child school lunches even though they are healthier than what she is bringing from home, I can’t afford name brand medications even though they are better, I can’t afford sleep away camp even though she would gain so much more than she is gaining from day camp etc. etc on and on. The pressure to stop the madness needs to come from the schools. If one can afford seminary in E”Y then by all means send your daughter. But why is there a pressure on “everyone”? I have no idea how we will pay for a chasunah when her seminary debt will not be paid off and I will possibly have another few daughters in seminary by then. And in the greater NY area where this seminary pressure does not exist to the same extent, hundreds of bnos yisroel are happily married without having the seminary year away from home to “mature”. And some of those even (gasp!) live in E”Y!

    • It sounds to me that you are following the Velt instead of thinking for yourself.

      1. You don’t need to cave in to the school’s pressure or anyone else’s.
      2. You will learn, if you care to, that “everyone” is never actually everyone, and not even the vast majority.
      3. School lunches are rarely healthier than what she brings from home, unless you let her bring garbage from home. That’s an easy fix.
      4. Name brand medications are almost never better than generic. That’s Personal Finance 101.
      5. I don’t think kids gain that much from sleepaway camp. Day camp is a perfectly fine option for 8th grade and younger. And once they’re in HS, the most productive thing for them to do is to WORK in a camp, which actually makes them money (though not very much, admittedly), and gets them learning and growing from the responsibility.

      Too much of your complaint is a result of your trying to “keep up.” Take my advice and STOP trying. You will be happier and healthier, and so will your kids. Everyone is trying to keep up with this mythical “Normal” which does not exist – and which is beyond the financial scope of 80% of the Klal. If everyone would stop trying to chase the Brass Ring, there would be far less “everyones” for people to feel pressurized into emulating.

  10. The Chazon Ish was opposed to girls going into national service because the only males who should have shlita on a bas yisroel are a father and a husband, vehamaven yavin.

    • That is precisely why before a girl joins sherut leumi she first gets a patur from the army. Then sherut leumi is purely voluntary and she can walk off the job whenever she wants to. (That would be irresponsible and selfish, of course, but she won’t get jail time or anything.)

  11. the money spent on sem in il can be used instead after they are married- to help the the kollel couple in e. yisrael
    where she can attend diversified shiurim that are available now in english for young women/newly marrieds for free or minimum charge-far far below the cost of sems

  12. Because of the exorbitant seminary costs in E”y, viable and inspirational alternatives in the states are essential.

    What it will take is a group of brave parents, willing to buck the trend.

    • Very easy. Look around you, EVERY SINGLE TORAH SCHOOL etc started with NOTHING! Just a few parents get together and they start a new school.

      There are right now plenty of people to consult how to do this in any city in the USA. The same way over the last 50+ years we built Jewish day schools, Yeshivas, Bais Yaakovs and all kinds of Chsed institutions to be found on all levels, everywhere, even in Rabbi Menken’s own Baltimore they have always had their own seminary programs, so I am not sure why now he thinks that “only” in Israel can they have them.

      It is very easy to do, in the New York-New Jersey area there is a BRILLIANT Mechanenes by the name of REBBETZIN S. BULK and she has built a network of post-high school programs and a seminary in Flatbush, with branches in Monsey and Lakewood for degrees as well that even helps men in separate programs.

      Another example of someone to consult who has been teaching in Seminary programs in New York is RAV DOVID GOLDWASSER who could lead and advise any such initiative, he is very successful with Chinuch HaBanos in the USA.

      There are many others who know how to run and create seminary programs for girls, there are many retired Menahelim of Bais Yaakovs who would be amazing resources to help guide any new Bais Yaakov initiatives in the USA, such as RABBIS OELBAUM AND YANOVSKY who headed Machon Bais Yaakov and are now retired, there is RAV MENACHEM FEINSOD in New Jersey who was running programs and knows what needs to be done. There is also RAV TEICHMAN of BYA who has had seminary programs in Brooklyn in past years, and many others.

      Basically ANY Rav or Rebbetzin who works in any Bais Yaakov on a senior level, meaning for high school, could quite easily happily help set up a post-high school Seminary program ANYWHERE in North America.

      It is actually quite easy to do, just do it!!!!!!!

      Yitschak Rudomin

  13. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything that was said in this article and especially the way in which it was written, I would like to comment on the absolute anti-torah hashkafa portrayed in almost all the above comments. Women CANNOT do what they want…AND NEITHER CAN MEN!!! We are all here for a purpose. Everyone has their individual purpose, but according to Torah hashkafa (whether u like it or not) there are also defined gender roles. And while men have their roles so do women. And as our gedolim throughout the generations have said, a woman’s primary role is to RAISE HER FAMILY ( you don’t have to like that for it to be true). And there is nothing condescending about that. Until recently that was recognized universally, and was considered avodas hakodesh even by the goyim (someone once said a good moshol:if u think about it, in the bai’s hamikdash it was mostly cooking and cleaning, and we only don’t look at it like that because we recognize the inherent kedusha and importance of the avoda.) It is only relatively recently (since the feminist movement) that child-raising has turned into an oppression. U can no more complain about someone saying that marriage and children should be a top priority for women (even w/o a chiyuv of pr”u), than someone who says that men should daven 3 times a day. This destructive hashakafa that women can do what they want is not only stupid (for some reason when ppl started a campaign for boys to get married younger, whether u agrees or not, NOONE claimed that you can’t tell boys what to do-proof that this comes from the completely anti-torah feminist movement), NOONE CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT… We do what the Torah wants as told to us by our gedolim and rebbeim.

    • True the Torah hashkafa says that the main tafkid of the woman is to raise her family.. but the year in seminary helps her build up her haskafos further to be a true aim b’yisrael. Tell me, we are training our girls to support their husbands in learning. This requires strengthening their hashkafos and their working skills in order to do so. People complain about the cost of seminary but what about the costs of supporting a young couple and children if the kallah is so young and the chosson not much older. If you add up those costs they are probably higher. The girls who are really serious will come to EY and see the simpler lifestyle which will make it easier for them to live a Torah life rather than dealing with bombardment of gashmius of Target etc..

      The problem with shidduchim is not age but the elitest mentality that the prospective partner has to be perfect instead of realizing that Hash-m creates ppl with flaws that are there for us to grow from.

      • “the year in seminary helps her build up her haskafos further to be a true aim b’yisrael.”

        That used to be true, but it is no longer true. The girls of today come from VERY strong Torah homes, they are already coming out of serious Kollel families or from families where the husband once was in Kollel, and they know the score.

        The seminaries are not going to convince them to do more or less.

        You are expressing old thinking because the MATZAV has CHANGED big time.

        Yitschak Rudomin

        • What you are saying is not true. While the girls are coming from strong Torah homes it does not mean that they can’t use help with their hashkafos because even in strong Torah homes in the US etc, the girls are exposed to a lot of gashmius, pritzus and the like whether the parents like it or not!

  14. during the golf war they asked rav shach if American bochurim should goback to America so rav shach said no and their torah would sve them and then when asked about the seminary girls he said why are they here in the first place

  15. Rabbi Rudomin, how do you propose preparing our kids to marry younger?
    And if we’re going back to 18 for the boys, as halacha recommends, will we overhaul the rest of the chinuch standards as per the same mishna?

    And yes, we do need more chu”l options. But for an out of town girl, North American seminaries aren’t so cheap if you don’t qualify for FAFSA. Factor in MASA and other local federation grants for seminary. If you go to a new seminary or a “cheaper” one, it’s possible to bring down the costs tremendously.

    • Rabbi Rudomin, how do you propose preparing our kids to marry younger?

      Not sure what you mean by preparing, like saying how do you prepare someone to get dressed or to go to school or to be a mentsch, it is done by (a) first of all the PARENTS who must raise their child properly and prepare them for marriage and not for a life in Disneyland. For example, personally I always made it a point to talk about marriage-related topics at the Shabbos table, very light talk like what would you like to be when you get married, or what type of guy would you like to be married to one day. You know, the way people ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, and they get all excited when they say “I want to be a fireman” or “I want to be the President” of the USA etc, One family I know found it hysterically funny that their kid said he “wants to be a FIRE-TRUCK” when he grows up, hahahaha the joke’s on them for making it into family standing joke, when if they were smart they would have encouraged their child to be more of Yiddish thing like a “Choson” (groom) for example. So you see the parents are not putting the right ideas and Hashkofas into their children. And (b) the Chinuch institutions, all the Morahs and Rebbeim have a responsibility to inculcate the right Chinuch when teaching Torah, such as talking about what goes into choosing a spouse when learning about the Avos and Imahos, and when learning Masechtas like Kiddushin, Kesubos and Gittin, to stress what kind of qualities make a god spouse, such as one of my own best Rebbeim the late Rav Shmuel Brog ZT”L who always stressed ti us that the MOST important quality to look for in a potential wife or husband is the midda of KINDNESS meaning CHESED. Something is very wrong with people if all they look for is MONEY, they have missed the boat even though they may know a lot of torah they are functionally illiterate about what qaulities to look for in a spouse!!!!

      And if we’re going back to 18 for the boys, as halacha recommends, will we overhaul the rest of the chinuch standards as per the same mishna?

      The Mishna is not telling about “standards” it is telling us about our won METZIUS, what makes us tick and what the different stages of life are. Anyhow, let’s take at look, it says at 5 we start learning Chumash. Check, that’s true. At 10 we start learning Mishna. Check, that’s true. At 13 we start doing Mitzvas. Check that’s true, it’s the age of every boys Bar Mitzva, for girls it’s 12. At 15 we start Gemora. Okay, that is the one that confuses people and it shouldn’t. In the times of the Mishna that meant a METHOD of learning not “what” you learn. It means at 15 the mind is able to get analytical and think abstractly which is still true. So we start with Gemara earlier at 10, what does that tell you that you CAN start these stages EARLIER. So far everything checks out and it’s true. Then at 18 we can get married. Okay, we can just easily say just as Gemara can be started earlier so can marriage and that is why people can and do get married at 17 or even at 16, in Europe they would marry at young ages and life went on. Okay, check you are ready for marriage at 18. It’s like an army call up, everyone is called up at 18 there is no such excuse as “you are not ready”! Then the Mishna says at 20 to chase, meaning by then the chase of life starts, if you have a wife and child you need to work to support them if no one else can help, to earn a living to achieve things. Check, this is very true. The rest is also very true. And that is why all this is the basis of all Hashkofa and Halacha because it’s based on real life.

      And yes, we do need more chu”l options. But for an out of town girl, North American seminaries aren’t so cheap if you don’t qualify for FAFSA. Factor in MASA and other local federation grants for seminary. If you go to a new seminary or a “cheaper” one, it’s possible to bring down the costs tremendously.

      True, for many out of town girls going to a seminary in Israel would just be another out of town step for her, but not for all. All the big cities where Frum people live could and should and some do have seminaries, but there need to be more. Even Baltimore Rabbi Menken;s own city has laways had an exccelnt local seminary progrma. This can be done for Chicago, LA, Miama, Dallas, Detroit, Cleveland which has always had the great Yavneh Seminary, Toronto, Montreal, and just as Manchester and Gateshead in England have seminaries and the girls can be closer to home, or even come from other places, but the idea that everyone “must” go to a seminary in Israel is not required in our times because our own Torah communities in North America can do it just as easily.

      As for being too young to marry at 18, not sure what you are saying. It is not a “mitzva” to sexually frustrate ripe youngsters either, I know some people will shout at me for saying this, but it is what the Halacha and Chazal say that if one delays after 20 then immoral thoughts become permanent and harm the longer the person is single.

      And my other point is that the situation today has changed that B”H we have huge solid Torah families, and most of the girls who go to seminaries know quite well what Kollel is about. It is not a new idea for them. Either their fathers went to Kollel once or by now everyone has relatives in the Yeshiva world who learns in a Kollel, so the Kollel idea does not have be sold to these girls in far off seminaries because they know what it’s about long ago by now. So they play a game and want to wheedle out a free trip in Israel for a year, hey who wouldn’t want a luxury vacation in the best digs in Israel for a year all expenses paid with tours and fun etc. Nope that is not a way to prepare for the seriousness of marriage, and things need to change, or else this Shidduch Crisis will only go from bad to worse.

      Yitschak Rudomin.