I would like to bring up a topic which I think needs to be addressed.
Over the past 20 years, it has become standard for most yeshiva bochurim, following 4-5 years in bais medrash in America, to go to learn in Eretz Yisroel. The typical bochur doesn’t go to Eretz Yisroel until he’s at least 21. He then stays in Eretz Yisroel for a year-and-a-half to two years. That means he does not return to America until he’s 23. At that point, often times, he goes to Lakewood and is “placed in the freezer” for three to four months.
To sum things up, your average bochur isn’t starting to date until he is 23-1/2! And then we wonder why the shidduch situation has become so difficult. Of course the situation has spiraled out of control. The system that we created has forced it to. The bottom line is that the girls are returning home from seminary at age 19 and starting to date immediately while the boys do not begin to date until 23-1/2. That’s unacceptable!
There has to be some change in the current system. It wasn’t this way 20 years ago and there wasn’t a shidduch challenge then. Why? Because the bochurim began dating at a much younger age. Most began at age 21. Yes, at 21 a boy is ready to get married. “Ben shemonah esrei l’chupah” may be too tough for us to swallow, but is getting married at 21 or 22 so difficult?
Of course, we are mevatel daas to our daas Torah, the Roshei Yeshivos, who feel that bochurim need to go to Eretz Yisroel to learn. But perhaps it would be possible to have the bochurim go a bit earlier, maybe after only 3 years in an American bais medrash. Perhaps another possible solution would be to have the bochurim only learn in Eretz Yisroel for a year.
I don’t have the answers. I only see a problem and the cause for it.
A Concerned Yid