Gedolim Speak Out Against Excessive Shidduchim Demands

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Rav-Berel-PovarskyA meeting was held recently in Bnei Brak by an organization called Shehasimcha Bimono. The purpose of the meeting was to try and put an end to the prohibitive demands made by boys in shidduchim from girls’ parents, such as expensive apartments in Bnei Brak and Yerushalayim.An article in Mishpacha showed a picture of Rav Berel Povarsky, Rosh Hayeshiva of Ponevezh, who said that making such demands are a matter of pikuach nefesh, and caused illness and even heart failure in parents who overextend themselves to marry off their daughters. He said that bochurim must not make demands from those who could not possibly afford it. Rav Povarsky suggested that young couples should buy apartments in distant cities where the cost of an apartment is only $70,000. He also suggested that Roshei Yeshiva should travel to these places on a regular basis to give shiurim and visit with those living there to make the idea more tempting.

While this is long overdue, this brings up a number of issues that many have with the current system:

–Parents buying apartments for their children: The assumption that is the given in Eretz Yisroel that parents must purchase apartments for their children is something that defies both math and logic. Why should one person be required to pay for 10 apartments – even if its “only” $70,000 (one for each of his 10 children), if one person could instead just pay for one (his own)?

–Living far away: Many girls are too attached to live far away from her parents. There will always be those parents who wish to keep their daughters close by who will extend themselves to keep their children close. This will cause others to follow suit, defeating the entire plan being proposed.

–Exceptions for the “best”: As with all great takanos, rules were meant to be broken. There will always be VIPs, the wealthy, and those who have to appear wealthy who will act as if the rules don’t apply to them. No one will have the courage to stop them from setting a bad example for everyone, and the “rules” will end up applying only to the “regular” people.

Instead of putting a band aid on a gushing wound, perhaps it is time to do massive surgery. Perhaps young couples who get married should take care of themselves.

{Excerpted from KollelGuy/Noam Newscenter}


  1. Taking care of themselves – what a great idea. But in both the USA and Israel we encourage our boys to learn for years and our girls to pursue employment that offer a yearly salary that at best would support a young couple for three months. Somehow this arrangement works much better over time than it should logically be able to – perhaps a sign that hashem favors this approach. But marrying of our children without helping them is tantamount to abandoning them.

  2. these are not “children” we’re marrying off, these are adults, we expect them to act as adults, they’re capable of acting as adults.
    Maybe the root of the problem is …. I don’t know …… adults not acting as adults

  3. The married couple should take care of themselves? What a novel approach….wait a minute! This isn’t a novel approach. this was the method that i grew up with (I was born in the early 1960’s).

  4. it was only a few months ago that I received a call from someone asking for money to buy an apartment in Gush Shemonim for his newly engaged granddaughter. I asked the man why they couldn’t buy something in a less pricey area and was told that is didn’t “pas” for them not to be in Yerushalayim.

  5. It’s “Tav” not “Tan”: Tav lemeisav tan du m’limeisav armelu.

    And, you’ve taken it out of context, of course.

  6. We jews can be very discriminating not that it is always a bad thing to be discriminating we do it all the time when we are in the market for anything from clothes to food to home to lifestyles to shidduchim but why does it always feel so cheap that in shidduchim it is like shopping for a new car. “ow that truck wont suit my real estate business so I need a stylish Volvo to wheel the clients around” “that girl who aint got a career in financing or doctorit in medicine wont beable to help persue my demanding learning scheduale””its all about me me me and G-d fordid what with the guys think of me that im not learning fultime”

  7. The girl with a career in finance or a doctorate in medicine (who still has another 4 years of school) won’t really be much help anyways once they have children to watch.

    And Einstein, although that was misspelled and taken out of context, the writer has the meaning right- girls are more desperate than boys. The context fits perfectly.

  8. There is a middle road, by the way.

    This problem of parents of boys demanding what is known here as “sidur malei”, while waning, is still a big problem in the Litvishe velt.
    And even those who don’t demand everything usually expect that the girl’s family will pay the majority of the apartment.

    In the chassidishe community, however, everything is 50-50 and there is no assumption that the parents have to pay it all – it is completely acceptable for the couple to pay a mortgage.

    The reason buying apts. in EY is such an issue is that rent here is relatively high, so the conclusion is that better the money go to a mortgage and the couple will at least own something than throw the money away on rent.


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