The Matzav Shmoooze: Speed-Dating

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Dear Editor,

In last week’s American Yated newspaper, the Shidduch Forum featured a question about the current shidduch system.

In a nutshell, the question addressed the fact that things are not working effectively the way they are now, as many people are not be serviced by the current shidduch system, so is there any halachic or hashkafic problem with what’s known as “speed-dating”? For example, 10 boys and 10 girls get together, in a supervised place of course, and talk to each other for 10 minutes per pair. Can it start being instituted, bypassing the back and forth that negatively impacts dating?

I am curious to hear from other Matzav readers on whether this is something that can be implemented, at least for those in shidduchim for a few years who haven’t yet met their zivug.

A Shadchan

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  1. Can and should!
    But some people decided that the silly age-Gap TM is the cause so after few more years are wasted on that silliness perhaps people will wake up to trying a new approach

  2. are you for real??? this is the abandonment of the shidduch system per se, and the adoption of dating, talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater!!

  3. @confused
    The current shidduch system isn’t working for many people especially those who are not extremely yeshivish. Speed dating is not abandoning the current system but amending it. Assuming that we are going with the writer’s example of ten boys and ten girls there may be five couples that are interested in dating and at that point will use the shadchan who is moderating the event to continue with the process. The only problem that I see is if two guys like a particular girl or vice verse.

  4. I am a survivor’s son – and a boomer baby – As an orthodox Jew who grew up during the time period – am disgusted with the current ‘shidduch’ situation.
    There is a plenty of blame to go around:
    1) Recently I attempted to ‘set’ up a young man and young woman – the response i received from the PARENTS WE don’t think she is right. WHAT IS THIS ‘WE’ GARBAGE – ARE THE PARENTS GOING TO LIVE WITH THE COUPLE.
    2) – what happened to work and resonsibilty
    3) The resume – how can you tell what a person is like by a silly piece of paper –
    4) Peer pressure
    5) Looks
    6) not looking at midos and qualities

  5. No point in doing it till in the mid to high 20’s.

    More loss then gain in doing it this way , and results in a tremendous lack of kovod habrios .


  6. Many readers seem to think that the current way of dating, with all its detailed strictures and requirements, dates back to Moshe Rabbeinu or at least to Rava and Abaye. Actually, it dates back a few decades at most.

    They also seem to think that all those rules were established by gedolei Yisroel. Actually, they were established by market participants, mainly parents and shadchanim.

      • Funny how so many who disapprove of the shidduch process and parental involvement, pine for the good old days and invoke the heim in Europe to bash the current system.
        In Europe the match was made almost exclusively by the parents!
        I don’t claim to have a solution but what I hear from the know it all critics is so contradictory.

  7. @Sender
    Great point! So my question then is, how was it done prior to a few decades ago? What part would you change back to the olden times to help the current dating?

  8. It’s about time
    The current system doesn’t work, it is broken. You can ask any Shadchan or the majority of the people in the Shidduch scene will agree. It’s time we go back to common sense.
    Who invented this crazy system in the first in the first place?
    Our society is being destroyed for the sake of frumkeit.
    I think most people will agree it makes a lot of sense, someone needs to spearhead this plan. Maybe the tzaadik Shlomo Yehuda, should live and be well and continue to be matzliach. Someone that has the strength to break this ridiculous system that we’ve created upon ourselves

  9. people rely and depend way too often on their shathanim to do their work, rather than coming up to a girl and saying Hi, how are you. I am against guys that take girls to hotel lobbies, she takes her time getting ready put on makeup, getting dressed in beautiful outfit, while a guy takes her to a lobby while she is starving teh entire night, showing he is cheap and inconsiderate. Take her out on on a real date to a restaurant regardless how many dates you were with her, like real gentleman, would you want your daughter to be treated same way? If you cant afford a date, how are you going to pay your rent?

  10. Not a good idea because people will just gravitate to best looking eople in the room and it will cause tremendous embarrassment to the not such good looking ones. Also, the total lack of privacy, is disgusting. What are you, just another number? What a stupid and worthless idea. When you date, it should be done with menschlichkeit & eidelkiet. My, how we have fallen.

  11. Beirish is 100% right.

    Also, you’d end up with ten girls for one boy. Age gap/population increase isxreal, the numbers don’t lie.

  12. Beirish is 100% right.

    Also, you’d end up with ten girls for one boy. Age gap/population increase is real; the numbers don’t lie.

  13. The problem is, a lot of the young chevra who are dating, need some sort of coaching/hadracha to go along with it. Its a very challenging world out there and nebach we are influenced by the goyisha velt and it has clouded our thinking process. Yes, in “the old days” shidduchim were made on the subway trains or Brooklyn college dining hall, etc… BUT THAT DOESNT WORK TODAY. We must have hadracha. I agree with the above commenter who said we were all distracted by the stupid age-gap myth as if that is the very serious reason we have so many singles. Total stupidity. There are so many shidduchim that fall apart after 2 or 3 dates FOR NO GOOD REASON. There is no one to encourage them. Its, ehh, I’m still young, let me see what else is out there. Maybe there is something better and THEN I’ll REALLY feel the “chemistry”. Ah nechtike tug.

  14. The system that they had in the times of the beis hamikdosh, is detailed in the last mishna in taanis: that on tu b’av and yom kippur the girls would gather and the bochurim would come to pick out their shidduch.

    The Kol Bo (a Rishon) writes about that system, that it was only possible in those times when there were shomrim from the sanhedrin who were mashgiach to make sure that nothing improper would be done, and the shomrim would have sticks in their hands and permission to hit anyone who wouldn’t listen to them.
    He writes that in our days since we don’t have the koach of the sanhedrin to have that power to supervise, we cant have this system anymore.
    So nice try, but speed dating is not allowed in our days, since things will get out of hand and aveiros will happen, hameven yovin.

    So we have to blame the shidduch crisis on ourselves, that we have not done enough tshuvoh, mitzvos and maasim tovim to bring moshiach so that the old, perfect system can be reinstated.

    Anyways, why is this being discussed here and the yated and not being asked what to do from the gedolim?
    I think everyone knows what they would say…………………………………………………..

  15. ABS, it’s true; people say no for stupid reasons, and if they would accept hadrachah, it would help.

    However, age gap is no myth.

  16. Avraham you sound like a really really SHALLOW guy !!! Theres more to life than that . . Cmon ! Its not all about how much money you spend.


  18. What is very paradoxical, is that girls are getting hurt. But for many boys, it is the mother who is the gatekeeper and gets all the resumes, and turns away girls who arent pretty enough, rich enough, thin enough, etc. So it is women causing other women tzaar.

    My family is low on the pecking order. I told my daughter never to say no to anybody. Give everybody who is suggested at least a few tries. BH she got married young to a wonderful boy from an unusual background, who is shteiging and is a real mensch. Most families would never consider him in a million years. They are living happily ever after.

    Best segulah for shidduchim: DON’T BE A BAAL GAYVAH. Have ahavas yisroel and compassion for all other Jews and their beautiful neshamos and their difficult tzaros, and your kids will quickly find their bashert.

    One last paradoxical thing. Often gayvah comes from insecurity. What will my neighbors think if my child marries from XYZ yeshiva/seminary, from out of town, a baal teshuva, etc.I will be so embarrassed. So you must develop confidence in yourself, and hold your head high. Tell yourelf, I married my kids off lshem shamayim, not for ego. Because of this, I spared them and others untold tzaar, of dating till they are very old, and getting rejected and rejecting others and causing all kinds of hurt feelings all around. And with all the “high-class shidduchim”, do the marriages do any better in the long term? Some don’t even last a year. People need to change their attitudes.

    Yes, you do need to be attracted and get along and feel happy and respect each other’s accomplishments, but that is for the couple to decide, not for parents’ egos to mix in about extraneous and irrelevant matters.

  19. Simple Yid: Sorry, the mishna there is not discussing speed dating, see there for additional details. Also, by your logic, no secluded dating should be allowed at all!

  20. Speed dating is basically dating without putting your whole heart, and all your effort into getting to know that person and making the best decision. I got engaged at 18 to my husband after much debating back and forth, and speaking to a Rav , and other wise people for a long time. If I had just been “hopping around”, I would have just gone on to the next boy who didn’t have the same issues as the ones I was having with my husband. But because I was dating him at that time, and him alone, I was able to put my “all” in to it and am b”H very happily married.
    And in case you are wondering, NO, I do not have any major issues, and had no reason to settle, but when you are dating just one person seriously, you automatically don’t compare him to everyone else as much, and it is much easier to overlook issues that you may not have been able to overlook otherwise.


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