Sunday, December 04, 2005

Hikind and the Shidduch CRISIS

I like Hikind.

Yeah, he's been in politics too long and has created a political machine. But he's passionate, idealistic, and deeply committed to those ideals.

That be said, the way he handled his radio show last night was way off base.

The topic was, you guessed it, "The shidduch crises". Caller after caller blamed "THE CRISIS" on all our rosh yeshivas for: "telling every boy to marry money".

And Hikind bought into that made up premise.

Take out the exceptions- the rosh yeshivas who understanding that a few individual star talmidim will need money to make torah study his life long vocation, and advise them accordingly- rosh yeshivas do no such thing. It is a myth. A myth if left unexposed will be taken as fact.

The whole (hysterical?) "CRISES" thing is exploiting many myths about boys, yeshivas, rosh yeshivas, shadchanim, Lakewood's way of life etc.

Common sense dictates: No claim should be taken seriously with out facts supporting them.

There might be a communal shidduch "crises" (if you have an unmarried daughter, to you there is a crisis) unique to today. But before you see hard facts and statistics one should have a healthy skepticism to the claim.

Problems yes, but crisis?

Sure there are problems in the shidduch world, lots of them, as there are to other aspects of our exposed community. They should be addressed honestly and deliberately without impugning any innocent group.

Certainly not the our choshove rosh yeshivas.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 3:03 PM

10 Comments:

Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Speak to shadchunim- one of their first complaints about boys will be that they always say "my Rosh Yeshiva told me this, my Rosh Yeshiva said I must get this, My Rosh Yeshiva said I shouldn't setttle for anything less than that..."

It's Roshei Yeshiva who have doomed an entire generation of thirtysomething year old women to be single for the rest of their lives, they tell their aging bochurim to only go out girls in their 20's.

It's not my style to bash Roshei Yeshiva, but some of the complaints have plenty of truth to them.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was upset even at the first installment on that topic, the week before, when it also turned into a Rosh Yeshiva/Litvish bashing session (the word RY seems to be a euphemism for Litvish, even though there are Hassidic RY too).

I think the truth is somewhere in between. I would guess that there are some RY's that advise their students along the lines of the previous comment. But to imply that all of them do that, all the time, is not correct and is improper. Maybe you should contact Hikind and express your opinion (DovHikind at AOL dot com).

The fact is that traditionally Litvaks lived a simple lifestyle. Lita was relatively poor. Litvaks don't have atoros on their taleisim, don't go for fancy cars and chandeliers, etc. Hungarian and related elements have introduced alot of fanciness into the 'frum' community and some of it has somehow seeped into some of the 'Yeshivishe' community. However, that is not the real Litvish way. There are quite a few people in the Yeshivishe community with Hungarian roots. Maybe the emphasis on $ that is causing such problems is coming in through some of them somehow.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Kavod hatorah said...

Finally somebody sticking up for Torah and the choshuvah Roshei Hayeshiva keep up the good work

12:50 AM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

Money is an important factor in a Shidduch nowadays, I find that it makes more sense than looking for Yichus which is often totally useless.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Yichus is meaningless. It says nothing about the individual. As my RY said- who care if one of your great-great-great-great-great grandfather was the Godol Hador. You've got a hundred other great-great-great-great grandfathers. What effect did they have on you?

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you understand and accept that HKBH runs the world, money as a key factor in shidduchim is useless, too.

The overwhelming majority of my friends and acquaintences who either married specifically for money or happened to marry into wealthy families are long out of learning.

Some would argue that derech hateva it makes sense for the budding kollel yungerman to consider money when seeking a shidduch, but these people obviously know very little about human nature. Few wealthy in-laws are going to support the young couple to the standard of their own family (nor should they). For girls having grown up with more, suffering a decline in their standard of living (and for the boy that sees a greater standard of living just out of his reach every time he visits the in-laws), with rare exception, this presents a nearly insurmountable nisayon.

What single factor should be considered above all others, then? Mesiras nefesh for Torah. We have a havtacha from HKBH that he will multiply the results of our efforts toward a worthy cause many fold -- if we are willing to sacrifice to sit and learn, He will lessen the sacrifice. The only guarantee, then, is mesiras nefesh.

Those whose rightful place is the beis medrash have learned enough to recognize the truth of my words - the others are pretenders.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

I agree with classmate-wearing-yarmulka that many of our Rabbinic leaders (which includes far more than Roshei Yeshiva and may not even include most Roshei Yeshiva), exert a tremendous amount of influence over shidduchim.

In fact, today, in the Yeshiva world, it is rare to find a young man or a young woman who will accept a date (not a marriage proposal! a date!!!) with a person without consulting their Rabbinic mentor. And, unfortunately, some Rabbinic mentors will only accept "the best" for their talmid/talmida and will stop all progress and all the work that has been done (sometimes months of work) in its tracks by expressing their opinion.

While I could tell my own stories, I will refrain from doing so in order to not implicate any Rosh Kollels or Roshei Yeshivot unfairly. But, I will say that I just heard an unfortunately story. A young working man with a solid and continuing learning background, was prepared to go out with a young lady of "crisis" age. He had heard great things about her and had done of the necessary reference checking. However, she backed out of their date after speaking with her Rabbi who told her he thought that she should go out with someone who was planning to learn fulltime after marriage. In the blink of an eye a mere date was cancelled because of one man's recommendation. Sad.

I agree that we should not seek to blame all of the problems with the shidduch system on one factor, but it is important to point out that Rabbis do yield a great amount of power over shidduchim, possibly even more than the parents. And, this should be addressed.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Heshy said...

How come noone has said hte obvious? Hikind has had his time and is incompatible to represent Boro park and flatbush. He does not reflect our values and we have plenty others who do. He has the chutzpa to malign our roshei yeshiva and rabbonim.

Does he really expect us to belive that in his "sruggy" world people do not look for $$$? Are we so stupic to believe that in the YU /MO crowd people do not look at money as a criterior?

When he married off his daugther, does he want us to believe that $$$ was not a factor.

Dov, we may not be politicians, but we know one when we see one.

Move on! Make way for a yeshivishe guy or a chasid to represent us. As for you, make aliya nad represent YESHA in the keneset. After all , you take abour 10 trips to Israel a year. And on a government salary!

3:40 PM  
Blogger Yeshiva Orthodoxy said...

He is coming from a different perspective. I understand that.
I don't understand maligning rosh yeshivas.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

Of course Modern Orthodox people also look for money or at least the ability to make a comfortable living (however, they define that). But, the difference is that they are (9 times out of 10) looking for the future husband to make a good living, not their future husband's parents.

But, why am I wasting ink? It is useless to argue with Heshy.

11:21 PM  

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