Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Supply and Demand

"Leah's parents are getting really desperate," my daughter tells me.

Desperate? Leah is my daughter's age - definitely not old enough to be "desperate".

"Why?" I ask.

"Because everyone is saying no to them."

Leah is a great girl, I know. Her father is a rebbe in a small yeshiva, so they don't have a lot of money. But he works hard, taking on extra tutoring jobs at night, and they are willing to support their daughter. And that's what it's all about, isn't it?

Apparently not.

"Her grandparents are divorced."

Grandparents?? How does that affect who she is...what kind of wife or mother she'll be? No one would turn her down for that.

But they would. And they do.

Binah Magazine published a supplement several weeks ago, titled Seamstress of Souls, Legacy of Bais Yaakov. It was a tribute to Sarah Schenirer. In it, there is an interview with Rebbetzin Kirzner, daughter of Rebbetzin Vichna Kaplan, and principal of Bais Yaakov High School in Brooklyn.

The interviewer asks about the accomplishments of Bais Yaakov in America. She answers proudly. She talks about the feedback she gets from Bais Yaakov graduates years later....about how they credit Bais Yaakov for the direction they took when building their families.

And then she says:

"Nowadays, shadchanim blame Bais Yaakov for making it difficult for a boy who is working to find a shidduch! An increasing number of graduates move to Lakewood or Eretz Yisroel and opt for a long-term kollel life."

She seems incredulous. Someone actually blames Bais Yaakov for this tremendous accomplishment!

It's beautiful, really. Sarah Schenirer's vision has become a reality...Bais Yaakov students all over keeping the mesorah alive.

But I am going to join those shadchanim. And I'm going to take it a step further.

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of Bais Yaakov girls graduate every year and enter the world of shidduchim. Learning boys are very much in demand. And in a competitive market, prices are determined by supply and demand.

And the price is high.

If your father doesn't earn a lot of money...if you use plastic dishes...if your grandparents are divorced, you don't stand a chance.

But unlike the law of supply and demand, where the higher the price of a good, the less people will demand that good, learning boys remain as much in demand as ever.

And the price keeps rising.

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with this system. I'm so tired of it.

But I'm going to keep going along with in to it.

Because I raised a Bais Yaakov girl.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On My Blogiversary

I'm pleased to report that my blog is one year old today!

Taking the time to share my thoughts and feelings taught me a lot about myself and about blogging. I'd like to reflect on some of the things I've learned this year.

I learned to write when I feel inspired and not to wonder about whether or not people will like it. Sometimes I'll pour my heart into a post, and it falls flat. And then I'll write an ordinary post, and it explodes. It amazes me which posts take off and which ones don't.

I learned that the only foolproof way to keep from being discovered is to never blog at all. So, since I was unmasked, I blog under the assumption that I'll be discovered one day.

I learned that people connect with people, not just with words. I prefer to be anonymous, but when I write, I do allow the real me to come through. Sometimes more than I'm completely comfortable with…but all real.

I learned that writing can ease emotional pain. The world doesn't stop for my grief. But I like the idea that I can have a little corner to myself where I can write what is in my heart.

I learned that bloggers are a community. We are here for each other. I know that there are some people I can always count on to let me know that someone out there is reading and appreciating my blog. It's what motivates me to continue sharing my joys, my worries and my hopes.

I value every person who takes time out of their day to stop by my blog. And I am grateful to those of you who take the extra moment to leave a comment. It is because of you that I'm still here.