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.


  1. Ask Sarah Schenirer what she thinks of know she was, back then where the stigma was bigger than it can ever today...

    I like your attutide though, that even though the system frustrates you, you're working with it. Some may say screw it, but they're really just cheating their child. (I already hear people yelling at that comment, so I'll clarify)

    If a parent raises their child in the Bais Yaakov/Yeshiva system, then they need to follow through on the system, you can't pick and choose when it's convenient for you, you chose this chinuch and mahalch for your child, when it comes to marriage you can't back out of the system, you're only hurting your child - if you never suscribed to the system in the first place, then go ahead, disregard it.

  2. There are other options, you know.
    Working boys who learn
    Learning boys who work.

  3. While I agree that the system is broke and full of frustration, I have an even stronger belief in Bashert. People say no for stupid reasons, for shallow reasons; would you want people with those priorities for your daughter? At least they say no for ludicrous reasons and so you can move on without getting involved at all.

    In this insane Shidduch world, sometimes we lose sight of Who is behind all of it. Hashem paired up each Neshama before they were born and your daughter will find hers I'yh in the perfect time.

    Also, I agree with Sporadic Intelligence.
    Good for you for going along with it and respecting your daughter's dreams...

  4. sporadicintelligence...

    There's a lot I disagree with..a lot I don't like about the system. But I'm going to go along with it anyway, because I put my daughter into the BY system. This is what I chose for her, and this is who she became. And, truthfully, if I had to do it all over again, I'd do it the same way.


    Ah...but a girl who went through the BY system will not consider a working boy who learns or a learning boy who works. Work is not a good word when it comes to boys in shidduchim.


    You are so right, of course. Thank you for reminding me of that.

  5. I must say, I'm impressed by your virtue, as well as the virtue of those who are commenting. The emunah, the faith in our system, it's all to be commended. I only wish the roshei yeshivos and mashgichim would exhibit the same level of virtue, where instead of advising boys to make sure they get their iron-clad "10 year commitment" of support, bitachon be damned, squeezing every penny out of the poor potential shver in order to do the shidduch, all because of the importance of sitting and learning....

    I just heard a cute line from the previous Satmar Rebbe zt"l, the Beirach Moshe, which touches on the "emunah, bitochon" theme. This week, Tuesday, we all said "Parshas Ha'man", as it's a segulah for parnassah. He said that "only people who are 8:00 in the morning already at their desk WORKING, only those should bother saying Parshas Ha'man!"

  6. The premise of this post is that schools raise children. This is not true. Any good mechanech(es) will tell you that the majority of chinnuch comes from the home. So while at home you may not agree with everything your children learn in school, it is your attitude which will guide the children in the path that you want.

    I grew up in a more open-minded yeshivish home (re: yekkish) where the school which my siblings and I attended were more yeshivish, looking down on college, on the secular world etc. However, my parents did not insult or berate the schools, but showed us the value of being open. They decided that worse comes to worse the child ends up close-minded. I have my parents general hashkafos and am proud of it, even if I am one of the few in my school who went to college.

    So while Sporadic, if you grow up in a fairly nuanced community where you get to pick your exact flavor of yiddishkeit and schools, then you are correct. But not everyone gets that opportunity.

    I think though Mystery Woman, you have the right approach but the wrong mindset. Make no mistake about it, you raised your own child and gave them the hashkafos they believe. However the right approach was not to denigrate the system you chose to place your child. You may have tried to steer them otherwise, but you took the risk they would end up following the system.

  7. Bernie...

    I like that line. But Satmar has a whole different approach.


    You're right. Chinuch comes from the home. But the schools have tremendous influence.
    I understand that choosing to place my child there means she will likely end up following that system. But, in fact, I'd do it all over again. There are a lot of things I like about what they teach, and some things I don't. And that's what my job is.

  8. I gotta say...I agree with harryer-than-them-all. Good comment.

  9. harryer, I think you are undermining the influence that constant indoctrination and peer pressure has on a person going to a school that primarily teaches you about one way of life. How many girls grew up in homes like you and then came home from seminary with totally different goals in life than what they were taught at home? Parents have an influence but it only goes so far when you are constantly pumped with other contrary (and often very noble) hashkafos and ideas.

    I'm not saying that learning isn't beautiful. It is and it should be the goal...for those that can handle it and when it's feasible. Sometimes the girl realizes that it's not when it's almost too late and that's unfortunate.

  10. Oops, I meant underestimating the influence, not undermining!

  11. SIS...

    And what happens when you can't custom design a school? Do you believe that the influence from the home can counteract the school's influence?


    I sent my daughter there because it's a hashkafa I agree with. But I don't necessarily agree with some of the twists that hashkafa took. Sure...learning is beautiful. But it's not for everyone. But because every BY girl will only marry a learning boy, every boy will be a learning boy...whether or not they can learn and whether or not they are interested in learning full time.

  12. But because every BY girl will only marry a learning boy, every boy will be a learning boy...whether or not they can learn and whether or not they are interested in learning full time.

    This is not a small twist; it's a big problem. It's sad enough that men will not be able to use their individual and varied talents; it's also a huge practical problem, don't you think, that a whole community exists where able-bodied men do not work?

  13. Anon...

    I don't see it that way. I think it's different in Israel, but here, most of those men DO work eventually. They may not have the skills they'd have if they'd go to college, but that's a whole different issue.

  14. The only reason why it is different in Israel is because of the stipends the government gives, something that will soon be stopped.

    And at the end of the day, all these kollels have to collect money. Who do they go to, The "bums" who "Racmanah Litzlan" went to work.

    Remember, this system is not that old. In a generation or so the cycle will have reached a point where there will be no one to fall back on for money as the community grows.

    remember what the gemara says, better skin a dead animal in the market than accept tzedaka". Even the big tannaim worked!! It is not an evil thing! On the contrary, you have an opportunity to see hashgacha pratis on a daily basis in a way that people who dont "deal with the world" cant!

  15. Mystery Woman, I think that yes, the home can counteract the school as long as you roughly want the same things. If you have complete opposed goals, all you end up with is a confused child.

  16. Ok, this is going to be a long comment; breath deeply, here goes.
    This morning I was surfing through some blogs and stumbled upon this one. After reading this post my blood literally began to boil.

    I am a single guy who the yeshiva system wasn't really working out for. Therefore, acting on the advice of those who actually cared for me, (as opposed to those who only cared about having another body by their shiur), I left yeshiva and entered the business world.

    I think that this sort of education is what causes the whole shidduch crisis. Another problem is, these girls are being told "what a ben torah means". As someone who went through most of the system I can tell you how many of these official "top bachurim" are bums! Haveing learned in Eretz Yisroel, I have friends who spent their nights on ben yehuda, lowlifes but because they can "learn a shtick gemara", they landed top shidduchim. They are laughing the other side of their faces off!
    On the other hand, you have people (myself included), that daven three times a day with a minyan, set aside daily time to learn, but they are the "bums" because they left yeshiva.
    People wonder why there are so many boys and girls going off the derech today. Its for the simple reason that they are pushed aside and told that they are bums for doing the right thing.
    No, I am, not worried about shidduchim, because at the end of the day, a girl that wont appreciate me for who I am is not the one that I want. Hashem runs the world and he will send the right person. But that doesn't mean that we can leave the situation alone. It is our job to do all we can to improve the world. This bigotry has to end. They must be taught to look at people for their good, not look down at them for what they perceive as bad.

  17. Anonymous, as an "older" girl in shidduchim, I can tell you that I know now how right you are, problem is it takes years to figure that out after having gone through the system. And until people stand up to it (and specifically, to the guys!), it's not going to change, and we're all going to suffer for it.

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  19. SIS...

    So, if possible, one needs to choose a school that does have similar goals. Which is what I did. And there were some things I didn't agree with...such as the opinion that girls should not pursue degrees...which I was able to counteract. But the learning issue is a big one. It's what the whole BY system stands for. It's their mission. Not as easy as you'd think to counteract.


    I agree with you. Now we need to get the people who run the BY schools to agree. And I don't see that happening any time soon.


    That's what scares me. I don't want my daughter to have to go through the system for years before she figures it out.


    I'm not as optimistic as you are.

  20. I think learning is wonderful....but it has to be with the recognition that a. not every girl is cut out for it, and that's okay, and b. not every guy is cut out for it, and that's okay too. I'm not sure the problem is so much with the BY schools as it is with the girls and their parents who allow everyone to trample all over them. Why shouldn't those guys Anonymous mentioned land top shidduchim if they're able to?

    As far as your daughter goes, she's an innocent. Not so complicated.

  21. SIS...

    You're right. I agree with the first part. But I don't agree with where the problem is. The girls are just going along with the ideas indoctrinated in them through 12 years of a BY education plus a year of seminary. With that mindset, guys like Anonymous have a really hard time.

  22. I don't know. As a product of the system, but many years removed from it, I like that I was taught that way, because I don't know how you can deny that limud Torah is most important. So as much as I respect Anonymous, and I do, I don't think you can say it's the girl's problem to make sure a guy like him doesn't have a hard time. So for example, a girl like your daughter, who is BY through and through, I don't see the problem. The issue is that there are many many girls who only have the external "must have learning guy" belief, but not the internal hashkafos that should go along with it. And the same thing with the guys.

  23. SIS...

    I sent my daughter there because I DO believe in the basic hashkafa. And I will go along with the system. My daughter wants to marry a learning boy, and that's what I'll help her do. I just don't like how that affected the whole shidduch system, and what it did to the supply and demand.
    Those girls who have the external but not the internal should ideally marry guys who are the same way...who are learning only because it's the thing to do. But that's not always how it happens. Because those boys are not the "good" boys, so they are not the ones in demand. And those who could pay the price want the quality..and they can get it.

  24. That's not true, guys can fake it very well and their friends will cover for them. That's what Anonymous was saying. Anyway, I disagree. I know PLENTY of girls who are the real thing who don't have money or looks or anything who married genuine top guys.

  25. SIS...

    That's a pretty scary thought.
    Of course it happens, but that's the exception, not the rule.

  26. Guys pretending to be better than they are is scary and an exception? You are so naive. And the information I have has been mined from guys on dates. Top guys. From Lakewood and the like.

  27. As I sit here and read all these comments, I feel like I need to interject one more time.
    I have a different definition of "Top Guy".
    He's the one who is honest, erlich, educated, able to live in today's world without being a drain on society, WITHOUT compromising his LIMMUD HATORAH.
    THESE guys are truly hard to find.
    And in my mind, THESE guys are truly TOP guys.

  28. G6...

    I have to agree with that. What a shame that so few girls here don't see it that way.

  29. Mystery Women, you're contradicting yourself. And also....the guys G6 describes DO NOT EXIST in yeshivish circles. And don't tell me "I know someone blahblahblah" can probably count them on one hand.

  30. SIS...

    Maybe they would if there would be a demand for it.

  31. SIS -
    They DO EXIST.
    I assure you.
    I know girls that found them.
    One of them is my daughter in law ;)

  32. MW, there can be a change and it BH is being worked on. I and a group of friends who BH are doing very well in the business world have begun only supporting the type of schools that teach true values, ie. to accept people for who they are, and to look at the world with a right eye. I can tell you that there are a lot of people that are starting to do this. I have a partner, an older man who laughed at me when I began this policy. Well, now that his son is in shidduchim for some three years, he has stopped laughing. He is doing the same. More and more people will start doing this until our point is heard loud and clear.
    Regarding you "supporting this hashkafa". Who doesnt support the idea of someone who sits and learns? But who said that he has to be a leach on society? Who said that children have to be educated that people who arent exactly
    like them, people who dont fit into the "perfect mold" are bums?
    SIS & G6, you are right. As someone who went t5hrough most of the system there are really only a handful of the boys that G6 describes.
    But they are around.

    You want to see the other so called "top bachurim" for who they really are? I had a magid shiur who always said you see the true bachur by watching him play basket ball. Meaning, look at them when they are out of the yeshiva building in their own time. Look how many of the so to speak "good bachurim" take of their yarmulka and tzits when playing a game of ball. look at them when they are drunk on purim, listen to how they speak, how they act. Like a goy in a bar. Look at them in meron on lag baomer. While there are hundreds of people feeling the simcha and at the kever, you have hundreds of bachurim lining the streets, enjoying the time that they can spend talking and checking out the girls, cause hey, its lag baomer! No one will see me in this multitude of humanity!

    And to say that boys like that would be around if there was a demand for it is pathetic! Are you telling me there is no demand? the problem is , that because guys know how they will be looked at and whaty they are setting themselves up for if they leave yeshiva. They therefore force themselves into a situation where they dont want to be, sitting in the beis medrash waiting for the mashgiach to leave so they could sneak out. They sit there doing nothing, putting there G-d given talents to waste!

    We need the Goel Tzedek to come immediatly to get us out of this horrible mess now!

  33. Anon...

    Good luck.

    "And to say that boys like that would be around if there was a demand for it is pathetic!"

    You're actually saying the same thing I am. There is no's not what most girls are looking for...and so these guys have to force themselves into that mold.

  34. There is a demand. they are just being fooled way to often into believing that "their guy" is something he isn't!

  35. Wow, that's really sad. But if they don't want a girl because her grandparents are divorced then they are looking to marry their son off to a family and not to a girl!

    Reminds me of an email going around now about how people nowadays would not listen to the shidduchim of our avos, and imahos because of their "background" makes you scratch your head and really think!

    The person is more important than their background!!

  36. Mrs. Mystery, how would the demand create the girl? And do you want to sacrifice your daughter for that demand? What about your son? You're saying "this is great, we need to create the demand"...but not on your cheshbon.

    G6, I don't know what circles you're in, but in yeshivish (i.e. BMG) circles, it's practically impossible to find. Very few; it's hard to keep up your standards outside the insulating walls of yeshiva.

    Anonymous, I agree with that, that the attitudes need to be changed all around, as far as respecting other people...but again, like you said, that shouldn't take away from the idea of sitting and learning. Funny you say that about basketball, I've heard that too :-)

    So bottom line...I don't know. Attitudes do need to be changed, it shouldn't be as taboo to leave yeshiva, because once you break a taboo, the guys leaving will have more support and thus be able to fare better....on the other hand...I want my learning guy :-)

  37. SIS,
    the question is,what do you count as a learning guy is the question. Someone that works but is koveia itim, does business honestly, davens three times a day with a minyan, in my book is just as good as the guy learning all day.
    Even the shefatim had this concept, yissaschar and zevulun. the zevulun is just as important, if not more, because without him, the yissaschar wouldnt be able to do his learning. He also gets the schar for all the Torah learned!

  38. This is getting confusing, are all these Anonymous comments the same person?

  39. The bottom four with this the bottom five are all me :)

  40. SIS -
    The reason that my top guy doesn't exist in "BMG Circles" is because he'd be utterly shunned and ignored.
    THIS is why there is no perceived market for these boys. Because the Yeshivish families (parents AND daughters) who secretly yearn for these boys, are afraid to say so.

  41. G6. You're the man!! Saying it the way it is!! Kudos to you!! BH I am not from that sort of system so I dont need to worry as much. But unfortunately for them, many of my good friends are :(

  42. Anonymous, I hear you about Yissochor/Zevulun, but it's hard for me to wrap my head around. I once heard (making the story short) that they both have the same olom haba...but the olom hazeh of the Yissochor is something the Zevulun doesn't have. You did the right thing, you had daas Torah on your side, but...honestly, you don't feel some envy towards the guy who's able to still plug away at it, the guy who doesn't have to fight the temptations of the business world?

    G6, while that's true, I don't agree with your definition of top guy, specifically "educated." That's not a virtue to me, not for a ben Torah anyway. So again, attitudes and respect do need to be worked on, but proper hashkafos should not be thrown away in the quest to be egalitarian (something Anonymous doesn't seem to be doing).

  43. SIS -
    Since we both AGREE on the Ben Torah part, I'm not sure if you're saying that there is no benefit to the educated versus the UNeducated one.

  44. SIS, Olam habbah is what counts! This world is the olam hasheker, the fake world!

    No, I honestly dont envy the others! I know that I am doing what I came down on this world for! Everyone has their mission and I am doing mine! Again, it is not like I dont learn. BH I spend some 2-3 hours a day learning. Also, like I said earlier. A business man has the advantage that he gets to see hashgacha pratis on a daily basis, something a yoshiev ohel doesnt have. (This is a concept explained quite often in chassidus, something which I am guessing most of the readers on this blog probably have never learned. It is C"v not saying to give up torah learning, it is just looking for the advantages in every situation) )

  45. As a business man I get to affect other peoples lives for the good. When they see a frum Yid doing business honestly, it is a huge kidush Hashem and can really change peoples lives!

    When my father started working, his first job was working for a non frum Jew. Today, years later, this man is a completely frum guy, kosher kitchen, shomer shabbos, the whole nine yards. He was someone that a person sitting in yeshiva couldn't have helped!

    Along the same lines. It is a known thing that the Lubavitcher Rebbe wanted all of his Chassidim to have smicha. I know someone however, who the Lubavitcher Rebbe told not to get. The reason he gave was, that you can many times affect someone a lot more if you are a mister as opposed to a rabbi.

    It is wrong to think everyone has to fit into one mold. Every person has the one thing which he was created for. Something which no one else can do.

    It is wonderful to want to marry a talmid chacham, but to say that it is the only way, is plain old wrong!

  46. This is going a little off-topic here, sorry about that Mrs. Mystery....

    G6, sorry, I don't get what you just said :-)

    Anonymous, what can I say. I truly have the utmost respect for you. I think you are unique and special...but I still don't believe there are many like you, something you agreed to. It's wonderful to feel that sense of security, that you know what your place and are comfortable in it. I respect that.

    Just a few things:
    1. The author of this blog is chassidish.
    2. Yes, you get to affect people's lives for the good...but so can a learning guy. Everyone has opportunities...the question is if you take them or not.
    3. I don't think I ever said marrying a talmid chochom is the only way. Did I?

  47. SIS, Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    There are many more guys who would act the exact same way. The problem is that they are afraid to leave the system due to what others may say, and how it will look on their resume. When I had my initial thoughts of leaving, I went into the office of one of the hanhola members of yeshiva wwho I was close with to discuss my situation. In the course of the conversation he told me that he wishes that there were more guys like me. Why? The hanoholas know what is happening. They know that there are guys who shouldnt be in yeshiva but are there out of peer pressure. They also know that guys like that unfortunately many times end up "frying out" because after years of languishing in yeshiva when it isnt for them, they convince themselves that this is the whole yidishkiet and R"L...

    Sorry, I didn't realize that the author of the blog was chassidish. It is my first time o9n this blog, I read that her daughter is in BY, (where I come from the chasiddishe girls go to their own schools which dont go by the name BY) and I saw that all the comments have a lakewood BMG sorta theme. And besides, being chassidish doesnt mean that they are familiar with chasidus. Unfortunately today many people think that it is the way you dress and the shechita you eat. also, different chasidussim teach different things. Most chassidusim that fall under the category of "Chagas"s chassidus comprises of short divrei torah on the parsha etc. as opposed to seforim a the way to live your life.

    Correct, everyone has opportunities, some just more than others.

    Let me quote "the guys leaving will have more support and thus be able to fare better....on the other hand...I want my learning guy".
    Ok so you may say that that is a preference, but at the end of the day you are lowering us to second class!

    Disclaimer: What I said in my earlier comment about guys on ben yehuda, in meron,etc. was not referring to one specific yeshiva or "sect" or jews. It was a general statement about something which unfortunately plagues almost every group!

  48. On your first paragraph, absolutely, agree to everything. Same reason why shidduch-age girls have to resort to anonymous blogs on the internet :-) I hear what you're saying, if there'd be less of a stigma, we'd have more working bnei Torah. On the other hand, if there's less of a stigma, would you have a decrease in overall learning? You're going to say no, those guys who don't belong there aren't learning anyway, and are getting burnt out and learning less than they would be if they'd be working. Okay.

    Welll...she wouldn't call herself chassidish, but to anyone outside Boro Park, she's chassidish :-) Her girls go to BY and her son is in Lakewood, but he wears a shtreimel. So they're that heimish/chassidish/Boro Park unique mix. [MW, I can feel you getting upset at my depiction :-P]

    Sigh. Since my last comment I've been thinking about this. I don't know. I hope this open and honest exchange isn't hurtful. I'm sorry if it is. I can't deny that to me sitting and learning is ideal. And it's hard for me to convince myself otherwise, and I don't know if I should. Call that indoctrination, but it's something I'm grateful for, because I believe those hashkafos have helped me in this long long journey in shidduchim.

  49. As for the disclaimer, I know. Unfortunately that is so.

  50. No it isnt hurtfull, & R"L, dont give up on something which u hold so important! All I want to point out is that because a guy works doesnt make inn a bad person or a bum as many have been lead to belive. There are countless working guys out there that are bigger yiray shamayim than guys in yeshiva. Should we lower the standard? C"v! Everyone should aim to learn and be a talmid chacham. All that is needed is the understanding of the community that if it formu work out and he pursues other means, that he is stilla good frum jew, who is loved by G-d just as much as the next!

  51. I'm following these comments and just wanted to say to Anon that you phrased it perfectly! You are totally right!!

  52. Anonymous, okay, I think we're in agreement. Like I've been saying all along, the attitudes do need to be worked on.

  53. Last night, I was reading a book in bed, that although not specifically on this subject,opened my eyes to what the problem is.

    For those of you that know the history of modern day jewery in eretz yisroel, you know that initially all frum girls went to the same schools. It didnt matter if you were chassidsh or yeshivish, bais yackov was for everyone. After a bit however, this turned into a problem, because most of the teachers were yeshivish and when the girls were being taught that they have to marry a ben torah. No problem with that. the problem was, they were being told who a ben torah was. Suddenly non of these girls wanted to marry someone chassidish as they didn't look at him as a ben torah! That is when the chassidim, the Gerrer Rebbe at their head, finally started their own girls schools.

    The same sort of idea is happening now. What does a ben torah mean? Literally "a son of torah". Someone that loves torah! A working man that comes home from a hard day at the office, but before he lets himself go to bed he heads to the bais medrash for a shiur, he is a true ben torah! The guy who comes home does homework with his kids learns with a chavrusa over the phone and finally falls asleep at the table with his head on a sefer,he is a true ben torah! These are people who's greatest enjoyment is shabbos when they can finally pull out a sefer and learn uninterrupted. Who is doing more for Torah? the person who's father in law pays for him to sit and learn all day. The person with no real worries besides for figuring out the sugya? Or the person who deals witrh the world, has daygas haparnasah, and nevertheless will always make the time to open a sefer. Do you know how many offices of frum people you can go to and see that every time they have a free second they pull out the sefer from their drawer even if for only a minute? They are the true ben torahs!

    This is the idea. the understanding of what a ben torah means, would end most if not all of these problems in the shidduch world!

  54. There isn't very much for me to add here, but just a few comments...

    SIS... about we drop the Mrs.? :)

    You're right. And I'm a little torn here. Because, on one hand, I agree with Anon. But on the other hand, I'm still looking for a learning guy for my daughter, and turning down any guy that isn't learning seriously full time - because it's what SHE wants, and I can appreciate it and see the value in it...even if I have a problem with the system.
    And, yes, my son fits the mold. But, again, it's what HE wants.

    Maybe I sound like I'm contradicting myself. I think there's something seriously wrong with the system. I think BY is responsible for a lot of it. And I think the boys are all following it because it's what the girls want. I think guys who leave yeshiva - good guys...those that keep learning - should ideally not be looked at as any less than their full-time learning counterparts.
    BUT...I did put my kids into this system. I think the hashkafos are solid. I'm proud of my son for who he is and how he chooses to live his life, and I'm proud of my daughter for her values and ideals - and for what she wants in a husband.

    And thanks for that description of who I am and where I belong. :) I don't think I fit into a nice, neat little box...but you did a pretty good job.


    My kids are in BY/ in that way, I'm not typically chassidish. But chassidus, to me, is more about a way of life than the externals.
    And re your comment about the chassidish schools, the girls coming out of those schools don't have that same attitude as the BY girls. There is still value to learning, but work is not a bad word.

  55. For years my sister was holding out for a learning guy. She was adamant about it. At a certain point she realized it just wasn't going to happen...she is B"H very, very happily married--to a working guy. I think it was hard for her to get to that point; it's always painful to let go of your dreams and what you'd always imagined; she went through some difficult stuff in the year before she met him that caused her to be open to something different. But, for some reason, this is the life that was meant for her...the whole way her shidduch came about was one of those weird "hashgacha pratis" stories you read about and don't really believe because it seems so fantastical and unlikely...the learning life may be ideal, but it may not be meant for everybody (by Hashem). We sometimes forget how little control we have over our lives.

    (And, btw, it goes both ways... as I'm sure SIS knows...I'm also an older BY single, albeit looking for a nice, frum working guy...and they seem just as elusive and hard to find as the almost mythical nice, frum learning guy. And I've been dating for 10+ years. I think it's just a dearth of normal frum guys in know, who don't have emotional/commitment issues. I do NOT believe in the silly age gap theory that was being spouted a couple of years ago...funny, you don't hear much about that one anymore.)

  56. Oh boy, these Anonymice are getting confusing. We now have a single guy Anonymous and a single girl Anonymous. Give yourselves names!

    Boy Anonymous, very nice, but you're doing the same thing. You're rating and ranking who is a "true" ben Torah. Leave that up to G-d!

    Mrs. Mystery (I can't, I'm sorry :-P), I know. While I disagree that the problem is the BYs, I do agree that we, all of us, from every sect, need to work on respecting other people and not looking our noses down at people who don't meet our standards. That's a symptom of the elitist culture we're in.

    Girl Anonymous, yup, you said it. We don't know what Hashem wants for each of us. As far as the guys go....I don't know. You really see a problem in the quality of the guys?

  57. "Girl Anonymous" here:

    Yes, most of the guys I have gone out with in the past several years do have issues. Some of these are issues relating to them being the round peg that couldn't fit into the square hole of the yeshiva really affects them, and even when they are in their 30's they seem like so unsettled and drifting, still so undecided (emotionally still like teenagers, which I guess makes sense if their issues of rejection started then).

    Or else, they have commitment issues, which is not so readily noticeable (till you go out several times, start to feel hopeful, he is sending obvious "interested" vibes, then suddenly...nothing. Occasionally, you do hear of these guys getting married years after you went out with them...usually when they are about to hit 40 and I guess they suddenly panic and say yes to next likely girl they go out with. If you are the "lucky" girl at the panic stage, then it works out for you....).
    This has pretty much been my experience with frum guys, other than maybe the first few years I dated, where reasons for saying no to a guy centered around hashkafa or not feeling comfortable with his personality or something like that.

    Now, I am open to going out with BT's (who don't have the first problem and usually don't have the second), but I find that it is very, very hard for a BT to relate to somebody who grew up in the BY world, unless he became frum at a young age/spent time in a yeshiva. Mostly, the BT's I am set up with became religious as an adult,sometimes fairly recently, and it's hard to relate on both sides.

  58. SIS...

    ('m an old don't HAVE to keep reminding me.)

    Respecting and not looking down at other people is one thing. Marrying them is another. I don't see that as elitist, necessarily.

  59. SIS. yes, I am keep on ranting about who is the true ben torah, and no I wont leave it to G-d!
    I would be able to if girls like you weren't being educated in a certain way! Being that girls are being taught that a ben torah means XYZ, I cant leave it up to G-d to decide! Doing that is tantamount to taking part in silent murder! I cant stand by silently while I watch so many people get messed over, lives ruined, because of a glitch in the system!

  60. SIS,

    I hope you didn't take it personally when i said "girls like you". I meant girls that go through a certain system, and are taught a certain way. If you took it in the wrong way i want to ask mechila.

  61. Girl Anonymous, I hear you on the first one. I see that too. As far as the second...maybe, not sure. And BTs, depends on the guy, some integrate better than others, some remain in their BT (i.e. Aish) community, some don't want to integrate. I'm sorry this is your experience :-( Wish I could help.

    Mystery Woman, I wasn't talking about marriage. I was talking in general.

    Boy Anonymous, don't worry, no offense taken, although I think you're wrong. Leave everything up to G-d.

  62. The Real AnonymousJanuary 20, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Yah, I was the anonymous, and now because someone else shows up I should become "the boy anonymous"? : )

    Do you also say that when you are sick instead of going to a doctor? I mean come on! No offense, but I think that it is a very close minded thing to say. It is not wanting to think "out of the box" and the system that you are used to.

  63. Yes, that's how it goes in blogging world. Anonymice are at the bottom of the totem pole, and I was kind enough to give you a name (because you didn't) to raise you up a notch. :-)

    Yes, actually I do, but that's besides the point. I don't understand what's close-minded about saying "leave everything up to G-d," that's basic, that's Judaism 101. There's nothing close-minded about saying judgment is up to G-d either, that's pretty basic, too.

  64. The Real AnonymousJanuary 21, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    I"ll tell you whats close minded about that. Yes, belief in G-d is "Judaism 101", as you want to put it. But so are a couple other things. I think in your sorta lingo, you call it "hishtadlus". We call it "making a כלי". Meaning that yes, G-d will help and you have to trust and believe in that, but you also got to do your part.
    G-d will make people eventually realize that what I am saying is right. But I gotta say it. Then G-d helps you out. There is a famous story with the Bal Shem Tov, not to get into it, but the gist of the story was that they had something good abating them from heaven but it wasn't coming because they weren't asking. they were happy with where they were. The Bal Shem Tov got them to ask for it and then they got it.
    Same idea. Do you sit at home and say "I"m not going to look for shidduchim". "Hashem will help"? Of course not! You put yourself out there, do the best you can, and let Hashem do the rest!

    And Ahavas Yisroel is also Judaism 101. When the person came to Hillel Hazakain, and asked him to teach him the whole Torah on one foot, what did Hillel tell him? "Don't unto others what you wouldn't want done onto you, Everything else is just explanations!"
    When the girls are being taught to put down a certain group of people, who are the way they are through no fault of there own, this is the way Hashem made them, and the way Hashem wanted them to be, they may as well close down the schools and send them t public school because they are discarding the basic rule of Torah!
    That is why I speak out, and daven that Hashem help the goal be accomplished! It should be speedily in our days with the coming of Moshiach Tzidkanu to take us out of this horrible galus ,
    ומלכינו בראשנו, במהרה בימינו ממש

  65. #1: Okay, so what's the problem? Where is the lack of hishtadlus?

    #2: Absolutely. I've been saying all along that attitudes need to change. But I think you're looking at me as the devil itself just because I subscribe to some of the beliefs, when I actually rally against lots of the ones that are bothering you.

  66. The Real AnonymousJanuary 24, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    The "hishtadlus" would be me trying to implement a change in the system instead of sitting around and saying that "I will leave it up to G-d".

    C"V! As I said earlier, I am BH not in this sort of system, and therefore someone with beliefs such as yours, (which I happen to agree with most of) has no reason to be looked at "as the devil" in my eyes. Especially since as of now I have yet to begin "actively looking" therefore have no one to be upset at. I"yh, I wont have when I am done either :)

  67. I have to stick my two cents in here...I was one of the first commenters on this post...

    First, while I agree that there is a problem in the BY system that everyone wants the learning boy, when most boys aren't cut out for it, and frankly most girls aren't either...however - I don't blame the system so much for what they teach, yes it causes a lot of problems - but, look at it this way.

    Everyone want to be the best, a success, in the society they live in. Look around America; a success is money, celebrity. Ask any child what they aspire to, and they'll say something fame or money related.

    Take this to the Yeshivish system, what is our success? Who are out "celebrities" - Gedolim. They are our ultimate, that it what every child aspires to be, and what the schools should be teaching - about the best your society has to offer. Now obviously, not everyone is cut out to play in Carnegie Hall, snag a recording contract, movie roll, or gain admission to Harvard, but that doesn't mean schools should lower standards, and tell children not to reach. That would be selling them short.

    Our schools are telling children to reach, and reaching they are...not all of them are succeeding, and statistically, more are succeeding than should be, but really, should we not teach children to aspire to be the best they can be just in case they might not?

    As sad as the situation is, where there is so much anguish and lack of self-awareness, individuality and societal strain, there is something oddly beautiful in its foundation.

  68. The Real AnnonymusJanuary 26, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    I disagree. Back in the day, the way it worked was that a shoemakers son would go to yeshiva if he had the capability, while the rav son would become a cobbler if thats what he was good at. Everyone has what they are good at, and that is what has to be stressed! a yiras shamayim, someone that loves hashem and his torah is what is important. that is what the Bal shem tov taught. every jew is special. And to teach that work is a bad word, is wrong! all the big tannaim and amoraim worked for their food!

  69. The Real AnnonymusJanuary 26, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    In other words, the yeshiva system should obviously push to be a talmid chacham, but a yiras shamayim and shomer torah umitzvos comes first. Even in todays society, does someone marry a person as a result of them not being the president? do they think that anyone but a billionaire is worthless? no , of course not! But that is what this system is trying to do.

    the problem isnt the system promoting learning, the problem is it putting down other things.

  70. Ok, I’ll admit there may be a problem with the way it’s approached, throwing all other accomplishments to the wayside…However – Based on what you wrote, I’m assuming you’re Chassidish, or hold of the Chassidish mehalach, which is beautiful, except the BY and Yeshiva system operate mostly in the realm of Litvish mentality, and therein lies the difference. Learning Torah is the ikur for the Litvaks, serving Hashem through actions, is the Chassidish way. You are disagreeing with the fundamentals of the Litvish lifestyle. You attacking the BY and Yeshiva System is putting a band-aid on the issue, you simply just don’t agree with the litvish modus operandus, and that’s ok, but you can’t expect the BY and Yeshiva system to adopt Chassidish policies.

  71. Yes I am chassidish. HOWEVER...

    there is the famous piece of gemara of what is better limud or masseh. the answer is limud that brings to masseh. Learning is very nice but not necessarily the ikar. I think that unfortunately today the livishe approach has become one of thinking that learning is the ikar, meaning the one and only. It is a new phenom, and a problem in itself. I think that if one of your "old school gedolim" (one that wasnt educated by the current system) were asked, they would probably agree with me that the main goal and point has been lost somewhere along the way.

    So no, I dont think that i am saying to adopt the chassicdic policy, i am trying to be "machzor atarah leyoshnah"

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