May 30, 2024
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May 30, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The Frustration of the Shidduch Scene (All Over Again)

Is it just me or are people nuts when it comes to making shidduchim? I wish that the world would allow us to bring back a form of normalcy when it comes to two people meeting each other. I don’t know about all of you, but I can tell you that my parents knew nothing about the Glicks of Malden, Massachusetts, and certainly the Strocks of Jericho, Long Island were not checked out.

We met, we talked, we liked each other, we spoke on the telephone prior to having others check everything out, we shared and we grew together. We met in a mixed setting, which today would be considered treif by half of the world, and because we were very young, we were not rushed into doing anything.

I get so angry when I hear parents in the area not allowing their daughters to go out with a boy from out of town! “What, my daughter should move to San Antonio?” “Montreal, there is no way that I would allow my daughter to move there.” (Actually what happened was that I was asked to find a shidduch for someone and when I was so proud of myself for suggesting an idea, I was rebuffed because he lived in Montreal.)

I have spoken to so many people about this situation. Everyone is frustrated and angry. Some suggest that once young couples find each other they forget about their single friends. I know that my newly married grandchildren are constantly trying to figure out how they can bring couples together. The questions and probing that go into each possibility make it almost impossible for couples to meet. We used to laugh at the story of Rabbi Dr Avraham Twersky, z”l, who would frequently repeat that since there is a halacha that a man should see his wife prior to marrying her, his parents showed him who she was in a room, and the next time he saw her was under the chuppah. By the way, he frequently commented on what an amazing marriage he had.

I know that we speak of this subject ad nauseam, yet it doesn’t seem to get better. Nothing seems to change. Dating sites galore, resumés all over the place (probably part of the problem!), shadchanim in every corner…Who does not know either a young man or woman, or might I say, an older young man or woman who is still not married?

I had a conversation with a young man about introducing him to a young woman and when he looked at her résumé, he immediately said that he could not go out with her because she is four days older than him. I almost smacked him in the face, but I did control myself. He said he was joking but would still not consider it. For all that I know, he was not joking but did not want to tell me. When I hear that a 38-year-old woman does not want to go out with a man who is 45 because he is “too old,” I just cringe.

An amazing occurrence recently happened in Montreal. A very special young lady from a known, well-established family got married. Why is this so special? She is now 52 and married for the first time. This kallah only wanted someone who would learn at the beginning of her sojourn into at least her 30s. She is beautiful, intelligent and a tremendous ba’alat chessed. Years went by and nothing … Suddenly, we heard the news of the century in Montreal amongst the yeshivish community. Guess who is getting married? This wonderful person got married on Lag B’Omer at Binyanei Hauma in Yerushalayim. Many from Montreal attended this wedding . Who did she marry? She married the first person that she ever went out with over 30 years ago … He was until recently the widowed father of eight. Love at second sight! As she said to me, when I spoke with her, “She is in heaven!”

To those who are still thinking and rethinking each and every suggestion and possibility, perhaps, it is time to rethink those that you rejected for various reasons. “She was two years older than him, but she was so perfect in every other way.” “He wasn’t interested in wearing a black hat, although his commitment to Yiddishkeit was entirely sincere and committed.” “I know that we are now 34 and 36, but I still cannot get used to walking with a woman who is two inches taller than me. Everything else about her is perfect.”

We have all heard these remarks, but perhaps it is time to not listen to them any longer and try to be more proactive …

Wouldn’t it be cool if rabbonim came out with a psak that résumés are no longer allowed! Wouldn’t it be great if parents could suggest to their children that they go out with a neighbor’s child and they said, “Yes!” Big deal if it doesn’t work! At least you tried … Not speaking of anyone in particular, but wouldn’t it be terrific if a grandmother could suggest someone to one of her grandchildren and they took her seriously!

What would happen if the shul would have a singles’ barbecue (chas v’chalelah)? I know that I am living in la la land, but in the meantime with all of my thoughts and all of my suggestions, the crisis continues … I am truly glad that my family never went through this craziness.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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