June 25, 2024
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June 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

There was a time when one applied for a job s/he was required to submit a résumé to a potential employer. The résumé generally spoke of schooling, previous job experience, and gave the names of refer­ences. Once the résumé was “in the mail,” you would hope that you would be at least called for an interview.

Of late we are learning that the word résu­mé has taken on a completely new connota­tion. Families of children “in the parsha,” which we have learned means that they are interest­ed in dating, must compile a résumé for shid­duch purposes. Shocking is not strong enough for our reaction to this new phenomena. How did we ever get married? There was no check­ing, no monetary arrangements made by our parents, and we spoke to each other direct­ly on the telephone. The new way is to do all conversing through the shadchan; for at least the first four to six dates it is the shadchan who transmits messages between the two dating partners or families. Is there something wrong with us for thinking that this is absurd?

What exactly does this résumé consist of? We found out that it lists the candidate’s date of birth, the city s/he comes from, the names of their parents, who their siblings are, the school and or camps they have attended, and the names of several references. When we inquired why these documents do not relate anything about the fine midot that a person might have or the chesed that s/he does, we were told that is not something that goes into a résu­mé. Sometimes pictures are requested, some­times not. It was obvious to us that the refer­ences had to be the best friends of the family and obviously not anyone who would not give a glowing recommendation. A good friend of ours told us that she never calls the referenc­es on the résumés that she receives for her daughter because she definitely does not ex­pect them to tell her anything that perhaps the family would not like people to know.

A couple visited Mordechai many years ago because they were devastated two weeks before their daughter was to be married to hear “rumors” about the potential chattan. They were told he was involved with moles­tation of boys in his yeshiva. Upon calling the boys Rosh Hayeshiva to inquire about this, they were yelled at and told that this had happened several years ago and the boy had done teshuva. Needless to say, the wedding did not go on.

How did we do it, those of us who met at YU Semi­nars, NSCY, at a Shabbat ta­ble, perhaps even on a bus (Chas v’shalom), in school, camp, etc., etc., etc? In most cases we took our time go­ing out with friends and with each other. It was nor­mal to go bowling, to the movies, (oh, no) to friends’ houses, for walks, skating, and gradually getting to know one another. Kumsitzes were a common occurrence. We had the opportunity to meet one another’s families even if they lived out of town. It was not abnormal to go home with a potential suitor and visit his family and see the community he came from. There was not the same pressure that there is today.

If a girl is from out of town and goes out with a New Yorker, he rarely meets her family until they are for all practical purposes about to get engaged. Do her parents get to know him and feel confident that this is a great choice? Of course, they cannot know. None of us can be sure even if we see someone for an extend­ed time, but there has to be a greater comfort zone if one spends more relaxed time with a date. Wearing your finest clothing on each date, putting on exactly the right makeup, him wearing his nicest shirt—oy, are they going to be in for a reality check just a few months down the line when they see what each other looks like on a regular day. Spontaneity doesn’t ex­ist during this dating process. Everything is planned out to a tee. Even the engagement is now discussed with everyone: no more surpris­es, friends are forewarned, family is forewarned, and, in many cases, the wedding hall is reserved prior to the engagement. HELP. We think this is crazy.

Nina remembers the great feeling that she had when she could call her friends and tell them that it was official and we were getting married. No, our parents weren’t there hiding in the bushes behind the park bench where the entire program of the en­gagement had been preplanned. Bring back the old! It really worked for all of us. Just check the number of divorces among new­ly married frum young couples who went through the above process. Yes, they had the l’chaim, the vort, the financial arrange­ments, and everything was preplanned. What happened? Maybe they should have spent more time getting to know one an­other and not worried as much about what they were wearing. Whatever it is, we say BRING BACK THE OLD!

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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