Letter: The Boys Are The Problem

Dear Lakewood Scoop:

I have become aware that there is an upcoming meeting in Eretz Yisrael to discuss the “Shidduchim Crisis” and possibly cancel 12th grade Mesivta or learning in Eretz Yisrael.

I hope this letter can reach the ears of those Roshei Hayeshiva Shlita that are meeting.

As a father of 5 daughters in Shidduchim and as an educator, I would like to humbly comment that I don’t believe that it would help the situation to cancel boys learning.

The Abishter has put enough boys and enough girls in this world.

The problem is our girls are turning into wholesome Bais Yaakov girls, whilst the boys are not coming out the same.

I believe a strengthing in the system of the weaker boys and an emphasis on them (as opposed to focusing on the better Bochrim), we can uplift these boys, many whom have been broken from the system and add more boys to the pot.

In addition, we have to work on ourselves in the area of Bain Odom lchavero.

Many parents of boys have become, for lack of a better term, money-hungry with their demands. The demands have become almost impossible for the average person to handle and many, many good girls get swept away.

We continue to do a selektzia ourselves and thrust away those without status or thinny thin or without lots of money.

And the shadchanim are in on this too!

We need to honestly work on loving every single Jew and realizing the Chashivus of everyone.

So before we take away anyone’s learning in the name of Shidduchim, please, I implore those gedolim to look into these topics.

An Eved HaShem.

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  1. This guy is so right, but the problem is that we love in crazy America which we are mushpa from & all these things that he mentioned are Ingrained in society, the only way to change is to change people’s mind set which is very hard, either way stop blaming anyone or anything work on your Emuna & Bitachon and your garenteed to succeed, הבוטח ה חסד יסובבאנו

  2. Great point! I have a large family, a few boys and a few girls…their education system are worlds apart!
    If a boy isn’t matzliach in Gemara he’s not considered a good boy and very often end up in the “working” crowd!
    I personally have nothing against the working crowd but so many girls are looking for serious learners!
    (P.s: My boys are working, my daughter in shidduchim is looking for a serious long time learner!)
    Just an example: girls are penalized for coming to high school 5 minutes late, boys can show up anytime between….

  3. Cancelling 12th grade mesivta is not a bad idea and does not have to negatively impact on a boy’s growth in learning. In E”Y 3 years rather than 4 is the norm, so they start beis medrash a year younger and also start shidduchim at a younger age than their American counterparts. If the bochurim do come to E”Y after 3 years of mesivta and stay for 2 years, that would help narrow the age gap.
    Yes, the other issues brought up are problems that need to be addressed, but the initiative to shorten mesiva by a year is a positive step, most definitely in yeshivas are only kodesh with no secular education.
    It would not seem to be recommended for boys who plan on going to college after learning in Israel and pursuing careers and therefore need a more solid base of secular learning.

  4. If boys weren’t given an endless learning horizon with no testing and no economic or educational accountability they wouldn’t be turning out like this. The way we educate our boys needs to change as well as rooba drooba of them being made aware that they’ll need to be the ones providing for their families in approximately their mid 20s. Tov lagever sheyisa ol benurav, with the opposite implied and catastrophically playing out in real time. Would also alleviate the ridiculous financial demands being placed on families just to marry off their daughters.

  5. i missed something. first he says there are an equal number of boys & girls. so if there is a problem for girls there should be an equal number of boys with the problem

  6. The writer has a serious taana against “parents of boys”. I find that amusing because statistically, most parents of boys are also parents of girls. You sometimes have the upper hand but then you become the parent begging the shadchanim to take note of your kids. Thats how you learn how to be a mensch and respect other people’s children.

  7. Any family making monetary demands of anyone should be immediately khished to the curb without giving it a 2nd thought.

  8. Just a thought: maybe the girls should not be taught to look for a certain type of husband when there simply aren’t enough of that type

  9. Absolutely right.
    I’ve said this for years.
    I’ve had boys and girls in Shidduchim.
    And it cones down to this.
    Out of a class of 25 girls, 20 of them want a serious learner; out of a class of 25 boys only 10 of them are. At best.

  10. In today’s shidduch climate, Avrohom Avinu would not be able to marry off his son (his father was an “alter Terach, and oved avoda zora). Neither would Yitzchok (grandfather was Besuel, uncle was Lovon), nor Ya’akov (brother was Eisav, grandfather Lovon). Moshe Rabeinu would also have a hard time (father-in-law was a Ger). And we all know the story of Kalba Savua, Rabbi Akiva, and Rochel. Additionally, if there is a divorce or illness anywhere in the family tree, the child does not have a chance.
    Bottom line, parents are losing sight of the important things to look for when researching a shidduch such as the qualities of the girl/boy.

  11. The letter has so much truth except it is not the boys to blame. Not every single boy can or will be a metzuyan but our girls are being taught from primary that a kollel is the ideal. So we are raising a generation of girls who are high achievers and want the best learners but the world is full of many different types of boys. We need to drop the kollel expectation for every single girl and teach that marrying a ben torah, whether working or learning, is praiseworthy. Not every girl comes with support, not every girls can be the sole breadwinner. Many times these “metzuyan” boys need to go to work earlier than expected because its too much pressure on the wife. Let’s teach our bnos yisroel that kollel is NOT for everyone.

    • The girls are being brainwashed in seminary and the parents are paying for that brainwashing. You can get into Olam Haba without living a Kollel life.Stupid parents who follow the crowd have created the problem of seniors who do not have enough money for retirement.

  12. He hit it on the spot. mothers of boys expect perfection with looks, jobs, money, status etc. and not looking at the big picture. They are not looking who will be best for their sons and iyh grandchildren. Let’s focus on what counts!! middos and hartz!

  13. Yeah I don’t really see how you’re going to fix the problem. Bottom line is there are not so many long term learning boys and a lot of girls who want long term learners. Unless you’re saying if we can keep some of the less metzuyan boys in learning for a little instead of working, AND teach the girls that are not holding by living a true kollel lifestyle (ie they still want the nice car nice house most in style clothing) that it’s ok if they don’t get the most long term learning guy as long as he excels in midos, yiras shomayim etc.

  14. I think this letter writer finally found one of the key issues with the shidduch situation.
    It’s very easy for a girl to want a “serious full time learner” while it is much more difficult for a boy to live up to that standard. Especially when the girl will often not be prepared to make the sacrifices required for that lifestyle. The result is a self inflicted ‘shidduch crisis’ where the girls are turning boys down because the boy is honest and practical about the realities of life.

  15. Bottom line is that there are currently tons more single girls than there are single boys… Even when you combine all the boys: masmidim, shvacher, working, and off the derech… Think of how many single boys you know about (any type), and how many single girls you know about..

    It seems that the age gap is the cause, possibly not.

    But being less picky, or any other”choice adjustment” (money, yichus, learning) wont change the numbers

  16. This letter is Narishkeit!

    So only girls with status get married?

    Only girls with that Non-Tznius description get married?

    First, he says its a misalignment problem with 25
    academically strong girls for only 10 academically strong boys and 15 weaker boys. Then he says that the girls are being pushed aside because of money hungry demands. Make up your mind.

    So why am I getting nonstop money solicitations on behalf of poor Kallahs? How did they all manage to get enaged if they were swept away for not meeting financial demands ?

    Then he lectures me on bein adam lechaveiro. Is he taking shidduchim for his 5 daughters on the basis of bein adam lechaveiro or based on whats good for his daughters?

    This letter is all over the place and no place at the same time.

    LongTime Shadchan

    • With genuine respect, do you have profile pictures of the girls in your portfolio? Do the boys look at the profile pictures before, or after their dates?

      Do you ever present pictures and profiles of boys to girls for them to choose from, or just the “traditonal” way of letting the boys choose?

      What is a tougher match, an overweight boy, or an overweight girl?

      Do any of the boys have requirements of monetary support?

      How many money solicitations have you received on behalf of poor Chosons?

      • To answer your questions:

        Most boys and their parents do not have a set in stone amount. Often times when they meet and like each other, finance and similliar tend to fall into place. The learning boys who ask for money are usually only asking to have how to live and not crazy numbers. And the girls are looking for these very boys, the ones that would be learning and thus needing support. Thats exactly what we have trained the girls to look for: Boys who would need naturally ask for support.

        We created this!

        Now since many families that are looking for these types are boys are in fact offering that basic level of support, so there are such boys who might say, give me those families instead of the ones that are not offering. This is very similar to girls who are demanding boys in the working space that are professionals like doctor and lawyers and not real estate managers or car mechanic. Same basic concept.

        The way I work with pictures is that if one side requests it as a pre-condition to the date , then I require both sides to exchange pictures at that time to keep things equal and balanced. Now if all girls together as one , would put their foot down againts pictures, then the whole issue would go away. It’s in the girls own hands to stop it. But they have to do it together.

        In my shul and in fact, in my whole neighberhood, there are so single girls left over age 23. BH. And that includes both boys and girls of all shapes and sizes. I reside in Lakewood NJ, but this was fact in my last two neighborhoods as well . BH no older girls to speak of.

        Poor Chosson? There’s a whole large organization in BMG called “Zichron Mattel” for Chassanim that dont have.

  17. it is not healthy to delay shidduchim for a boy and where there was once a need for just that, today that need is minimal because boys are either learning full time from the age of bar mitzvah or “not learning full time”, either way the situation changed diametrically so the correct step at this time for the boys – regardless of the crisis facing the girls – is to move up the shidduch age both for the learners who can learn better without the “Shabbos” frum magazines, challah dips and friday night chulent etc. that they find out about once they leave home and also for those who already decided to got out and work for whom surely to marry younger is better, and on top of all that this will help many girls as well so all the arrows are pointing to avoid delaying shidduchim for a boy at all costs – not for his own prospects financial and other which may improve by delaying his shidduchim – but for the sake of Heaven.

  18. If numbers are the same, and the problem is lack of long term learning boys,

    wouldn’t we see “Shidduch crisis for all the short learning boys, and shortage of girls for them?

    That just proves the problem IS the age difference caused by going to EY!

  19. Letter: The Boys Are The Problem
    “That’s true,” said the father of a “highly educated, top notch” Bais Yaakov girl, who insists that he will accept “only the best and the cream of the crop” for his daughter.
    “They keep redding these weaker boys for my mitzuyenes,” he said, “but I’m not about to hand over my precious jewel to just an ordinary run-of-the-mill fellow.”
    “What will my friends in shul say when I come to shul with my average learner of a son-in-law?” he said. “They’ll say in their typical snarky tone, ‘Is this the fellow you promised all that money to?’ I don’t deserve those kind of comments. I think I’m a lot better than that – and my daughter, the quintessential Bais Yaakov Queen Esther, definitely deserves better than that! Either I get the cream of the crop handed to me on a golden platter, or I accept nothing! Period!”

  20. Nunu. So the parents of the boy are money hungry but who lives a more expensve lifestyle with more financial demands? The girl! So that same girl will be demanding her husband meet her lifestyle needs 5 years down. The parents are looking for their sons to have financial backup!

  21. It’s not money hungry. it’s being practical. Ever gadol did it. It the boy is learned, someone has to pay the bills.

  22. Where are all the Single “working boys”? Shouldn’t There should be thousands…

    Bottom Line – you need to close the age gap – An age gap will cause a shortage it is a fact. If you were to take the average age of all marriages in the last 10 years and you end up with a number that is not equal boys vs girls – You are going to have a problem – There are more kids born year over year.

  23. This is the kind of solution that people come up with when they don’t take their logic to its conclusion. The reason why they come up with this is because they are prebiased to reject the idea of an age gap. They believe an age gap problem is kineged Chazal & therefore cannot be true. This leads them to find small inconsequential stresses on the shidduch market & highlight them as “The Cause”.
    Logical conclusion based on the letter writer: Girls are rejecting fine working boys, we should be having a working boys shidduch crises! No one wants to marry them! Busted hypotheses.
    Logical conclusion: In EY, there plenty of non learning boys & the girls are more in to marrying a learning boy than here in the US, yet there is no shidduch crises! How can that be based on the letter writer’s logic? Answer: the writer used a Wrong hypotheses based on a biased need to ignore the possibilty of the age gap as the cause. If the letter writer truly believes that it’s against our emunah to think that the age gap is the cause, we shouldn’t argue with him. He’s not alone & it would be very disturbing to him to learn that he might be mistaken. Let’s not shake up his peaceful world.

  24. The boys that are not long term learners are definitely looking for status as well. Marriage in our society is the only way to ensure status as it is impossible to live with todays expenses without college education(which would be a churban in today’s woke age)without support for learners or connections for those going to business.
    The largest crisis facing todays Bochur is the fact that Lakewood housing is double what is was 3 years ago, tuition and other expenses are high as well and unless you position yourself well with connections to a shtellar or business opportunity you will be a shlemazel loser in our elitist society.
    Roshei Yeshiva advise boys to marry “well”. It’s a shame these leaders don’t work instead on new commmunites where housing is cheaper and opportunities to build(kollelim, Yeshivas)will hide hope to todays dating boy.

  25. I feel the letter writer is certainly right about there being a major need for the chinuch system to be redone across the board. The system is perfectionist promoting and that does lead to many boys being lost. Idk if this will affect the shidduch crisis. But its certainly true regardless.
    Re: Money hungry. A boy whos gonna learn isn’t being ‘money hungry’ to look for a way to learn w/o having the burden of finances on him. In this respect, He’s akin to someone in Medical school looking for a shidduch who’ll support him while he’s in school bec they see the long term benefits.

  26. yeshivos in EY should be accepting applications for younger bochurim like 2nd yr and get them in to a shiur quickly so they can come back to the US earlier and begin shidduchim right away and have a seamless transition into kollel life the way it was originally meant to be without those extra expenses and that extra expensive and then… maybe they should come back to their originating yeshivos for 4th yr in kollel?

  27. I really think it’s lost on everyone how absolutely ridiculous we all sound already.
    1. Most boys and girls I know getting married are not mature enough. Starting earlier won’t hurt that since it’s already a moot point.
    2. It’s quite comical how many of the girls vexing for the long time learners and up marrying the working guys and acclimate pretty quickly to their newfound roles, to the point of not recognizing their prior selves within just a short time.
    3. To place financial burdens on the parents of boys or girls at all is really ridiculous if you were to think about it. I know. I know. It’s the system. The system is absolutely ridiculous. At the end of the day look around at most successful people you know and they did not have any major form of support. A little help in the beginning is one thing. Even then, it should be looked at as a gift. If these people are old enough to get married, deal with another person’s wellbeing, bring children into the world, etc. they should be capable of providing for themselves and them. To rely on their parents and in-laws is so utterly childish and should be embarrassing.
    4. To add to the handicap we are already placing these boys in, many times when they marry the girl with money it turns out to be a disaster. As it is, that girl is usually spoiled and needs more than her poorer counterpart. The day daddy stops paying the bills his whole world comes crumbling down and to add to the problem his wife will not be able to tolerate it.
    Sick system. Crazy world!

  28. The author with all due respect is completely wrong and not even sensical. It is only because of the uneven amount of boys and girls due to the age gap that boys can make all sorts of demands etc.. as described. If the ages were the same and there were equal boys and girls, both sides would equally have to compromise per the laws of supply and demand. Please rethink the cause not the symptoms.

  29. None of what was said is true nor does it matter. if the numbers were made equal of total boys and girls – every other issue would automatically resolve itself. Shame they don’t teach boys or girls this thing called arithmetic in schools anymore nor do they do a good job of teaching logical reasoning. wont make an iota of a difference good boy, bad boy, masmid, looks, money, shadchanim, yichus, rabbonim if the numbers were equal.

  30. I could only share anicdotetly that I am part of a large extended family bs’d and my siblings who have $$$ get plenty of shidduchim suggested for their daughters and those who don’t have $$ do not.

  31. A few things.

    One. Please explain to me why in the world do we listen to everything the חז”ל tells us, but one thing we don’t even recognize, and that is בן שמונה עשר לחופה??? Do you really think they didn’t know what kind of generation we would live in, and that’s why it doesn’t apply??? Sorry, I don’t buy that. חז”ל were able to see how the way the world would be till the end of time!!! And our great giants that lived within the last few years agreed.

    Two, Why in the world does a boy have the right to demand so much money from the girl’s father?? If he is such a good boy, then he should have בטחון that HASHEM will send him what’s needed, and if he is not, then he doesn’t deserve it!!!

    Third, It says in the כתובה that the boy will support his wife; I guess we have to change it, and it should say the wife will support her husband.

    Fourth, Why are the Rosh Hayeshivas telling the boys to only look for girls with the money?? I call it life support with a respirator!!

    The bottom line is, after everything that I said, nothing will change, the system is the way it is, and there will be THOUSANDS of girls and their parents will be going to sleep every night crying because the people that make the decisions don’t have this problem!!

  32. The bottom line many poor parents look for money for their own boys, at the same time they can’t give a penny for their daughters’. I do understand them, but it’s a problem.
    Another problem is a lot of girls are looking for boys that are charmers, at the same time they want a boy that is good in his learning. It usually doesn’t come that way. Face The Truth !!! Mabe the seminaries in Israel should read this post.

  33. Why do people think this is about too many girls wanting learning guys? The girls I know who want working guys are having just as much difficulty getting dates.

  34. This is a temporary world. There are trials, there is hishtadlus. It’s not something for us to solve if we are doing our best. Having rebbeim notice medium students and emotionally raising those and the weaker ones so that they all grow up with positive approach for yiddishkeit will set everyone up for success. We don’t have to solve the world’s problems. If it’s not shidduchim, it’s shalom bayis or health. We’re here as a way to come.to the next world and not receive bread of Shame. Try your best. It’ll be okay .

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