Op-Ed: Answer Their Call

I want to commend The Lakewood Scoop for being on the forefront of bringing the plight of our precious single Bnos Yisroel in Litvish communities throughout the United States. In your last op-ed article, the writer highlighted the staggering mismatch in the number of single Litvish girls in Shidduchim in the United States, and how this is not a problem in the Litvish community in Israel, or the Chassidish community in America or Israel, as was highlighted in the letter of the Gedolei HaDor. The Gedolim explained, that the only change that will be effective, is to have Bochrim get married at a younger age and hence eliminate the AGE GAP. See the link here


Klal Yisroel appreciates immensely the future changes which will be taking place this year of completely eliminating Fourth Year Bais Midrash in the United States so that Bochurim could go to Israel earlier, and the total elimination of the “Freezer Policy” in all Yeshivos in the United States (and this year’s Freezer may be starting a bit later perhaps will only start on Rosh Chodesh Kislev, pending a meeting this Sunday evening in a prominent Lakewood Yeshivah). While those are both amazing developments more has to be done for our Bnos Yisroel.

In the Artscroll/Mesorah Rav Chaim Kanievsky book on Shidduchim (page 33) it says:

R’ Chaim Kanievsky would frequently say over the following which he heard from his mechutin R’ Aharon Leib Shteinman:

Napoleon’s army invaded Russia in 1812 and eventually retreated, as the French were ill-equipped to cope with the brutal Russian winter. At that time, thousands of French soldiers were stranded in Russia. Among them were several hundred observant Jewish men, many of whom married Russian Jewish girls.

Shlomo HaMelech said, (Mishlei 21:1) “Like the streams of water is the heart of a king in the hand of Hashem.” Rav Chaim of Volozhin suggested that perhaps one of the reasons why Hashem caused Naploeon to invade Russia was to help hundreds of bnos Yisrael meet their predestined zivug from abroad.


Consider this French army boys marrying Russian Girls what a cultural mismatch! I’m sure the naysayers then (they existed back then as well) would challenge this and speak about the lack of readiness and preparedness for marriage, of the young Frum French recruits. Yet R’ Chaim of Volozhin stated that: Hashem enabled them to be at in Russia, so that they could be in the very same place as their Bashert and many Doros Yeshorim were created.

Lakewood Today

We all have undertaken additional Torah learning and Tehillim these days as a merit for our brethren in Eretz Yisroel who underwent the day with the largest number of Jews being killed in a one day time span, since the Holocaust. Many Bochurim are in the United States now, unsure if they should go to Israel now, or wait to see if things are more settled before going. Of course, everyone should follow the lead of their parents and Daas Torah whether they should go now or wait a bit. However, one thing is crystal clear, EVERYONE, should also listen to the Daas Torah of ALL Israeli and American Gedolim who implored the Litvish Bochurim to start Shidduchim younger as was posted to TLS


While human beings cannot begin to fathom or comprehend the calculations of Hashem. During this tragic situation of the brutal murder and maiming of our dear brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisroel, perhaps one the things we can do for our Bnos Yisroel and everlasting memory for the kedoshim is to help rebuild some of what was destroyed, if the 22 year old Bochurim are home anyway for the next few weeks, awaiting to see if they are to return to Israel or not. they should begin starting For the Kedushah of Klal Yisroel, the Bochurim (many of them are over the age of 22) should start Shidduchim NOW, and with the help of Hashem, they will get engaged soon, and they can return to Israel as Chassanim or with their wives after they get married. As R’ Chaim Kanievsky would stress many times. We are living in the times of Moshiach who is at the door about to enter. The Gemorah states that Moshiach will only come when all the Neshomos descend to this world. This will hasten the GEULAH for all of us. Yes, BH positive changes were made with eliminating fourth year Bais Midrash in the USA and the abolishment “freezer policy” which although less than thirty years old (I read in the above link that some readers commented, that the freezer policy in our town existed for forty years. I did EXTENSIVE research on the matter, they are WRONG! the “freezer” was NOT instituted while R’ Aharon Kotler or his son R’ Shnuer Kotler were Roshei Yeshivah). I implore to all Yiddishe mothers out there, please, please, please, let us utilize this time of uncertainty to start your sons in Shidduchim. If your son is over 22 years old why are you waiting? Most of your husbands were that age when they were married before the inadvertent age gap fermented these last 20 years. Besides doing this for your son, remember this will ultimately help your own DAUGHTER as well that there should be enough Bochurim their age when she starts Shidduchim. When I saw the numbers of the Litvish Community age gap several weeks ago, I have not been able to rest peacefully. May it be a Zechus Refua Shelimah for the thousands of wounded in Eretz Yisroel and for all the Cholim of Klal Yisroel worldwide.

Od Yishama Be’Arei Yehudah Uvechutzos Yerushalaim, Kol Sasson VeKol Simchah, Kol Chassan VeKol Kallah.

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  1. I’ve been hearing a lot about allowing men to take 2nd or even 3rd wives.

    I don’t think we should discount this idea! It’s not assur d’oraysa.

    • As someone who has two older sisters over the age of 25 I don’t find your comment funny at all. People are starting to realize what a mess the Litvish system created to itself as he brings links from the previous articles on this topic in his letter. Change has to be made yesterday. Even getting rid of fourth year Bais Midrash and the freezer are small steps in the right direction but clearly not enough. Please find humor elsewhere.

  2. Long Overdue!!! I agree with every word the writer wrote besides…… this is only a temporary fix to have Bochurim start because of the war. R’ Elya Ber said at the Agudah convention, that the Litvish American Yeshivah System, is cracked at the foundation. We have to implement real changes to move the clock back before we have a serious Agunah Problem……..

  3. When War strikes as a nation that cares for Yidden all over the world we send food, blankets, Gemorahs, to the soldiers and civilians in Eretz Yisrael. Mi KiAmcha Yisroel. Yet, we have to help the girls in our backyard in Lakewood and neighboring communities as well. The numbers are very bad…… way more girls in Shidduchim than Bochurim. Let’s work with our Roshei Yeshivos and make sustainable and real changes so that it doesn’t keep snowballing out of control. This is a real crises and problem, but we can fix it.

  4. We all united in Eretz Yisroel the last week and BH made a kiddush Hashem. We should unite now before this Litvish Shidduch Crises spirals further and further out of the man made problem we made. Why do we have to unite only when the tragedy unfolds. They did a Shidduch survey a few weeks ago and dont want to publicize the results because they are grim. Yet this illness has to be treated quickly according to the Gedolim in America and Israel. they all signed letters which you posted that Bochurim must start earlier. End of story. As a Tzibbur we have to send the boys back from Erez Yistoel younger.

  5. Kol HaKavod for publishing this article. As an older single girl, it shows that people and our Gedolim are focused to make sure the next generation of girls dont have to endure the terrible and indescribable tzaar that we wentthrough and go through. “Answer the call” of the Gedolim and anyone who sees the numbers and make viable changes right away.

  6. Change is hard on this Parsha. But there is no choice. It is more than necessary. We let’s make viable changes for our future. It should be a Zechus for all the pure Neshamos snatched from Klal Yisroel.

  7. Let’s do it!!! The letters of the Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel and America are clear. Start the Bochurim younger. Yes, the freezer was possibly necessary the last 25 years but it clearly is time to abolish it this Zman. As it’s known most Gedolim said it should be removed this Zman in its entirety. Not sure why they are phasing it out.

  8. a person must always be climbing up in life there is no such thing as holding in place if someone is not utilizing the situation to climb up then he is not shteiging so if he is through causes beyond his choice in a situation where he cannot shteig in learning because he is not in his makom due to valid safety concerns but he can still shteig in his yiras shomayim by investing effort in getting married then that individual will continue to shteig and grow through marriage and learning Torah B’Taharah but if he is claiming that he is just waiting for the opportunity to present itself and for the right time to come around to get back there and back to his friends then he is not utilizing the opportunity he has and not making the best of the situation in which he through Divine orchestration finds himself so the right path to continued shteiging is to climb to every peak in sight and one of those peaks is marriage when it is possible so one must constantly keep shteiging in Torah and Yiras Shomayim and of course by following Da’as Torah.

  9. Every time I go to Yeshivah the question is did the ground invasion start in Israel. We should also be asking daily and hourly, did the Litvish world ground invasion start and did we make changes on the ground now! To start Bochurim younger with Shidduchim (and not keeping them by their star Maggid Shuir in America till they are 23 years old) and did we eliminate the further half a year freezes delay??

  10. The fourth year elimination is huge. The freezer is also important. What happened to the other letters you posted about the need to start Yeshivah when the boys are younger so they are Bar Mitzvah in eighth grade. Not seventh grade…… that’s a long term solution. But has to be implemented as well.

  11. Best part was (R’ Elya Ber said this at the Agudah convention) if you don’t start your sons Shidduchim when he’s 22, you have no recht (right) to complain that there arent enough Bochurim for their daughters. we are losing a Shevet in Klal Yisrael because of the inaction od the Askanaim. The Roshei eshivah penned a clear and unambiguous letter to start younger. the ball is now in our court.

  12. all the people who comment that the letter writer is wrong know that he is 100% correct and the links show that is Daas Torah. but its just people who are giving excuses for us as a wonderful Kehilla in most things, being a colossal failure on this issue.

  13. Whoever is writing these articles is a tzaddik with a clear understanding of what needs to be done and what the true Torah Hashkafa is. Mothers please heed this urgent call to save bnos yisroel in America. May this be a huge z’chus for all of klal yisroel and lead to many more simchos IYH.

  14. Sorry, the letter writer is wrong. The age gap is only 10% of the problem.
    The real problem is 90% of girls want a long-term serious learner while only 30-40% of our boys are. THAT is what has to change. The girls need to be told that serious working boys are viable options for a shidduch.
    It starts with the Morahs.

    • If that was the problem then who are the 60% who aren’t long term learners marrying? there should be a serious problem of thousands of non long term learners who can’t find a girl to marry based on your claim. No such thing exists. Back to the age gap……

    • when the girl is dating an age gap boy then she demands learning and he demands support but if the age gap would be minimized then the boy and girl would pair up and less demands would crop up because the girls and boys would be happier with the match itself

    • Untrue! Yes, what you wrote is a problem and it is harder on working Bochurim as they aren’t in as high demand, but they do get dates easily……… the irony here is the one suffering the most are the Yungerleits daughters. Some have to wait months before something is redt. The messed up system is hurting our Adirei Torah more than any other group. For every bochur in Lakewood there is 1.8 girls in Shidduchim. It’s not a laughing matter.

  15. What woman wants to marry a 22 year old man whose “Mommy” runs his life & tells him what to do (even if he feels he’s not ready or mature enough)?

  16. Two comments about this article.
    First is that my son just went into BMG. The time in the freezer stayed the same. An additional stringency is that a boy and a girl must meet before Rosh chodesh. It is not enough like in the past that you can give in a name to the mashgiach of the girl you intend to meet. So, not only do I not see a leniency in the freezer. I see it being more strict. Second thing is that my son who is a top boy in a lakewood yeshiva, was ready to go into shidduchim when he turned 21. I spoke with a very well known Shadchan. He tried to redd it to a very well established lakewood family. They wouldn’t hear of it. They said he was too young. The Shadchan told me that he is finding this a lot. The girls are saying that there is a shidduch crisis but when they are redd to a great boy that is a bit young, they won’t listen. So, my feeling is that the crisis is self made. If the girls really wanted to get married they would not look at the silly things.

    • Did the girl say he’s to young, or the selfish parents? Big difference. More often then not, these decisions are not being made by the guys and gals, but by parents. The parents don’t either believe in Daas Torah. They just talk a good game.

    • Most of the main stream Shadchanim are full time shadchanim. try getting some alone time with any of the them on the fly? It won’t happen. These people spend no time with family. Ever. It’s 24/7/365, redding shiduchim, meeting the young men and woman. I’m related to one and have a close relationship with a few others. The only time Ispend with my relative ever, including on the phone, is when together on Shabbos or Yom Tov. And even then, it’s only during the seudah.

      • Has nothing to do with it. They work round the clock. Money for them isn’t the issue. Issue is these people don’t know what to look for. So they just try to fit in with the latest click. No different than choosing which meat board to get for simchas torah

    • Actually, successfull shadchonim make a beautiful parnassah. What we need is a database of both girls & boys available to prequalified volunteers to make
      suggestions to both sides. The majority of us would love to get more involved in making matches but we don’t have access to the secret lists only available to shadchonim. There’s no way the limited number of shadchonim can reach everyone out there.

      • There are no secret lists. People tend to not listen to a shidduch redt by a soneone without experience, because they have no emunah. Thus they think only a professional shadchan can redt a shidduch. If you know of a guy and a gal that you think could be a match, just go ahead and talk the shidduch. I’ve redt shidduchim, I have no special access to any lists. I spoke to one side than the other. If it works, great. If not, I tried. Don’t blame because you have some twisted theory.

  17. The Mosdos Hachinuch like the Bais Yaakovs and Yeshivas have to take a more active role in facilitating shidduchim. They should hire representatives to find shidduchim for their Talmidos.

  18. Also, many American Bochurim stay and marry Israeli girls in Eretz Yisroel (they get a Dira and full support plus a Kollel stipend) hence less boys for the American girls to date and more options for Israeli girls. Maybe the solution is for the American girls to move to Eretz Yisroel and chap these boys.

  19. And maybe establish more Israeli style Yeshivos here so the Bochurim don’t have to go to EY for more than one Zman and they’ll be more open to start shidduchim sooner because they’ll be close to home.

  20. One more piece of advice: Parents shouldn’t wait to do research only when their children are ready for shidduchim. It wastes years of time. Start listening out for shidduchim beforehand and keep an eye out on perspective neighbors and Bochurim you see in shul and in the neighborhood so when it’s time for them to start shidduchim you’ll have names already.

  21. All well meaning comments and suggestions. But if we don’t tackle the AGE GAP we are wasting our time. Yes getting rid of the Freezer helps, but only four months (of course it must be eliminated completely). If the age gap isn’t dealt on multiple fronts we will continue to have the crises (perhaps it should be called Live Agunos) because of too many Askanim standing on the sidelines because the Shidduch crises doesn’t effect them bcause most of them are affluent.

  22. As the previous articles the writer references in the link clearly note, there is no Shidduch crises by the Litvaks in Israel or the Chassidim in the USA and Israel. It’s unfortunately a problem with the numbers. You can’t have 3,000 more girls in Lakewood in Shidduchim than boys. No Segulos can work besides marrying the Bochurim at 22 (see what R’ Elya Ber and R’ Chaim Kanievsky wrote). We have to stop blaming Hashem and work on rectifying the situation in the Litvish world.

    Also to all those complaining about the freezer, as the previous articles in TLS note, it is the opinion of most Gedolim including R’ Elyashiv, R’ Chaim Kanievsky, R’ Yisroel Yaakov Fisher and R’ Moshe Sternbuch (and many other Gedolim) that even if a Bochur signed a paper that he won’t go out for a few months, if a Shidduch comes up he is permitted to go out immediately as the signature is worthless and Masneh Al Mah Shekusov BeTorah. It’s as if he signed a paper that he won’t put on Tefillin for half a year which has zero significance.

  23. i dont get this
    my brother is 21 and not ready for marriage- and all his friends are not ready either. great boys, mature, smart, etc but they need some more time!
    as a girl in shidduchim, i would never want to date someone that age in any case
    keep it the way it is- everyone has a bashert. keep up the hishtadlus and bitachon and it will come

    • Why aren’t they ready? What equals ready? The Halacha is 18. Maybe your parents treated like children so you have no idea what it means to be an adult. The fact that you think 21 is to immature to date, says you’re probably to immature to date. The concept of waiting is based on sheker and shtussim. Nothing to do with Torah, Hashkafa or any other type of values.

    • Actually, the Rambam holds that there is no concept of bashert in shidduchim since it’s a mitzva to marry & we have full bechira whether to marry or not. See Kovetz maamarim from R Elchonon Vasserman.
      Even if there is such a concept, it doesn’t excuse us from making the right hishtadlus to correct a societal imbalance which leaves thousands of girls single.

  24. To me this is the only response we in America can do besides Daven and learn for those in Israel. We have to make sustainable changes to our broken Litvish Shidduch System. It’s Dinei Nefashos Mamesh!!!

    • The shidduch crisis isn’t about “people not getting married” It’s about the 10% of the girls who are single for many years, sometimes for a lifetime R”L. Please look beyond your little bubble.

    • The people in shidduchim shouldn’t be paid unless they have a job.
      Oh, you mean the shadchanim. The people who work harder than all the people in shidduchim combined? When was the last time you checked the schedule of these shadchanim? How many hours they sleep a night? How many hours they spend on this askanus? Try being the spouse or the child of these big name shadchanim? Do realize they have almost no relationship with their own children. Because they are never around. Always looking for a boy for this girl, a girl for this boy. For what type of salary?

  25. Now your op-ed discusses one problem, which could be true, but Not other problems.
    What about that these Litvish girls are picky?
    How many times do you hear that the Girl only wants a top Guy learning in BMG?!?
    What about the Guys that are Working?
    And other types of Guys, etc.?

    • You think the boys are less picky? Being picky doesn’t cause thousands of unmarried girls with no one to date or marry. there’s equal pickiness on both sides of the isle.

  26. Its not going to help to tell parents to put their children into shidduchim early. Most people dont want to be the “Nachshon”. What may help is if SHADCHANIM call parents of 22 year olds to redt them valid shidduchim. After getting 2-3 calls it may set in that their sons are ready. Just a thought..

    • Parents don’t listen. No one cares about anyone but themselves. If parents cared they wouldn’t be making decisions like this without Daas Torah.

  27. Chaimel – Why shouldn’t the Good boys in BMG
    be Picky?
    You totally missed my point!
    If one Side is having a problem, ie. the Girls, don’t just focus on one thing. Like the OP did.
    You have to focus on All problems. I just mentioned another Issue. I’m sure if all the issues were looked at, Not just Boys starting earlier than they do, there wouldn’t be a Shidduch Crisis!
    I have another one for you – How about Girls going out with someone 10 – 20 years older than them? Men can have kids much older than Women.
    When you Decide that it’s just One thing – you’ll Never solve the Problem for Most people!
    Would a CEO of a company just look at one thing, when there’s an issue, or would she/he look all issues that are Problematic?!?

  28. Or stop marrying young teenagers and 20 year olds as if they are mature enough. What’s this age gap issue? 20 and 24 is not an age gap it’s ridiculous. You want to lose your women to goyim? Acting like 28 is too old to marry and have kids is not normal.

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