Opinion: This Isn’t The Solution | Meir Bergman

The debate over the shidduch crisis is perhaps the most pervasive issue facing contemporary frum society. There are so many angles and facets to the conversation that I have yet to be involved in any discussion involving this troubling crisis that has resulted in any progress or even anything meaningful.

When discussing the issue, I know and understand that there are a lot of conflicting problems that arise and no solution is perfect by any stretch. However, there is one so-called solution that would do nothing to resolve it, yet I keep hearing so many people float it as a legitimate way to end the crisis, although in reality, it’s not even a minor solution. In fact, it only adds to the misinformation surrounding the shidduch crisis discussion, and instead of adding to meetings and conferences that could theoretically be productive, it only serves to hamper the efforts of askanim involved in looking for a solution.

The “solution” I am referring to is the one where people suggest that we add more shadchanim to the dating scene, arguing that if there were more shadchanim devoting their time to making shidduchim the crisis would be ended. Pardon my bluntness, but this is one of the dumbest, most no-nothing “solutions” to a problem I have ever come across.

We have shadchanim up the wazoo. There are a ton of shadchanim – professional, amateur, and your siblings, cousins, and friend’s grandparents who are all redding shidduchim. To even suggest that somehow a lack of shadchanim has anything to do with this crisis only tells us that you are living in some alternate reality. It’s not the case. No, having more shadchanim won’t hurt – the more the better, in my opinion. But the core of this issue has nothing to do with shadchanim – not how many there are or aren’t, nor how shadchanim go about their jobs.

The problem, at its core, is that there are more girls than boys. This has been shown to be true over and over. You don’t even need to look at the studies they have done on this. All you need to have is some common sense and basic mathematical abilities. So making the argument that having more shadchanim will solve this crisis is no different than saying ‘if poor people don’t like living on the street, they should move into houses.’ Of course, the poor people don’t have the money to buy a house. And so too here, the shadchanim, no matter how many you have, don’t have enough boys to redd to girls. That’s the issue.

I’m tired of people thinking they can help this crisis by turning every conversation about this into one where you need to convince someone that math is a real thing. The people who just want to solve this problem by adding more shadchanim are hurting the cause. Plain and simple.



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  1. Follow the Money. If shadchanim were paid as much as realtors are paid $15,000-$25,000 range etc what would be happening??? I’m going to guess that your childrens’ lives are more important than a house. This is a transaction that is very valuable, why are we cheaping out here?

  2. 100 Boys go to Israel
    20 come back committed to be full time learner

    100 Girls go to israel
    98 come back committed to find a fill time learner

    Math is Math

  3. I agree with you that that’s not the solution to the problem, but I wouldn’t say that by people saying that it is “hampers the efforts of askanim” or that someone who wants to solve this by adding more shadchanim is “hurting the cause.” It might not help the situation but it doesn’t actually harm it either.

  4. What exactly is your point? Saying what’s not going to work instead of a solution that can (even if only possibly) work serves no purpose.

    Your assessment is more girls than boys. Okay. There is absolutely nothing we can do about that. So if your point is that you have identified the problem. Wow. Kudos to you for showing us all that you have figured out the problem. However, please don’t stop or knock anyone or any idea or any initiative out there trying to help those in shidduchim find their spouse.

    So sorry but this article is useless and pointless.

  5. And I am tired of people forgetting that Hashem runs the world. There is no “shidduch crisis”- there is an Emunah Crisis! Who are you to start making cheshbonos like that- there are more girls than boys? That’s just adding more anxiety and pain to these girls in shidduchim. Did Hashem tell you this information? Are you in touch with what’s going on Up There to say such comments like that? This is absolutely ridiculous to put something out like this and this has got to end- ” more boys than girls” & “1 out of every 10 girls will never get married” All these comments and math equations are just lessening peoples Emunah and thinking we could control the “Shidduch Crisis”

    • Agreed… i was actually confused reading the write-up
      i thought we were all created with a bashert… that was decided before we were born.

  6. Did anyone ever learn that 40 days before a person is created a Bas Kol says who they will marry…it doesnt shout out ” sorry- no more boys in your bracket ”
    It clearly shouts Bas Plony to Plony.
    Alef Bais Gimmel….Amunah and Bitochon brings Geula.

  7. Again, if it’s true that the problem is that there are more boys than girls, why is it that there are so many older single boys. Unfortunately, I know a ton of older boys!!!

  8. Plenty of good solutions that no one wants to hear…

    Stop pushing the age gap that forces many older (still low 20’s) girls to stay single while younger are married.

    Stop encouraging girls to only look at learning boys.

    Better yet, let learning boys stay bochurim until they are ready to help raise a family. Let the kallah have a degree and a steady job, the chosson have a steady job, and some savings before tuition starts. You can still have a large family if you start at 25, and if it’s just a little smaller then it’s easier to find your daughter a high school.

  9. Dear Emunah Problem,
    Quick question… if your bank account balance is low and you can’t pay your bills, do you similarly just say that is something out of your control and do nothing about it? Or do you come up with ways to solve the problem… cut some expenses or get a better job etc. That’s not a lack of emunah… that’s hishtadlus. So too here… we do have a shiduch crisis… you can scream emunah till you turn blue in the face and that might solve the problem for you… but on a community level it doesn’t. It is still very much a problem. Please dont

  10. nope . this article is wrong.

    I got married older. i didn’t get a lot of dates. i was a girl who seemed to be left behind. What did it take for me to get married ? I super dedicated and incredible shadchan who devoted hours and hours and hours and hours each week for many weeks.

    If there were more shadchanim like here

  11. Dear Emunah Problem,
    Quick question… if your bank account balance is low and you can’t pay your bills, do you similarly just say that is something out of your control and do nothing about it? Or do you come up with ways to solve the problem…maybe cut some expenses or get a better job etc. That’s not a lack of emunah… that’s hishtadlus. So too here… we do have a shiduch crisis… you can scream emunah till you turn blue in the face and that might solve the problem for you… but on a community level it doesn’t. It is still very much a problem. We have organizations like hatzallah and RCCS and Bonei Olam … we don’t just tell people who are sick or can’t have kids to just have emunah… we create solutions on a communal level.

    • Oh- I’m not saying to sit on your couch and do nothing about your situation. All I’m saying that you shouldn’t make cheshbonos for Hashem! Shadchanaim , Bonei Olam, RCCS etc. are all just Hashems helpers. But he doesn’t need shadchanim to get people married. He doesn’t need math equations or peoples help in running His world. Hashem didn’t make mistakes when creating “more girls than boys”. Hashem decides who you’re going to marry. He decides how much money you will have that year. You doing more of your so called hishtadlus by making all your cheshbonos will not change that. And all these organizations will tell you the same thing- they could try any treatment in the world, but Hashem is the one who determines who will get better and have children etc.

    • And just to clarify- I’m all for coming up with an effective idea to help the shidduch world, but I’m not all for all these calculations that scare the wits out of our single girls

  12. What we are failing to remember here is at the chinuch level. Let’s start teaching our girls to value themselves and their talents outside of a relationship with a spouse. Getting married is a man’s mitzvah, not a woman’s. Stop putting so much pressure on our bnos yisroel about marriage especially at such young ages! Only then will there be room for the Emunah we all need.

  13. What an illiterate and pointless piece. Glad this genius figured it all out. That’s why we only have single girls out there and no single boys. Cuz there are more girls than boys. ????

  14. It’s very simple the boys have to start earlier. In other communities they don’t have this issue ie Monroe, skver….
    The problem is the people in power aren’t suffering from this problem because their girls are more “desirable” and they will keep pushing the boys to start later.

  15. Many of the comments here have great points. So far the only solution to the numbers issue is to have boys get married younger. That may work but definitely can’t be the full solution. It’s very natural for girls to be looking for boys a bit older as much as it’s natural for girls to look for boys a bit taller. Not saying it needs to be but it will continue to be the majority. So then you need to focus on other issues. First, like Haker said above, the boys and girls are quite often not on the same page when they get back from Israel. I won’t get into the details we all know this. Second, the girls are waiting at the telephone for calls and the boys are hiding from the phone because some shadchanim make the process extremely difficult and uncomfortable. Third, the actual dates are very unpleasant. 2 people who have never spoken to the opposite gender have to drive or to some uncomfortable lobby and sit across from each other and fill up 2-3 hours straight of conversation in a completely unnatural setting for them. It makes no sense…theres more but I’ll leave it here

  16. And just to clarify- I’m all for coming up with an effective idea to help the shidduch world, but I’m not all for all these calculations that scare the wits out of our single girls

  17. It’s not really a numbers issue. For every boy that is going out a girl is going out. So theoretically speaking, there is always an even amount of people dating at any given point. Eventually every one gets their turn. And in general there are more boys then girls in the world. Like 51 to 49 percent. You just may have to wait alittle but it all all evens out.

    • Seriousely? True every boy that goes out has a girl to go out with, but not every girl has a boy to go out with. I don’t get what you’re saying. The calcs are a real problem. I don’t know why no-one suggests that girls go out when they are older. What’s the rush? Go get a job or a degree… help your husband in kollel. I wonder if it’s because parents don’t want to put their kids through college so they marry them young.

  18. It was a problem in 2002 but it’s a terrifying problem now. I know quite a few families with 2 or 3 girls in shidduchim and another in seminary with the oldest girl already mid to upper 20’s.

    As long as we have boys 23 marrying girls who are 19 we will have a problem that grows larger each year as the frum community grows larger each year. In 2002 it was a few hundred girls, now it’s thousands, and in five years from now it will be into the thousands of normal Bnos yisroel who can’t even get a yes to go out let alone get married.

    It’s so sad that klal yisroel is letting this happen on our watch. Let me rephrase that; the yeshivish American olam is letting this happen on our watch. The Israelis don’t have the issue. The chassidim idon’t have the issue. Those segments of klal yisroel don’t have a broken system of 23 year old boys marrying 19 year old girls, hence no problem.

  19. Hi.
    first people need to know were to go,who to contact,ect .
    should be a whole data of shathanim ,of girls and boys ,has to be an open
    site for search.

  20. Dear Emunah Crisis,

    Nobody is making cheshbonos for Hashem. The problem of the boy/girl imbalance isn’t G-d created… its MAN-MADE. We’ve created a system in which the imbalance occurs… so the letter writer is proposing to change the system. So our Emunah is still ok… but we do have a crisis of our own making.

    • Its not Man-Made like you say it is. All those 23 year old boys that married 19 year old girls were supposed to marry each other! No system or shadchan or anything can change that! Making all these calculations saying boys should get married younger and start shidduchim earlier will just have them waiting longer for their match if the girl they are supposed to marry is 4/5 years younger than them!

  21. I would like to offer some helpful advice:
    After you get married, please please continue to treat your spouse with the same respect like while you were dating. Do not get lazy, your wife is a queen/your husband is a king. Watch your words carefully. Some people get insulted very quickly.

  22. 1. In your neighborhood and shull and workplace and surroundings, you have a ton of single girls over age 25?

    BH, I don’t! Every last Co-worker, sibling, and neighbor, and Co-shull person has both their daughters and sons married off.

    So where exactly am I supposed to go to bear witness to this age gap shidduch crisis?

    2. Even if we were to canvass and survey the entire Orthodox Jewry in this country and determine that the crisis is, in fact, real and there are a substantial amount of girls for than boys from age 25 and up including learning-boys seeking girls and working-boys seeking girls, then what do you plan to do about it? Who exactly are you going to impose change upon? The boys ? the girls?

    3. Said Crisis has been out there and written about for 15 years now. Have any real changes been made and embraced by the public? If the problem was fixed then Mazal Tov, and if it has not been taken seriously the last 15 years, then what do you think is going to change in the next 15 years??

    Alteh Bucher, cause every girl says no to me!

  23. What is shocking is as follows.

    The author made a brilliant observation that there is a numbers game here that does not add up and that more shadchonim, while noble, will not resolve this. This is because as long as 23 year old boys marry into a population of 19 year old girls of which there are more of due to a yearly population increase across the entire population, it cant work.

    Yet nearly ever single person here that commented did not even take a moment to think about that and respond to this but rather continued to spew forth ridiculous points completely unrelated.

    1) follow the money huh? how will money solve an uneven amount of souls to pair them up?
    2)full time learner vs non full time. If there are different amounts of people in the parsha it doesn’t really matter what they want as there are simply not enough boys to go around.
    3) Hashem has someone for everyone – well perhaps hashem also told us to get married younger see pirkei avos for example. Are we going to go against that and expect him to pull imaginary people out of a hat?
    4)There are so many single boys …. yes and there are many times more single girls so what’s your point?

    It is important for our schools to teach people critical thinking skills so that they can read something, think about it and respond intelligently to what was said rather than …………. This is indeed yet another crisis.

  24. The writer made many valid points. One point that I think has been overlooked is the demographic point. It’s no secret there are way more single girls out-of-town in proportion to in-town. There are many reasons for that, including travel and a generally different set of values. Making boys get married younger won’t help matters in that respect. It will just mean that your typical 23-year old from Lakewood that would marry a 20-year old from Flatbush would just marry the same kind of girl at 21. What did that accomplish?

  25. I’m actually curious about where all these older single women are. As a single man living in the community, I have not come across them. In other communities I have lived in or spent time in such as Jerusalem, Crown Heights etc., we usually organize Shabbos meals or other get togethers (ie. Chanuka parties, Lag Baomer bonfire). This helps people meet naturally on their own and creates a nice community.

    I have been trying to organize similar meals or events in Lakewood and while I have a nice cohort of frun single men, I can’t seem to find the women. Are they all living in their parent’s basement? If there are local singles interested getting together, reach out to me via TLS.

    I understand how Lakewood tries to keep genders separate, but at a certain point (ie. late 20s) maybe it might be time to try a different form of Hishtadlus, especially as it seems that Shadchanim are not knocking down their doors. It also helps keep us sane, as hanging out with family and same gender friends all the time can be tough.

  26. Well you can allow men to marry more than one wife which is about as realistic as adding shadchanim…Or you could be realistic and tell boys to marry within their age bracket and maybe even older..

    It says bas ploiny… Which is mashma that just as the ben ploiny is kayam in the coming 40 days and has a bashert , so to the bas ploiny is also already ‘kayam at least in the same timE and GASP.. maybe she is even older than him!

  27. I’m sorry to say, there are plenty/just as many older boys as girls. My wife and I are about the same age and amazingly have about the same amount of friends still in shiddichum. One of the Shidduch Org. actually paid a guy to play the numbers to ‘prove’ there is a crisis.
    And btw if it is a real problem well dont let girls marry at 20. tell them to wait till 23 like the boys are.

  28. As a normal, emotionally healthy older bochur who has tonz of emotionally healthy older friends what me and my friends have noticed is the older single girls surprisingly are the pretty ones, and the reason why they are still single is because “nobody is good enough” for them 80-90% of the time the girls give “No’s” The girls who are heavier or havefamily issues might struggle really hard to get dates but eventually they are getting married it is the pretty, GO heads etc, whoare still single “because nobody is good enough for them

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