Readers’ Scoop: The Shadchan Crisis

(Below is an unedited letter submitted to us by a reader. TLS welcomes your letters at [email protected] . The views are solely those of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of TLS)

Dear Editor:
We have all heard about the shidduch crisis, but many have been greatly misinformed as who is really to be blamed. Obviously, the picky boys and girls are a factor. The boys in learning who are looking to marry a bank account before anything else don’t help the problem. However, there is much blame that lays squarely on the shoulders of the shadchanim. The shadchanim who read a shidduch without having seen one or both parties beforehand are committing an aveira by promoting the shidduch. The shadchanim who lie about looks or personality in order to make that first date happen have wasted hours upon hours of a boy or girl’s time in trying to get married. The worst are the shadchanim who push a boy or girl into another date (read more)
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  1. As a Shadchan who has made many Shiduchim without meeting one or both sides until they get engaged, and they are all happily married I think you are off base. I never pushed anyone – on the contrary – when I do not know the girl or boy I mention the name and tell them to research extra good as I do not know them. I have never pushed a Shidduch if after the first and second time they meet one of them says no. I do not even ask the reason, nor am I interested. However if they have met three or more times and then say no, I want to know why and have pushed the Shidduch then. The reason is that if a boy and girl have met three times obviously there is no attraction issues, and there was something there, therefore at that point I do all I can to keep it together.

    The Shidduch issue is only because of the extortion demands of the boys.

  2. we are not boys we are men. the shidduch crisis is because of an antiquated form of dating from Victorian times that has nothing to do with judaism. if people just started having meals with men and women who a ready to get married no more shidduch crisis.

  3. Let's call a spade a spade.It has to do with supply and demand. There are a lot of more good girls then good boys, and ypou have to many girls chasing those few boys.The way to change that ,is by parents telling their children to marry a good solid working boy,if there are any, and ther will be thousands of girls not chasing those few good boys.
    Now if we can get the girls to listen to their parents advice.

  4. I personally know of two cases of life time misery marriages that were caused because of pressure from the Shadchen who manipulated the couples into the Shiduch by making them feel too guilty to say no.The Shadchen justified her behavior by saying 'I never held a gun to anyone's head, insisting they get married'(Her pressure and manipulation made that unnecessary).I must add however that in both cases there was information being hidden by one of the sides.

  5. For the most part, people who try to redd shidduchim do so l'shaim Shomayim. Sure, there are exceptions. But, to claim that this is a crisis is unfair & takes away from the hakoras hatov that we have to the many ehrliche people attempting to help. HKB"H should give all the dedicated hard-working men & ladies who redd shidduchim the Koach to continue to do so.

  6. A shadchan is a salesman. A parent is a consumer. As in any product you purchase the consumer has the potential of being ripped off. Consumers have to do their homework and verify the Middos, temperment, and whatever else concerns them about this purchase. Too often all the parents want to know is how much $$$$$$$ is the girls side willing to pay?

  7. supply and demand seems to be the new mantra in lakewood.there is not enough supply of good girls schools and there is not enough good boys.perfect .send the weaker girls to public schools.let them become frei and keep pushing all the boys to go to mesivta and learn and there will be enogh good boys for good girls.problem solved.

  8. im a woman married for twenty years now, and i was coerced into marrying my has been twenty years of least i have seven good children to show for it .but my leidigeir husband had very little to do with raising them.the system allowed him to slack off in his learning his work ethic and his raising his children.maybe the the next generation will be smarter

  9. I was pressured into a bad marrriage, BECAUSE the shadchen was so L'Shem Shmoyim.I trusted him more then I should, and allowed him to exert undue pressure and influence over me, since it simply didn't occur to me that someone so L"Shem Shmoayim could have not have my best interests in mind.And I don't think he realized how much his ego and 100% SINCERE desire 'to do a mitzvah and make a shiduch' was coloring his thoughts and actions.

  10. Pressure from the shadchan is one thing, but everyone "in the parsha" should have a moreh derech whom they trust explicity and from whom they will unquestionably accept a gentle (or perhaps somewhat less than gentle) "push" in the right direction.

  11. I have to agree with the post that mentioned that we have to have hakoras hatov to the shadchanim. I have 5 daughters, not all of them married yet, and I have been burned by the "crisis". Although I have been humiliated sometimes by shadchanim who tell me to call back another time and then tell me the same thing when I call back and then don't answer, I wouldn't say they are the cause of the crisis. The majority of the shadchanim I dealt with were truly caring people and, if I could only afford it, I would love to give each one a gift after all their efforts on our behalf.
    I do believe it's the supply and demand.

  12. From all of the above I would sum it up as follows.

    1- Appreciate Shadchanim who many times get spat at and cursed out for "How dare you suggest this for my child"? Instead if you think it is an inappropiate Shidduch, firmly tell the Shadchan this is not what we are looking for, but thanks for trying.

    2- Do not rely on the Shadchans description. Check out the Shidduch suggestion completely. Do not only check if there is money in the family, check also if the suggested shidduch has Middos, does not fly off the handle, has no hidden illness that will impede the marriage, etc.

    3- Do not marry someone if you feel it is wrong. However if you have been surprised after you got married by whom you are living with, do not blame the Shadchan who often is doing all he can to alleviate the crisis.

  13. annon 1:21, are you for real. we should tell our daughters whose whole dream in life is to marry a learning boy to instead marry a working boy? I have no problem with working boys but if that's not what a girl wants why should we push it on them. maybe we should force our daughters to marry yemin boys

  14. Most WOMEN shadchanim in this town want to fit all the girls in to a certain mold so they can marry them off to the boys on their list. I have had more than one bad experience and with a few women shadchanim in this town. Did you ever wonder why they say "Take the women off the road, keep the trees up"???!
    Same idea.
    There was this one boy, lets call him chaim yankel tzvi. Me and 4 of my friends, were all redt to chaim yankel tzvi. By the same shadchanta. Were any of us his type–NO! Just this lady wanted to get him married so she tried convincing all of us in to marrying him.

    Another issue i have is that there are some women in this town who call up girls directly to try to convince them to go out with certain boys that they feel they should go out with. This has been done to me and there is no reason why this lady cant take no for an answer. If its meant to happen, itll happen! I dont want to go out with this boy and i will not give in now. Hashem has his ways if He wants it to work out. But it is not this lady's job to force me to go out with this boy. Basically, ladies, use your brains!!! Stop forcing girls to listen to you and stop trying to change the world. I will marry a boy that I want to marry him bc i feel he is the right boy for me. And NOT bc YOU think he is the right one for me!

    Thank you for listening!

  15. So Kate Perry can withstand the pressure, yet anon 2:00, anon 2:45,
    and anon 3:03 could not. The bottom line is to resist pressure, and be open minded.

    Open minded means thinking out of the box.

  16. I live on the south side of the lake myself and about 100 other people from various shuls including Rabbis gissenger ,raber ,halpern etc.lined up on simchas torah and purim to get a brocho from R yonah carlebach everyone of us has already or will soon make a wedding or celebrate a birth . None of us ever paid him a penny . Try it all of you it might work and its free.

  17. To 4:41 what is wrong with a boy from yemen? I am frum. I learn long and hard.have shtarke middos. What is wrong with me? Is it my dark skin? Or long thick payos?many big maylos come along with that darker skin that your daughter should only be zoiche to get.

  18. yemenboy, now now don't get insulted. anon 4:41 has nothing aginst you as he has nothing against working boys. his point is, just as a parent won't force their american ashkenazi daughter to marry a nice yemen boy because their minhagim, background & culture too why should a parent force their daughter to marry someone working who may have a different outlook on life. starting married life in kollel will have an impact on the family way beyond the kollel yrs.

  19. As an experienced shadchan I have decided to adhere to a new policy. I will not set up a first meeting unless both sides agree to at least two dates. There are far too many people saying no after one date, which is really not fair to the other side.

    However, I would never push someone to get married, and I agree that that is a very wrong thing to do.

  20. is it because our minhagim are closer to the real hilchos lmoshe msinai?is thatwhat she afrid of or is it because we have darker skin?and her grandchildren might look like shvatzas.i have been called a shvartzah one too many times by my own jewish brothers

  21. yemeboy, I'm convinced. I change my position. I now think every parent should force their daughter to marry yemen boys especially if they are in the workforce. are you available & are you working?

  22. how about we just let these young men and women find eachother on their own and base their choice more so on love and care rather than stategics and money, its amazing that in this modern world we still arrange marriages, young men and women you need to stand up think for yourselfs, it may be controversial as it was with me and my wife, we met by chance, fell in love and married in spite of who our parents lined up for us but they eventually came around when they saw our happiness, i proudly tell you we are married 6 years, have 3 children and we are still very happy unlike many i know who used a shadchan

  23. openmindedyid, aren't you embarrased to post how you went against your parents who most probably are more experienced in life than you & how you fell in love. goyim talk that way, not us. Whether you fell in love or not is not the point but to post it?? shame on you. its almost yom hadin…

  24. what is so bad about falling in love and marrying the person? As long as the shidduch makes sense in other ways as well, and is not only based on the falling in love part.
    I think maybe this could be not such a bad idea. alot of people dont look so exciting on paper, and a prospective shidduch would not look into it further, but if you actually meet the person, you see them as a person with whatever charms they have, and you would be willing to look into it further… it's not just limited to paper, it's a real person…
    maybe not for everyone, but not geferlach!

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