Hi, I was just your typical 19 year old Seminary girl in South Jersey (if you don't know where I mean, you are probably on the wrong blog). We all have nisoynos, challenges, and experiences, both positive and negative. Here is where I have decided to share some of them.

Location: Lakewood, New Jersey, United States

Monday, October 26, 2009

Seichel Crisis

All the time I keep hearing about the so called 'Shidduch Crisis'. Everything, nowadays is a crisis. It used to be that a crisis was a pogrom, r"l, a wholesale execution of Jews (Hashem should avenge the blood of all the Kedoshim), a plague, an economic meltdown, etc. Now, it means, that a bunch of spoiled, over-indulged children didnt get the lollypop they wanted.

Anyway, in numerous conversations, as well as, in the high-quality literature that I read (The Voice, Yated, HaModea, Mispocha magazine, etc.) there are numerous letters, and Pullitzer prize-winning articles about the 'Shidduch Crisis'.

Questions that come to mind. Why do we need every 18 yr old right out of HS/Sem going on the 'market' . Maybe if they waited till 20, many positive gains would come out of it. First off, the girls would have more money saved up, and more marketable skills, hence less strain on the parents. There wouldnt be an overwhelming supply of girls for a drastically small amount of immature, arrogant bochurim coming out of the (drumroll please) freezer.In economics, they call this 'Market Equlibrium', the point where the x-axis ( spoiled girls who want top boys from designer-name yeshivas ) meets the y-axis(aforementioned boys who plan to be in 'in yeshiva' for a very long time; some may even learn a little Torah).

Another question: Why does the financial responsibility of all this rest squarely on the girl and her parents. It seems only fair and just that the boy have some sort of business, or job during bain hasedorim or at least in the summer bain hazmanim. If he is learning so intesnsely, that he requires full support from his wife and her parents, at the very least, there should be a weekly exam to see where he is holding. Once again, in economics, this is known as evaluating 'return on equity' .

But alas, we dont do that, today, because the yeshiva world is becoming an increasingly unjust, misogynistic soceity.To be fair, the women are just as much, to blame, if not more so, then the men.

Recently, I had a discussion with a group of ladies on this topic. A few claimed that the Seminaries are teaching the girls too much , they are going to scare the boys away. I countered , so let the boys learn harder to keep up. Suddenly, I was shunned and ignored by all present. Ah, Plato and his social theories of ostracism, in ancient Athens, are alive and well in 21st century Lakewood.

Current attitudes in vogue, are even reflected in ladie's fashions. Whereas, not so long ago, you had the full blown sheitl or (up-dos for single girls ) , big shoulder-pads and power=suits. Now, the prevalent style among the hordes of yeshivish girls and married women eager to be part of the herd, is the pony-tail, sweater top, A-line skirt, replete with tights and ballet slippers. The message of this ensemble is loud and clear, 'Please marry me, Im very non-threatening and submissive' . Or, it just might be that , they are all appealing to immature little boys who be intimidated by a real woman, and prefer little girls/barby dolls instead,.

That is why I truely dont believe there is a Shidduch crisis. There is a Seichel Crisis .. Hashem should hear our tefilos 'Hashiva Shofteinu Cvirishona ' and return daas to clall yisroel. And may Eliyahu come speedily in our days to end all this nonsense..


Blogger Jacob Da Jew said...

Wow. Well- written and cutting.

10/26/2009 10:41 PM  
Blogger pinchas said...

having said all that, do you still buy into the game , or have you the integrity and strength to search elsewhere?

10/27/2009 1:48 PM  
Blogger redsneakz said...

From my outsider's perspective, it seems like this: since the churban in Europe, we are, in a well-intentioned sort of way, trying to recreate a place and a mindset that never truly existed, an idealized world. It's a world where everyone dresses the same, believes the same, where all the boys have smicha and are all on the track to become gedolim yet are modest and kind, all the girls are pretty and modest and kind, and so on.

As a community, we Jews need to address this, much like l'havdil US society needs to address the fact that not everyone should be going to college and that it's daylight madness to assume that they should.

Lakewood's not Lithuania - but then again, neither was Lithuania like we want it to have been.

10/27/2009 1:59 PM  
Blogger Honestly Frum said...

My brother likes to say that our community knows 2 modes, complacency and crisis. People need to wakeup and realize that not every guy is the top guy and not every girl is a model. If they taught about midos in some of these yeshivos IMHO much of this crisis would be avoided.

10/27/2009 3:18 PM  
Blogger SuperRaizy said...

Very well said. I especially like that you pegged the current "yeshivah girl outfit" so accurately- it makes grown women look like little girls.

10/28/2009 7:56 AM  
Blogger shoshi said...

"I countered , so let the boys learn harder to keep up. Suddenly, I was shunned and ignored by all present."

The problem seems to be that you went against a basic assumption of the frum world: "boys are more gifted for those studies than girls".

Since this is not true, they could study as hard as they want, it would not allow them to outdo the girls.

10/28/2009 4:30 PM  
Blogger kisarita said...

Sometimes I suspect that this shidduch crisis is actually a conspiracy (maybe not intentional, but still effective) to keep the younger generation in line...

If you deviate in any shape or fashion from the mold, you'll end up like so-and-so is a threat enough to chill almost anyone.

10/28/2009 9:33 PM  
Blogger inkstainedhands said...

Well said, SemGirl. It seems as if it is impossible to hold a conversation these days without someone mentioning what they title "The Shidduch Crisis," and you're right, it is abnormal for people to be so obsessed and melodramatic about it.

It is also irritating that people feel that everyone has to be the same and that there is something wrong with a girl being bright, intelligent, and in possession of a brain that is capable of learning well. If G-d gave us minds that have that potential, it is a terrible waste not to take advantage of it and do as much to develop our natural abilities as possible.

11/01/2009 10:27 PM  
Blogger brianna said...

Well look who's back.

Awesome as always, but I think this nonsense is losing its grip somewhat. A lot of people are getting fed up and abandoning the old ways.

11/03/2009 8:29 PM  
Blogger SemGirl said...

Thanks, Bri..

Happy to har from you. Maybe, in your circles, many girls are taking alternate routes. Where I live, it seems to be getting worse..

11/04/2009 3:09 PM  
Blogger kisarita said...

semgirl thats the flip side of the same coin

11/06/2009 3:43 AM  
Blogger Shades of Grey said...

very interesting, and quite true.

11/08/2009 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just to ad to the fun, we now have sanctioned cyber dating too! so the outa town gals shoulnt be left out of the action!

11/28/2009 8:45 PM  
Blogger Uncle Shimmy said...

I wish I had seen your great article before I wrote my own a few days later.

Yerachmiel Lopin,

1/25/2010 9:36 AM  
Blogger miriamzmommyx2 said...

This is brilliant :)

2/19/2010 1:16 PM  
Blogger no one said...

Ostracism was just a part of the democracy in Athens.
and i think that is a perfectly good way of dealing with undesirables. I would suggest the problem in Lakewood goes infinity deeper and more dangerous though i have not figured out what it is exactly. I think perhaps there is a level of hypocrisy there that I have never seen anywhere.
There was a case I remember when a baal teshuva who had learned at the Mir and been in Israel showed up in southern California. His wife was under the influence of the local lubavist rabbis who were telling her to divorce him because he was learning kalabalah and not working. (they had been there only for two months and he was looking for a job or to be part of the Lakewood kollel. He went to the head of the kollel and said that his wife had agreed to to seek a divorce if the head of the kollel would tell her there is a mitzvah to sit and learn lishma . The head of the kollel refused and said there is no such mitzvah. but he said that is what you are doing. the answer was that is different --we are astronauts.
This shows a deep level of hypocrisy in Lakewood. They can claim it is a mitzvah to learn Torah in order to get paid. but for other Jews they can deny it completely. And in stead of lying to save w family here the head of the kollel lied in order to destroy and family.

I believe that the shiduch crisis is a result of this kind of hypocrisy. I don't think everyone around was guilty. But i did see something amazing at the time. I saw a complete lack of outrage. This means to me that something in everyone around was in agreement at least passively.

3/31/2011 7:12 AM  

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