Jan 28, 2013
To Photo or Not to Photo

From the COLlive inbox: A 23-year-old bochur in Shidduchim wonders whether it is really a good idea to send a photo before a date.

Many say they must first see a photo, others say absolutely not, and some don't care - or at least don't care enough to make a big deal of it. There are two issues here at play, and I will analyze one at a time: 1) The halachik or chasidishkeit aspect of it, and 2) The psychological aspect.

1) As a Lubavitcher seeking to act in a manner the Rebbe would approve of, simply ask yourself "what would the Rebbe say?". To me it's obvious the Rebbe wouldn't want singles sending pictures to each other - even if done through an intermediary. I can't imagine how anyone who is familiar with any of the Rebbe's teachings could think otherwise.

If it's the parents who want to see a picture, then to you I say the following: If your child did not demand to see a photo, he or she is doing the right thing. Aren't you embarrassed to be more (openly) shallow than your child? Besides, this is a subjective issue, and you could be turning down suggestions who aren't to your "taste", even though they can be perfectly acceptable to your child. Don't try and live vicariously through your child, especially at a time when you should be allowing him or her to become independent and make independent decisions.

Some singles will respond saying they aren't yet holding on such a level, or the times are changing, "so what do you want from me now"? Simple: Nobody is saying to marry the person without seeing him or her, you'll see them soon enough when you go out. I understand that we all have our shortcomings, ta'avos, and we aren't all perfect beinonim of Tanya, but it doesn't excuse us to broadcast them to the general public. True, you may have to "waste" a few hours one evening when even from the moment you see them you know it's not shayach, but is it not worth it to save another Jew from embarrassment? Ahavas Yisroel doesn't mean you have to marry someone despite not being attracted to them, but at least be as sensitive and kind as possible while turning someone down. And they certainly do not need to be informed it's because of something over which they have little control.

Others will say "even if mitzad the chassidishkeit aspect I would be willing to forgo seeing a picture, however, it costs hundreds of dollars to fly for a meeting, how can you expect me to pay that when I don't even know what she looks like?" That brings us to the psychological aspect, which is of course applicable even to those who do not need to fly to another city or country in order to meet a potential shidduch.

2) As a necessary condition to being mature enough for marriage, one must be able to choose the right partner. To properly choose a compatible partner, you must be able to assess your compatibility objectively. This doesn't require a high level of chassidishkeit - anyone who wants a happy marriage should be able to realize this and act accordingly.

We only meet after doing a lot of research because we do not want to be charmed into feelings of compatibility when there really isn't any, or conversely, to not be turned off to a truly compatible partner based on superficiality without first really getting to know them. This, I believe, is one of the main reasons secular marriages are failing nowadays. In the secular world people only date a particular person because of a good feeling towards the other, whether it stems from looks, charm etc., and not because of any logical compatibility. Things that truly matter are glossed over because they're seeing through rose-colored lenses. Superficiality is the cause of their meeting and foundation of the relationship, and that's why it's so prevalent that they're doomed from the outset.

A similar phenomenon applies to even just seeing a picture. When you see a picture, you will automatically make a judgement about the person based on what you see in front of you, and the person it is most difficult to persuade to change their opinion once they've passed judgement, is yourself. There are three possible reactions to seeing the picture:

1) A good feeling towards the person, and a desire for things to progress. Remember that nagging issue that made you hesitant to go ahead with the shidduch? Funny how it doesn't bother you so much after seeing their picture. Hopefully in that case you'll realize when you meet in person that you aren't compatible. But there is no guarantee, and these feelings can easily last for the duration of the 7 - 10 dates until engagement, and they can also affect how you process new information you receive as the dates go on . True, there is no guarantee you won't be similarly affected once you meet in person, but it's less likely being that there will not have been that moment when you consciously put on that rose-colored pair of glasses. And, you can at least be somewhat reassured by the fact that you decided to meet this person solely based on your perception that the two of you are compatible. There is also the possibility they don't look as good in person, which can instantly give you a negative attitude towards them - even if they would have been "good enough" had you met without seeing the picture - due to their not meeting your expectation.

As a side note, I'd like to mention that for similar reasoning you shouldn't do fun activities for dates - at least not the first few. You don't want the enjoyment of the activity to give you artificial feelings of compatibility. Of course there must be hamshachas ha'lev, but that determination should be made once you've already decided you're compatible in all other areas that matter, because it's extremely difficult to make that decision objectively once there is hamshachas ha'lev.

2) A feeling of indifference towards the person - not particularly positive and not particularly negative. Even if you do go through with setting up a meeting, and the person really is a good match, it can be difficult to decide to marry because you've already determined that the person doesn't give you feelings of elation. The problem is you made that decision even before meeting, and you did not give a fair chance to the possibility you'd have felt differently had you judged the whole package at once, which is only possible in person.

3) A Negative attitude towards the person i.e. "no chance I'd marry him/her", and the decision to not meet. The problem with this is a) there is still the possibility, however slight, you'd have felt differently had you met in person, and b) you didn't know they'd be in this category when you requested the picture, and they could have just as easily been in the first two categories I mentioned - and most people are.

If you don't have to pay for expensive traveling to meet, then there's no excuse to request a picture. The worst that can happen is you'll waste a few hours on a date you know is going nowhere. That's certainly better than landing in the above-mentioned pitfalls, not to mention the real possibility of embarrassing another Jew when it's easy enough to avoid it. However, even if you do have to pay for hefty travel expenses, I'd like to put it in perspective: You'll spend many thousands of dollars on your wedding IY"H, so why wouldn't you spend a little extra on something even more important - making the best possible choice of whom to marry? If you want to save money, don't spend a lot on dates. There's no reason to spend so much money on someone you may not even marry. It's better to save that money and spend it on your wife.

P.S. I'm a 23-year-old bochur, and I do not live in N.Y., so I can speak to those who do have to pay for travel. See you in the comments!

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Opinions and Comments
1
c'mon!
don't you think you are taking things a bit out of proportion??
(1/28/2013 11:48:24 PM)
2
Pseudonym
I am a 24 year old bochur and have been on plenty of dates and have never seen a pic before any of then. However I do see the advantage for those that want to be able to see beforehand the pic. A pic can help settle in your mind doubts that you had beforehand an can make you more open to seeing her.
(1/28/2013 11:53:29 PM)
3
bachur
the rebbeh said you must find your partner attractive in some level.
Not saying a picture is a make it or break it but it doesnt seem like it would be against the Rebbeh.
I like the fact we can talk about the Rebbehs opinions and care too. Makes me feel like a proud chossid
(1/29/2013 12:04:40 AM)
4
Mendel
Get 'em parents!
(1/29/2013 12:06:48 AM)
5
married
obviously written by someone who never dated, its easy to be a Boky on theory, but you are one big Hack a Chanick
(1/29/2013 12:08:12 AM)
6
Thank you for your thoughts
Just one question to you, and I would very much like an answer.
If the possible date has low enough self-esteem that they do not want there picture seen,; Is that not a sign that there may be an underlying issue?
(1/29/2013 12:24:22 AM)
7
ugh!
my mother is trying to force me to go out with someone but after seeing his picture i have no interest! is that wrong??
(1/29/2013 12:24:25 AM)
8
A picture is a must - for girls
Let me ask you, writer of the article, are you perhaps the child of a Ba'al Teshuva? I don't mean this Chas Vesholom in a negative way, it's just that I want to make a certain point crystal clear:

Regardless of all the Tanya and Chassidus that you learn, one thing will always remain a hard fact: you must believe that your wife is pretty. She must be beautiful in your eyes. This fact can NEVER be overlooked or overshadowed, no matter how talented, popular, smart or funny she is. If you don't think she is beautiful physically, then I suggest you do not marry her. (As you will C"V end up looking at other people's wives to make up for what you are lacking.)

A (nice) picture is, in my opinion, the absolute best time and money saver. If you look at a picture (or multiple pictures) and her look does not appeal to you (it may very well appeal to other guys, but not to you) and you are clear that this is not a person you are willing to live with for the rest of your life, you have right then and there saved both you and her time, money and effort.

I am now married for many years, but I did once have an issue where I saw a picture of a girl before we dated, and I instantly said that I don't like the look and I am not interested. That look simply did not appeal to me. I was nevertheless pressured to go out with her, and, as it turned out, both, her looks and her personality did not appeal to me. We both flew in to meet each other, both wasted tons of money and time. I already saw the picture and KNEW that I will not live with a person that looks like that, so what was the point?

Yes, a picture is a MUST in my opinion.
(1/29/2013 12:32:14 AM)
9
I agree...
How can one judge compatibility through an image? A image can be completely false and usually is. It isn't hard to look happy and carefree. This is one of the things I have against social sights like Facebook. Some simply display something that doesn't exist in order to put up a false image.
Who knows how many Basherts were rejected because of the picture system?
(1/29/2013 12:34:08 AM)
10
She's Gonna See You
Of course it is wiser to send a picture, she is going to see you anyway. If she doesn't like you, you will have wasted your time, so you might as well find out if she likes how you look before you spend any money or time.

(1/29/2013 12:37:51 AM)
11
shadchan who does not work with pictures
I could not have said it better myself. Girls are worth more then being analyzed and judged on one picture. A person is worth more than what a picture can display. Enough degrading girls who are special in so many ways (way more then many boys) but may not be picture perfect.
(1/29/2013 12:38:37 AM)
12
Looks Aren't Shallow
Get over that myth!
The Gemara in Bava Metzia 84a relates that Rabbi Yochanan would go to the gates of the Mikvah with the intention that the Jewish women would look at him, and thereby influence their own children such that they would have physical beauty!
Would you say that he was shallow?
(1/29/2013 12:46:29 AM)
13
Another bochur
It dosen't sound like your much of a bochur with the chutzpah that you have saying what the rebbe would have said! I'm through most of the rebbes Torah myself, but that's an obserd statement! The rambam says clearly that it's not only mutar but you should see her beforehand! And it's perfectly reasonable to ask for a photo..and besides for the Landon you claim to be, you have pretty pathetic logic.
(1/29/2013 12:51:17 AM)
14
Thank you!!!
I enjoyed reading something so nicely written by a subjective party. I would love to hear the author's opinion on Skype dating as a preliminary dating option.
(1/29/2013 1:08:53 AM)
15
Fallacies
You say a mention a few things that I think you should have though through a bit more.

"To me it's obvious the Rebbe wouldn't want singles sending pictures to each other - even if done through an intermediary."

Why is that obvious? How much more so the Rebbe would be against singles meeting each other? If it is okay to meet isn't it okay to see a picture?

I'm going to ignore the parents issue that you mentioned because it is a entirely separate issue if parents get in the way.

You say that:
"True, you may have to "waste" a few hours one evening when even from the moment you see them you know it's not shayach, but is it not worth it to save another Jew from embarrassment?"

Why do you have to embarrass anybody? Only an idiot will say that they don't want to go out with you because of looks, and they will say it if they see a picture or if you they meet you, so what difference does it make if you send a picture? On the contrary, if the other party is an idiot, wouldn't it be better to send a picture so that you don't have to waste all that time with themt?

"When you see a picture, you will automatically make a judgement about the person based on what you see in front of you,"

Isn't the same true when you meet somebody?

I think that it is important that you remember that 'Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder', and that your other half is out there looking for you, and you will ultimately meet her and get married. There is no reason for you to be afraid of who you are or what you look like, you will meet your bashert and she will adore you from the first time she sees you whether in a photograph or in person.

Hatzlochoh.
(1/29/2013 1:09:46 AM)
16
Impressed.
This is incredibly well-written coming from a bochur. No offense to all those out there.
(1/29/2013 1:16:05 AM)
17
Wow!
Great article. Lots of solid advice in here. There's one point you seem to have missed. I can meet someone i don't find attractive at first, but the more i get to know them, the more i realize how great they are, and the more i like them, i will definitely find that person attractive. until you know someone they're just a face. like the first day of school everyone looks weird until you get to know them. a person doesn't have a personality and looks, it's all part of the same package. if i like someone and they're nice, they look good. but maybe, its just me. either way, great article!
(1/29/2013 1:32:47 AM)
18
Highly disagree
I am a 24 year old boy and went through shidduchim within the last couple of years. If you do not want to look at pictures that is your choice. I wanted to see pictures because as you said to spend money and time to fly around the country is very difficult without at least knowing what the other person looks like. I would hope most people would be mature enough to know that you don't decide simply based on the picture, but it has to be taken into account. There is nothing worse than flying on a long flight, taking off work, and arriving to the date only to see that the other person is nothing as described. I think you are entitled to your opinion but why comment on anyone else doing what they are comfortable with?
(1/29/2013 1:43:31 AM)
19
hmm.
I would probably ONLY consider dating someone after I have seen a photograph.
(1/29/2013 1:47:00 AM)
20
intresting
From my understanding and experience no one is judging from a picture it's just a way of assurance
(1/29/2013 1:51:09 AM)
21
consult w/ Maspia of course! :)
As every case is individual and sometimes, as mentioned, large travelling expenses can arise, one really needs a mashpia to guide them. For example, maybe it would be appropriate to speak on the phone a number of times, and after Skype/ and or see a picture before spending lots of money on airfare. Again, were' reminded of the Rebbe's gift to us of having a Mashpia.
(1/29/2013 3:25:35 AM)
22
M. D
Why do ppl assume what the rebbe meant????? That's not your place!!!!
(1/29/2013 3:55:33 AM)
23
to #17
cldnt have said it better myself!!!

beautiful article i find it 100% true!

personality attracts!!!!!!!
(1/29/2013 4:40:33 AM)
24
A waste!
Yes, it is a waste to just date...taking a chance without knowing what you are getting into! And there's a lot more at stake than a few dollars! There's an emotional investment involved with each date!! It's not a game. I agree that a photo is not a must-we trusted our eldest child's shadchan that the date was pleasant looking. But for some, a photo gives you an idea of who you're talking about...do they have soft or harsh features..a certain chein that is appealing. Everyone can be found on line today so it's not realistic to say we don't work with photos...but to say wait til you go out to decide if they appeal to you and have ahavas yisroel to break it off gently??!! Now that's a waste and a poor decision in my opinion!
(1/29/2013 5:39:23 AM)
25
The Rebbe's opinion?
Interesting how you decided with certainty that the Rebbe would be against showing pictures beforehand. Don't lnow where you took that liberty from. I personally know of a couple whom the Rebbe sent each a picture of the other in an attempt to get their shidduch going...
(1/29/2013 5:48:25 AM)
26
Facebook
in this days you don't need any pictures, you can always find her/him in Facebook.
(1/29/2013 6:05:50 AM)
27
you are in your young and dumb stage
1) you have no right to assume what the Rebbe would say one way or the other. Many times he said something in general then something different to an individual, because everything is personal.
2) if you are flying and spending that kind of money then there is a legitimate reason to see a picture. If your local then not so much.
3) if a sending or receiving a picture is so offensive to you, than these "type" of people are obviously not for you, so dismiss them out of hand.
4) all the research in the world will still not tell you everything because people lie or hide things.
5) people in their "research" are really just looking for ways to say "NO"... think about that... because that is the truth.
(1/29/2013 6:55:13 AM)
28
well written
many true points. thank you
(1/29/2013 7:04:22 AM)
29
who needs pics?
It seems to me that pictures are a crutch/excuse. The fact is that you go out with a girl/boy with the intent of marriage. To be honest with yourself you should say I will not look for a (insert name of Hollywood star) but rather for someone who is fun to be with, has the same values/goals, and who makes me happy. The rest is all irrelevant. If you find someone who meets the above you have done your job and will be satisfied. There are many out there who meet this criteria but are passed over because of a stupid picture when in real life the person is a diamond waiting to be discovered.
(1/29/2013 7:39:52 AM)
30
#17 and author
100% right!!!
(1/29/2013 7:42:41 AM)
31
Author
To #s 3, 8, 12, 13, 15, 22, 25 - I mentioned that there must be hamshachas ha'lev, but you can decide that when you meet in person. I assume it's the Rebbe's opinion because it's assur to look at women in general. Just because there's (seemingly) an exception in regards to the marriage decision, that doesn't mean it becomes a free for all. When you meet in person, you satisfy the halachik requirements of seeing her, and being sure she appeals to you, before marriage. There is still an issur of histaklus outside of fulfilling that requirement (until you're married). The Rebbe is very machmir in all matters of halachah.
To #6 - Speak to a psychologist about that, but in many (if not most) cases you'll find it wasn't because of low self esteem, but rather a matter of principle.
#7 - I don't blame you - you're only human, but that's one of the reasons you shouldn't have done that.
#8 - I never guaranteed that you'll get engaged every time you fly to meet. I made a cost-benefit analysis of the policy I advocate, and the one I don't.
#10 You presuppose the only reason not to send a picture is insecurity about one's own looks.
#13 i never claimed to be a lamdon, but it's telling when you say you've " "gone through" most of the Rebbe's Torah"
#s 14 & 21 I'd be more open to skyping first being that it's much more akin to meeting in person, and doesn't involve the potential pitfalls of prejudging from a picture. But I'd first discuss it with a mashpia. This is an instance where the feminine perspective is more advantageous than the masculine - i.e. shmi'ah vs. re'iah
#15 - The reasoning can be determined easily enough by the timing of the rejection.
# 17 - I believe I alluded to that point, but I perhaps didn't elaborate on it as well as you did - thanks!
#18 - No judgement here. I was merely advising for one course of action over another.
#20 - That's a pretzel :)
#25 - Assuming the story is true, you can't extrapolate from there to all cases. The Rebbe saw that it was a match ba'shamayim and did what was necessary to see it through - we don't see beforehand whether or not it is. Tofastah me'rubah lo tofastah.

(1/29/2013 7:46:48 AM)
32
Naah
The picture is mostly just so they know what to expect however, people care about looks either way. If the persons looks are very not appealing to the date whether they see them in person or in the pic it wouldn't make a difference.

Also, you made a presumptuous statement "In the secular world people only date a particular person because of a good feeling towards the other, whether it stems from looks, charm etc., and not because of any logical compatibility"

ummmm that statement is way out of whack. I find the opposite is true. In our shidduch world, that's supposed to help judge on character alone it ends up being judged, in many cases, on the externals such as looks, dress size, pictures (whether you send it or not) and gossip.
(1/29/2013 7:50:15 AM)
33
impressive bochur
Very well thought out.
(1/29/2013 7:58:18 AM)
34
1000 Words
A picture is worth 1000 words, it's a fact, so instead up hearing 1000 words from the shadchan and friends and relatives about how pretty or cute s/he is you can just see a picture. Obviously looks is only 1 factor, but no matter when you mention it on the priority list, it's there. The proof is, have you ever been suggested a shiduch without any mention of looks/
(1/29/2013 8:01:38 AM)
35
great article!
I agree with this article. My children didn't see a picture but they had a basic idea like small beard or brown hair. The boys didn't really understand about dress sizes even though their sisters were always worrying about their weight so they were OK with a more rounded girl as long as she was a nice girl and had a sweet face. I think they meant they wanted to see character and were not obsessed about perfection or beauty.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One of my girls married someone who she says is so handsome. That's because he's her bashert but really he is not at all good looking but she thinks he is. That's what is important.

Of course looks matter, there has to be an attraction, but it's getting to be ridiculous the way everyone needs to see their date first before they agree to go out. I'm sure some wonderful opportunities have been lost because one side or the other has said no based on hair color or a bigger nose, or worse an unflattering photo that really isn't the true likeness.

My aunt married her husband without ever having seen him until the chuppah (that's how it was done in Europe then & they were from different countries.) To be honest, she was so ugly it was a worry for her parents. She married a well known Rav who was VERY handsome & they had a beautiful family and were very happy together. The bubby & Zeidy were very smart & "sold" her fantastic midos & frumkeit. She was an amazing wife and all her sisters were so jealous the ugly duckling got the best catch. There's a lesson here, don't judge by first appearances.
(1/29/2013 8:28:08 AM)
36
agree with #17
Absolutely true!
(1/29/2013 8:34:58 AM)
37
My opiion
If someone has to invest in traveling by plane I could understand that they would want a picture.
(1/29/2013 8:57:49 AM)
38
Very well said!
I agree 100% with this bochur. From someone who went out and got married without the pictures (wasn't a requirement in my days!!) Since the introduction of pictures we hear only of Shidduch crisis and increased divorces, so it is not helping in that area!
(1/29/2013 9:02:41 AM)
39
Picture
While I do agree with you that you should give someone a chance, even if you don't love his or her look at first, sometimes pictures tell you about more than just looks. You can tell about a person's aidelkeit and even a bit about his or her personality based on the picture they send. P.S. I used to look guys up on Facebook before dating them and found out so much from their profiles. A guy who is posing in front of a bar with a beer in his hand in his profile picture, is not exactly gonna be the eidel guy you were going to be looking for.
(1/29/2013 9:22:33 AM)
40
Finally - someone "gets it"
I am shocked by all the people who don't seem to realize that we see people differently once we get to know them!! A person may appear very pretty in a picture, but once you get to know the person and see their ugly personality, suddenly they start to actually appear ugly to you. Likewise someone who you may not find attractive in a picture, once you get to know the person and like them, becomes attractive.
(1/29/2013 9:23:52 AM)
41
Unphotogenic
I was never satisfied with my looks, and never satisfied with photos of myself. So, when people tell me I'm pretty, I'm realistic enough to understand it's most likely because of my personality, wit, and humor. Those are all things that do make a person attractive, yet a picture cannot capture. Just saying.
(1/29/2013 9:28:15 AM)
42
FIRST TWENTY YEARS Then what
Who ever marries for looks , its not garranteed !
you marry for Quality , responsibilty, can she be a good mother to your children IYH .
Pictures are deceiving , Makeup and a good paint job can make anybody beautiful. whats inside , counts
(1/29/2013 9:32:23 AM)
43
Impressed
Very well written and displays thoughtfulness and good middos. I like the response of #17 too. Both express mature and ehrliche opinions and feelings. Very encouraging there are young people with set of values still in this day and age.
(1/29/2013 9:37:36 AM)
44
to #35
Your right on!
(1/29/2013 9:50:47 AM)
45
Silly
When you've spent a few hundred dollars, several times, on dates that were completely not shayich - and which you would have known were not shayich in a half a second, I doubt you will still feel this way.
(1/29/2013 9:51:40 AM)
46
to #35
We are not living in Europe anymore.
(1/29/2013 9:59:13 AM)
47
to 31 from 7
that's a reason i shouldn't have looked at his picture? but didn't i save both my time and his time by doing this? if i don't like what i see in the picture i doubt i'll like what i see in person..... :/
(1/29/2013 10:12:04 AM)
48
Loser
This Guy i assume is putting up a good show but is full of ........
i say lets start setting him up on blind dates i bet after two of them, his whole long article goes out the window.
(1/29/2013 10:13:45 AM)
49
Don't Be Foolish
Most people don't make their decisions based on one picture, they only want a picture to see if it makes any sense at all.
Of course it is ridiculous to determine someones personality based on a picture, but you can usually tell if you will be attracted to them. And if the person is the type to make decisions solely on one photograph, you probably don't want to marry them anyway.
(1/29/2013 10:21:08 AM)
50
To #46
Obviously. Which explains why standards of Chassidishkeit, frumkeit & tznius are at an all time low. Times were tough then, no question, but standards were high. Look around at what we have today, every disgusting thing you can think of in terms of relationships is going on here in Crown Heights. So because we're modern & in the 21st century, is that a reason to sink to such lows & be like everyone else? You completely missed the point.
(1/29/2013 10:22:26 AM)
51
Mom of a Daughter
I totally agree with the author that pictures should not be sent. i don't think you can see a personality from a picture, and someone will be attracted by the personality and it will follow that the face will be attractive to them.

For the person who wrote about Facebook (and I add, internet), my daughter has made every effort to make her pictures private and she cannot be googled, we tried.

I did "reject" a shidduch based on the fact that the boy (not the parent) asked for a picture. This is not the kind of bochur my daughter wants.

I will add that we are NOT hiding anything, she is gorgeous, slim, attractive, but cannot be KNOWN from just her picture, whether its a "casual" picture or a "at a friend's chasseneh" picture.

If a picture is requested, it does tell me a lot about the boy. I like going back to the "old fashioned" way of no pictures.

By the way, I don't think Skype dating is a great idea, you cannot tell a personality so much from skype.
(1/29/2013 10:25:26 AM)
52
Agree with #18
I totally agree with #18.
I'm a girl and I don't mind the whole "trading pictures" deal. As long as they know that this is just a picture and now we could move on to getting to know each other it's fine by me.
Also when you see a picture it lows your expectations of how this person looks like (When you go on a date If they are more attractive in person, now you will be more interested than just being nervous to even simply see them).
When you see a pictures you stop imagining things because you already know how this person looks (but take it into account that a picture only shoots "one angle" of this 'full dimension' person).
So when done with that, now you can fully focus on personality, life history and if this person is compatible with you - spiritually and so on (on things that really matter in life)
Where I'm from I have to fly in to date and I'll not get on a more then 10 hours flight to meet someone that I haven't even seen what they look like (and checked their references and checked their 'not reference people' ;) of course) that's what I call blind dating and I would never do that! It's not a matter of been pretty or not, being over weight or under its about attractiveness! Not measuring of beauty ("Is this person pretty enough to marry my son/daughter so people won't judge us?! Is she/he the prettiest we can find?!" - If someone things like that then they are definitely not for me or for anyone! Bottom line is people can check out as many pictures as they want BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THERE IS MORE IN A PERSON THAN MEETS THE EYES!
PS: Its harder for girls than bochurim b/c they can still hide behind their beard - :
(1/29/2013 10:31:40 AM)
53
Highly Impressed
I am a 21 year old single girl, have been out quite a bit and I have to say I am extremely impressed with the thoughts you portrayed so clearly, your hashkafa, your logic, your psychological knowledge and confidence. I am quite surprised that so many commentors disagree- and it worries me that people have become so shallow and can't understand a logical analysis.
Having said that... I want to say my opinion about the pictures... I consider myself good looking, and well dressed, yet I hate sending photos. firstly, I need to find the right photo that would present me correctly and the only way to see a person fully is to see them in a few different ways.. a slide of a serious face, dressed up, casual smiling.. and obviously we would only send one. So why not just wait until the date and you'll get the full animated version instead of either an unrealistically beautiful one or a bad shot. secondly, if I don't go out with the guy why would I want my picture going around... do I need everyone to know who I am- especially single guys? I agree with the author that not wanting to send it doesn't reflect poor self image.
If the girl is out right ugly, then yes all the comments are right and it would be a real waste of time to give it a date. But it's really not hard to ask her friends in a gentle way to describe her looks and ask about her style of dress, if it matters to you.
I agree with the author that dating should not just be about the looks and the fluff of having a good time, because that can distort your objectivity in making a decision. Surely there must be attraction and looks are extremely important but it has to come with the full picture of how you like the person, ie their personality. Seeing a photo in advance can make you have feelings that are too positive or too negative without letting yourself feel it out for real when you meet the person. Just imagine if you like the photo and think the person is charming and their 'look' is right, but then you go out and it was just 'okay'. your reason to go out again should not be based on the good look that you are trying to build on, but rather on the real perspective that you have of the person that you can only have from seeing the whole picture. I am very for looks but what you all have to bear in mind is that you don't want that to blind you and at the same time you don't want that to stop you from liking the person.
I think the author has very good points and is well thought out. He addresses the chasidishe aspect of the issue as well as the down to earth worldly aspect.
(1/29/2013 10:31:59 AM)
54
agree but...
You are missing some key points about the problem with pictures, and i cant believe no one before #17 touched upon them:

1) pictures do not always do a good job portraying someones looks. I know ppl who are photogenic and actually look better in pics than in real life, and the opposite, ppl who look better in real life, but just do not come out good in pictures, so its wrong to decide if someone is pretty or not based on a picture. You can really only know once you go out.

along those lines, please tell me what is better- giving out a picture of yourself from a wedding, where your hair/makeup are done, very posed, and you probably look much better than on an average day, or giving out a casual pic, one that probably captures some personality, and shows a better image of YOU? Most girls will choose the first, because, you know, they look their best, but is that who you really are? i believe the latter is better. Which brings me to my next point:

2) people do not only ask for pictures to see if they like the looks, but also because u can tell more about a person's personality from a picture than just from hearing about them. Once you meet someone, you obviously get to know a lot more about them than just hearing about them, and i believe pictures give a little glimpse into that.

3) Attraction comes with getting to know a person, so if someone doesnt seem so attractive in a picture, once you get to know them you might think they are gorgeous.

I never comment on these articles, but this time i really feel like i have to make my point...
(1/29/2013 10:32:26 AM)
55
To #53
You sound like the kind of girl I'm looking for my son. How can I get your information (no photo needed!!)
(1/29/2013 10:52:58 AM)
56
An idea
Time to download photoshop!
(1/29/2013 11:00:04 AM)
57
Pictures are sach hakol pictures
A picture lacks the person's countenance, personality, disposure, voice, humour and mannerisms because it is still and only captures the appearance. That's why models in advertisements have more makeup and more dramatised features, to make up for not meeting them in person.
(1/29/2013 11:32:00 AM)
58
To the very foolish bochur /author
To the very foolish bochur /author if in fact it is a bochur who submitted this.

You are foolish if indeed these are your feelings on the matter.

However your exhibit your amazing foolishness by posting these comments for all to read. You are foolishly implying that your comments and feelings are the correct ones and that everyone else is wrong. What are your many years of experience that lead you to this amazing conclusion? And why do you feel the compulsion to share your feelings with everyone else. Your a bochur? Sit and learn. Your a mashpiah? Go find someone to farbraing with.

1) You have no idea how the Rebbe would feel on this issue.

2) Yes looks are subjective but "chochmas odom toar ponov" a persons personality is usually reflected in one's face and that is what one wants to see. Not necessarily to rate the potentials looks. And if someone is just interested in looks then a picture would save the boy or girl from a rejection to which they should not have been subjected to.

3) Your stating that "you may have to waste a few hours one evening" shows how little you know. It means not saving "a few hours" but saving days and weeks of time, days mamesh of making calls and looking into the references and finding out about the person, possibly taking of days of work or yeshiva time to travel to a city for the date, expenses, and most of all you do not end up saving the person from embarrasment but rather causing them the feeling of embarrassment and rejection of their date not wanting to see him or her a 2nd time.

4) Acharei Kichlos Hakoil we do beleive that a shiduch is bashert, and arboyim yom koidem etc, so who is to say that seeing a picture that causes you to feel that this is not your bashert is not part of the hashgocho elyono leading to the true intended?

5) Are you so foolish as to think that for today's "Bochurim" which represent so many different levels of Frumkeit, background, Hashkofo, Yedioh, etc, your thoughts will be a one size fits them all suggestion.

It is an embarrassment to have a bochur be so vain and foolish to exhibit kloino brabim.
(1/29/2013 11:38:04 AM)
59
Thank you!
Very well said!
(1/29/2013 11:39:38 AM)
60
Did someone say Shidduch photos?
Ell Tee Photo - Facebook.com/ellteephoto

Offers Shidduch profile photos!!! Try it

p.s. know that its no photoshop
(1/29/2013 11:49:02 AM)
61
no pictures
1- Its not appropriate to send or ask for a profile picture.
2-Sending a profile picture will not help you make the right decision weather this is a potential shiduch or not.
3- Don't judge a person by there looks . All what really counts at the end of the day is inside of the person and you can't judge the person if he is kind or has a good personalty by examining his picture.
(1/29/2013 12:01:03 PM)
62
piece of advice
They're bound to find a picture of you either way...might as well present yourself in a manner you'd like to be seen..
(1/29/2013 12:09:41 PM)
63
Response from single gurl
Single and 24.
Seeing a personality or getting an idea about a person from a picture is a true concept. As far as looks are concerned, i think everyone will agree that its an objective thing and can only be really identified once meeting a person. To make a conclusion from a picture is possible, but can also be done thru research.
Let me explain.
I've gone out with many guys so far, and many of them have been so off my radar, its laughable. for the most part they included thier pic w thier profile so i got to see them before. I was never impressed with the pic before but told myself that its not fair to me or the guy to judge just based on the picture. I had my preconceptions but choose to put them aside and meet the guy. (mind you, i always gave my picture and only once they saw my picture they said yes)
Anyhow, so I went out and after putting everything in perspective and comparing my thoughts before and after going out w a guy, i realised that my 'preconceptions' were the same as after i met the guy, nothing changed. The reason was, becuase just from looking at the picture i was able to tell the general disposition of the person and have been right on. Although my theory has been proven to be true, it is a dangurous route. After much discussion and analyzation, i have come to the conclusion that all of the 'pre-conceptions' i made from the pictures were all things and traits that one can find out from research, or not. sometimes you just have to meet the guy to find these things out. I had trouble with breaking all of my specifics down and choosing someone to go out with based on that, so i stayed open-minded and went out anyways even though i felt the so called red flags before even meeting. i have now learned from my experiences and have gotten much more focused on the type of guy i should even get set up with. some ppl are lucky and get it right away or the ppl setting thme up understand them so set them up accordingly, and some of us have a harder time with it. I say, roll with the punches, and pictures are all B.S. I'm considered 'good looking' and all and yet when ppl say yes to me after seing my picture, i get such a sick feeling, like, your going out with me because my picture was appealing to you, like i passed the test, thank you very much, but no thanks. What are you full of that you have to marry a beautiful girl according to the picture you see, do proper research and figure out the gray lines from that, you nerds. wtvr, i dont think this will change anyones mind, but yea, its pretty sick this whole thing and just a dumb excuse for ppl. meet the person and decide from there. Don't diminish ppl down to the picture, its degrading, disrespectful, and shallow.
Ive gone out with 'good looking guys' according to thier pic and what ppl said about them, and I had a hard time looking at them during our 'date' because they seemed so darn ugly to me. I get that its a guys market, true, but choose wisely and dont fool yourself. if you wanna see the person before, go clubbing and pick out a girl yourself, dont drive everyone crazy with setting you up. thanks. cheers and peace out.
xx
(1/29/2013 12:12:03 PM)
64
in my case
When I was offered my husband, I knew what he looked like, and I married him-my first date BH! But if i had not known what he looked like, I would have wanted a picture because one of my top 3 things was that I wanted someone who looks put together and I can judge that alot of times accd to picture. so it depends on person. if thats not important to you then dont look at pictures...forsure qualities were not less neccessary for me to like but looks were just as important..good luck!
(1/29/2013 12:12:14 PM)
65
in reference to #63
all those qualities that you would technichly be able to see in a pic, is not always the case, ppl can make false judgements from pictures. but what definitely is true, is that if your looking for someone put together, or funky or classy, or good looking, or tall, you can find that from research,and yes, sometimes ppl will give a different view as they are of course subjective, just go out and see for yourself if there are no red flags.
(1/29/2013 12:20:07 PM)
66
#58 please
You are sooo harsh on this poor boy!!!He expressed his ideas and opinions and has a right to do that- why are u so angry?
Here's one for the books-my daughter looks stunning in photos.Well I think in real life, not so gorgeous. She can at times look fantastic and while studying not so much.However, many of her peers and teachers consider her a star because of her brains and devotion to spreading chassidus. So yeah, someone can see her photo and think wow but in actuality shes a human being-some days she looks blah and some so pretty. If someone goes by her photo only, he might get disappointed but he'll miss someone considered very successful BH'
(1/29/2013 12:27:03 PM)
67
no pictures
4- Going on a date brings you closer to your bashert, so going out on a shiduch date and then realizing its not your zivug, is not a waste of time.
5- if you really want to get married and your generous with your money and you did your research and got positive feedbback, then flying without seeing the prospectives picture should not be a problem.

Final- a profile picture wont help you it will just cause you problems! Thank you for posting this article.
comment# 53 i agree with you.
(1/29/2013 12:29:53 PM)
68
Experience
Dear Author:
I must commend you on the courage you took to write this piece. I felt your heart warming words, they are full of wisdom. I wish many more people thought the way you did. However let me share with you some experience.

I recently wrote a piece that portrayed people's shallow nature. Let me tell you - they don't like to hear it. So all the negative comments you are getting are not personal - they are simply immaturities and insecurities of the individuals that take time to comment simply because they have nothing better to do. A second natural defence mechanism they have, is to not agree openly with what you are saying and they know that by accepting your true words, it will require them to do some hard work on themselves. Therefore it is easier to "take you down" in order to "elevate" or "Justify" themselves.

Let me tell you, I go out with girls that I never saw their pictures. I went out with a girl that I wasn't initially "attracted" to (let's not go into what the REAL definition of attraction is, but I digress) Had I seen some pictures of certain girls, I probably would not have flown to see them. But then it's all part of the process. This one girl I had to fly to see her, spend some money on the date, flight, car rental, motel etc. I was not "Physically Attracted" to her, but then after talking to her and going out with her several times, her looks didn't matter as much anymore. The only thing that stopped us, was that the more we went out the more we realized that our goals were different, looks were not part of the equation.

My suggestion to those who have issues with "spending" on a date. well - if you have issues spending right now - what would you be like when your wife needs a new sheitel, dress, or piece of jewellery. If you can't afford that now because of your "job" (or the lack of) how will you be able to provide any security to your wife when you yourself are not secure? is that fair? how will you provide stability if you are not stable? Finally, for those who do or do not know - the "Goyisher" world spends waaaay more money on "Dates" than the average religious person, mind you, even someone they won't be seeing after that day. Go check out how much it costs to go to a club, to buy the required clothing, to cut your hair in a certain way, to wear a certain cologne, not to mention the costs of drinks in these clubs and bars.... mind you, some people do it every week and every night - only to score one night! so let's keep things in proportion!

My last point I would like to make, is that even though your article was pretty much to the point. I will keep the Rebbe out of it. I personally have no clue what the Rebbe would say. We are from the generation that didn't really get a chance to meet the Rebbe or have a strong one on one connection with him the way our parents and teachers have. So I would personally not try to put myself into the Rebbe's shoes. What I would do, is try to act like a mentch and follow my understanding of chassiduss, this in itself will attract the person that is right for me, in the right time.

So if you are trying to go out on shidduchim, and you seems to be getting denied every so often and you are perhaps telling yourself that it is because of your looks (maybe no one ever told you that, it perhaps all in your head) but I think I would get up every morning and look in the mirror and tell myself and keep repeating to myself - "I am beautiful, no matter what anyone says, thinks or does - I love me at least for today" Then I turn to God and Pray "Dear God - let me see myself through your eyes, and let me love myself the way you love me".

If you are not comfortable sending you picture = DON'T, the person who will not respect you for that, will not respect you period.

Lots of Hatzlacha to everyone out there. Peace!
(1/29/2013 12:30:22 PM)
69
Diff opinions
I think that at the end of the day people are all very different in their wants, priorities and attractions. For some, pictures are a must and for others it isn't.
Every person must sit and be honest if they will date or not date based on a picture and not disrespect somebody who does not want his/her picture shown before as it is understandable as well.
A date wont hurt anyone....
(1/29/2013 12:35:17 PM)
70
Pics or no Pics who cares!!!
The truth is with today's technology anyone can be a model.
People who were embarrassed to show their facial image in public,that notion drastically changed in previous years.
Plastic surgery is becoming very popular and "YES" even our
Frum circles is it being done.Nose Jobs as well as other body parts too inorder to keep up to date with modern fashion.
Unfortunately people don't only look at you neck up.
Fashion and who the person is, will also be based what clothing he or she wears,whether the designer is Armani,Gucci
Boss or Channel this is key to our good looks.
The SUPERFICIAL look gets us and that is how we judge.
The whole business of Shidduchim is way to tricky,that is why
we don't judge a book by its cover rather dig out more info.
(1/29/2013 12:43:20 PM)
71
buby
i remember when i was the age of 19. which that was around 75 years ago. their was no such things as pictures. everything was kabolis oil.and thats how it sud be today as well.
(1/29/2013 12:44:37 PM)
72
G.Q.
The most important thing is for you to be attracted to the other person. Attraction has many aspects to it; physical looks, personality, character traits all affect how attractive a person is. To get all strung up on looks is wrong, but to totally dismiss it is also wrong.

I know that pictures can never accurately portray who the person is or even how the other person looks like, but it can give you a general idea. I hate to say it, but some people are unattractive and no matter how amazing their personality is, I will never be able to marry them. Therefore, I like looking at pictures before I date, but I take into account that not everyone looks as good in pictures as they do in real life. If the picture of the girl is in a ball park, then if I hear really nice things about the girl, I will date her. However, if she is really not physically attractive to me, no matter how many nice things I hear about the girl I will not date her. Many times I was pressured into dating girls that I felt were unattractive to me. Every time, no matter how nice the girl was, I could never get over her looks.

If you are a person that really doesn't care about looks, then good for you. But it's perfectly normal to want to see who you are dating, and it isn't anyone else's place to judge. Dating is physically and emotionally draining, and it makes sense not to date unless the person has an interest in dating the other person.
(1/29/2013 12:47:38 PM)
73
Who Cares
Own it, guuurl, and you'll look fabulous. If he can't see that then he's obviously not for you...
(1/29/2013 12:53:03 PM)
74
Its not all about looks
I have met girls before who were not the most attracting phizically but with good middos and personality and wouldn't mind going with them, as opposed to girls that were good looking but not with the best middos and personality who I would not go out with. Its not all about looks, the attraction on looks come along with time after the attraction regarding other things that are more important. Don't say no to a picture, I have spoken to many married people and my mashpia and they all agree that the attraction can come with time, why so no, if everything looks good from what you have heard besides for this one picture.
(1/29/2013 12:53:25 PM)
75
Ugly Bochur
As a bochur who is very unattractive, I think there shouldn't be any pictures. Who cares about looks. What's important is my personality.
(1/29/2013 12:54:37 PM)
76
To Shadchanim
On a realted matter, when a boy or girl doesn't want to continue dating, don't pressure them in giving a reason. And if they tell you that they aren't attracted, don't dismiss it and push your own views of what is considered good looking. "S/he's not for me" is a good enough reason. leave it at that.
(1/29/2013 12:56:32 PM)
77
The problem with pictures
What if a girl has gone and had a makeover and looks amazing, then had a great photographer who photographed her at just the right angle. The results, a gorgeous picture which technically looks nothing like her every day appearance. Then what about the pretty girls who just don't photograph well? (more common than you think).

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What about all the plain looking people who are blissfully married and their spouse genuinely things they are beautiful? Go out on one date and decide if you want to go further.
(1/29/2013 12:57:38 PM)
78
yasher koach
bottom line: what would the Rebbe say?

practically speaking: as a baal teshuva who dated and had boyfriends before coming to yiddishkeit: I never had a boyfriend that I thought was good looking when we first met. My boyfriends all became attractive in my eyes only after we met and I saw what a nice person he was.
(1/29/2013 1:00:30 PM)
79
To #51
I am willing to bet my house that you are a liar.

If you had nothing to hide, and your daughter was as gorgeous as you say she is, then you have nothing to worry about and can share a picture when asked for one. There can be one reason and ONE REASON ONLY why you rejected a Shidduch simply for asking for a picture, and that reason would be because you are insecure about her looks, and are afraid of being rejected.

The same goes for all the commenters (especially girls) here who say that they don't like sharing pictures. You do realize how downright idiotic that sounds, right? A guy is going to (possibly) make a long journey, spend money on you, and maybe even MARRY you, and you can't be courteous enough to share a picture???

Please stop with the nonsense!
(1/29/2013 1:09:00 PM)
80
to #79
Not sure if you are trolling, but love the comment. I agree with you 100%
(1/29/2013 1:13:31 PM)
81
IN CONCLUSION...
If someone asks you for a picture, that's a pretty good indication for some of the values they have. If you're fine with it, great-send your picture and you're off to a great start knowing that you both share similar concerns. If you're not fine with it, wait for someone who doesn't need a picture to decide if you're attractive or not. You'll probably have more in common anyway. while I find that this article and some of these comments (#17, #35, #40, #42,, #53, #54, #63 etc) are very well written and full of great information, i feel this argument is unresolvable. There are two sides who believe what they believe because of who they are. wanting a picture or not before a date, seems like a really great filter as to who you're looking into. if you dont like pictures, be thankful when someone asks for one because thats a good indication they're probably not right for you. (obviously there are exceptions).
(1/29/2013 1:24:51 PM)
82
Thank G'd
I was blessed with good looks and I love sending my picture. If a girl doesn't want to, it makes me think there is some serious insecurities going on.
(1/29/2013 1:36:40 PM)
83
to #81
I totally agree with you, and thats exactly how i think, but easier said than done. EVERYONE wants a picture, so as much as i may disagree or think its pathetic, go fight the system and I may as well find my own guy....right.
So if I wanna get married, I send my picture and wtvr, you like it, great, you dont, also great. At the end of the day its an excuse for ppl but in reality G-d makes shidduchim so we really dotn have anything to worry about. Although, it is disturbing, there are also many other disturbing things in life, so life goes on......dont get caught up in people's pathetic and twisted thinking...........
(1/29/2013 1:38:59 PM)
84
Pictures Pictures
bla bla bla. What ever happened to seeing a nice girl in the street and asking her out for coffee?
(1/29/2013 1:40:54 PM)
85
To #70
Sorry Bubby,

I respect you and your generation for your genuine "Kabolas Oyl", and we have a lot to learn from you, (And the fact that you know how to turn on a computer and write a comment is also very impressive I might say!) but you need to realize that we live in a new generation now.

When you got married, there was no pressure to live in a fancy home, drive a fancy car, go on several vacations a year, pay $15,000 a year per child for tuition, buy a summer home, make fancy weddings, Lchaim's, Brissim, Upsherin...

When you got married, you understood your role in your household and never questioned it. You probably never pressured your husband to take you shopping and pay for expensive clothing for you. You probably never pressured your husband to take care of the kids several nights a week so you can go out and have a good time with your friends.

Today, women are very demanding and very high maintenance. Men are being pushed to the limits, and at the same time, men have become more selfish.

So you see, Bubby, it's very important that you make sure today (or at least do your best) to ensure that you can live the rest of your life together with this person.
(1/29/2013 1:41:24 PM)
86
Disagree with #79, Agree with #81
to 71- for me i would definitely be interested in the daughter of #51 whereas if i were a girl i would never consider you. #81 said it the best. if you need a picture of me, then it's probably not shayach. Someone who doesn't need a picture is someone i probably have more in common with. to each his own.
(1/29/2013 1:50:43 PM)
87
my two cents
First of all, see Kidushin 41a. Granted, that gemara refers to seeing someone before you marry them, but it may apply in certain cases beforehand as well (particularly where the time and expense investment in a shidduch that otherwise would not work if a picture had been sent can subsequently lead to significant bad feelings for having one's resources "wasted").

Second, for all the value in a picture, it may well be deceiving - in the wrong way. I know this seems counter-intuitive, but the picture may not be an accurate representation of how good the person actually looks, perhaps because it is old, not a good angle etc. It would be a real shame for a shidduch that actually could work to be spoiled because of an unintentionally bad (read: non representative or not-completely-accurate) picture.
(1/29/2013 2:48:52 PM)
88
from a 26 year old girls prospective
I must see a picture before I go out on dates because the guy needs to be physically attractive in my eyes. On a side note, I do of course give it a chance by going out once and after that decide from there. Who knows maybe he looks different in person or I actually just by that first date felt something. You just never know so always consider going out at least once!
(1/29/2013 2:58:12 PM)
89
To number 8
The guy has to be attracted to the girl but the girl doesnt have to attracted to the guy? thats not very fair
its either or. either they both send pictures or no one does
(1/29/2013 3:12:19 PM)
90
As I have seen ....
people will look at the picture and come to conclusions BEFORE making a single phone call about the person in question. I think that a picture should be given, but ONLY after the investigations have been made.
(1/29/2013 3:16:03 PM)
91
C M Z
Its crazy whats happening here, and to say the least I am Shocked!!!!
Pictures are extremely wrong In our system because we are dating only for Marriage!!! Therefore we look into things that Really matter for a marriage that will last a lifetime!! With this in mind lets think about Pictures and Looks, Everyone knows that our Body changes.. gaining weight, having kids etc... therefor if the root of the marriage is this beauty then you are in big trouble when that changes... this also works the other way I had a freind that always said he wants to Marry the most pretty... One day he tells me he really likes this girl he met Everything fits except not as pretty as he wanted... he spoke it over with different people and eneded up getting married to this girl.. a few months later it was amazing his wife lost some weight got a new wardrobe and they both live happily to share this story.
To all those who want and "need" to see pics before The only way makes Sence is that your parents or married freind looks at the picture to check and make sure that there is something what to talk about for -You. You will this way be able to focus on the person and not at an image....

We are Jews and we do things differently the others, OUR way.. we have standards (weather you see them or not). and everyone must respect the community.. (if your not holding on the same level as the community then either move out or in public behave in the ways of community) this will save all the Headache's with regard to shiduchim..,shidduch crisis and most definitely bring Moshiach
(1/29/2013 3:17:27 PM)
92
To #32
In the secular world, people meet in bars, on the street, etc. The only reason why one approaches the other, because at that point it's the only thing they have to go on, is because of externalities. True, in our world things aren't perfect, but the author's point is that we're too much like the secular world and we should try and change.
(1/29/2013 3:36:26 PM)
93
Mother!
I am a mother of a boy and girl of age and I would like to see a picture, just to put a face on a name. I don't care if she/he is pretty,I just would like to know who we are talking about. I have two kids married, boy and girl, and didn't see their pictures first, before the ohel. But now, I would like to, again not judge or make a decision, but just to put a face to the name, and know WHO we are talking about.
I don't show the picture to my kids, unless they will ask. They haven't yet.
(1/29/2013 3:42:34 PM)
94
#89 said it the best!
the only reason for looking at a picture, is to make sure you go out with the right person. if you did all the research and everything seems great, and you're excited, and you're committed to going out, then looking at a picture is not so bad. but a picture should not be part of the research to figure out if someone's shayach. pictures aren't an accurate representation of a person and their personalities, and it can cause false impressions of a person before you actually meet them. you should look at a picture, but only after you know you're going out with that person already.
(1/29/2013 3:47:49 PM)
95
reply to #64
who would send a picture of himself not looking put together?
(1/29/2013 3:55:41 PM)
96
to#90
Times change evidently in this world. Each generation is different is it not? Nothing really stays the same but human interactions and communications with each other.
(1/29/2013 4:07:57 PM)
97
To those against a picture
To all those who express such strong Chassidic and moral principles against showing pictures; you bring to mind the following updated saying

Those who argue for Nister bnigleh
require Nigleh bnister.

Now figure it out.
(1/29/2013 4:37:19 PM)
98
Guess what?!
this is a great way to make matches!!!!!
the people who want a picture and would be happy to show theirs should meet up and the people who dont and think its not chasidish should also meet!!!
isnt that brilliant :) all these bochurim and girls can be getting married to each other....
just looking at the comments i can see whos good for who!!
(1/29/2013 4:48:13 PM)
99
live and let live
if you want a picture, get it
if you dont want it, dont get it
(1/29/2013 5:34:56 PM)
100
I agree
a picture does not tell you who the person is, just how good they can look in a picture
and who wants to marry a picture?
(1/29/2013 5:52:24 PM)
101
Author
To # 58 Divrei chachomim be'nachas nishmoim. My feelings did not lead me to this conclusion - on the contrary, my emotions do want to see a picture beforehand - rather, it was my thoughts that led me there. You might have come to different conclusions had you not made an emotion-based analysis. As Tanya says, anyone with "moach be'kodkodoi" is capable of moach shalit al ha'lev. If you were not so insecure about your position, you wouldn't need to resort to ad hominem attacks.
I wrote this piece with the hope that my contemporaries would be more receptive to advice coming from one of their own, and particularly to those who don't think of themselves as being very chassidish. Also, to give people like #83 hope that they need not give in to "the system". I'll address you comments point by point:
1) I responded to that argument in comment 31.
2) Like 63&65 mentioned, you can discover that info with research without subjecting yourself to potential pitfalls. If someone is only interested in looks, they are not ready for marriage (see my secular world vs. us argument).
3) It does take some time - but time is there to spend on the important things in life, and this definitely qualifies as one. I would hope you don't tell your date you don't want to go out again because of her looks.
4) If we're going by hashgochah elyoinah, then there is certainly no need to ask for a picture. You're also essentially making Pharaoi's argument - you don't have to "be the shliach".
5) I gave one suggestion - but more than one reason to satisfy different types of people with different attitudes. Do you ask the same question of chassidus: "Why do you give only one suggestion (in most cases) if there are different types of people?" It's advice; something to aspire to.
It's surprising you call me vain, when I'm the one advocating the less superficial approach. Go figure :)
(1/29/2013 6:01:01 PM)
102
to 89
ya, #8 has issues. notice his BT comment? he's a snob. and to think he's been married for many years... *cringe*
(1/29/2013 6:12:21 PM)
103
Author
To # 93 (and others like you) - I apologize for not making the distinction. It would be legitimate for you to look at a picture for that purpose, as well as for learning other details about them - just don't show the pictures to your kids. My comment was aimed at mothers (or fathers) who, unsolicitedly, make the "looks" judgement for their child.
(1/29/2013 6:18:07 PM)
104
good article and well written.
I have to say I fully agree. No point at all to see a pic. It's mostly deceitful.
(1/29/2013 6:52:02 PM)
105
To 102
Are you a BT? If so, that pretty much sums up your comment. (Kind of like the way the heavier people commenting hereThe point is that BT's have an unstable balance of life and hashkafa, and act extreme without taking basic common sense into account. I therefore believe that the writer of this article is a son of a BT.
(1/29/2013 7:17:47 PM)
106
Why are posters so rude?
I know I'm naive, but if someone says he's a bochur or a 90 year old woman or a mom of a gorgeous girl, I believe them. Please, do we have to have such animosity and nastiness online as well as IRL? I have been called a liar, my gender disputed (huh???) a fraud etc etc & it wasn't once justified. What made these comments so hurtful instead of ridiculous was the vicious poison and nastiness that went with these crazy challenges.

Take people at face value. If COLlive published something from a someone who says he's a bochur, I'm sure he is. There's so much anger here, it really isn't surprising we're going through hell in this golus. Disagree, but do it with the same respect & sensitivity YOU would want to receive. We all hear messages when they're said nicely. #85 made his/her point to the Bubby without being insulting or obnoxious & I'm sure "Bubby" appreciated it. No one wants to be insulted and despised, even anonymously.

Now I will wait for the attacks on me. I am an old fashioned has-been with no kids, no spouse, who lives in a stinking basement with only the mice for company, right? LOL
(1/29/2013 7:19:42 PM)
107
to nr 58
You have obviously a lot of anger in you. Not necessary to take that out on the author.
Your arguments also don't make too much sense.
1)The author just gave HIS opinion based on what he learned from the rebbes teachings.
2) What does chochmas odom.. have to do with a picture. On the contrary: the aura or "bacheintkait" of a person is hard to capture with a pic.
3) Are those weeks of preparations and phone calls all going to waist just because of a pic??? If everything was good enough to continue inquiries for such a long time, it shouldn't be abolished by the way a person looks in one snapshot.
4) If so, on the contrary: why necessary to look at a pic???
5) Again, this is the authors opinion and view. He brings out very valid points and I, for one, enjoyed this article a lot.
(1/29/2013 7:26:40 PM)
108
Right on
I'm quite impressed by your article, honestly half of it made me laugh, for i can say from experience that pretty much everything you've said is true.

If someone is so affected and can really tell everything from a picture i'd say put off marriage till they're ready for a marriage more meaningful then a picture.

And from experience.................. the camera can be deceiving ;)
(1/29/2013 7:28:52 PM)
109
Simple
U ask, is she pretty? If the person is pretty, u'll find out, since ppl are usually more effusive if its true. Plus, the rest should be decides once u met the person
(1/29/2013 7:52:15 PM)
110
Very seriously
I am very impressed with your article, is there a way you could let me know who you are, or some contact detail, as you may be a good shidduch for my daughter
(1/29/2013 8:12:14 PM)
111
Hey author...
First of all, I really commend you for writing this article; it was very insightful and fresh. I also enjoyed seeing your rebuttal throughout the length of this vast page of commentary, and needless to say you are very articulate in adequately expressing your opinion. Based on everything that has been said, I would like to add some words of caution: beware of Mrs number 110 , I think she's going to try and pull a fast one on you! Lol, hatzlocho raba.
(1/29/2013 9:23:58 PM)
112
Author
To number 110 and anyone else with the same idea - the email I used to submit the column is soscolumn@gmail.com
COL can verify it for you.
(1/29/2013 9:24:41 PM)
113
Crazy
I have a big issue, some dates that I have been on. The girl looks in person not really attractive and in the pictures she looks great. How do we deal with this issue?? Can Lubavitch please find me an answer!! because I hate it when this happens.
(1/29/2013 9:30:16 PM)
114
Glamour Photo
I spent $200 on a professional, air brushed glamour picture. I look amazing in it and send it with each shidduch profile. It gets me lots of first dates. Then no second date! I am still on the "market".
(1/29/2013 10:28:01 PM)
115
Seriously?
The Gemara in gitin says that's its prohibited to Mary a woman you think is ugly, since every time you look at her you will hate and transgress the prohibition of hating a fellow Jew.
(1/29/2013 10:35:24 PM)
116
woah
Picture or not? Who cares. We just had a 94 year old bubby, comment on col. That should be the real story.:)
(1/29/2013 10:38:30 PM)
117
Post sem girl
It is not right to judge someone by a first glance at a picture. Some people might do this and not want to go out just because of the picture. Maybe it would be right to agree to go out, and then send the picture....
(1/29/2013 11:49:47 PM)
118
all these quotes from gemara and shulchan aruch or whatever
were clearly around before the concept of pictures. they were probably referencing a time when arranged marriages were the prevalent custom. no one gets married today without looking at someone. i'm not saying the gemara is irrelevant, i just don't think those gemaras that say you can't marry ugly people justify pictures before dating. they're talking about not finding your fiancee attractive. today, you actually go on dates. if after two dates, you still don't find her attractive, then take the gemaras advice. people need to stop quoting these gemaras because they have absolutely nothing to do with pictures.
(1/30/2013 1:38:56 AM)
119
Your mothers
Not so long ago when we were all a bit less shallow and superficial, a bochur and girl went out and let Hashem do his part.If the shidduch was meant to come into fruition it happened. Many of your mothers who married your fathers wiere average looking.. Your fathers thought that your mothers were and still are the most beautiful in the world. If your fathers were trapped by todays standards, many of them would not have married your mothers. Where would that leave you??
(1/30/2013 2:56:41 AM)
120
FFB
I find this habit of claiming that the author of certain comments or the article itself is a BT or a son of one, offensive and inappropriate. How low are you that you must discriminate between members of one family especially by putting down those that in truth are HIGHER than you?
(1/30/2013 5:44:50 AM)
121
Congrats
May I congradulate the author of this article if only for the common sense expressed but certainly for taking the time to highlight an issue which is one of the core reasons why the Lubavitch community is experiencing a Shidduch crisis at the moment.
No one not even the strongest of characters can maintain objectivity once they have passed first impression.
And finally as someone who is happily married for almost 20 years and realized on our first [BLIND] date that I was going to marry her I can testify as will some of my freinds who married at about the same time that our first meeting, seeing, hearing, and the general initial interaction left un-tampered with by having previously seen a photo of each other is perhaps one of the most cherished memories we can claim.
(1/30/2013 7:08:09 AM)
122
to #8. FFB
Everyone is a BT, and if your not, Miss Gezhe, and anyone else out there who thinks like that, you are definitely not in the right place. every person has to make a decision at some point in thier life (usually teens or early 20's..or earlier) about the way they want to live thier life and why. If you cant answer for yourself why you live your life the way you do, other than the fact that your grandfather pished in nevel, you are a fry'ak and I would never want to marry you or your children. My parents are BT's and Ive gone out with pretty much only 'gezhe's', and guess what, a lot of them were not so great. Either they are too modern and cool and trying to 'beat' the system or they're just not with the program or totally clueless as to what being chabad is all about. So get off your high horse or not. As my mother always said when we wouldnt want to eat something: 'you don't want it? its icky? ok. est dreck' I say the same to you Mrs. FFB - I wouldnt want to marry someone like you anyways.
peace out.
xx
(1/30/2013 10:04:25 AM)
123
#58
no need to be so rude!
seriously sad !
(1/30/2013 11:17:49 AM)
124
Perspective
People look different in pictures and in real life, you can not judge someones look by a one time view from a specific angle. SO many Factor of a persons looks can change depending on the time, angle, lighting, quality.... etc. of the picture you see. If you are going to look at a picture at least see more than two.
(1/30/2013 12:31:19 PM)
125
#114
from #113, please stop wasting our time and money its very annoying when it happens.
(1/30/2013 1:04:22 PM)
126
Great writing, but terrible points.
First of all: Don't talk for the Rebbe.
Second, you bring up the financial issue, without giving a good answer to it. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXPENSIVE EXHAUSTING DATING IS! Some of us have not more money to spend! You bring up how expensive the wedding is as proof to your point. To the contrary, how can we pay for the wedding if we've spent thousands on pointless dating. YES POINTLESS! I'm gone on dates without seeing photos, only to know 30 seconds in that I've just wasted time and money. Additionally, she will be just as embarrassed, when you turn her down after the date, as if you've done it before.

Start dating, then start talking.
(1/30/2013 1:09:45 PM)
127
whoa.
this whole thing is just cracking me up.
(1/30/2013 1:29:50 PM)
128
To number 126
In defense of the author, he isn't talking for the Rebbe, he is merely expressing his opinions based on what he has gleaned from the Rebbes teachings. There is a big difference, and if I recall seeing correctly the author himself said so. Then, in regard to your next issue you take umbrage with, the author most definitely conceded to that point, as evidenced in particular by what he said at the very end of his article, namely, that as a bochur not living in NY he also has to put up with the travel expenses and so on. So I really don't know why you are belittling his opinions. You can feel free to disagree, but unfortunately you are attacking him on pretty baseless counterarguments. Try again next time.
(1/30/2013 1:43:57 PM)
129
A Real Shidduch Crisis!!
Let us all pay a bit more attentionto the bigger "PICTURE".
Peronality or other ways of showing Affection can attract two opposites no matter how they look.
Marriage is not a Fantasy lets get that cleared up for all the fussy people out there.
(1/30/2013 2:36:28 PM)
130
To # 127
I know, right? All these people are mad for nothing. They're making a big deal out of nothing!!
(1/30/2013 3:08:05 PM)
131
# 53 and the author
should totally go out!
(1/30/2013 4:23:58 PM)
132
i think
there should be a group picture. that will solve all the problems
one huge picture for all the singles!
(1/30/2013 10:46:13 PM)
133
TO EVERYONE
Listen, there are two different ways of thinking :
1) picture is not important, you should wait for the actual date and see with your own eyes, also bacause a person changes is base of their middos
2) of course you need a picture!
Why spend so much money if you don't even know how the person looks and maybe you just waisted you money because that person is so not you style.
That's it, in short.
(1/31/2013 1:09:50 AM)
134
To #128 from #126
When you talk about "the Rebbe would approve of", YOU ARE TALKING FOR THE REBBE!
Regarding the financial issues, even local dates are very expensive! Car rental, gas, bill, parking etc. It adds up. (never mind the emotionally exhausting part of it.)
I am belittling his opinions, because when he gets on his high moral horse (I'm sure he is just looking for a date.) he is belittling the rest of us.
(1/31/2013 1:10:52 AM)
135
134
What's wrong with "talking for the rebbe"? He gave us many teachings for us to know what to do lemaiseh, and it's kind of pointless if we just hem and haw and convince ourselves we can't figure out what the rebbe would want from us in a certain situation. But this is really a shulchan aruch issue. Like other commentors said, you fulfill your obligation to see her when you go on a date, and other than that why is it any different from stam looking at a picture of a woman which is assur al pi shulchan aruch?
(1/31/2013 2:06:01 AM)
136
Kids these days
Why do they have to rent a fancy car and go to fancy restaurants in Manhattan to impress a girl? Just take the train and go to a lounge or somewhere that doesn't cost money. Think about how much you waste on girls you didn't even marry!
(1/31/2013 2:10:16 AM)
137
To number 134
He didn't sound like he's on his high horse. It sounds like he's trying to persuade you to do something he thinks is for your own good; not impose something on you.
(1/31/2013 2:14:35 AM)
138
To number 134
Once again, feel free to disagree, but once again, you're yelling at the wall. The Rebbe perspective issue was already addressed. The author brought HIS opinion to the table, which incidentally is something that clearly you do not have a problem with doing, albeit not tolerating others opinions. Evidently you disagree, but once again I fail to detect any flaw in the manner in which he voices himself in this regard. The most desirable path a Chossid can follow is the path of the Rebbe, and nothing that was said on the authors part in any way contradicts that. Quite the contrary, it enhances a particular perspective on this vast issue, and in no way chas vsholom degrades the Rebbe. Moving on, in regard to the financial strain: the author concedes with you on that! He gets it! And if you had read the article with the slightest amount of subtlety you would have noticed that the very last thing he is trying to do is "get on his high moral horse". Rather, he wants to bring across a line of reasoning to his contemporaries who face the same quandary based primarily upon Darchei Hachassidus, which is something that requires some bittul to do. Not exactly the kind of thing to do to ride your moral horse. And lastly, if he indeed does get a date out of all of this, good for him! Why is that your problem?
(1/31/2013 4:08:38 AM)
139
To #135/7/8
What's wrong with talking for the Rebbe, is when you do so belittling others, when you can't even be sure you're right.
He clearly trivializes the expense of local dating.
I will take his opinions once he spends weeks looking into a girl, hundreds on the date, and is ABSOLUTELY SURE 30 seconds into the date that it won't work. This happened to me, when I went on a 'blind' date. I was sure that she wasn't for me, not because she wasn't a barbie, because I was repulsed by her looks. There was no way I'd have dated her if I'd have seen a picture. (even ear brushed, from any angle)
I have no problem with an average looking guy looking for dates using his skills. (and don't get me wrong, this boy is a talented writer) Just don't do it by pushing the rest of us down.
(1/31/2013 9:26:32 AM)
140
Just to clarify
Number 128 is number 138
(1/31/2013 11:19:33 AM)
141
To 139
I don't think that the author was intentionally trying to insult or put down anyone. Take his opinion or leave it, and pretty much come out of it with the two options that number 133 said. It's that simple, and very much subjective.
(1/31/2013 12:37:40 PM)
142
AGREE WITH #125
HUUUUUGE WASTE OF MONEY!!!!!!!
#114 CEASE AND DESIST IMMEDIATELY!
(1/31/2013 8:26:29 PM)
143
a chossid
Just One Question To The Commenter's : Is It Chassidish To Send A Picture To A Prospective Shiduch Inquiry ?
When I Send My Picture I Feel Like A Free For All ..i Am Sending My Picture To someone I Dont Even Know..
Please Answer.
(2/4/2013 7:09:48 PM)
144
mother
I have on many occasions have had to argue with shadchonim because I rejected the idea of sending pictures. I also feel strongly that 1] it is not tznisdik because you cannot control who will be viewing it. Did the BR yearbooks do away with photos for this reason?
2]the judgement is often made by the parent/ mother as to whether she likes the looks 3] a picture is not always accurate because it is often one at a wedding or well made up 4] lacking animation one passes judgement only on superficiality, no we are not Shlomo HaMelech or Rebbeim who could tell the personality and character of someone just by looking esp at an inanimate photo. [Yes sometimes the tznius appearance can be observed]. 4] Just like we ask references about personality, health, character traits we should also ask about some physical points, height, overweight, thin, general looks or appearance if that is an issue for some.

Personally we BH have married off many daughters and a couple of sons without pictures. In fact the resumes that had photos attached for our sons were often declined because of the judgement by looking at the photos. It did not do the girl a service. It was wrong but people do judge superficially. [Is this not what Hashem said to Shmuel that man judges by looks and G-D sees the heart.as an admonition].

If anyone ever wanted to know what my daughters looked like I always referred them to people who knew them But not photos which once sent we no longer have control over. BH all our daughters are beautiful both from within and without and their husbands did not miss out on anything even though they did not receive photos beforehand.

Hatzlocho rabo to everyone in finding their Bashert to create
a Binyan adei ad.
(12/17/2014 4:26:09 AM)
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