Jul 24, 2009
The Girl from Comment #31

Shidduchim SOS: The girl who wrote comment #31 is puzzled by the reactions and asks why don't they teach about this in seminary and is pondering whether to find a mate herself.


I am a girl who has just started the shidduch process. I am fairly attractive, wear a size 2, come from a good family, and I think my personality is OK too.

Does any of this sound familiar? Yes, I am sure that to some of you, it does. I am the girl who posted comment #31 on the op-ed "What are Bochurim Thinking?" As I was reading all the comments, I became quite disturbed by some of the things I read.

Firstly, it seems that so many people are not educated in the correct approach to shidduchim. The girls learn some things in seminary, but of course, they only remember to begin teaching it at the end of the year. This of course means that we don’t have enough time to learn everything we should.

The guys have it even worse than us. They never learn the proper behavior one should have regarding shidduchim, dating, and all involved. They never learn what they should be looking for in a girl. They don’t know how to behave on dates.

Secondly, now that I am in this stage of my life, I am truly beginning to doubt the system. Throughout my entire life, I was always taught to keep my distance from the opposite gender, to ensure a "good" shidduch. Now that I am older, though, I see couples who found each other on their own and they seem happy. And I wonder if the "system" is something adults made up to keep us out of trouble, and in reality does not exist.

My third trouble is this: Why are educators so afraid to teach us right from wrong? We want to do this the right way and at this point in our lives, we need answers. Why can't we have shidduchim classes to educate single boys and girls? A Mashpia is not enough.

I would like to finish off by saying that for those of you who thought I sounded interesting from my previous comments, what is the point of giving me your email address? If I am the good girl you think I am, then why would I email you? This is my exact worry. Do boys really know what they are looking for? Well, we girls aren't sure either!

= = = = = =

Mrs. Sarah Junik's response:

1. Food for thought: Amazing how we complain about how "others" only look at externals and how "they" are obsessed with looks, and yet when we describe ourselves the first words are "I am fairly attractive, wear a size 2" and only after that we get "...come from a good family, and I think my personality is OK too."

Even if our motivation is that we are writing for a crowd that puts priority on looks, we should not buy into the philosophy ourselves but we should start our description with our family, our good midos, our personality, and then, if we feel we must, go to the looks department.

2. You are right to observe that many people are not educated about the correct approach to shidduchim. Some seminaries will have lectures on the subject but obviously not encompassing the full spectrum of yichud, tznius, etc. Some basic discussions on how men think and act differently than women would be useful as well.

When first coming to Sem, the girls are still in "High School Mode" and there are a lot of other things that should be taught. Even after a few months of maturity, some girls will say (or think) "Why do we have to hear this now, I don’t want to get married yet!" or "I have 2 sisters before me." Therefore, it makes sense that the subject is taught more towards the end of the year rather then at the beginning.

3. When it comes to bochurim, ignorance is indeed even more common. With no structure available - group classes are not suggested - some youngerleit should volunteer to discuss, one on one, what is appropriate for shidduchim and on dates.

These private mashpiim would also be relieving the minds of a lot of out-of-town parents who do not know who to send their chossen bocher to for advice. (if someone wants to help, email shidduchim@COLlive.com).

4. Your comment about setting up your own date is actually very worrysome.

Our views are skewed by the world around us, focused mainly on looks before character, trends before ideology. Your parents are influenced by the western culture, knowingly or not. How much more so you, the children!

Let's be clear: A couple who found themselves also had a matchmaker - the same almighty that matched Adam and Chava. But a do-it-yourself Shidduch is compared to driving wild: just because you didn't crash does not mean people who try it are safe.

More then often, a secular couple that has been dating for weeks still don't know the basic life goals each is striving for, and could not mention three positive character traits (again, character not looks) they have observed. The whole idea of those dates is to have "fun." Not very conducive to finding a fitting mate.

We are not even touching the fact that being Nogea B'Dovor, one is in euphoria and completely blinded that even if something off with true character is noticed, it is immediately dismissed or excused.

Human nature has not changed drastically in the last 100 years. What our bubbes knew to be right is still right and what was wrong is still wrong - whether you're from Poland, Italy, France or New Jersey.

It's easy to blame "the system," instead of being clear with yourself (and it's not easy) and looking within to know what complements you, what you have to offer and what you really need.

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Opinions and Comments
Wow! It is so refreshing to hear somebody finally writing with a clear, chasidishe approach.
There is one thing that bothers me, though. While we had some sort of "bayis yehudi" class in seminary, nobody systematically educated us about shiduchim. Yet, somehow, most of my friends and I seemed to figure out the proper approach. I believe that it is the result of a chasidish upringing and education. Someone with the right attitude toward life has the right attitude toward shiduchim. As for the details, we all nervously learned through the Rebbe's letters before the first time we went out, and we spoke to both mashpiim and parents. We had enough guidance to know where to look.
Now, before I am accused of being out of touch, let me clarify that I am not talking about thirty years ago. I was in seminary around ten years ago. And I am still not married. But this is not due to a broken system, and it is not a reason for a girl at the beginning of the road to give up on the system before she even starts. It works for many, and hopefully it will work for this girl as well. Each situation is unique, and it sounds like this girl does not have much to worry about. My advice would be to stop paying attention to all of the naysayers and give the proper attention to this very important period in her life. Hopefully, her name will be on this website again very soon...
(7/23/2009 9:15:34 PM)
a frustrated neshamah
whats bothering this girl is something a lot deeper. as sarah junik points out, the first things she has described herself as is her looks, which goes to show that she has much learning to do herself before she starts giving solutions. she has not described specific problems with our system,. even though it might be very flawed. she just sounds very very frustrated about lots of other things, and therefore this is the new outlet to let out all of our frustration on.
as educators, if someone after going through the entire system is questning why they should not be talking to the opposite gender, then this is very sad. we dont strain ourselves just because, the reason we do it is because it will bring out the best in us and in our marriage later on by holding back now. if someone does not realise that, then her lack of understanding for shiduchim is the last problem here.
(7/23/2009 9:18:37 PM)
"seem happy"
your words speak for themselves!!! You NEVER know what is going on in someone else's marriage... More often than not these couples who met on the own have a more difficult time being happy later.
(7/23/2009 9:29:00 PM)
now what
(7/23/2009 10:46:32 PM)
why do you assume that every person dating out of the system is so immature and that their dating must be for 'fun'?!
on the 'what are bochurim thinking' op-ed one 'shadchan' wrote that one of the problems is that parents aren't 'real' about their kids. or that thing about more 'good' girls than boys or some other gibberish garbage! basically how nobody doing the looking for you actually has any clue of what they are doing, not your parents (as that 'shadchan' pointed out) and not the shadchan (as is clear from the observations s/he makes)
so why dont you assume that someone dating outside the system is just getting around her biased parents and the clueless shadchan?
(7/23/2009 11:40:03 PM)
bad response
Sara Junik's response is quite a disappointing depiction of the exact issues we're faced with. With all due respect, I felt it ignorant and neglectful of the genuine issues raised by the commenter, and essentially chasing its tail.

One of the basic issues is that our education system ignores the inner self, so young people get lost in a confusing space where they can't figure themselves out, and have little to no access to a rich and meaningful emotional world. Obviously, it becomes difficult to know what one wants, or how to behave under unfamiliar circumstances.
To suddenly try to inculcate a 19-yr-old girl, in a three month time span, with some kind of deeper emotional awareness seems utterly pathetic to me. It's way too late, and you can't just throw it at people and believe they'll actually integrate the knowledge! There are so many girls who crave a deeper emotional relationship (as they should) but a) don't know it, and b) are taught it's more essential to focus on the chitas/rambam/minyan issues, and have no idea how to foster a meaningful relationship.

I'm insulted by the implication that a "secular" couple dating for weeks just do it for fun and don't make any progress. So, so untrue. If their intentions are pure, that is, they're serious daters seeking marriage, they may have perhaps built a stronger relationship without the "Omyg-d, we're past the 4th-date mark" pressure... and instead know what the other person appreciates, values and loves in life. And yes, fun is an essential part of marriage, and couples should know if the other is capable of making him/her feel happy. There's no reason for couples to go into marriage blindly (well, at least he doesn't trim his beard and he says chitas daily), feeling completely freaked out, and suffering through (at least) one miserable year of marriage. I've heard this story over and over again. Obviously, something is not working.
(7/24/2009 12:03:35 AM)
machon lehoraa graduate
as a pretoria smicha program graduate i just wanted to let u know that what you are saying is not entirely i true in our program we had a few courses at the end of the year on dating and shiduchim which were very usefull and neccessary and also opened up an opportunity to ask questions and be able to ask questions to the rabbi in the future - i feel this is exactly what we need and more smicha programs should be encouraged to do so
(7/24/2009 12:58:55 AM)
Mother of Boys
You want to know if boys or girls know what they are looking for. I have read numerous girl's resumes. Girls can be quite stubborn and unyielding about what they want and this does not always change as they get older.
Let me tell you examples:
A girl whose resume stated that she wanted an open-minded boy, turned down such a boy because he liked sports. What was her definition of "open-minded"? One would think that she was looking for a "chilled" boy when she actually was looking for one who was very chassidshe.
Another example:
A girl aged 19 has started the shidduch process and wants a boy of compatible age who is already well established in a career (as well as still chassidishe). I have actually seen several of those where the girl herself is a teachers aide and may be inching her way to a degree but is not on a career track. They want a breadwinner boy, however, the process of becoming a breadwinner must not deter him from being chassidishe.
Do these girls know what they want? What about the shlichus or bust type of girl? She wants a life of shlichus but it must be in a cushy suburb, not in a place where real miseras nefesh is required. (Face it, I don't view leaving NY as miseras nefesh).
How about the girl who won't date anyone shorter than herself or red-haired, or a bit chubby but she is not exactly a beauty queen herself? And if she is a beauty queen, isn't this also putting externals first?
To top it off, even though other chassidim besides Chabad pair older girls with younger boys, many of our Chabad girls will not hear of marrying a boy younger than themselves.
So while we are busy complaining about bochrim with the wrong values, girls also need to re-evaluate themselves. To mothers of girls who are tearing out their hair in frustration:
get your daughters to open up their minds. Their basherte may be someone younger, shorter, still training in a job, etc.
(7/24/2009 1:56:32 AM)
What system?
(7/24/2009 2:35:12 AM)
This is garbage
"The system" is a non existant thing, there is no system and all of the shadchanim and such are for the most part full of themselves
Educators avoid this subject for one reson, they have no idea what to teach. There are no guidlines, no written instructions...ohh yes and the attractiveness, it is important since after all we all know that "personality" will not supply the physical part of the marrige or at least in most cases
So instead on trying to chage the nature of the world and lecture (talk town) at people i submit to the "expert" here to try to work with reality and embrace the young
The need is to create a "system" from the ground up
Many boys and girls "find each other" since they dont trust the system and they are probably righ. Just putting two people together will not produce a good marriege
(7/24/2009 2:38:29 AM)
DIY vs "The system"
The "system". I am a girl who has been "on the market" for a while now. I come from a kind, loving, caring, supportive and giving family.. I grew up in an environment that was and is filled with Torah, Chassidus and a love of chabad - Lubavitch. Me, I have to say thank g-d those traits were instilled in me. iI you ask around what you will hear is, well that they have never heard of me or my family, that we are "nobody's".

In addition to this, when making calls my parents have started coming across people on the reference list (men and women,married or single) who decide that it is their right to ask about me and decide if the shidduch is shayyich or not. I would have to say that my favorite are the people who are "busy". People who after hearing about you are interested and make all the phone calls and then all of a sudden they are "busy" and you never here from them again. If you are not interested just say that.
I am not pointing the fingure here at the guys. In fact its not their fault. Nor is it the fault of the girls or shadchanim. Its collective. Yes they should be giving classes on how to handle dating. How to be appropriate, to both boys and girls alike. They should also be giving classes to Shadchanim on dealing appropriately and being more sensitive towards people decisions and feelings. I am not witting this to complain about all the issues. Thank g-d I have the confidence to know that this is petty silly stuff. I am strong in who I am and what I want AND need.

In terms of "Doing It Yourself". To the author of the letter. Know this. Unfortunately the minute you even mention that you may be slightly interested in going about things by yourself, you are labeled as a more modern girl. Even if it is far from the truth. Yes I agree with Rebbetzin Junik. If you don't want to be seen as a size two pretty girl, don't bring that up the first thing. Personally i don't like seeing pictures before dating. I like to know who the person is. That is what matters in the end. I agree that it is an issue, that now what matters to people the most is what is on the outside NOT the inside. If it bothers you then stay away from it. Don't follow them. Fact is peoples looks change.

The system was put in place years and years ago. For me the choice wasn't easy. I have my fair share of upsets and issues with the system and it is very very hard at times.I'm not saying it isn't. It wasn't easy to come to the decision of sticking to it, but I look a it this way. The Rebbe said that its the right way. Who am I to argue with him. My point. Each way has pros and cons. You need to weigh them and decide for yourself which way you want to go about. most importantly, YOU need to be the one that is happy and comfortable with your choice.
To Rebbetzin Junik: Even those that are clear with what they want are are true to themselves about what they need and want are having problems with the system and for them its not a matter of blame, and these issues and problems are not petty but very very valid.
(7/24/2009 2:42:56 AM)
Broken System
There is nothing wrong with this girl. Shame on you to even try to paint her that way. I for one found my wife through a freind we dated for two years and are bh happy with two great kids. This system is broken and archaic. Young lady, wake up and realize that you are part of a system which is full of BS and corrupt, run by dictators and elitists. If you want to be happy dont rely on a system with such an incredibly high failure rate do whatever you can to go get your man!
(7/24/2009 2:47:59 AM)
my opinion
the system works for truly chassidishe people through and through. you can't sit on both sides of the fence. the system does not work for 'modern' people. if you have ANY secular influence IT DOES NOT WORK.
(7/24/2009 3:02:05 AM)
I challenge you!!!!!
Wow, is for starters, after reading this it made me feel very unez on the inside, here I'm stuck right in the heart of things, I understand 100% where this girl is coming from, I myself have a brother "on the market" and several close family friends whom are having the same issues, I think a big credit due is to the parents of these guys and girls whom say no to every name, since "they" don't see it fit, they are pushing their kids more and more to pick someone whom they like, I hate to say this its but to all you parents out there, you got married and I hope its a happy marriage, let your kids be the ones to say no.

I come from a very mixed back-round myself, I was brought up "in the system", walked the walk, talked the talk, however I have been in the business world for a few years now, I see nothing wrong with some guys and girls getting together for a event, I have those kind of networking events all the time, and they work, a true source to my success are from those events, I think the mom's and dad's need to stop imagining what they would do if they were young and single again in a room full of single guys and girls, its a new ball game these days, you would much rather have your kids pick up a girl from within our community then from Gd knows where.

I therefore will but my money where my mouth is, I'm sick of hearing the BS that is ongoing with my brother and those family friends, I'm willing to sponsor a true networking event, if there are those that are willing to step up to the plate, I challenge you, lets prove all these nay Sayers wrong.

My email address is parksloperetail@yahoo.com

(7/24/2009 3:18:10 AM)
No need for Classes
Bochurim never had Classes on Shiduchim, and the ones in Seminary are all such BS, like just make sure ur husband has dinner when he gets home from work, cause men are animels and they need food to keep them in a good mood ( i heard that from a girl in sem, that was tought that)

i think classes would be a great thing, but dont blame anything on not getting classes look at all the ppl who never had classes and still managed to date just fine and get married, i am not the most Chassidishe Boy, i do come from a good home and i Married Gezhe ( oh and of course i need to mention im good looking :-) ) without being trained how to date and what to say and not to say. i was told 1 thing before i started dating BE YOURSELF!! and beleive me it works, and you dont need training to be yourself.

(7/24/2009 3:36:46 AM)
A Valid Point
Kids who have very involved parents who are teaching guiding and discussing Torah values will have it. Those that don't, rely on our school system which may be doing too little too late. Many issues of yichud, tznius, and even Taharas Hamishpocha should ideally begin in high school if not even in elementary at Bas Mitzva age. We should be reaching kids when they are receptive and eager.
(7/24/2009 3:36:49 AM)
Toichen more than looks
What you need help with is realiziing that men are not dying to marry you just because you are size 2 and attractive. If you think that those are your selling points, it's time to realize that men are not so shallow. They are looking for someone with good middos and toichen, a good wife and mother . Not someone who walks down the street and thinks all the guys eyes are on her.
(7/24/2009 4:05:34 AM)
I have my own theory
Does something maybe have to do with the standards of tznius going down (tight shirts, short skirts, no socks) with difficulty in shidduchim? (obviosly all of us affecting each other as a klal, not that only those that are careful get married)
(7/24/2009 4:12:15 AM)
So, you actually did it
Hey 31,

Nice to see that you went ahead and wrote the op-ed like you said you would.
The reason many guys don't know how to behave on dates or around girls in general is because they have no experience with that. Their life experience with girls is all about thinking that they're from another planet...can a few classes really change that?
There is nothing that will ensure a good shidduch. Being the best person you can be will help ppl like you and therefore boost your chances. The reason peoples’ self-made shidduchim work is because that's how the world was designed to work by G-d and it's been working for thousands of years. (I'm not referring to meeting random ppl online or hooking up with someone at a bar, I'm talking about when you meet a person in real life and get to know them).
The reason they don't teach right from wrong is because they don't trust you to make the right decision and are petrified of the possibility that you will make a mistake. For example Yeshivos started to ban cell phone because maybe guys will talk to girls or whatever. Don’t they realize that they will not be on top of these guys 24/7 and at some point in time they will have to make a choice for them selves? They are not kids they are 18 in some communities they’d be getting married, joining the military etc. I find that there’s too much focus on the restrictions instead of the reasons behind them.
If you’re on a boat you don’t need to tell the kids not to drill holes in the ground or else they’ll get a knas…you just need to explain that they’ll drown.
And lastly maybe their definition of a good girl is different then the typical CH version. At least three of my good friends’ Shidduchim happened without a Shadchan and I can assure you that from my perspective they are just as perfect if not more so as the set-up ones.

~ Elie

(7/24/2009 5:19:23 AM)
clearly not in touch with the realities of today
Maybe somebody with their finger on the pulse can address these issues; in a kind, compassionate, respectful and validating way.

by: match made in heaven 17 years ago
(7/24/2009 5:30:49 AM)
Dont marry someone for looks!!

A wise person once said: Women marry men hoping they will change and they dont, while men marry women hoping they wont change and they do!

"Sheker Hachayn" is a FACT, not an ideal.

The important things are CHARACHTER, FAMILY, and LIFE GOALS. The rest means nothing in real life!
Kids, ask anyone who is married they will tell you that!
(7/24/2009 5:38:15 AM)
It's not the system that is at fault but rather the people in the system.
It's not the system that is at fault but rather the people in the system.
(7/24/2009 5:38:28 AM)
the system?
can someone please explain me what "the system" is
(7/24/2009 5:41:12 AM)
to number 17
you are so wrong. ask any shadchun and the first question is size of girl. the mothers of the boys want size 2 and that is why this poor girl is so confused. Also look at alot of the girls getting engaged, they are size two with money and very little toichen.
(7/24/2009 5:48:12 AM)
to #14
I am b'h happily married for 23 years and all my siblings are happily married too. but before we were married and when our friends and cousins were in the process, i often heard people joke around how things would be so much easier if all the boys and all the girls were put in a room and found their mates that way. we laughed then but today it might not be a bad idea, especially for the older singles.
(7/24/2009 5:52:20 AM)
Ha ha
To #15 i'm laughing so hard because i also was taught in sem that "men are animals make sure you feed them" i remember asking the teacher (a man) if he really thought of men that low? He turned to me and said "wait till you're married, don't ask your husband anything when he comes home before he's eaten something"
(7/24/2009 6:07:14 AM)
to #18
your theory is way off. tzniyus in our community may be a major issue. but does that mean that chassidishe girls like myself who are having a hard time getting a date forget getting married are having it hard because of tzniyus. there are girls in our community who walk around the streets barely half dressed, literally. and women who walk around in their houses with their hair uncovered... and i wont continue, who got married and are doing just fine SEEMINGLY.
But the fact of the matter is that tzniyus is something that needs to change cuz its only getting worse by the day. but that has nothing to do with good girls like myself who are having a hard time finding a shidduch and girls in my age group who got married two years ago and arent tzniyus at all!!!
(7/24/2009 6:07:19 AM)
meeting someone on your own
when you are young, and you find someone on your own, you don't have the insight yet to know what marriage and raising children are all about. So you go out and have fun together etc. etc.You get married and life starts to get very serious, and all of a sudden you are jolted into reality. If you both come from frum and chassidishe homes,it's very easy to get back into it,because your education and true chassidishe values are deep inside of you, you just have to bring it out, so the couple grows back into it together. If one comes from such a home, and the other one doesn't, that spells real trouble,and the marriage doesn't last. Because when we are teenagers and in our 20s we think being happy is one thinkg,when really being happy means having Iddishe un Chassidishe Nachas fun de kinder which we only realize , and come to our senses much later.
(7/24/2009 6:26:07 AM)
To #12
Shame on YOU!!!

If you indeed dated for 2 years as you say you did, then you did something wrong - you could have been married to her for an additional 1 and 3/4 years!

I wouldn't dare to even think how many improper thoughts crossed your mind throughout those 2 years, as it is impossible that they weren't there.

You wasted 1 and 3/4 years of your life for absolutely no reason.

Anyone here who thinks that there is a "better way" than our current system is wrong.

Exactly as Mrs. Junik said, the reasons for the system that our Bubbe's and Zaidy's used in days of old have not changed. Except that I have something to add: If they needed that system in the days when there was no television, movies, cellphones, text messaging, internet and email, vacations, honeymoons, fancy cars and more... how much more so do WE need that system!

Almost everyone who's in the dating parsha (including myself, when I was in it and thought that I was "open minded") thinks that changes need to be made to the "system". Why? Because almost everyone has a hard time! And out of frustration, we all need to find someone/something to blame, so we pick on the System and the Shadchanim.

Dating is very hard, that is the way Hashem set it up! It is not the fault of our system.

Most of us get insulted in one way or the other when we are in the "Parsha". No matter how "Gezhe" a family, no matter how "well off" a family, no matter how "nice, loving and caring" a family, we all get nasty comments thrown in our direction. The bias applies to everyone.

All those who have made their "own" Shidduch, could have just as well done it through the system in a Tzniusdike manner, if the Shidduch was Bashert, it would have happened one way or the other. You can swim across the Atlantic, or you can fly across, in both cases, you might get to the other side, but flying would be a lot safer.

As others have stated before, the fact is that our "system" works. If you have been in the system for a while and still have not found your match, it is not the fault of the system.

Shame on you #12, and shame on all those who want to impose wrongful and sinful (yes, SINFUL) ways of changing our way of life. Take your secular ideas move elsewhere! You all think that you are being "open-minded" when, in reality the system has been put into place by people that were much wiser, more righteous and certainly more open-minded than any of you.
(7/24/2009 6:33:13 AM)
Chinuch, chinuch, chinuch!
Parents must talk to their children about life. These issues should be discussed starting from Bar/Bat Mitzvah age. Discussions should be held in school and camp, starting with high school age. Good communication is the key.
Parents must be really involved in the shidduch process. They should be good examples of Bitachon that Hashem has someone for every one. It is important to be positive and optimistic, and use good old common sense.
Friends and relatives should make it a priority to help out those whose parents can't do the job--in fact, they should help out everyone with this important mitzvah!
(7/24/2009 6:44:07 AM)
VERY impressed!!
finally some words of wisdom from sarah junik..
(7/24/2009 6:53:25 AM)
Oddsrise as expectations drop
To echo #13, the system, such as it is, works fairly well for people who are uncomplicated, have few expectations, and toe the line (of Chabad chassidishkeit) fully. For anyone else, the odds of finding a good (i.e. viable, lasting) shidduch are minimal. This is my opinion, based on my personal experience.
(7/24/2009 6:58:03 AM)
Number 8
I completely agree with you
(7/24/2009 7:01:34 AM)
A better idea for #23
Why wait for the boys and girls to grow old and only then put them all in a room? Let them learn together in high school and have mix yeshivas!

Better yet, let the boys and girls find their shidduch at the young age of 3!
(7/24/2009 7:15:25 AM)
al dis caments wer prably riten by gerls cuz we bois dunt now how 2 rite
(7/24/2009 7:30:28 AM)
right shidduch, right time
There are many of us out there who have the right hashkufos, know who we are and what we are looking for, have been dating for a while and are still not married. Just as we will each find "the right one" for us, it is also important to realize that there is also a right time for each of us to find our partner. Yes we have to do our part, but when the time comes we will find our bashert.
(7/24/2009 7:38:28 AM)
Although the system will not change from these articles, as a single, it is nice to read comments from others going through similar difficulties.
(7/24/2009 7:45:33 AM)
To 29
I'm so happy you're married so I don't have to worry about possibly marrying someone with a warped mind like yours...especially since you considered yourself open-minded

Ps when you're ready to swim the atlantic give me a call
(7/24/2009 7:51:11 AM)
(7/24/2009 7:54:05 AM)
to num 34
You cant compare older singles looking to get married and wanting a commitment to young high school kids looking for fun
.Older singles have been through years of dating, are burnt out, emotionlly exhusted from having to rely on shadchanim and friends who forget they even exist, and therefor might be beneficial to have oppertunities where they can sit and talk in a matture and tachlis way. yes yes yes, I know many people don't agree with this "secular immoral " way of thinking but those who think like that can't even begin to comprehend the pain of being alone when you're older and are fed up with " the system" and not that its g-d forbid putting any blame on anyone but perhaps its time for a new direction....
Fee free to disagree!!! I'm hiding under my umbrella
I know your comment was said to proove a point but my point here is THINK before you comment!!!!
(7/24/2009 8:02:21 AM)
To #15
Very well said!!!!
People are created by hashem the way we are naturally and it wont change, obviously we all want someone good looking, even though personality is wayy more important, its just the way hashem created us that the first thing that attracts us is looks, unless you have spent enough time to discover their inner quality's. So why do people get disappointed when someone wont go out with someone if they dont like how he/she looks in the picture rather then get into an awkward moment to get out of??
(7/24/2009 8:11:32 AM)
to #21
I disagree, family is not the most important. People may the product of a family, but at the end of the day, are individuals.
(7/24/2009 8:26:50 AM)
Agree with number 36
As a slightly older girl , I have finnaly come to realization (unfortunatly it took so long) that you really need to have Bitachon. I am perfectly "normal" , come from a good family, and Chassidish. There is nothing stopping me. The bottom line is that Hashem is in charge and not the Shadchente. Something will happen when He decides and there is no reason to panick. I highly recommend all singles, their parents, and every one else out there to learn about Emuna and Bitochan and actually start thinking along the lines. This is the stage in life where we realize that we don't run the world.
(7/24/2009 8:28:08 AM)
to # 31
Your letter sure has people hopping,but there are some points I am not finding in all the comments
I want you to take these words to heart for "Dvarim Hayotzim min Haleiv Nichnosim ..."
You need to sit down a write yourself a list of your top 20 priorities of what you want in a spouse and what you can not imagine living without, then strike off 10, then strike off another 5. and then you can strike off 3 more because there are only 2 things you need in a spouse that encompass everything you will deal with in life.
If you went through the proper soul searching you will find that essentially you need your spouse to be
#1 your Partner and your very Best friend and by best friend I don't mean to compare it to the relationships you have with your girlfriends, which are usually frivulous and fun, but something deeper, like knowing that this is the first person you will turn to to tell anything to.and knowing that this person's opinion is the first one you seek on everything.
#2 A MENTCH who treats EVERYONE with respect and cosideration, someone who is kind, non judgemental, and is understanding with a live and let live attitude.
Such a person will automatically put your needs and the needs of future family before his own, (and by the way you should be the same way putting his needs before your own.)
Just knowing that someone holds you in such high esteem causes you to want to do everything in your power to make him /her happy
A person with these qualities is immediately someone who is also mature and thoughtful and knows how to treat his future children.
So #31, and all you Bochurim and girls out there reading this , go through this carefully and see if you can meet these 2 criteria and if you are indeed ready ofr the Shidduch scene.
I wish you all much Hatzlacha in finding your Basherte,a nd it should all come ijn a very Mazaldike Gringe Oifen
with Tefillos for Moshiach NOW!
(7/24/2009 8:30:00 AM)
to the author
Good for you for writing this op-ed. even if some of the commenters, including myself, don't necessarily agree with you on all the points you mention, still, you had the confidence to bring this up, and start a conversation here, which will hopefully lead to positive results in people's way of thinking.
I agree entirely that classes on this topic should be taught to both boys and girls. I'm surprised though, that you say you weren't taught this in seminary very much. Being that seminary is the last structured class setting for girls before they get married, when else should it be taught??!!! and more importantly - this is the main thing that SHOULD be focused on!!!
The seminary that I went to did have a specific, and EXTREMELY helpful bayis yehudi class, in sem bais, in which we went through the whole process, from knowing yourself and what you're looking for, the actual shidduchim, including practical behavior, the engagement, wedding, and marriage. Besides that class, we also learned Shidduchim U'nissuin inside, b'chavrusa, and those of us that were serious about it, got through most of the sefer. (anyone who complained that there are no guidelines should learn this sefer, the Rebbe gives amazing guidelines!)
This is besides the extra classes and lectures that were made at different points throughout the year.
True, the girls who did seminary only one year did not have these structured classes, (the topic of 1 vs 2 years of sem is a separate discussion in itself), and as much as i think its important for a girl to do 2 years of sem, still, it would be a change for the better to start these classes the first year, both for the benefit of those who will end up doing only one year, as well as those who will do 2 years - the more you learn, the better it is.
(7/24/2009 8:51:55 AM)
Life Coach for Singles
It's amazing how much anger and intense feeling is brought out here. Kudos to the people who can express their emotions about the "system." First you have to identify the problem. This is why I run these groups. I am NOT a shadchan, but there is so much to say that gets lost in translation. Like-minded young women (so far groups only for girls) find it much easier to be open with each other. Hatzlachah to you all. And to the writer, don't let anyone stifle your voice. I wish you great happiness and hatzlachah.
(7/24/2009 8:58:26 AM)
To # 8
You are 100% right and any guy who is dating knows that you write the truth.
(7/24/2009 9:06:56 AM)
To # 44
You say the most important thing is that she/he is a mentch and a nice person. but who will the mean people get married to?
(7/24/2009 9:32:50 AM)
To author
You should never make someone feel guilty for meeting someone on their own. I met my chosson on my own. It wasn't what either of us was planning on doing, and at first I felt terribly guilty. I was afraid to tell my "advisors." I was embarrassed (when all we did on our own was decide we wanted to meet each other and date properly).

You know what? We're Jews and we believe in hashgacha protis so who are we to say "Oh the shachan didn't propose it so obviously it's not a match."

No a shadchan didn't propose it but we still tried to do things properly. And there is nothing wrong with that.
(7/24/2009 9:33:28 AM)
to #24
that is so not true! why would u make such a generalization?!?! think b4 u make such a statement in the future!
(7/24/2009 9:46:50 AM)
There got to be a change that make sense!!!
I think that there is room for both world in any jewish orthodox community and the C"H community if no deferent
Some of us may have great success finding a mate on theyr own (with help of friends family and networking) some may find better success going though "professional" match maker" I don't know if there is an exact science to predict which way will work best for who but i guess if you don't try you will never know
So my advice to all the boys nd girls is to let your parents know exactly who you are and what your expectations from the whole process and dont hold back!!! after all it is your life they are all trying to set up (or screw up) so do not be passive and think that "they" will take care of you
and to parents, be more attentive and not selfish it is not your happyness you are in presute of but your children' happyness so dont let your egos and so called " reputation" get in the way and do really what is good for your kids
and lastly, to all the community members and a whole, stop stigmitize and lable people!!! there is no mold to fit everyone!!! there is no way to approch every person and cater to theyr needs and wants with the same old "this is how we do things around here" what works for some may not work for others so if someone gave it a try and looked for a mate on theyr own for a while and then decided to try the service of a shadchan they should not be labled an dmodren or whatever may hurt theyr chances for true happyness
another issue is the person's apearance, we all know that later in life whan things start to go south and gravity takes it's toll all the bauty in the world will be worthless unless you have a great personality. still there is like it or not a thing called estetics, and to each his or her own when it comes to what attract's oposite genders to each other but if you burry your heads in the sand and say that looks should not be an issue then i guess your children will tell you otherwise
Phisical attractiveness is a way G-D gave us to figur out without the science how to choose a mate with good genes someone strong and healty that will be a good provider. and in a woman's case someone who will be able to have healty babies
(yes!!! and each person has his or her way to figure it out with theyr instinct) I bring it all up to point out that the physical apearance is naybe not important for the rest of your life but it plays a major roll in the selective process of each individule and you can't just turn it off
the trouble start when you try to supress it and as a result you have unhappy people who end up depressed, devorced, or wors
So in short, follow your instincs, be yourself, and dont let other people's opinions make your decissions for you
and never judge anyone who went on theyr own to find a mate, you never know who will have lasting happyness and it may not be you
(7/24/2009 9:51:46 AM)
Tu BeAv is coming!
Could someone lease explain

Why is this called a system and not a "Style of making a shidduch"?

What is so different about Lubavitcher chassidim vis-a-vis all the other Shomrei Torah uMitzvois [excluding those who keep only the chosen mitzvois as in the Modern Orthodox movement.]?

They have their problems (especially in the Litvishe velt where money plays a very serious role - for lifetime-kollel), but I am totally unaware of any system bashing in these circles. What has transpired here?

Where does this concept of "my bashert" [that girls in particular refer to] Where does it come from? The Chazal who say "bas ployni liployni"? That went out of style with Cherem Rabbenu Gershom. There could be many "bas ployni's" to one ployni - and doesn't it make sense to get to him first?

Is there anyone reading this who knows for sure that none of their grand-or-great-grandfathers married again after a "death at childbirth"? I would wager that there isn't. So how do we now alleviate the demographic statistic that there are many more boys than girls.

Tu BeAv is arriving. We cannot have the girls go out dancing and the boys looking for their "pick". But maybe "parksloperetail@yahoo.com" has the beginnings of an idea. Maybe TuBeAv is the day to schedule a once-of event - with at least 3 Chassidishe (but practical) yidden and 3 chassidishe yiddeness in attendance as chaperons, to make all (including parents) comfortable. Hey, maybe parents should be welcomed also. Everyone with a name-tag etc etc... See what happens. Will it be positive?

I know of one "practical & chassidishe yid" who has agreed to be there.
(7/24/2009 10:14:09 AM)
To #49
Please tell me, how do you know "there is nothing wrong with that"? Have you consulted with a Rav about it?

If you meet on your own, it is certainly still a match, but with an unnecessary risk and a breach of Tznius!

If indeed, as you say everything is Hashgocho Protis, then when the opportunity came around, you could have relied on Hashgocho Protis to take its course. If that person is your bashert, then it would have happened in the proper way.
(7/24/2009 10:39:32 AM)
Mrs. Yunik writes well
Tzum zach!
(7/24/2009 10:47:07 AM)
Lost ... anyone with me ?
I know Mrs Junik, and have respect for the woman that she is... but i must disagree with a few of her points; firstly your attitude towards the secular disproves your point... they dont all do it for fun , and some of them are indeed serious beings( yes they are capable of being serious.... its not only the frumes) and after weeks of dating they are deep enough to list way more than 3 charachteristics!?! Overall your answer striked me as simple and lacked the depth and understandng that this girl and myself desperately need during our dating time .
(7/24/2009 10:50:17 AM)
montreal sem
if you are so worried about not learning shidduchim, and yichud classes go to sem beis in montreal they have amazing teachers there!!!
(7/24/2009 11:54:40 AM)
Ban the system
It's time to stop labeling and blaming. unfortunately the tznius in our neighborhood is despicable. and when the young marrieds who turn untzniusdik because now they don't have to put on a show for a shidduch, see their children grow up doing a zillion times worse things than what they themselves are doing now, they should know that they have only themselves to blame. THAT is the result of their "free and easy" lack of tznius lifestyle! It is my guess that the so called chasidishe bochurim (?) whose requirements are "size 2 & beautiful" are the same Yungeleit whose pregnant wives walk around with their belly buttons and then some showing thru their clothes because their clothes is so skin tight. for any of them reading this, it is not attractive, on the contrary, it is quite sickening. so, for the real chasidishe bochur, how is he to know whether the girl is not just dressed appropriately for the "show". to be able to land her guy. Perhaps if a girl is sincerely frum and really wants to finally find her basherte, she should get involved in some mivtzah or make some sort of hachlata to add in something spiritual so that in that zchus Hashem will come thru for her with her hearts desire fulfilled.
(7/24/2009 11:58:27 AM)
Whats wrong with the system in gimel tamuz !
34 years ago, my brother in law to be suggested a name. A letter into the Rebbe zya was the first step, a second letter after the first date was the second, and a letter asking reshus to get married after the third date was step three.
How could we go wrong wth the Rebbe's constant hadrocho?
(7/24/2009 1:02:22 PM)

(7/25/2009 4:36:49 AM)
Beyond baffled
Firstly - I find it exceedingly offensive that the English language is being so battered and massacred.

Secondly - It seems that the 'experts' have forgotten that the system has worked with tremendous success for the majority of participants. Those that feel, after seeking advise, that this system is not for them, good for you and much success. I am therefore disgusted that those people than have the audacity to blame their differences on a thriving system.

Moshe L
(7/25/2009 7:29:40 AM)
It is incredible the way people have their minds distorted completely.............
American society influence...
well, people wake up at some point, hopes are just that it is not to late..

(7/25/2009 3:05:08 PM)
It's easy to blame "the system,"....Your right the system is partially at fault
Mrs.Junik should really look good at the system -
it is not w/o flaws and the girl in the article is correct in the aspect that if we want to help the young singles to look in the right way and for the right things - education is the key and the system is what is supposed to provide the education.
Lets stop ignoring the glaringly apparent truth,
More educated singles with the right information , hopefully less divorces and better marriages.
There is nothing wrong with setting up classes for , girls and bochurim -who in my opinion are way off when it comes to not knowing what they should really be looking for and what it takes to keep a relationship going.
Chassidus and learning is important but , preparing our next generation of parents and leaders to be decent and well informed marriage partners as well as parents is just as important and need to focused on.
Classes after the marriage help but it is after the fact, Going into a partnership and friendship with the person you hope to chose wisely will require the wisdom that comes with the guidelines, information and education on the subject of maturely choosing a mate and maintaining and keeping a marriage not just going or existing but, healthy . So lets not just improve the system, how about we upgrade it and make it work !
(7/25/2009 3:49:02 PM)
Kop Doktar
The shidduch system has been around for thousands of years. Moshe Rabbenu was set up to meet Tziporah at the well. Yaakov Oven'u was set up to meet Rochel. They all used shadchanim. Therefore, the shidduch system is our tradition. Stick with tradition - if it worked for them it will work for us. And if you believe this, I would like to sell you a bridge real cheap...
(7/25/2009 4:28:43 PM)
At least chabad is better off than other branches...
What's the worst and most depressing thing? Hearing girls in their late 20's, FFB and BT's going to orthodox SINGLE PARTIES set up by shadchans! what has this world coming to? And we are not talking about secular girls by any means...
I, being the only chabadnik in the group say, "so... you're saying its 20 guys, 20 girls... i dont get it.. you girls went to seminary... tell me... how is this tznius??" (by the way this conversation took place in front of one of the FFB girls mothers) So the girls response to me was "Nah, it's fine.. it's in a controlled environment," Controlled environment? 20/20 hormones running while people are awkwardly and frantically looking for their zivvug? And on what basis? Looks? Small Chat??
So the mother turns to me asks my age (when I say I am 5 years younger than the woman) her response to me was "Oh, so you don't have to worry about these parties yet," YET?
Clearly, there is a desperation out there to the point that dignified women will go as far as going to single parties events... and saying "Nay" on the conventional way... one reason being the research can be a headache and shadchan's are too busy or don't really care? Obviously this generation is confused, lost and desperate. In this case, how much more so do we need a greater effort in research, in mashpias. in educational and influential courses, in prayer and acts of charity. The rebbe was clear on giving tzedakah for kallas to expedite the process. Rather than busting the system, we should be improve and endorse it... look at the alternatives!
(7/25/2009 4:54:30 PM)
you keep talking about improving the system... BUT HOW????????????
(7/25/2009 5:13:02 PM)
To 35
(7/25/2009 5:34:38 PM)
Time For New Shadchonim
The time has come to encourage new shadchonim to enter our system.
Shadconim who will be full time shadconim and charge an initial nominal fee and a small fee for each suggestion that results in a date. Our new shadchonim should have an organized way of keeping track of their notes, should be responsible to return phone calls in a timely fashion as well as own a cell phone. Also most importantly they will try to give parents names that correspond closely to what was asked for. Hopefully, shadchonim will be happy to call each other to see if they can cull from each other's names to have a wider base of names to chose from. Hatzlacha Rabah.
(7/25/2009 8:02:08 PM)
Kudos to No;51 !!!!!!
"Dont let other peoples opinions make your decisions for you"
You cant imagine how true this is unfortunately. Especially among the older singles. . . and ESPECIALLY amongest the boys!! BOYS, Don't let what you may HEAR about a girl, from a friend who previously dated her. . . make or break your decision. . YOU have to meet her and see for YOURSELF. . each one of us views people differently. and yes, what may have been been totally off the track for your friend, may be JUST what you were looking for, or may need in a girl. . .
Time and time again this is happening. . boys are saying , no, WITHOUT even MEETING the girl once. . based totally on what they've "heard" from their 'so called ' friends. . and we're not talking about boys of 23/24. but OLDER BOYS, who just will not believe that its worth trying. . NOT everything you hear is true. theres a lot of jealousy, bitterness and just so much despair out there. . GIVE IT A CHANCE AND THEN DECIDE FOR YOURSELVES. BE A MAN AND DO THINGS PROPERLY; She might turn out to be everything you were looking. . and NOT what your friend was looking for!!!!!!!
MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS and there would be so many more happier people in the world.
(7/25/2009 9:19:16 PM)
to #24
what r u talking about?? there are just as much girls with toichen, not rich, and not size 2 girls getting engaged. you mean to say you know every singel girl personally as to know if she is rich and has toichen? or you just listen to a lot of gossip.
(7/25/2009 9:49:49 PM)
flatbush smicha
I have a friend who learnt in flatbush and he said that towards the end of the year the mashpia gave a few shiurim on shiduchim . I wish that I could have been there.
(7/25/2009 10:23:35 PM)
Mother of Boys
To all of you who want to change the system: don't look for anyone named "they" to do it. YOU do it. If you want classes for singles, hire a teacher and pay for advertising. Charge money for the classes. If you want a new shadchan, tell someone that is competent that you will pay them to find you a shidduch. There is no one giving out shadchan licenses but if you want to start certifying shadchanim, form a group of qualified mental health and PR professionals, form a program, charge money and certify them. The "thems" and "theys" in the world don't wake up in the morning and realize that you need for them to provide you with something. Them and they is YOU. If you are single, ask your friends who are married for names of their husband's or wives friends who are single. Network as much as possible. Remind whoever you see. That is how people find jobs and shidduchim. Approach every suggestion with an open mind.
As to meeting directly, older singles who are dating on their own can be introduced at someones Shabbos table. Younger singles who are still relying on their parents usually try to preserve their reputations by avoiding direct contact with the opposite gender however if they meet directly and it results in marriage the appropriate response is "mazel tov."
(7/25/2009 11:33:04 PM)
to parksloperetail@yahoo.com
When you say true networking event, do you refer to a lubavitch only singles event? It's high high time something like this is done. If yes, I'm with you!!

Years ago people where able to 'meet' at shabbos tables, or other casual events. And then go out on proper shiduch dates. Today, its a 'girls only meal' or a 'boys only meal'! Why?!
We dont even allow for a possibility of interaction.
(7/26/2009 2:10:31 AM)
Are there really more girls than boys?
Or as an article in Neshai Chabad sxplained beutifly - since Chabad (and all frum ) are growing every year so evry years class is bigger than the grade older there are more 19-20 year old girls than 23-24 year old boys....

Solution? Boys should start marrying girls closer to their own age to aliviate the "age gap". Refer to Neshei Chabad article for more detalied explanation.
(7/26/2009 2:28:19 AM)
To 68, 72 & 73
To #68....I'm not gonna make any judgments about what category girl I think you are but I can talk for myself as a guy who B"h gets enough names of girls. In the current typical Shidduch system you can't really "just meet a girl" you have to (sometimes travel, then) go out for a few hours...then most say you should go out twice. Meanwhile you're paying for the dates, some people rent a car some people cancel other business or pleasure. Why would I do that just to "meet" someone whom I've not heard enough positive info about especially if there are people who have a better resume?

#72 I agree with you and that would be called "meeting" someone without pressure. I find it funny when these ppl would say to me in the same sentence "Mendy, you're such a great guy I can't believe you're not married we need to find you a great girl...you should come by for Shabbos but not this week cause we're having girls.." !!!!! Is this not strange????? If I'm such a great guy what's the worst that can happen?

#73 sorry but this is not Iran where we say "you have to marry this girl or else......" I'm over 25, if I meet/hear about a great girl who's 20 and I think it's perfect i'm not gonna say ...hmm I would go out with her but I can't cause Neshei Chabad thinks that this is the only way to solve the Shidduch Crisis
(7/26/2009 5:28:24 AM)
re #29
"Dating is very hard, that is the way Hashem set it up! It is not the fault of our system."
Excuse me Hashem did not create our shidduch system, he created a natural attraction between men and women.
(7/26/2009 9:27:19 AM)
Number 74 writes, "I dont know what catagory girl you are . . ", well I dont know what kind of catagory girl the person who wrote her comment, is, either, but what on earth makes you think that she is one "lone voice'' out there????????
Too many of us have been there too, its because we come under the title of ''older single'', that the world at large LOOK for what to find and tear everything about us apart; surely it depends WHO it is that gives you ''the not enough positive info?? Of course if its from a Shadchem or the like , then, you are right, maybe, to believe it. . after all they dont base their opinions on ''emotional feedback; as opposed to another guy who may have dated this girl himself, and is giving his opinion based SOLELY on what he experienced, or rather maybe didnt experience with her. . is that right or fair????????? The Shadchonim and our Mashpiyim tell us all the time, not to discuss our dates with our friends as we would discuss topics of far lesser importance; So its nothing to do with ''what catagory of a girl she may be," AT ALL !!!!
(7/26/2009 9:34:14 AM)
to 75
and that is why we have rules of tznius - to safegaurd our natural tendencies
(7/26/2009 9:43:37 AM)
So Much Experience Already????
To 31 and all the interested "parties". I"m a little confused, to say the least, in the comments made by this young girl. Apparently she has just finished seminary and is already so experienced and knowledgeable and, unfortunately seemingly jaded!! I would be very cautious about
making a Shidduch with this girl - after all where is her intrinisic Emunah in Hashem and her own parents??? From a mother who, G-d willing, will soon be looking for her own daughter and, by the way, who's daughter is truly "disgusted" by this girl's cockiness and attitude.
(7/26/2009 10:50:59 AM)
To 53
We didn't meet on our own. We came to know of each other, out of our own accord, decided to meet and to set up meeting we talked with other people. What's wrong with finding out about a person proposing it to the right people so it could go through the correct channels?

And a rav? How about a mashpia and parents? Since when do you call a rav about dating...
(7/26/2009 4:15:54 PM)
to #53
Also, how after finding out about each other on our own, going to a shadchan and meeting in a hotel lobby a breach of tznius?
(7/26/2009 4:17:27 PM)
common sense
#71 has some good common sense.

Some random thoughts:

The "system" is an artificial construct, and it doesn't work like a factory line.
Your bashert may come through a shadchan's suggestion, through your parent's suggestion, through a recommendation of your married friend, or even by your noticing the girl/boy from next door and asking your parents/friends/shadchan to look into it for you.
If you're in the parsha, look for your shidduch!
Be chassidish, but above all, be yourself.
Decide what are the character traits you think make a marriage work, look for those in your shidduch, and above all, develop them in yourself!
Like anything else, it's in Hashem's hands, so make your kli and then have emunah in Hashem.
(7/26/2009 4:28:18 PM)
A solution
If simple liquids dont always come together, then boys, girls, parents, shadchonim, will never always come together.

A proposal. An open discution in a hall just for girls, a panal of 3 female and 2 male Host/advisors, 1 Chasidish, 1 Modern, 1 Human behavier. host of two young men that can share insight from the modern and chasidish prospective. no parents to say what we think our kids need.
(7/27/2009 4:23:43 AM)
to 82
I love you !!! Awesome idea!!
(7/27/2009 9:09:29 AM)
to 58 and 59
the rebbe shlita is here and you can always ask for a brocho and hadrocho
and the rebbe will find a way to answer you no matter who
because ur in the nation
p.s. its the rebbe shlita
(7/27/2009 10:12:52 AM)
anyone agree to this one?


(Written by a well known Shadchan)

Come follow me on a journey that will hopefully inspire you, to think and feel a bit more confidently, clearly, and comfortably, when embarking on the 'shidduch' scene.

Generations ago, the shidduch scene was totally different then it is today. Women looked for a talmid chochom, a good provider, a strong man. Men looked for a warm and nurturing woman, a real aishes chayil that would raise their kids with the warmth of Torah and love of yiddishkiet.
Today, our new challenge is, to not only find the above, but also we are looking for what we feel is a 'soul mate'. Not just a 'provider' or 'real aishes chayil'.
Unfortunately, with the statistics of divorce rates going upwe are a lot more conscience, and open our eyes and ears a lot more then ever before. "But", there lies our challenge. How are we supposed to be 'certain'? How do we check it out 'good enough'?
Today we are looking for a partner in marriage, that can fulfil our emotional, spiritual and physical needs. We want our partner to have good communication skills. A soul mate that will form a lasting and loving relationship.
At the beginning, I want to clarify that one thing is for sure that" ALL MARRIAGES ARE MADE IN HEAVEN". So no matter what, lets remember that Hashem is in charge! And He has His wondrous ways. But I believe that we have to give a finger in order for Him to give us a hand. We have to do our part. We have to make a kailee, for Hashem's blessings to come into. So this journey I am taking you on, is just a collection of my personal experiences over the years in my encounters with shidduchim and helping people find their 'basherte'.
We all know that men and women come from 2 different worlds. In Chassidusit explains this thru comparing men to 'chochma' and women to 'bina'.
Chochma meaning, generally, men are 'action oriented'. They are quick to give solutions. they are also very 'physical'. That's the way Hashem made them!
Women on the other hand, are generally (I say generally, cuz' many women have 'Chochma' qualities, and visa versa) more empathetic, they are more if tuned to emotions and feelings.(That's why women are meant to raise the kids,
we were given the extra dose of 'intuition', in dealing with 'feelings, and
emotions, then men, for that purpose!)
Now, have you ever been involved in the making of a 'most perfect'
shidduch, where all parties agreed that they are 'so logically right' for each other, and then after the first date, the match just didn't 'click'. And everybody says, "I wonder why?".
We may ask ourselves the question, "What went wrong? Why didn't it work?"
The 'bottom line' is, one of the most important ingredients in finding your 'soul mate', is the 'chemistry attraction'. That is something, nobody could plan, or predict. Right? So our job, is, to help prepare the best possible groundwork, to enable the couple to possibly find favour in each other, by doing enough homework, and preparations, before the young couple goes out, on their first date.
To the young men and women, going out, on the SHIDDDUCH SCENE, and to all of us parents, of these young innocent, boys and girls, I highly suggest the following ideas, as merely suggestions, that can possibly help make the journey, a lot more pleasant, and hopefully a more relaxed, and successful experience.
Firstly, take the time to think. Think aloud, with a close friend, or mashpiah, or parent. Think of ALL the qualities you would love to have in your soul mate. Write them all down. We call this 'brainstorming'. Afterwards, select from the list of 45 qualities, only a few, that are of most importance to YOU. To 'you', as a person, not what's most important for your friends or parents to be proud of, but what "YOU"consider 'most' important (cuz your the one that has to live with them, later, not your friends or parents!)

Once you have figured out what you feel are the most desired qualities, then ask yourself if you are able to possibly compromise on any of these. It's important to remember that we are 'ENTITLED', to want or wish, or have at least a few, MOST IMPORTANT QUALITIES, that our partner MUST HAVE, and that are NONCOMPRIMISABLE! Once we established these few qualities, then we stick by them, rain hail or shine. But please let’s remember, that we are only asking for a FEW. Not 25! Then if the partner has those few selected beautiful desired qualities, we can consider all the 'rest' of their qualities to be BONUSES!

For example, I will share with you now a list of about 40 qualities that only an angel can posses. But it is simply a guide to enable you to THINK. It is meant for you to think of what may be more important to you then others. You know how when asked the question, "What are you looking for?" almost everybody will say, "someone, fine, and warm, and nice, and caring...." but, sometimes, its too hard to actually bring it to pen n paper. So the purpose of this is to allow you all to THINK. To consider what may 'strike' YOU, and FEEL MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU! Everybody will have different lists. It helps, when you create your very own. Your very own CUSTOMISED list of desired qualities that are un comprimisable!
As you read through the suggestions, have in mind the next time you are going out on a date, to look out for YOUR MOST IMPORTANT 5 MAJORS.

One of the ways, you can 'check' it out, is by talking, about those qualities, in discussion, through examples, or stories, and listen out for the other one's REACTION. Listen out for cues, if they are yawning, or turning in different directions, or actively involved, in your conversation!

If something is SO VERY IMPORTANT to you, and as you talk about it, the other one is enthusiastically involved, and even building on the subject, there is a good sense of 'vibes', throughout the conversations, there is a mutual excitement in the subject, then you know you are talking the same language. You are onto something good. But if there is any STATIC, whatsoever, where you relate what is so important to you, and there is constant interference, like opposing point of views, that's fine, but be careful, that we are now talking about what is dearest to your heart, don't forget, so it is up to you to decide, if you want to live with somebody that has opposing point of views about those things dearest to you!

I know of soooo many couples that went out, and spoke about everything in the sky moon and stars, and slightly touched the ‘WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME’ subjects, and after they got married and the whole who ha, is over, when they OPENED UP THEIR PACKAGES, and saw to their surprise, the 'contents, of each others’ expectations, then the circus, began! One said, "oh we never spoke about THAT!" ...OR, "what do you mean you want to have a large family? I cant handle lots a kids, We never talked about those issues, before!" or, "guests every shabbos? I like my privacy, I don't want shabbos guest ALL the time! I love my quietness!" and she says, "that was my dream! I always wanted an open home etc!". or "shlichus? I am not the shlichus 'type', we never discussed it, how should I have known that was most important to you?" etc etc etc.

See my point? Dreams can be shattered by simple misunderstandings, or communication breakdown. It is usually EXPECTATIONS, that break up the sholom bayis. He expected this and that, she expected him to be, or do, this n that. "Did you guys talk about these issues before, or merely 'expected' them to happen?!!!!!!
Here is a list of possible choices to use in order, to 'PRIORITISE' your VALUES. To help you select what YOU personally desire, and hold way up high as a priority, to be found in your partner to help ensure, the best possible, loving, understanding, warm, peaceful, relationship!
Choose carefully. Remember you CANNOT GET THEM ALL!. Here's a question
you should ask yourself afterwards. "AM 'I' THE KINDA PERSON,(OR CLOSE
TO) THAT I'D LIKE TO MEET???????? Good question! Think about it!

********* SHIDDUCH CHECK LIST ************

Are they well balanced? Do they have a lot of emotional luggage? What was their upbringing like? What sort of a mother did they have? What sort of a role model was their father? Was there sholom bayis in their home? Were they brought up very narrow mindedly, or open minded? Are they in touch with their feelings? Can they 'express' themselves, to others?

Are they sincere? Are they straightforward and honest. Or is there always, or sometimes, a hidden agenda, and you don't really know their intentions? Are they for REAL? Some people, do things, so others should take notice… others do it, L'SHAIM shomayim!.

Are they interested to go out on shlichus. Do they intend to 100% and see it as their potential future? Or is shlichus a possibility, if they happen to find the right opportunity? How important is going out and dedicating their life, totally to others', say like on shlichus, which involves, a lot of 'self sacrifice'. Where do they want to see themselves in the future?

Are they more serious, or jokey, about life. Some people have a great sense of humour, and can laugh off problems, they tend to see the humour in everything, which gives a 'lift' to the seriousness that life holds for us. Others, take everything so seriously, sometimes too much. Does this person carry a 'healthy' sense of humour?

What is this person's temper like? Do they keep it all in? Do they talk things out? Do they have panic attacks? Do they 'blow up' at every thing? How easily do they loose their temper? AND WHAT 'DO THEY DO' WHEN THEY 'LOOSE IT'?????

Is this person one that enjoys a good book? Do they get excited when they hear a new 'vort'? Do they look at making hachlotos, every now and then, because they are constantly on the 'growth'. They are never satisfied with where they're at, they are eager to 'be more', or get 'better at'...I mean spiritually, as well as emotionally. Are they fixed in their ways, or open to change?

Does this person respect everyone equally? Are they continually putting people into 'boxes', or 'labelling' them, and without knowing it of course, discriminating, people, as a habit? Or are they Melamed Zechus, people, and situations, easily, without jumping to conclusions? You know those kinda people that will shake hands with 'anybody'? Or not discriminate, who they're bringing home for lunch. Do they carry a sense of respect for goyim as well? Like in shops etc? Do they respect little kids, or just walk away when a kid is crying?

Is this person more or less open minded, or stuck in their own ways. I mean really, FLEXIBLE. Are they easy to see another person's point a view? Are they stubborn, to insist on only their point a view? Is this person peace-oriented? Are they able to easily say, "Lets agree to disagree"?

Is this person studious? Do they learn for the sake of getting by with, or have a true interest in their studies? Do they pick up a book to further their interests in knowledge, or have an interest, in local shiurim, or inspiring talks at gatherings, etc. type a thing?

Are they equipped with a good sense of 'common sense'
(which is not so common!).? How street smart are they?

Some people always see the good in every situation. They say "its hashgocha protis", or "big deal", a lot of the time. They are able to let go of things and see the positive in all or most situations. What type is this person? Do they 'kvetch' all the time? Is everything 'hard' for them to do? Do they take risks? Do they complain about everything and everyone?

What is their 'yiddishkiet' like? How do they behave, inwards and outwards? How does 'chassidishkiet' play a role in their life? What is their connection to the Rebbe? How serious do they follow the Rebbe? How much do they make the Rebbe part of their lives?

Do they have a 'spark', a creative side to their personality? Are they quiet and reserved, too hard to 'get into'? Are they lively and full of life? Are they more serious, but have a tremendous amount of 'toichen'? What type a personality do they have? Are they a more sociable type, or rather stay at home type?

Are they kind, by nature? Are they tough, and strong! Are they soft and gentle? Are they generous? Are they the type that looks how to help others, or are they more 'self centred'? Are they 'sensitive' to other peoples needs? or do they 'pretend' they didn't 'notice' it.

Can you give them tasks to perform, and know that it'll get done? Are they 'dependable'? Would you entrust this person with major responsibilities? Do they keep to 'seder' well?

Are they 'sloppy'? Are they neat n tidy? Can they manage big undertakings? set up a home? run a business?

Does this person come from a well-rounded family oriented, warm secure environment? Do they love family-stuff? Like, is family important to them? Do they talk much about Family? What is their relationship with their 'mother'? Do they speak highly of her? What about the father? How do they respect him? What sort of a size family would they want if given a choice? Large or small? What sort of an environment, or what values, do they anticipate, in the future?

Are they the relaxed type by nature, or always on the go, type? Can they sit back and spend time, with little kids, and enjoy their company? Or do they get nervous around kids? Are they a 'good listener'? Do they have patience to hear you out, or are they too busy, always running, somewhere to do something, type?

Do they go for good quality stuff in life? or are they very happy living with the minimal? How do they dress? Are they 'baalabatish?
Are they the type, that they don't notice if they match or not?

Do they have a good sense of self-esteem? What is their confidence like? Are they always worried that what they do is not good enough? Do they set goals, and carry them out? Do they believe in themselves, or always put themselves down?

What is their family's state of health? Is there anything we should be aware of? For the sake of all parties involved, is there anything that you heard that would be important for us to know, or find out about?

Is this person, a self-disciplined type? Are they put-together, they know where they're going, they don't just go with the flow? Do they carry a good sense of 'purpose', with them each day. Are they the type that would not 'waste' a moment type? There are others, that take life as it hits them...take it easy type, like, no particular agenda.

Are they the type that people would look up to them for advise? Or do they shy away, from being asked their opinion? Would they 'have' a mashpiah? Or are they too shy to ask for help, or advise? What position do you see them in?

What do they do when they have some 'spare' time?
Who do they hang out with, when they want to just, hang around? Where do they go, to just hang around, or socialise? What are their talents, and interests, when they make time for leisure, or vacations? What is their sense of a good vacation?

What would you say are their strengths and weaknesses? Everybody has both, otherwise we'd be angels! So what are theirs?

When you think of this person, what stands out most, what do you think of first and foremost about them? What is their most OUTSTANDING CHARACTERISTICS?

Remember that nobody has it all. So if you had to choose 5 most important qualities that this person stands out for what would they be?


This is a condensed version of the shidduch checklist, which Miss H. D. edited. See if you like it better then the original.

Shidduch Checklist:

1. Emotional stability/Family: Does this person come from a well rounded, secure, warm family environment? What kind of role model is his/her mother and father? Do they speak highly of them? What was the Sholom Bayis like in their home? Is family important to them? What sort of an environment/value system do they anticipate for the future-, which they received from family or friends? Are they narrow minded or open-minded views and values? Do they value unimportant (to you, at least!) and materialistic things, or do they realise the quality of life, friends and family?

2. Chassidishkeit/Yiddishkeit: Where is their yiddishkeit up to? How do they
behave privately and publicly? Do they keep the Halochos and standards of the Shulchan Aruch? Lifnim Meshuras Hadin? How does chassidishkeit play a role in their lives? What is their connection to the Rebbe? Do they keep the standards the Rebbe set for us? Spiritually, as well as emotionally, are they looking for growth, new hachlotos… Do they get excited by a good vort? Do they learn? Do they have interest in local shiurim, farbrengens, etc? Do they have a Mashpia, to whom they look for advice and opinions? Do they look up to someone, or do they shy away from it for any reason?

3. Character: What is their main character traits? Are they kind and giving, tough and strong, soft and gentle, patient and good listener? Are they sensitive to other people's needs, or would they rather pretend they don't notice the need? Self centred? Are they open-minded and peace oriented and not insists on their own point-of-view?

4. Responsible: Are they responsible in the way that you can give them tasks to perform and be confident that it will get done? Are they dependable with the important things in life? Are they responsible and organized, both with different tasks and their everyday lives- like seder, punctuality, money?

5. Confidence: Do they have a healthy, vibrant self esteem, or are they always worried that what they do is not good enough? Do they believe in themselves, or are they busy putting themselves down? Do they know where they are headed- a sense of purpose and confidence… Not a time waster, or would they rather take life as it hits them, no particular agenda (though sometimes having no particular agenda is a very good, healthy thing).

6. Health: What is their family's state of health presently? Is there anything that occurred in the past (to him/her or a family member) that you should be aware of? Did he/she go through anything traumatic, even unrelated to health? For the sake of all parties involved, is there anything that you heard that would be important for us to know or find out about?

7. Sense of humor: Are they more serious with a tremendous amount of
toichen, or are they more jokey about life? Some people can see the humor in almost everything that gives a "lift" to the seriousness that life holds for us- not overly happy causing things to fall apart. Some may take things too seriously. Does this person carry a healthy sense of humor?

8. Shlichus: Are they interested in going out on shlichus? Do they see it one hundred percent as their potential future? Is shlichus just a possibility if they happen to come upon the right opportunity? How important is it to dedicate their lives to others? (Even not on shlichus- how important is it for them to have Shabbos guests, an open home, a large family?)

9. Socially: Are they sincere and honest with people, or is there always, or sometimes, a hidden agenda and you can't really ever know their true intentions? Do they get along with most people, or do others easily irritate them? Does the irritation express itself openly? If/when it does, HOW is it expressed? Tantrums, shyness, coldness, anger, violence, etc. Do they respect others and are they melamed z'chus, or (even unintentionally) do they label or discriminate against others? Do they respect Goyim, little kids..? How do they interact with them? Do they have tact and common sense? Are they street smart?

10. Spare time/Hobbies: What do they do when they have spare time? With whom and where do they just hang out and socialise? What are their talents and interests? Do they make time for leisure and vacations and what is their definition of leisure time well spent and a good vacation?
What are their strengths and weaknesses? Which strengths shine out most and are they the ones you appreciate? Which weaknesses shine out most and are they the ones you dislike or can easily overlook? Remember that nobody is perfect, so if you had to choose three or four most important qualities that this person possesses, which would they be?

Are you all of those qualities? Try and be the kind of person you want to meet!!!
(7/27/2009 11:44:01 AM)
know yourself and flaunt that!
firstly, i'd like to ask everyone to stop being in an illusion. Our ego makes us want to be proud of our spouse(perhaps men more than women). Not only in looks, they just want to feel like they got something special. I'd like to suggest that all people have something special but if you shine in a certain area(be it looks, brains, creativity, ability to get things done), you get noticed. everyone should focus on being 100 percent at what makes them stand out. Being comfortable in your own skin is the most beautiful thing in the world and very attractive. know your strengths and weaknesses, and if you dont, work on yourself to define them. confidence is attractive(boys and girls). be confident in what makes you unique and bask in it, you will create magnetic energy. try it you'll see....
(7/27/2009 1:04:14 PM)
mrs junik missed the point.
you missed the point what this girl is trying to convey. all your trying to do is ideoligy....lets face it im a parent with married and not married kids. kids today are more educated and wordly then we were kids....all kids want is love a decent person and to have a home with shared values.....vus hakt mehn a chainik,,,thats what confuses kids....get a grip!!!
(7/28/2009 2:20:30 AM)
re:comment 85
wow is this a megilah?? btw why are you shy to add your name? whats with us why are we afraid of our own shadow. communism fell doesnt exist anymore. russian pitchfork pesant....please print your name next time....
(7/28/2009 2:23:57 AM)
Re: comment 87
Mrs.Junik missed the girls point , but it seem you have clarified the point very articulately in your comment and then finished off " vus hakt mehn a chainik" that works both ways.
I believe that everyone can benefit by reading this resource http://shidduchim101.blogspot.com
(7/30/2009 1:24:39 PM)
be glad to help you
#88 ........my name is Mrs. Toby Lieder I am a shadchan, & whenever i can help I will, please contact me if there is anything i can do for you shidduch wise. sydneysem@optusnet.com.au
(8/8/2009 4:14:52 AM)
Utterly confused generation!!!
I am utterly disgusted by these comments some worse than the rest!!!

Since when is a marriage of list of wants and wishes and something that its architectural drawing is drawn up beforehand and if hadn't been discussed before or decided upon is inapproachable? Aren't we supoposed to be mature people, at this stage, who can change their minds, decide later, or see how things work themselves out?
If the person you are looking for has good middos, is learning (if that is your requisite) or working, is an honest - well rounded person, and comes from a stable home then most of these comments and questions won't take 6, 8, 15 or 25 dates to hear, since these people are giving and therefor loveable. If they have good middos then they will not posess steel hearts nor be selfish brats. One needs to go into a marriage with room for your spouse. It is a give give situation with no strings attached!

What was all the chassidus for if not to refine our animal beings?

Do all the research before hand. Have your parents meet the suggested boy/girl to determine that it's the right type of a person their child can live with. And then, let your child meet the recommended shidduch (3-4 times or whatever is needed) and you will feel more at ease that your child is meeting up with the right person and he will be forever thankful! Tried and proven!

Play your cards openly and know the truth for the long run. If your home was a chassidishe haven all through the years then your son/daughter will know alot better what yes or not to do than you are imagining, but if you were giving them mixed messages all along where chassidishkeit was just in the books and halocha on the shelves then no amount of schooling will solve the shidduch crisis whether in tznius, hashkofah or ideals!

Yes, we need to make a change and get the parents more involved before our children start going out.
(11/2/2009 8:57:28 AM)
Thank you #91
for once someone is writing what many are thinking!

as parents we need to be more involved rather than less. Our children are not street kids. B"H they have parents to turn to. Why don't we instill a little trust in our children towards their parents?
You claim the system is failling? You are right! Years ago when the shidduch scene looked different and children trusted their parents there were close to 0% break ups during engagements and a minimal amount of divorces!

Don't you see that in the last 20 years the shidduch scene has turned into a crisis??? Find out how many singles were in the parsha for as many years as they are now?! A shidduch was proposed, information was collected, the couple went out, and several dates later there was a l'chaim! The list of requirements were not as long as they are today! If the families were from approximately the same backgrounds and went to the same schools then their train of thoughts and hashkofos were relatively close. So this helped narrow everything down but today we have lost it.

Let's start raising a chassidishe generation with the correct ideals that would give the Rebbe much needed nachas for in my opinion this whole forum of opinions is against the hashkofos of the Rebbe and often against straight forward halocha.
(11/2/2009 1:27:05 PM)
A child
Children need to learn things when they are young. If not, during the years they gro up they become all confused.
(1/17/2010 1:37:43 PM)
First of all...
If you find someone that you think would be an appropriate match, then that is great! But, because you are slightly blinded to reality, each of you needs to call in someone older and trustworthy in order to make sure that a) this is a good, decent person, and b) this is a person who might make a good match for you. That is what we did. We found each other on a forum, and each of us took someone else to check out the other. (I took my mother - big mistake - she had her own agenda in mind, and wanted a son-in-law who would raise her position in society and lend her money. In the end her rav convinced her it was a good shidduch, and we met. Then she changed her mind, but it was too late.)

So - DIY is fine, BUT you need to be careful, and always involve someone older than you and trustworthy.
(12/19/2012 10:26:52 AM)
Addendum to comment #44
Your comments are realistic and solid. I'd add one more qualification to the two you made: in addition to being a best friend to your spouse and an all-around considerate person, a good spouse will also be rock solid reliable, i.e. a word is a word even if it becomes difficult to keep, and a responsibility is a responsibility even if it becomes difficult to shoulder. This means doing one's very best in areas such as parenting and parnassah; and even while acknowledging that the Ribbono Shel Olam is the ultimate boss, avoiding leaning on this truism as an excuse for not putting forth one's own best efforts. Simply put, It means doing what needs to be done, as opposed to what one "feels like" doing. If both spouses sincerely seek to make the other's life easier, each will be contributing to what it takes to sustain a happy marriage.
(7/8/2013 12:03:06 PM)
In a word: Ewwwww!
For the record- my entire class at BRHS and S managed to BH successfully get married WITHOUT shidduch resumes and 8 X 10 glossies.
The shidduch crisis started in the 21st century with the use of internet and smart phones.

I'm so sick of everyone whining and complaining.
Just stick a few 100 single young men and women in a ballroom at Oholei Torah and let them all figure out over a coffee and danish. If they are not interested in the person they are conversing with move on to the next person.
(12/18/2016 2:14:03 PM)
The answer
Maybe not the whole answer, but a major part of success is when people in a community actually care about each other. That means--dare I say it? --upgrading (really upgrading, out of love for our neighbors and caring for them)--TZNIUS. You don't like this word, then something is really out of whack. Tznius, as a CORE VALUE OF JUDAISM, is a MAJOR KEY TO SUCCESS in all areas, not the least of which is shidduchim. I'm not only talking to singles, I'M TALKING TO THE MAMAS, YOUNG AND OLD. Do you really care about your friends? Upgrade. Don't think the world revolves around you and stop being shallow and materialistic...take a good look at yourself!
(2/18/2017 8:20:25 PM)
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