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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dealing With Singles

There's a great article in this week's Time magazine about Mormons marrying late. Mormons are as focused on marriage as OJ's are; the average age of marriage for women is 21.9 and for men it's 23.9. The problem is that those numbers have been rising lately. The article deals with the how the LDS is dealing with all these singles, and how to include them in a society that is so family oriented.

Sounds familiar, huh?

We've got the same problem in the Orthodox Jewish world. A greater % of the OJ population is single than in any other time in history. But Orthodox Judaism, like the LDS, is extremely marriage and family oriented. Your not a complete person until your married.

The problem is that your often treated as an incomplete person by everyone else. In my Shul, it's rare for a single to get an aliyah or to daven for the amud. I'm a Kohein, and I've been called up about half a dozen times since my Bar Mitzvah. (I'm not including aliyahs that were purchased on Yom Tov)

In another shul that I daven in, for years the Rabbi wouldn't let a single daven for amud on Shabbos except for Mincha.

I know the fear is that if we accommodate singles more, they'll lose their interest in getting married, that by treating them as children, incapable of making decisions for themselves, we encourage them to stop wasting time and get hitched.

While I have no interest in getting into the reasons for the singles crisis, I'm sure no one is going push marriage off further just because everyone else starts treating him like an equal.

4 Comments:

Hmmm...very interesting.
I know where you are coming from. Been there and still have that experience. The only thing that I do is that when they need me, guess what, I'm not available.
I don't think treating frum singles like the quality people that they are will make them stall getting married. Letting them be participants in shul life is not the same as telling singles that the no longer need to keep the laws of negiah.

In fact, creating areas where singles can be participants in the community probably could help the so-called crisis because it would make singles more visible.
In fact, creating areas where singles can be participants in the community probably could help the so-called crisis because it would make singles more visible.

Agree with that one... just the fact that a single (female) friend was here when another guy came over made him try and think of a guy for her. Exposure to the general public is a GOOD thing.

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