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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Shidduch Story

What’s wrong with this story?

The phone rings, and the mother of a daughter in shidduchim answers. A shadchan on the other end of the line tells the mother that a certain bachur is interested in going out her daughter, but he wanted to know a bit more information.

“So what does your daughter do”?

“She’s an elementary school teacher in Bais Yaakov”.

Silence at the other end of the line.

The shadchan then asks, “Well, then how does she plan on supporting someone for 5-10 years on a teacher’s salary?

The mother is puzzled. “I’m sorry?”

“Well she’s not an
OT, PT, or ST, so what’s the plan?

Mother is on the defensive. “I’m sorry, but that she always wanted to do, she always wanted to be a teacher.”

“But how does she plan to support someone for 5-10 years?

“Well we’re willing to help out, but no one is signing up for a 10 year commitment!”

The shadchan then proceeds to explain that her own daughter has 4 kids under the age of 5, works all day as an OT/PT/ST to support her husband, and was miserable doing it, but this is what all the girls are signing up for. The shadchan then says that she did it as well, though admitting that it was a relief when her husband finally started working part-time, so that she no longer had to be the sole breadwinner in the family.

Long pause.

Mother finally says, “So you want me to sign my daughter up for this? Why?“

The shadchan replies, “This is what everyone is doing”

Mother has enough and says “Can I call you back?”


The ironic part of the story is that if this wonderful bochur who wants to be supported for 5-10 years was even frumer, then he would have been glad to hear that the girl was a teacher, and not, chas v’shalom, a OT/PT/ST. (Which would mean that his prospective bride to be would have been college and university educated). It seems that the ulta-ultra frum “learning boys” don’t want to be supported by their wives, but rather by their fathers-in-laws. Ess pas nisht (it’s not appropriate) for a frum girl to get a secular education.

The sad part of the story is that you have a shadchan admitting that the kollel lifestyle makes wives completly misererable. She seen it in herself and her own daughter. Yet she's more than willing to help spread the the misery to others, as if being being miserable in your marriage is a laudable goal.

14 Comments:

you are mistaken (maybe). Being miserable in marriage is not the laudable goal. It is a side effect of a different laudable goal. That would be dedicating your life to learn torah for 5-10 years. If some people are miserable during that time, too bad.

I do not think they tell this to sem girls before they start dating though. They just tell them how important the learning is. No mention of side effects.
If boys sitting and learning is causing their wives to be miserable that is certainly a problem. Deracheha Darchei Noam - adherence to the Torah is suppposed to be pleasant (which is not to say it isn't difficult or challenging, but if people are being made miserable, then there is a problem).
Who does the shaddchan expect to teach her grandchildren? Is that too stupid a question for yeshivish folk?
Umm... something's telling me that this is the case when the means do not justify the end. Learning is very important, but so are deeds.
For every weird story like this, there are many inspiring stories. These young girls are willing to live on less (mistapik bihmooat) in order that their husbands can learn and protect Klal Yisroel. Most of the time it's a Kiddush Hashem. These few sad stories should not mar the real picture...limud haTorah is B'H the "in" thing by many Orthodox Jews today, something that was inconceivable as little as fifty years ago.
These few sad stories should not mar the real picture...limud haTorah is B'H the "in" thing by many Orthodox Jews today, something that was inconceivable as little as fifty years ago.

Limud haTorah has always been in. What's in today is the farcial notion that every young married shnook is incapable of learning unless he's supported by his wife and or in-laws.

The Jewish people managed to survive 2000 years without the the Kollel lifestyle being the norm, and we'll continue to survive when the lifestyle collapses on itself.
The Jewish people managed to survive 2000 years without the the Kollel lifestyle being the norm, and we'll continue to survive when the lifestyle collapses on itself.

Actually, a nice portion might not. But I hope you're right.

This was a great post, btw.
sarcasm

There is something wrong with this story?

/sarcasm
I've been to Lakewood and most of the women I saw in the street just didn't look happy.
The sad thing is that most of these women get married right after seminary, when they are to young and lack the maturity or information to make a wise choice. The longer an ultra-orthodox woman is single, the less interested she is in marrying someone learning.
Good post, CWY!
The notion that every little shnuk can sit and learn and be supported by parents/in-laws while their wives become virtual baby machines for the first 5-10 years of marriage is a new sick phenomena that will have detrimental effects on future generations. This notion that everyone is entitled to learn for a few years after marriage and be supported is a new concept to America- in Europe (the place that we are told to strive to be like- volohzin) only the best bochrim were permitted to sit and learn and be supported, everyone else was expected to get a job and support their family, but I guess we know better than the gedolim from back then- after all in America the Agudah and "daas Torah" reign supreme- the whole thing is a crock and it will hit the fan soon- I just hope that we who choose to get jobs and become productive with our lives are not the ones who are left picking up the pieces- which I fear is what's going to happen. I can't count the number of solicitations I get from Kuppat Ha'Ir and similar orgs. telling me I am obligated to support starving kollel families- general rule- if you can't support yourself and your family it is time to look for a new job or way of earning a living.
Maybe the excrement will hit the fan soon.
Then we can back to being more honest with ourselves and our credit card bills.
Mishigoyim, that's all I can say.

I love Torah and can't live without it. But I agree with what everyone else says, and will add what my mother always says:

Man's curse was to work. Woman's curse was to raise the kids. Why is she taking on two curses???

That a conversation like that can take place just gets me so angry..... How STUPID and non-thinking can we get???

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