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Yated Neeman about Shidduch World (Sukkos 2010)
“Shidduch World” The Newest, Most Exciting Kosher Innovation to Solve the Shidduch Crisis There is a shidduch crisis out there! The crisis, however, will not be solved or even alleviated by handwringing and shrill letters to the Readers’ Write section of the Yated.
One of the most vexing things that girls in the parsha of shiduchim face is “the wait”. Waiting and waiting for a shadchan to call them back with a suggestion. Shadchanim are overloaded and if there would just be a way for them to do the initial work on their own, and thus reduce the burden on the shadchan, things would move so much quicker.
A remarkable group of caring people in Lakewood have decided to take action and do just that! Determined to go beyond handwringing, they have enjoyed astounding success making shidduchim in the frum community—17% of the couples that they have paired together have become engaged!!
Shidduch World, an organization comprised of altruistic individuals led by Reb Moshe Silberstein of Lakewood, has made it its mission to try addressing and solving the shidduch crisis. These individuals had become very familiar with the sinking feeling experienced by numerous wonderful, eligible, ehrliche young women seeking their bashert as they wait for the phone to ring… and wait… and wait some more.
The solution that Shidduch World has proposed and subsequently implemented is both innovative and simple. It is a solution that empowers the singles to cease waiting for a shadchan to think of them; to cease begging for a shadchan to redt them a shidduch. It is a solution that empowers them to pro-actively seek information about a prospective shidduch and pursue it through a traditional shadchan.
The solution? Set up a database of eligible young women and men in a manner that maintains their dignity and privacy while simultaneously offering information that might result in pursuit of a traditional shidduch. Sounds like an oxymoron, no?! Privacy… posting information through a database… traditional shidduch… impossible!
Oxymoron perhaps, impossible not! Multiple Safeguards to Ensure Dignity and Modesty The Shidduch World database is unique for many reasons. It is the only database that caters specifically and only to all affiliations of frum, Torah and mitzvah observant Yidden including such sub-categories as Chassidish, Litvish, Sefardi, heimish, yeshivish and the like. It is also the only “shidduch” database that offers minimal profile information without disclosing identifying details and only releases further information with the express permission of the single to registered users upon request.
In addition, Shidduch World, unlike other such singles databases, requires all singles to list their affiliation with a Rav. Prior to posting any profiles, Shidduch World’s dedicated staff verifies the information with the Rav, thereby ensuring the accuracy of all information posted on the database.
With caring hearts and the utmost adherence to halacha, Shidduch World has implemented a system wherein singles or their relatives, after becoming registered users, can obtain additional information about a profile that seems of interest. If, after doing research they like what they hear, they can request that their information be proposed to the other side and the shidduch is then set up in the traditional manner by a Shidduch World shadchan.
The old adage of “where there is a will, there is a way” is certainly applicable to the tireless organizers of Shidduch World who felt the pain of the numerous singles to the extent that they achieved what had seemed impossible; establishing a truly Kosher data base that will exponentially multiply the number of singles and shidduchim made. Singles no longer have to wait for shadchanim to come up with ideas for them. They are empowered to do the initial work themselves! This serves the dual purpose of reducing the overloaded shadchanim’s workload and enabling the singles to be more proactive. Having transformed their dream into a workable option for the entire frum community, it is their and indeed all of Klal Yisroel’s sincerest hope that their efforts will be crowned with unprecedented success and that with the help of the Ribbono Shel Olam, the shidduch crisis will become a nightmare of the past! BOX: How it Works: Shidduchworld.org is a fee-free, (yes, that means it does not cost anything!) database comprised of profiles of countless singles, which, for the general public are nameless, with only basic information – information that offers a general idea of the type of person, what the person seeks in a marriage partner without any identifying details. Any single interested in pursuing a specific profile for shidduch purposes can register, free of charge. Registered users (singles or their parents) may then request additional information about suitable profiles which includes name, references and other identifying information for the single in question. If the registered user then seeks even more information, he/she may contact Shidduch World by e-mailing, firstname.lastname@example.org. After obtaining the requested information, if a single or a relative of a single determines that this is a shidduch worth pursuing, the shidduch will be redt to the other side by a Shidduch World shadchan and proceed from there. Are pictures available or posted? In keeping with halachos of tzniyus, no pictures are posted on the website. If a picture is requested by a registered user, Shidduch World forwards the request to the other side. Only upon receiving an affirmative reply will the picture be forwarded. Who is permitted to become a registered user and how? Singles and their parents are allowed to register with the Shidduch World by creating a profile which includes the name and personal information of a single seeking a shidduch. Friends or relatives who wish to become registered users on behalf of a specific single can either create a profile with the single’s express permission (Shidduch World will confirm that permission was granted by the single), or, if the single is already profiled, the single may, at his/her discretion, provide others with his/her personal pass code and user name. For more information, log on to www.shidduchworld.org or e-mail email@example.com>
What Are You Looking For?
A parent may think they have an idea of what their child needs and likes. They could be totally wrong. You need to sit down with your young man, young woman and discuss what they are looking for and you can suggest what you think they need. It may sound facetious but think of it as it is sung in “Fiddler on the Roof”: “For papa, make him a scholar. For mama as rich as a king. For me, … if he was as handsome as anything.” Everyone, parents and children, have requirements. Now is the time to put them on the table. When parents know exactly what their young adult is looking for, they will not refuse a viable shidduch because of mis-communication. This should be a reciprocal conversation between the parent or the person in loco parentis, and the child. This must not be a confrontational discussion; rather it is a brainstorming session. Parents! Do not believe only you know what your young adult should be looking for! You should suggest or direct your child in the right direction, but you have to realize that your child is the one who will get married, and therefore, your child’s requests and wishes should be seriously considered. After all, as we have discussed in previous posts, your child is now mature enough to get married, so s/he is mature enough to know what s/he wants. Your suggestions will be welcomed by your Son/Daughter (maybe with a roll of the eyes), but the ultimate decision must be theirs. It is their life! On the other hand, if your child is looking for the wrong type of spouse who will not complement their qualities and character, and will not take your advice, have a third party they respect, such as a mashpia, a Rov, a Rebbetzin, speak to them. If your S/D is still being unreasonable and will not accept advice or redirection, then maybe this child is not mature enough to approach this step, and the subject may have to be shelved until later, if the age of your young adult permits it. If s/he is at an age that cannot wait for later, consult your Rav or an expert in shidduch counseling to find ways to surmount this obstacle. It is common that new ideas have to percolate and steep sometimes before they are accepted. Give your S/D (son, daughter) time to assimilate your words. Maybe when the subject comes up again they will now see the wisdom in your suggestion and maybe even think the idea is theirs! This dialogue is actually good practice. Our children will have to be able to see their spouse’s point of view and not remain stubbornly attached to their own opinion. This is a good lesson in compromise and a sign of their readiness for marriage. It is also a very good occasion to see the sagacity of your child. Can they maintain a serious conversation without flying into a tantrum? Can they listen - not just hear- to the other side’s statement without interrupting and then answer in a logical and well thought-out way? Incidentally, this is a skill which many long-time married couples have not quite mastered! Make a list with your S/D of their qualities and based on that make a list of what they need to reach their life-goals. Decisions reached at this point are not by any means etched in stone. They can be changed, revised, reinstated, crossed off again and again as the search for a shidduch progresses, because priorities may shift or change, and especially during the shidduch age our young adults change and mature. There are times when name after name comes up, and none of them seem right for your child. When that happens, it is time to re-evaluate and see if you are being too picky or too unrealistic. Look over your lists again! All our S/Ds are precious, but we as parents should not stand in their way by putting too high of “a price” on them. (And I do not really mean monetarily). It has happened more often than necessary that a parent has refused numerous appropriate shidduchim because they were not “good enough” for their S/D. This was due entirely to the parent’s rose colored glasses regarding their S/D and not based on any real fault on the part of the proposed shidduch. When looking for a shidduch let us not get sidetracked looking specifically for wealth, beauty and other external things. We are derailing our purpose with such narrow focus. It could be that a proposed shidduch is not a good fit. Certainly do not accept the match, but if too many offers are rejected on spurious reasons, it is time to reconsider. It could be our priorities are skewed or our objective unreasonable or nonexistent — we will discuss this further in a separate section. In such a case, an objective observer, a mashpia, or a friend of the family should be consulted for their opinion. It is best if they know both you and your child. You can then put all the facts before them: This is what we are; this is what we are looking for; this is why we have rejected previous matches. Don’t be afraid to open up and ask for help from a mashpia or a mumche in shidduchim. Your child’s future is at stake, so do not be shy -- ask for advice. It is important to be as fair as possible when we reject a shidduch.p>
LESS ON THE SHIDDUCH CRISIS CRISIS
is defined in the dictionary as “a situation that has reached an extremely difficult or dangerous point; a time of suffering”. In light of this we should not be describing the shidduch situation by referring to it as a crisis. In my opinion, the true definition of a crisis is sitting with a sick child or parent in a hospital, coping with severe financial problems and dealing with a young, pregnant, divorced daughter. . “Shidduchim” is NOT a crisis, it is a brocho! Boruch Hashem, we have children to marry off! As a shadchan for the past 20 years, I am finding that the anxiety level of the parents, the girls and the boys has skyrocketed! Why are we doing this to our children? I know we live in times of recession and many people have lost their jobs but I assure you Rabosai, that the Ribono shel Olam hasn’t! He is still employed, busy today as he was 3000 years, being “mezaveg zivugim” He wants nothing more than to see kiyum klal yisroel. There is no shidduch crisis anymore than there was 20, 50 or 100 years ago. Nothing got worse, the population has merely increased. More people means more children which means more shiduchim, that’s all. As a matter of fact, there is no shidduch crisis, there is a shadchanim crisis because there aren’t enough people involved in shiduchim. This results in overwhelmed and overworked shadchanim that cannot handle the volume of the calls. It’s like 30 people waiting on line in the bank and there are only 2 tellers at their windows. Why are all the other tellers out to lunch? And so I ask you, “Why can’t more people be involved in this “avodas hakodesh”? You don’t have to be professionally trained to think of a shidduch for your neighbor, all you need is a big heart that fargins “yenem” to be happily engaged,(even if you have 2 children at home that need shiduchim too). Think of others and the Ribono shel Olam will think of you! Unfortunately, the media has done a real number on our young girls. Every article in every newspaper and every magazine focuses on the same issue…..The Shidduch Crisis! The media has accomplished nothing but create a generation of nervous wrecks. I get phone calls from frantic mothers that want names for their daughters who are coming home from Eretz Yisroel. These poor girls must have a date in place even before they have a chance to get over their jet lag. I know boys who were barely able to drive normally because they were so jet lagged but someone insisted that the first date had to be before Yom Tov. After all, someone else might grab the shidduch away if I wait until Chol Hamoed. What has happened to us? What has happened to our Emunah? Have we stopped believing in the good old faithful “mezaveg zivugim”? We are a society gone mad and the results show for it. Never has there been a time with so many broken engagements, divorces and unhappy marriages. Parents are so anxious to “get it over with” that they are rushing their children into marriage prematurely. Nobody has time to stop and think, “Is this the best mate I can chose for my child? True, I got a yes from this boy (and it’s so hard to get one) but is this a good spouse for my child? Would he be my first choice or am I grabbing him because I didn’t get a yes from anyone better? In my opinion, THIS is the true crisis, rushing children into marriage because we, as parents are nervous that they will never get married. The crisis is a strong lack of emunah and bitachon in the Ribono shel Olam who created a partner for every neshama, 40 days before conception. True, it’s not easy. It never was and if Hashem wanted it to be, he would have sent every newborn down wearing a little bracelet identifying its future mate. But for reasons unbeknownst to us, he chose it to be a daunting task that is “kasha k’krias Yam Suf”. I assure you that your shidduch will happen at the right moment, at the perfect time with the designated shaliach. The Gerer Rebbe once said with regard to shidduchim, “Hishtadlus is gut far di nerven,, tut a bissel un nochdem lozt ess tzu di aibishter” I have a proposition to make to the media, the speakers and to all those involved in aggravating this nonexistent shidduch crisis. Stop talking about it so much, stop writing about it so much and change gears. Instead, try concentrating on strengthening our Ahavas Yisroel, on working on our bein adam lachaveiro, on eliminating machlokes, on speaking less loshon horah and last but not least, on the very sensitive topic called “fargining”. You have no idea how many a shidduch has been killed by those famous 4 words “I don’t see it.” Did the person ask you if you do? All they asked of you was to describe the girl but you in your infinite wisdom didn’t “see it” and therefore decided to play G-d. All those innocent words that killed potentially good shidduchim for others will eventually come back to haunt their speakers. Yes, I am a shadchan, but guess what, so are all of you! Every single member of klal yisroel has not just the potential but the achrayus to be actively involved in this avodas hakodesh. I propose that we get to work and solve the Shadchan crisis once and for all. Let us fill our newspapers with articles on Ahavas Yisroel, helping others, eliminating machlokes and speaking less loshon horah and in that zchus, I trust that the Ribono shel Olam will shower our children with beautiful, meaningful, long lasting marriages.
There goes my phone, I actually wouldn't mind talking to somebody and letting off some steam....Oh no, it's HER again....the shadchan, the pushy one, the one who won't take no" for answer....what does she have for me this time?....I'll just ignore the call, but then....read more
Segulas for finding shidduchim, all with sources from great tzadikim:....read more
The Shidduch Crisis Ich zug dir, I'm really suffering from the shidduch crisis. Finding one's bashert in today's society is just SO hard! I make hundreds of phone calls to shadchanim,....read more
The Shechina dwells in the Jewish home, we are told. In fact, the two letters that distinguish the Hebrew words for man and woman - the letter 'Yud' in the ish (man) and the 'Hey' of isha (woman) - combine to form the Divine Name of Yud and Hey: Kah. Without them, each word spells aish - fire: fires of passion, perhaps, at the onset, but ultimately fires of destruction. In a Torah-inspired home, however, the husband and the wife, together, form a basis for the Shechina. The goals of setting up a Bayis Ne'eman BeYisroel - a home that resonates with kedusha (sanctity) and would be comfortable hosting the Divine Presence - may, at first blush, seem too daunting a task to entrust to a young man and woman who may (or may not yet) be barely out of their teens. Yet, Chazal have told us that 'At eighteen one is destined for the chupa.' Moreover, young people usually also possess fires of idealism, which can truly equip them to embark on such an ambitious undertaking. This extremely challenging task can be brought more within the reach of a young couple if they have access to a mentor who possesses the requisite Torah-based knowledge and experience to guide them in this most crucial of lifeís undertakings. Questions were submitted to Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon shlita, Mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood NJ, formerly Mashgiach of the Yeshiva in Gateshead, for his comment. The questions, with the Mashgiach's responses, follow:....read more