Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A New Method of Looking Into Shidduchim

I was having a discussion with a woman I know about the idiocy of shidduchim and shadchanim, when she mentioned the following gem of a phone call.

It started when the Nosey Shadchan thought of a Shidduch for the woman's daughter. Before we get started though, I should probably note that her daughter is 17 years old; many years away from any form of shidduch related desperation.

That being said, the NS decided to give the boy a shot. And so she called. And she redt a ger to the mother of the 17 year old. Without even giving the mother a chance to express any sort of hesitation, she rushed to validate her suggestion.

"Aren't you or your husband geirim? Or ba'alei teshuvah?" Not to knock geirim, ba'alei Teshuvah, or anyone else of unremarkable ancestry, but the family in question is from a long line of prominent rabbinical figures, and so she answered, truthfully but emphatically, "No, we aren't."

The Shadchan didn't miss a beat. "Are you sure?!"

One can't help but laugh. Was it desperation? Or was it just the smooth-talking of a pushy Shadchan?

Either way, I say we should all take our bets on how long it will be before a normal, perhaps expected part of the looking-into-shidduchim process will be past-life regression therapy.

All I can say is, I hope I'm married before then.


Anonymous said...

This is disgusting. Implicit in your post is the smug assumption that Jews with yichus are better than gerim or BTs, and a reasonable shadchan ought to know that she shouldn't redt a shidduch of inferior social class. You claim to be one of the few enlightened OJs who understand the absurdity of the shidduch system, but clearly you've internalized the absurdity.
I'm sure you'll say that this post wasn't about the audacity of redting a ger, it was about the silliness of redting any shidduch to a 17-year-old. In fact, what your posts says is not, "How could she suggest a shidduch for a 17-year-old?!" but rather, "If she's going to suggest a shidduch for a 17-year-old, at least make it a suggestion that's not laughably below the status of the girl in question."

Something Different said...

Hi Anonymous,

I'm sorry if you were offended by my blog post. Let me clarify a few things:

Firstly, not only do I have no problem with people of no yichus. That's a good thing, because I'd hate to be self-hating.

Additionally, I didn't think my post has any correlation to how ridiculous it is or isn't to redt a ger for a 17 year old. Fact though, is, that the Shidduch system is a hierarchy, and for the woman and her daughter in question, the Shidduch would have been considered ridiculous. The point was supposed to be that the Shadchan knew her suggestion was going to be considered irrelevant, but she was too pushy to let that stop her.

Again, I apologize if I offended you. I invite you to identify yourself and engage in further discussion if you need more clarification on my post.

Anonymous said...

You're right that the shidduch system is a hierarchy; that's exactly what I take issue with. Outstanding tzaddikim have come from secular (and even non-Jewish) families, while rabbinic dynasties have, unfortunately, occasionally struggled with off-the-derech children, so, in my opinion, yichus shouldn't be a consideration in shidduchim. Obviously, you have no control over that; my problem with your post is that you claim to be "a blob of something different" - a frum girl in shidduchim who doesn't operate under the same silly assumptions as the rest of the frum world - when clearly you're not. I can appreciate a pushy shadchan story, but that's not how I read this.

lawschooldrunk said...

Anon, would you argue with the premise that it is less likely a giyores or bt will complement a solidly frum ffb guy, share the same hashkofos, and be as solidly grounded as a sincere frum girl who did not grow up in a ger or bt house?

I'm not discussing yichus, in the sense of "my great great grandfather was the XYZ rebba, but rather yichus in the sense of torah observance and hashkafic living.

Anonymous said...

lawschooldrunk, I would argue with that premise. It may be the case that the average FFB girl will complement the average FFB guy better than the average giyores or BT, so if shidduchim were entirely a game of averages, perhaps set up by a computer, then it would make more sense to match up FFBs with FFBs, BTs with BTs. But when shidduchim are made by a real, live shadchan - who, we hope, has considered the particular middos and needs of the parties in question, as well as their short- and long-term goals and aspirations - as this one was, I think it's absurd to toss out a suggestion because of a non-frum upbringing.

Anonymous said...

Additionally, lawschooldrunk, there is a difference between thinking that, in general, FFBs are more likely to be compatible with FFBs, and thinking that the suggestion of a ger to a yichusdik FFB is something to laugh at.

the truth shall set you free said...

Ok so anon, I'm going to drop the politically correct BS and aim for the truth. The truth is that if my daughter were to marry a Ger, then while my grandchildren will be jewish,they will lack a tribe FOREVER. That means when moshiach comes,my grandchildren will be pushed to the side without any portion in Erets Yisrael nor any tribe to connect to. Furthermore, if I am a cohen, I cannot marry a Ger...I wonder why?...nuff said on that one I think. Now for your concern with BT's (I'm BT btw but I'm also intellectually honest)well there are 2 issues one pracitcal,the other spiritual.the practical concern is that my grandchildren won't be able to eat at there grandparents home, that my son or daughter can't go to there in laws for a shabbat or holiday, that my grandchildren will eventually have to deal with grandparents and relatives that for the most part find judaism an amusing joke which they appreciate in a cultural setting but don't take the least bit seriously.the second consideration is of a spiritual nature on 2 grounds first is something called a ben-nidda. For the most part, poskim have paskened its ok since we are all probably ben nidda anyhow somewhere down the line but in certain circles,ben nidda is taken very seriously, particularly in lubavitch where the yichusniks won't come within 100 yards of a bt insofar as marriage is concerned (ironic aint it?). The second spiritual aspect is what the gemara calls tzaddik ben tzaddik.basically the reason yitzchaks prayers were answered and not rifkas the gemara says is because rivs parents weren't all that frum so evidently the gemara did put some emphasis on yichus. I would argue that in truth, tanach and gemara is obsessed with yichus but that post is for another time . Bottom line is that egaliterianism isn't a jewish idea and we don't believe all men are created equal and don't let any kiruv rabbi tell you otherwise cause it just aint true.

Anonymous said...

Listen, I hear you and I couldn't agree more that egalitarianism is not a Jewish value. I don't care about political correctness - I just happen to think that refusing a shidduch outright because the proposed match is a ger or a BT is absurd. Underlying your post is the (surprisingly common in the world of shidduchim) assumption that the purpose of dating is to snatch up for yourself the best, most convenient match, rather than to find the person Hashem intended for you. You note practical concerns about having non-frum relatives and lacking a tribe when Moshiach comes - what happened to the notion of bashert? Who can say, "I know with absolute certainty that Hashem could not have intended for me to marry a BT, so I will turn down this suggestion without meeting him/her"? There are some irreconcilable differences that would merit turning down a prospect without even one date, but I do not believe this is one of them. I understand the practical challenges of being married to someone whose family is not frum, or even not Jewish, but this is a small price to pay for spending one's life with the perfect zivug intended for you.

Also, I am not sure what you mean when you say: "Furthermore, if I am a cohen, I cannot marry a Ger...I wonder why?...nuff said on that one I think." What is so obvious about this? Kohanim have many different obligations from the rest of klal Yisrael, and gerim being off-limits to them is not proof that gerim are undesirable as marriage partners in general, or that they are somehow second-class Jews. In fact, it's very clear in halacha that it's assur to treat gerim differently from Jews by birth.

Mark said...

set you free - The truth is that if my daughter were to marry a Ger, then while my grandchildren will be jewish,they will lack a tribe FOREVER. That means when moshiach comes,my grandchildren will be pushed to the side without any portion in Erets Yisrael nor any tribe to connect to.

Ahhh ... but instead your grandchildren will be part of the 13'th tribe, the tribe that assists the Mashiach (who himself comes from a ger) and HKB"H with everything that needs to be done outside of kehuna. Arguably that 13'th tribe could be higher in the hierarchy than the other 12.

As far as this shidduch, it is a joke. Even a 30+ year old girl with a disabled sibling, an OTD sibling, a divorced sibling, whose father in in jail, and whose mother uses non-white tablecloths on Shabbos wouldn't be redt to a ger! :-)