On Wednesday nights, the Rav ז’ל used to give a Chumash Shiur. How did this Shiur originate? R’ Ari Kahn relates that one evening the Rav looked around his apartment and asked his Shamoshim (an entourage who assisted the Rav with his needs) why they were there: didn’t they have families, and if they didn’t why weren’t they looking. Some of the Shamoshim responded that life was not easy. They didn’t feel at ease interacting with the Shadchanim industry; equally, they were loath to “hang out” in the front of the Stern College for Women as if they were “on the prowl”.
The Rav responded that he would begin a Shiur for both young ladies and young men. He, the Rav, would make sure that the young ladies would attend; he’d leave the rest up to them. With that, the new Shiur commenced.
Of course, the right-wing would only see a “mixed” Shiur, so to speak, and condemn.
I once played at a wedding where the Groom was seriously ill. The Bride refused to untie their love and insisted that she wanted the marriage to go ahead. The wedding took place, and I recall it vividly. It was at the Hilton Hotel. Each time the Groom passed or was lifted near the band stand, a lump entered my throat. The speeches were uplifting.
Alas, after a few years, and a child, I learned that the Groom had passed away. I attended one of the minyanim. The pure and clear vision of this special Bride and Groom left a mark on me.
Fast forward to a similar story here. If your Ivrit isn’t wonderful, you might try the translation here.
The part I have most difficulty with is the need to go to a Beis Din. When you are faced with such a righteous girl, with exemplary Midos, why would you go to a Beis Din and try and force the issue? Rav Wosner recognised this and thankfully put the issue into perspective.
I just can’t feel comfortable with this. Wouldn’t it be nice to establish a free shadchan network where the shadchanim had psychology and counselling degrees and were always at arm’s length both personally and financially from those seeking the service? Utopian? Perhaps. Would it serve many communities better than the circus that this seems to have become? I think so.
Surely it’s about putting people in touch with each other, with somewhat confidence that they aren’t polar opposites and tick some boxes of compatibility.
I read articles like this and feel that I’m left with more questions than answers.
Are people from arranged marriages more or less likely to admit that they are ‘more‘ in love? One is greater than zero, and two is twice 1.
Have the arranged marriage respondents been divided amongst the Misnagdic American types (who have some sort of secular education/exposure) and the Chassidic American types who can barely write coherent English? Do we expect the latter to be happier in their marriages than the former? Israelis are another category altogether as the Misnagdic types have less secular education than their American co-religionists.
Is it about the marriage being arranged that is the issue here or is it about the type of person who agrees to an arranged marriage that is the subject of this study! Do they have different expectations and happiness levels?
Do the authors of this study believe that if you took centrist orthodox types and created arranged marriages for them, that they would be happier 10 years after marriage as opposed to if they mutually decided on marriage themselves?
Have the authors differentiated between types of arranged marriage. There are those who use an arrangement simply for a meeting or two or three. Either the boy or the girl can pull out of the arrangement freely whenever they wish without stigma. There are others for whom an arranged marriage means one meeting, at most two meetings, and rarely if ever do they turn down the proposal.
Admittedly, I have not seen the so called “science” behind this sociological study, but I am willing to lay odds that such studies are unscientific and cannot be used to conclude anything.
The one who solely uses arranged marriages will read this and say
“I’m so glad I follow (my) Gedolim. They are right about everything. This is the only way to plan marriage and חדש אסור מן התורה”
The one who doesn’t specify whether arranged or non arranged is the “right” way will say
“Ho hum, another bit of Charedi propaganda. How shallow are these people.”