New York – To Solve ‘Shidduch Crisis’ And Plastic Surgery


    New York – I know I’m going to be crucified, but if the appeal I make below helps even one girl in shidduchim, then it will be worth all the fury and outrage that shall inevitably descend upon my soon-to-be beleaguered head.

    The other night, I was invited to a fascinating new shidduch initiative. Endorsed by leading rabbonim and spearheaded by a few righteous women valiantly trying to transcend the spiraling “shidduch crisis” in some small but meaningful way, the concept was to bring mothers of eligible young men together with young women looking for shidduchim (members of both groups were pre-screened and issued personal and discreet invitations by the organizers) in both a balabatish setting and a dignified way.

    Everybody knows that the experiences of boys in shidduchim–in contradistinction to their female counterparts–is vastly different. This is the harsh truth: The mothers of “good boys” are bombarded with shidduch suggestions on a daily basis – a veritable barrage of resumes either flooding their fax machines or pouring out of their e-mail inboxes– while those with similarly “top” daughters sit with pinched faces anxiously waiting for the phone to ring. The disparity is bare, bold-faced and veritably heartbreaking: In the shidduch “parsha,” boys are constantly being courted and pursued, while the best girls’ resumes barely elicit a modicum of interest.

    More about OurPlace see below video

    As a friend recently told me: “When my nephew was 19 and started shidduchim, he went out with 19-year-old girls. When he turned 20, he still went out with 19-year-old girls. He kept getting older, but the shidduchim that he was “redt” continued to be 19-year-old girls. Now he is 24 and baruch Hashem just got engaged –to a 19-year old girl.” Sadly, women do not have this same recourse.

    To rectify this inequity, a few concerned mothers brain stormed together and concluded that “shidduch resumes” (which never even existed as a concept when I was dating 35 years ago) fail to accurately capture the essence of the person being “summed up” and often–especially in the case of the girls– get lost in the shuffle. One organizer told me: “The boys’ mothers barely give the girls’ resumes a passing glance–they are so overwhelmed by the sheer numbers coming their way–and it becomes a daunting task to sift through them. And the resumes themselves are severely limiting. Can you really get a genuine sense of who the girl is from the resume? What does it tell you about her personality, her character, her intellect, her neshoma? It is demeaning to reduce a girl to a few sentences.”

    The rationale underlying the new shidduch initiative was this: If eligible girls would be given personal and meaningful “face time” with prospective mother-in-laws, they would be able to present their qualities far more efficaciously than a cold and lifeless curriculum vitae.

    Now for my full disclosure: I am the mother (baruch Hashem) of a great boy. He is continuously sought out, “in perpetual demand” (kinehora). I should be grateful that in shidduchim, he “wields the upper hand.” But as a woman who identifies with and feels great compassion for the throngs of girls in a parallel universe who are not being chased, I feel a little sad each time the fax machine cranks out yet another resume for my son. I know full well that there are fantastic girls out there who are his equals–perhaps even his superiors–who are NOT receiving comparable treatment. They are neither being hounded nor pursued half as vigorously as he, and they are denied the latitude of choices that he receives every day. I ache for their mothers who repeatedly call the shadchanim who never call back, but are visibly more responsive if you are the mother of a boy. Inwardly, I rail against the unfairness of it all (although the shadchanim are completely innocent of any wrongdoing, whatsoever; it is the system that is at fault– not they—the stark realities of supply and demand). Thinking of the mothers who do not have the privilege to wade through as many resumes as me, I try consciously not to revel in the continuous stream that cascade over my desk. I know how fortunate my son is, and I feel for those who aren’t.

    So, when one of the extraordinary women who organized this event invited me to participate, I was actually reluctant to attend. Quite simply, there was no need. But because I like and respect this woman so much, and wanted to validate her efforts, I RSVP’d “Yes.”

    “How are you going to work this?” I asked. “How are you going to ensure that all the girls get equal time? Are they not going to feel degraded? Is this process not going to end up even more demeaning than a resume?”

    The organizer assured me that there would be facilitators on site who would introduce each girl to every mother. The facilitator would escort the mother to the tables where the girls sat, and be hyper-vigilant that no girl gets bypassed. I wondered how many girls would feel comfortable with this arrangement and actually show up, but as I said before, I wanted to support my acquaintance’s endeavor with my physical presence, so I went.
    The gathering was held in a beautifully appointed hall, decorated with cozy little tables draped in elegant tablecloths, with a sumptuous smorgasbord in the center of the room laden with fruit platters, petits-fours and drinks. It was clear that the organizers had paid fastidious attention to the smallest detail, and had labored hard to make the physical environment as elegant and dignified as the general atmosphere that prevailed in the room.

    I was jolted by two different things when I opened the door to the hall. First, the sheer numbers of single girls in attendance made my jaw drop. I had hardly expected this kind of attendance, never suspecting that so many young women would have the courage to show up. It could not have been a comfortable situation for any of them – even the most “chilled” and outgoing amongst them must have felt a tad awkward. (Personally, I felt so ill at ease and nervous, all I wanted to do was pick up my pocketbook and flee). I gave them tremendous credit for doing something so proactive and gutsy. I stood uneasily with some of the other mothers, waiting for the facilitators to arrive, making small talk. Most of the mothers with whom I conversed loved the idea, but I was deeply anxious about navigating the brief encounters: How to gently ferret out vital information from these sweet young ladies without making them feel interrogated, evaluated and ultimately…judged? (Which in fact was the case.) How to end the meeting in a tactful and kind way when it became clear that they weren’t for my son? Should I feign enthusiasm and interest after the crucial few seconds in which I had already made this determination to spare their feelings, or should I move on more quickly, to maximize the time I had left? My stomach churned. How do I dance this waltz without stepping on anyone’s shoes? I should have been thinking about my son, but all I could do was worry about the girls.

    The second thing that jolted me when I opened the door (and which I know will incur many a mother’s wrath, but which I feel I must speak about) was the conspicuous and glaring lack of make-up on a significant percentage of the girls’ faces. I was stunned. The girls knew why they were there; there was no attempt at pretense on anyone’s part. The mandate of the event was to give them the opportunity to present themselves in the best possible light. Why weren’t they?

    Let me tell you about this particular population of girls: They were between the ages of 21 and 24, and mostly seeking “learning boys.” (The organizers’ plan for the future is to hold additional events for other age groups and different categories of boys: learners/earners, professionals, working boys only, etc.) They were eidel, frum, sincere, intelligent, and committed to the learning ideal. But even the most temimasdika ben Torah is looking for a wife whom he finds attractive. Yes, spiritual beauty makes a woman’s eyes glow and casts a luminous sheen over her face; there is no beauty like a pure soul. Make-up, however, goes a long way in both correcting facial flaws and accentuating one’s assets, and if my cursory inspection was indeed accurate (and I apologize if the girls used such natural make-up that I simply couldn’t tell), barely any of these girls seemed to have made a huge effort to deck themselves out.

    Since most of the young women at chasunas seem quite presentable, I couldn’t shake off my sense of disbelief as I looked around now. What were they thinking? How had their mothers allowed them to leave their homes with limp hair and unadorned faces? With just a little blush, eyeliner and lip-gloss, they could have gone from average to pretty. There are very few women who can’t use a little extra help. Even the most celebrated magazine models can look downright plain when stripped of all cosmetics, al achas kamah v’kamah girls who are not born with perfect features. So what was going on? Were they in denial about the qualities young men are seeking in future wives? Yes, it is somewhat disillusioning that men dedicated to full-time Torah learning possess what these girls might perceive are superficial values, but brass tacks: they want a spouse to whom they are attracted. The young men themselves might be too shy or ashamed to admit it, but their mothers won’t hesitate to ask what for some is the deal maker/deal breaker question, namely: “Is she pretty?”

    Thankfully, every one’s conception of attractiveness is different; beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and a woman’s intellect, personality and soul can have a tremendous bearing on the way in which her beauty is perceived. Still, there is trying, and then there is not trying. The mystery perplexed me: Why hadn’t some of the girls gone overboard in presenting themselves in the best possible light? I felt like shaking them in despair. As I further scanned the room (I had started assuming the role of disembodied observer once I realized that I was at the wrong event; my son is learning full time now, but plans to pursue a Ph.D so he wasn’t appropriate for this particular group), I could not help but notice the number of girls who could have vastly improved their appearances–gone from plain Jane to truly beautiful–if they simply made some effort. The truth of the matter is, I mulled, one way of looking at the story of Purim (and there are so many different prisms through which it can be viewed) is to see it as the narrative of the tyranny of beauty ruling every society in which Man (and woman) has ever lived. Vashti incurred Ahachshverosh’s wrath because he wished to parade her beauty and she refused (bad skin day). The women of the kingdom who vied for the Queen’s throne were given twelve months to prepare for the beauty pageant – why hadn’t some of the girls at the shidduch event taken a mere half hour?

    Some women who are deeply religious or intellectually inclined may delude themselves into thinking that their male counterparts will only see, appreciate and cherish their inner beauty, and that will (or should) be their overriding priority. All other surface qualities will be secondary, subordinate to the place where their neshoma stands. Truly, it is an ideal that I passionately share with them–the yearning to be seen in a soulful way, visible to the heart but not necessarily the naked eye– but unfortunately we are not living in an ideal world.

    Many years ago, I had a conversation with Georgie, the internationally renowned hair stylist and sheitelmacher, who brought a certain new aesthetic to the frum world when she first launched her business. Georgie told me then that she wished she could persuade young women in shidduchim to participate in “make-over” sessions with hairstylists, cosmetologists and wardrobe consultants, who would help them achieve their best possible look. “I am often shocked by how little these girls do for themselves,” I vividly remember her saying. “How will they ever find a shidduch?”

    Surprisingly, a well-known story about the Satmar Rebbe t”zl drives home this point. During his incarceration in concentration camp, the Rebbe refused to eat the meager provisions that were customarily doled out to the inmates–the proverbial crust of bread and watery soup–because of kashrus concerns. He subsisted solely on the portions of raw potatoes that Hannah*, a young woman working in the kitchen smuggled out to him daily – at great risk to her own life. The Rebbe tzl had tremendous hakoras hatov for her sacrifice, and always publicly acknowledged that she had saved his life. Later, they were both placed on the Kastner train, and found refuge in the safe haven of Switzerland. When the urge to re-embrace life asserted itself, and young refugees started dating and getting married, no one courted Hannah, who had lost all her teeth during her years of privation. One day, the Rebbe summoned his Rebbetzin, and handed her a large wad of cash. “Please give this to Hannah,” he said, “and instruct her that she should use the money to pay for dentures. And after the dentist has repaired her mouth, please tell her that she should use the rest of the money for makeup.” Soon afterwards Hannah became a kallah.

    If the Satmar Rebbe t”zl – a tremendous Torah giant who resided in such lofty realms –could perceive what the obstacles were to Hannah’s attainment of a match, surely we (l’havdil) who dwell in far lower spheres should confront the need to make our daughters as shidduch-worthy as possible, no matter what it takes.

    Mothers this is my plea to you: There is no reason in today’s day and age with the panoply of cosmetic and surgical procedures available, why any girl can’t be transformed into a swan. Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her life.

    Recently, an acquaintance of mine reported the happy news that her first cousin had become a kallah for the first time at the tender age of forty. “She wowed her chasan with her beauty,” she said. “That’s what gave her an edge over the other women her age.” Then she paused. “Let’s see…she had a nose job….gastric bypass …botox injections….her teeth were capped…..and she wears violet-blue contact lenses…There’s practically nothing about her that’s real!” she laughed. “But…guess what? She’s getting married next month!”

    I grew up a homely teenager. My weight and my frizzy hair were just two of my issues. I still cringe when I think of the pain that was my constant companion. Even though I excelled in school, and my writing had been published from the time I was eight, nothing could ameliorate my self-consciousness, the terrible ache of knowing that I was not pleasing to the public eye.

    One day, when I was 19, and a particularly angst-producing dating situation had ended in disaster, Dr. Jean Jofen z”l, an extraordinary woman whom I was privileged to have as a mentor, turned to me during a discussion, and apropos nothing at all, suddenly asked me why I hadn’t done anything to make myself look and feel better? I was speechless. She was right, what she said was simple and obvious, yet no one had ever asked me before. I just thought you had to take what fate dealt you; it never crossed my mind that you could change things or eliminate them altogether. (I don’t think pro-active was even a word then, or a concept, either).

    Jean urged me to take some cosmetic steps that changed my life: a diet, hair-straightening, and most significant of all: a “nose job.” The resculpted nose gave me newfound confidence and spurred me to continue along a path of self-improvement. I lost 30 pounds and found Ollies, a hair-straightening salon in Queens that actually managed to tame my unruly locks. And my dating situation got much better. Although I have never trumpeted this part of my personal history in such a public way, I am doing so in order to hopefully give chizuk to the multitudes of young women who struggle – unfairly – in this very frustrating shidduch “parsha.”

    So, my dear sweet mothers who are bristling with indignation at my thesis and feel deeply offended by my proposition: please do not be hurt by what I am suggesting. I truly want to help. If your daughter’s shidduch prospects are being hampered by a flaw or problem that can be banished or remedied, please give her the emotional and financial support to correct it. Yes, I know that we all want to be cherished for who we are inside, but whether we like it or not, appearances do count. And no Yom Tov demonstrates that reality more than Purim.

    It is no crime for a young woman in shidduchim to enhance her appearance; in fact, it is probably an imperative. And though she may not save the Jewish people from genocide, putting her best face forward will definitely help her perpetuate Klal Yisroel in a microcosmic way, giving her that extra edge in finding her zivug and building a bayis neeman, please G-d very soon.

    Yitta Halberstam is the author and co-author of eight books, including the best-selling Small Miracles series (Cincinnati, 1997-2003) and Holy Brother: Inspiring Stories and Enchanted Tales about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (New Jersey, 2002). Her most recent book is the anthology Changing Course: Women’s Inspiring Stories of Menopause, Midlife, and Moving Forward (Cincinnati, 2004).

    Follow VosIzNeias For Breaking News Updates is here to help you manage your home without the stress. Go to for recipes, menu planners, kids' activities, and more.


      • It’s a horrible idea…

        One sentence from the article sums it up…

        “There’s practically nothing about her that’s real!” she laughed”

        That’s exactly one of the primary reasons why there are so many divorces these days… people are pretending to be someone else. When people are deceiving each other before a marriage even starts is bound for failure.

        Either way, these “procedures” should not be done before contacting a Halacha authority

    1. This whole shidduch crisis is becoming the biggest chillul hashem that I ever saw. I am a Holocaust Survivors son – when those of us from that generation we did not go through all this meshugas. We saw a girl, or a girl saw a bow they met and shoin.

      We are investigate too much today.

      We are looking for false answers – the real answers are with the indiduals – step back and jsut look at the person’s midos – don’t think about the material things.

      Perhaps if people did that we may be blessed and the shidduch crisis move on

      • After about 100 comments, I still think Grandpa is right. I don’t understand the intensive background checks. All parents need to do is clear any major stumbling blocks: addiction, immaturity, prost, etc. Let them meet and talk and decide. If they’re not ready to make major life decisions without Mommy, then they are not at all ready to date.

      • Couldn’t agree more….except that times change,and looking into a individual is essential and extremely important in our times then yours. Getting married is literally life forever with your spouse,and nobody wants to mess it up.
        In short AFTER there is a “basic attraction” you need:
        2)Comparable (ruchnios)
        3)Easy going
        4)Simchas chaim
        Somebody who dates and finds these things,your good to go!!

    2. Sometimes a few small changes can make the difference. For example, girls should not YAWN on dates. YAWNING is offensive, shows lack of midos, and will quickly insure that the girl will not be called for a second date. Secondly, do not wear BLACK, sorry girls you are no longer in high school wearing uniforms, seeing a girl pushing 30 wearing a black pleated skirt is ridiculous. Wear COLORS! If you lose a few pounds DO NOT wear tight fitting clothes, it just makes you look heavier! Finally, under NO circumstances take out any electronic device during your date. If you follow these very simple suggestions, you too can be married shortly!

      • How about the bochurim who are overweight, dress in poorly fitting black suits (that look like somthing you wouldn’t touch in a thrift store, blow their noses with dirty handkerchiefs, cannot complete a sentence without an obligatory b’h every other word, and take cellphone calls from their chevrah while on a date. Why don’t you focus on the disgusting habits and dress of so many boys who act as if they were descended from malchus.

          • I am just responding to the fact that the Shidduch crisis seems to be all because girls do not take care of themselves, do not wear make-up, do not starve themselves into anorexia. The boys are not to blame at all. Maybe it’s time that high schools give a mandatory class on dating and how to speak to the opposite sex. What to look for in a spouse, other then the physical.

            • Todays yeshiva boys dont go on a date without asking their rebbies what they should talk about. And these boys are ready for marriage? Because of our gedolim and rebbies, the boys today are ignorant, they cannot speak one language correctly – everything is a mixture of english/yiddish/loshon kodesh, etc and they possess zero social skills.

    3. Plastic is good.

      So is cash, check, and debit card.

      What I’m getting at is that good looks only gets a girl half way there in today’s “shidduch crisis”. The harder problem to solve is how do you get a boy to marry you if you or your father can’t afford to support 5 years in Israel.

      The day it becomes acceptable in the yeshivish world to go to college and get a job by 18 (age for chuppa), the shidduch crisis will be over.

    4. Instead of teaching our boys not to be so shallow why don’t we encourage girls to change their looks. At that same token if the boy wants the beauty then he should probably line his pockets with cash.
      The author of this article should probably explain why, if her son is such a hot commodity and he gets shidduch requests all the time and the ball is in his court … he is still single?

    5. When are we going to stop treating our daughters like employees and objects. They have to submit resumes, hope they get a call back, and then go to the guy who accepts the girls offer of how long she will support his learning before he goes out. When will our boys “man up” and takes care of his wife like a man is supposed to.
      This whole process treats women like they are objects. It is no wonder that our divorce rate is so high, we objectify women and don’t treat them as equals in this shidduch process.
      Maybe the men should submit resumes and let the girl know how they are going to support them?

    6. the article makes many valid and strong points. I’ve been saying this for quite a while. There is a lack of effort or care in appearance and that is what causes many to look away. I dont think surgery is the answer, but get a makeup kit!

    7. Dear G-d in heaven if this is the solution, what have we become? The source is boys that percieve the ‘sheker hachayin v’hevel hayoffe’ as something real. Why not address the cause of the problem?

    8. We need to start a gemach to help people that are clearly very unattractive. There are so many young boys and girls out there that can’t get a shidduch because they are very ugly and too poor to do anything about it. Good cosmetic surgery costs a lot of money (at least $10,000 per procedure) and many poor Jews just can’t afford it. Poor girls and boys are at such a disadvantage in the shidduch scene, it’s time to help them even the odds.

    9. I seriously think the author of this article should have her head examined. She exemplifies the cause of the so-called shidduch crisis. These poor young women are being subjected to a “meat market” situation and all the author can do is complain about their looks?

    10. Perhaps if the boys guarded their eyes a bit better, they would have normal expectations and not get a fright when seeing their new kallah without any makeup!

      • The Gemara talks about girls dressing up and adorning themselves to catch the eye of Bachorim. It’s been this way throughout history. It’s only recently, with the insane views about Tznius, that this has become a problem. I bet someone could show a correlation with the start of the “Shidduch Crisis” and the start of the sharp upwards trend of ever-increasing Chumros.

      • The other issue and one we have to address as a community is the stratification of our young men and women.

        The author writes: ” Let me tell you about this particular population of girls: They were between the ages of 21 and 24, and mostly seeking “learning boys.” (The organizers’ plan for the future is to hold additional events for other age groups and different categories of boys: learners/earners, professionals, working boys only, etc.)”
        The characterization and segregation of ‘boys’ based on the above descriptions is just as demeaning and condescending as it is to group girls or have events for: ‘rich girls, pretty girls, skinny girls or fat girls only etc. Does someone think that a ‘working only boy’ does not daven, learn or earn??. The criteria should first and foremost one’s level of ‘Frumkeit and Ehrlichkeit’ not career choice or dress size. All frum boys should have access to all frum girls. And what really is the difference between a learner/earner and a professional? does a professional not learn, earn or work? does an earner not have a profession?

        These ‘categories’ are but another obstacle in our young people finding suitable mates because of ‘perceived’ differences.

    11. dear yita, you remind me of the new york mets’ managing staff. Instead of them making their team better in the off season, all they did was lower and move closer the home run walls. Instead of improving their team, they lowered the competition. you feel we should do the same. you want us to lower our standards in the boys who are dating and instead of preaching to them that they should care about things other than looks, you just reinforce that.

    12. Here is a novel idea … instead of the mothers of boys meeting with the girls, how about the boys meet the girls themselves. If it is within Yitta Halberstams hashkafa to suggest that girls focus on making their physical attributes so attractive then why are we preventing the boys and girls from being in the physical presence of one another? This whole process is so shallow and so narrow minded it literally makes me want to throw up. These things mostly go on in the East Coast and more specifically New York. Girls in school are constantly told to dress in ways that practically make them look matronly and that make up is too attracting so it is not tzanuah … so how are they supposed to enter the world of dating with a completely different mind frame? And then what is the point of the make-up and dressing well and even plastic surgery if the mothers amongst themselves are disqualifying girls because the family uses the wrong color table cloth on shabbos or they do not go to the right bungalo colony or the girl is a healthy size 8 as opposed to a zero. These mothers need to stop being so shallow and stop teaching their sons (and daughters) the same.

      • /sarcasm

        You fail to understand that it’s not currently in vogue to follow Chazal and the Rishonim.

        There are countless mentions and hints that unmarried girls of marriageable age are allowed to dress and adorn themselves in order to be seen and attracted by men looking for Shidduchim. I don’t believe the Gemarah ever mentions the mothers.

      • I better buy a bungilow really fast. I didnt know I will have to put one on my daughters resume. lol. Seriously, the whole system is messed up! And the girls parents are encouraging it by giving into all the demands fromthe boys! Ahem mrs Halberstam.

    13. When are we going to stop treating our daughters like employees and objects. They have to submit resumes, hope they get a call back, and then go to the guy who accepts the girls offer of how long she will support his learning before he goes out. When will our boys “man up” and takes care of his wife like a man is supposed to.
      This whole process treats women like they are objects. It is no wonder that our divorce rate is so high, we objectify women and don’t treat them as equals in this shidduch process.
      Maybe the men should submit resumes and let the girl know how they are going to support them?

      • “It is no wonder that our divorce rate is so high, we objectify women and don’t treat them as equals in this shidduch process.” So you think 50% in the secular system is better.

      • Our divorce rate is actually VERY low. Yes to high for what we would like it to be, but still much lower then in societies with a more liberal dating scene.
        Thank you Yitta! Just because your son is a top boy does not mean he should be married already. As we know the key to shidduchim is in the hand of Hashem and anyone (#9) that thinks otherwise…
        May your son, and all eligible singles in Klal Yisroel, find his/her proper shidduch in the proper time!

    14. Heartfelt words of wisdom. This is presented by an accomplished personality from within our midst, who lives with us and shares our communal experience. If, as the reknown writer imparts, if but one young girl achieves a shidduch and a life of happiness because of this column, the painful price of its publication is willingly sacrificed. Such are the thoughts and the sentiments of saint. If the Jewish religion did have a formal distinction of a saint, this writer would be adorned with it.

    15. I am a shadchan and I find that the girls are much more picky than the boys. The boys I work with are having a hard time getting a second date and they are great guys.

      • I will bet that the only boys you have trouble getting second dates for are the boys from modest backgrounds who actually WORK FOR A LIVING. Speaking as a lawyer who went to multiple shadchanim, dated literally dozens of girls (so many, I needed to keep track of them with a spreadsheet created by Microsoft Office) and waded through the system for six years, I can tell you that many, many girls are, and I hate to say this, golddiggers who only are interested in MONEY.

        I’ll bet the wealthy boys have more choices than they know what to do with.

      • Most poskim do not permit one to endanger ones life with surgery for purely cosmetic reasons unless there is a deformity.

        Instead of pushing the hip less, blonde, blue eyed, flat nosed Western Goyishe ideal that these boys see in ads and on TV, perhaps our sons should be instead taught to see the beauty of the Jewish girls they are supposed to marry.

        Also the fact that too many rabbis are willing to convert non Jewish women who are involved with Jewish men does not help Jewish women to get married.

    16. fix the nose, the chin, the eyes, the teeth, the hair and anything else. men do the same and when the couple has children they will look at each other and say…whose eyes does he have? whose nose is that and so on.

    17. EXCUSE ME? this is absurd to work on the exterior and not theinside of the person. Attitudes of the girls, the dressing or lack of cleanliness of the young men.
      The healthy habits of many kollel guys. Throwing used tissues on the talble. overwieght, walking like a duck, the girls picking and picking on his hair and tie, his lack of ablity to carry on a conversation. He learns, she works, all ready there is a miscommunication. To many things before any doctors visit. Long ago I visited the toshe rebbe, I asked a gentleman i forget his name why do all the woman dress and look alike, not like in flatbush with a little style.He told me, see the table you are eating at? look at the fish and vegetables. That is your woman, and after we eat I will continue. After the lunch he told me,,,, see the table now? dirty empty only bones from the fish.THATS YOUR WOMAN. OURS are as beautiful inside as outside, Every day they are a bride to us.

    18. another attack on girls by hashem.
      first he created too many girls. then he made today’s boys a bunch of geonim who the poor girls can’t afford to support. then he gave the girls bad noses.
      maybe if we would stop coming up with ridiculous initiatives and just let hashem run the world he wouldnt have to keep reminding us he’s there e.g.. france

      • I’m glad this is anonymous because the ignorance is astounding. Every single problem you’ve listed is not from Hashem but manmade. All of the people that are trying to deal with the problems are trying to fix the problems that human beings have created. Why do you expect Hashem to help us if we don’t try to help ourselves first. And its just upsetting that you would invoke the recent tragedy in France for your point and pretend that you have any idea what the reasons of Hashem are.

    19. What ever happened to the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” Why do we need one girl to be beatiful for every guy. Every wife should be beautiful for her husband. Instead of guilting the girls and their parnets to get plastic surgery, teach the boys that nobody is perfect and everybody has his ir her own flows. If you marry for lust, the marriage will not last!!

      • You’re right but it’s a little unfair. High quality reflects good Midos which is something that girls schools try to make the most important goal. In most Yeshivos Midos are a distant second compared to the importance of being good in learning and a lamdan.

    20. #6 is right, how about having the boys actually meet the girls themselves. YES!!
      LIVE AND IN PERSON…obviously in an acceptable setting , not a dark movie theater.
      During my time dating was permitted and socials were encouraged. That is what people from Young Israel did. They had events for guys and girls to socialize together and mingle and hopefully find their beshert.
      I think there was less divorce back then.

    21. I first read this article around Purim and thought that it was a joke. Now seeing it republished for more people to read and unfortunately take seriously, it makes my stomach turn. The woman who wrote this article and others who think like her are the cause of the Sidduch crisis. Why should girls dress up and put on a little bit of make-up when a boys mother is going to take one look at her and say yeech. Unfortunately in the world we live in children are being taught the only thing that is important is on the outside. Don’t give the girl/boy a second look if they are heavy, not pretty enough, or if their parents don’t use the right kind of dishes. Forget about what’s inside that’s not what you are marrying. You want a size zero and don’t worry about brains,you don’t ever have to talk to her. What a mess.

      • “dont worry about brains” Sorry but any girl with brains has no problem to get married at 19 or 22 there is enough boys for every girl, maybe not all of them are the best learners.

    22. yeah yeah, take a trief idea, and kashur it with the satmar rebbe z”l.

      sheker hachein vhevel hayofi, obviously every girl has a basherta, so that means that for every girl, there is a boy out there waiting for the right minute. hashem is busy all day creating shdichum………

    23. I read this article and my first reaction was that the editors simply posted it 2 weeks late since it must have been meant as part of a purim spiel….than I realized, no, this yitta lady is actually serious. How sick are we to be suggesting that a baas melech has to undergo surgery and its associated risks (yes, even cosmetic surgery) in order to attract the attention of some mother of a bochur who likely has no job or parnassah but considers himself to be such a metziah. This yitta lady is a prime example of how low we have sunk. Our daughters are not some cows at the State Fair which we hope might get chosen for a blue ribbon by the judges. A young yiddeshe woman should willingly choose to remain single rather than humiliate and devalue herself by submitting to “Yitta-insanity”. It is Yitta who needs help, not the bnos yisroel who are what the Ebeshter created them, not the product of some plastic surgeons in need of additional $$.

      • It is opinions as yours, why we are in this mess in the first place. Your entitled to your opinion of course. However , I trust that most heimishe mothers of boys and girls that are reading this post know that your view is simply very narrow minded. Of course the girls need to to look their BEST at all times. Especially during their prime dating years.

    24. With all due respect to the author:

      There are so many problems with the Shidduch process today, I don’t know where to begin.

      For starters: ” the concept was to bring mothers of eligible young men together with young women looking for shidduchim (members of both groups were pre-screened and issued personal and discreet invitations by the organizers) in both a balabatish setting and a dignified way.” The fact that ‘young mens’ mothers are called to first meet with young women is appalling and demeaning. How do we expect these young men to act like men when we as a community don’t trust them to take the first step in becoming a Man ,that is, finding a wife. (Not to mention, those ‘pious’ among us who won’t even call a girl before the date.)

      This perpetuates the notion and furthers the expectation that these are nothing more than children who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions. If that is indeed the case, they should NOT be in the Parsha and wait until they are sufficiently mature to find a spouse.

      Did anyone ever hear of the old Jewish custom that used to take place on Tu Be’Av? I refer everyone to the Talmud in Taanis last page. (nobody brought their mommy)

    25. As upsetting as it may be, what Yitta is saying is 100% true! She doesn’t say anywhere in the article that a girl MUST have plastic surgery, as the title implies. However when you see some frum single girls (and plenty of married women as well), sometimes you just wish you could make them over!
      Forgive me for using the reference here, but when you see people try out on American Idol looking all dumpy, and then get made over by stylists, IT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN HOW THE WORLD JUDGES THEM! Yes, it’s a talent competition — people should judge them for their voices alone — but that’s just not how the world runs. Yes, boys should be able to judge girls by their sweet ehrlichkeit and stellar middos, but that’s just not how Hashem made them.
      I’m someone who improved a lot with marriage – a beautiful sheitel works wonders. But I look back on pictures of my dating days and cringe… would it have killed me to color my hair a bit, lose a drop more weight, wear nicer clothes? When you’re on display, you’re on display.

    26. I did have an issue with the fact that Yitta used the Purim story by likening our yeshiva boys to Achashveirosh and our girls to Vashti. There’s no mention of the fact that Esther refused make-up and perfumes but got chosen anyways for her inner beauty… and because it was Hashem’s plan. Ultimately Hashem is looking out for these girls, but, as I think Yitta is implying, Hishtadlus may need to be redefined.

    27. In previous decades through the 1970’s, you didn’t have a Shidduch Crises to the extent that it exists today. The reason is because the PARENTS and GRANDPARENTS of todays generation were able to meet on their own. Today’s youngsters would be shocked to know that many of their parents DID NOT MEET with professional shadchanim but met at kumzits, in college, yes, yingerluch in the old days your mama and tata went TOGETHER to Brooklyn College. The Shidduch crises and the resulting silent holocaust of unborn Jewish children lies squarely on the shoulders of today’s right wing rabbis and rebbetzins!

    28. the fact that anyone agrees with this article shows how deeply in trouble our community is. this is so off from what our lives are suppose to be and the satmer rebbe recomending false teeth,ie reconstuction, is not at all the same as cosmetic surgery. if this is indicative of the empty,materialstic and goyishe life are children wan’t to live,we’re in a lot more trouble then a reltively simple surgery can cure.

    29. What an outrage! On what possible level could this speed dating be OK? Especially with the MOTHERS of the boys. Where is our kavod for our beautiful Yiddish Techter? And to add insult to injury, you don’t like how they look!?!?!? She doesn’t have to look good to you – only to her bashert.

      As usual, let’s throw every problem back on the shoulders of women. All of the world’s problems, including the shidduch crisis, always our fault. What a huge crock this article is – especially when the author goes all Biblical with her interpretations – give us all a break. Particularly the beautiful, eidel girls. By the way, I am the mother of four sons.

    30. The problem with young women having cosmetic surgery is that when they are middle aged it can look bad, look at Joan Rivers, Phylis Diller, some rebbetzins. Better to avoid a medical procedure that can end up killing you.

    31. A problem with some of these women (& men) might lie in their personalities, not just their looks. They might be disturbed or socially stunted. I’ve seen some who were “reasonably attractive” yet totally lacking social graces — in public they will act in a totally neurotic or juvenile manner. It seems, though, that men can get away with such behavior more than a woman can, since he can always find a neb case or someone lonely or desperate enough to put up with him, at least for a while.

      Often, I have seen women, usually older, walking around, even on Shabbos, dressed like bag ladies — or, best, frumps. They often come across as either weird, farfrumpt, or severe. Although a little bit of make-up (OK, a lot), or even nip & tuck might be helpful, it won’t compensate for someone who is by nature just not the conventionally feminine type. As someone once told me, “Sorry, but I can’t get a brain transplant.”

      This doesn’t mean I don’t endorse physical enhancement — but within reason. Just don’t expect it to hide deeper problems.

    32. I don’t see how it’s any different than going on a diet. Starve yourself and eat like a rabbit so you don’t God forbid gain an ounce. Now the boys will like you. It works, but it’s still not the real you.

    33. I will not involve myself in character assassination although this woman deserves to be shoved in some cave and never let out. For 2 reasons!
      1) sheer hypocrisy!
      At the beginning of the article she claims that the Shidduch resumes are not adequate enough, in her words “And the resumes themselves are severely limiting. Can you really get a genuine sense of who the girl is from the resume? What does it tell you about her personality, her character, her intellect, her neshoma? It is demeaning to reduce a girl to a few sentences.” end quote
      I definitely agree.
      But then she goes on to suggest that we completely remove ALL personality from the girl. Instead of trying to solve the problem, she suggests to completely remove ‘the girl’ from the shidduch and instead put in a live, photo-shopped plastic ‘model’ who will take the place of a sweet young girl on a date! Absolute insanity and madness. I cannot understand! She is a hypocrite and she is a very sad woman.
      Secondly, if we were to choose some kind of facial correction, we should NOT choose plastic surgery. It is a very short term solution. You only have to look at Michael Jackson to see the long term effects of plastic surgery.

      • your view is extremely krum, admittedly plastic surgery really is stretching reality quite a bit…however it is you and people like you who unfortunately for Klal Yisroel think like you are slowly who are invading the Heimsihe Velt with your narrow minded opinions that benefit noone . All Yeshiva Bochurim & Bais Yaakov Girls, should always look their best during shiduchim and iyh after the chasunah. I dont want to list in public all the things we as frum yidden know that goes on behind closed doors and the reason primarily is that frum housewives and mothers dont take the time to look their best for their husbands.

    34. Lets follow the Chadishe motto, they have no shiduch crises!
      teach your children from a young age that “Sheker hachain vehevel hayofi”
      The parents go first to check out the girl if she is a yiras shomayim and check her midos they also inquire from friends about her and if they approve the boy meets the girl and talk about the serious issues in marriage.
      The divorce rate among chasidim is extremely low because the experienced parents are the first ones to have an opinion and then the boy and girl meet just to make sure that there is love on first sight.

      • 1) The divorce rate in the Chasidishe community has risen and continues to grow.
        2) The divorce rate is still lower because people are scared of being stigmatized by the community and generally get pregnant almost immediately making divorce more complicated, plus they are scared of losing custody of their children.
        3) Being happily married and a role model for children is a success, feeling trapped into staying and harming your children is a different story. It’s impossible to know which communities are more successfully married based on empirical evidence.

      • I agree with this article that women should make an effort to look good, but so should men. The system that forces women to date from a place of desperation is simply broken. Expecting the women to understand the balance of refined beauty vs. matronly tznius while tossing conflicting chumra’s around is unfair. Adding the pressure of being paraded past potential mother-in-laws, a notoriously complicated relationship is cruel. The criteria for a man is learning, while the hyperfocus is on fixing the women, who are not broken, this creates impossible standards and fosters insecurity, pettiness and depression. It does however encourage women to grow in leaps and bounds and they eventually outgrow the system, sometimes disillusioned enough to outgrow the community that treated them like chattel. A well groomed and educated woman, who has gotten a bit older isn’t interested in a shleppy, unemployed, unsophisticated guy, so the gap increases. I’m an older single woman, although I haven’t met my husband, I have dated in the shidduch system and outside of it, early on I learned that the system was rigged to benefit the men and moved on to greener pastures.(cont.)

      • (Cont.) Over the years, well meaning shadchanim have used all kinds of scare tactics to convince me and my female friends (many who did eventually happily marry) to date extremely inappropriate men. This doesn’t create marriages, just reinforces the myth that men always have the upper hand in dating. Ironically, while they were telling us we were expiring like sour milk, we were all being asked out on dates by age appropriate and quality Jewish, frum guys. The majority of my friends who remained single in the system went on to meet husbands on their own, without having to feeling like rejects. Some of the happiest couples I know would never have met through shadchanim, because the superficial aspects weren’t a match. If you want your children to get married, do what it takes, even if it means putting them first and letting your neighbor criticize your methods. Crack down on the shadchanim who feed fantasies by setting up divorced fathers with single women 15 years younger or beautiful women with unkempt men. Last, perhaps expand your mindset and have some emuna that when people meet in other ways they have the zchus of having Hashem as the shadchan. Date smart, be in it to win it.

      • Some Chasidim teach their children to be well dressed since birth. They wear designer clothing such as Baslers and S. John etc. there is even a gemach for Hermes tichelech if you have doubts. Chasidishe girls go to great lengths to look good at all times. Their hair, makeup, shoes and outfits are very classy and impressive. Especially among the Hungarian Jews, where beauty was very important. Parents spend a lot of time and money on this endeavor. Even the boys are more “bapitzed” today.
        When Reb Moshe Feinstein met his kallah,she said he was nice but very short. Her father gave her a potch and she was never sorry!!
        What about the concept of those who marry L’shem shomayim they have children tzaddikim.?? They won’t have kids at risk or a shidduch crisis. The materialism and overemphasis on being as thin as a rail, is ruining our children’s lives. What happens after they marry? Having children is not conducive to emaciated looks!! the pressures these young women endure are ridiculous!! They have to be a size 2 and have a baby every year too. Then the mental problems of anxiety and depression roll in, because they do not have appropriate nutrition and the stress leve.

    35. It is quite interesting that you claim to care so much about these girls yet this article shows a very different agenda on your mind.
      Did you ever wonder if maybe the Jewish community is sending mixed messages to their girls? On one hand they must be so tzanuah to the top degree: no talking to boys, cover your legs, elbows, collar bone, Chas veshalom to show your toes! On the other hand, the minute they graduate high school they are thrown into the lion’s den to date, lest they turn 20 and become an old maid. No mind is given to whether the girls are ready to date, whether they even know what they want with their own life, whether they are ready to be wives and inevitably mothers (which must follow immediately).
      I am pained every day when I hear of yet another friend of mine getting divorced! The crisis is not with Shidduchim, it is that this pressure is causing girls to marry before they are ready, often to these ‘sought after boys’ with major issues, which everyone neglects to inform these innocent girls of!
      Plastic surgery for real?! Never mind that you assume everyone has the money for that, but are you serious? Take a good look in the mirror at what the real crisis here is!!

    36. You say it’s the way of a man to want to be attracted to a girl. I say most men are completely turned off by girls who overdo it. Simple natural makeup is what they want. I laughed out loud when you wrote that some girls may have been wearing such natural makeup that you weren’t sure if they were adorned. That is the norm! Simple makeup to let your best features shine!
      Since when are girls required to wear wedding or evening makeup for an occasion other than a wedding!Most of those girls probably didn’t want you to think they were painted too much, & decided to let their natural beauty show. But it was not enough for you. Then I got to the best part: endorsing plastic surgery as the answer? Wow, how could we not have come up with this on our own!I’m completely baffled as to why you wrote this article.
      Do you really believe you have solved the shidduch crisis with this drivel? You honestly think plastic surgery is the answer to all the girls out there who are doing everything to find their bashert? And it is simply because they are not attractive enough? As if there are not 100’s of attractive, gorgeous, put together, and even bombshell girls who are still single! Just in NY!

    37. Lovely to see us orthodox Jews are no less shallow than People magazine. What happened to ‘not be like the goyim’? Oh right, Gd forbid a 19-year old girl isn’t married. Horrifying article. Should be a Purim joke.

    38. Maybe more likely they need to consider social plasty… a little time at the psychologists office if they are repulsive in person. I think that a physical blemish is quickly lost after someone has gotten accustomed to your features, but in truth, the blemish of the soul and the personality is never lost on a daily basis. If that is your trouble, get help.

    39. The fact is that the boys and the girls are living in fantasy worlds. Boys think they are great for having sat in a Yeshiva for 4 years, despite the fact that they could barely know anything and, further, have no marketable skills. The girls think they’re marrying the next Gadol Hador, because his hat is titled to appropriate angle. They both think that it’s easy to make money and that there will always be plenty of it just for them.
      When you live in fantasy world, then you search for a fantasy spouse.

    40. I don’t think I ever read anything as disgusting and unbecoming of Torah values before in my life. I am the father (and also a grand-father) of married daughters and “sought after” boys and the best advise I could give them is steer clear of people eith your “Brooklyn/5 towns” warped Hashkafah… Georgie? That’s who we’re taking advise from? Don’t get me wrong, of course a girl should look nice and a boy needs to be attracted to her, but to make this the centerpiece of your Shidduch solution? I told my children that there is only one thing to look for, not learning, not money, not looks… Middos Tovos. B”H, they found the the most wonderful baalei and Baalas Middos who happen to be be very attractive too… but to make that the Ikkur is a corruption of our Torah Hakedosha.

    41. I’ve spent over 150k on cosmetic surgery for my 5 daughters and only 2 of them got married so far. I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth is since I am still paying it off. Then I will have to pay off the huge weddings also. I don’t earn that much money and it is very stressful to me and my wife. Between lipo, noses, implants, my girls are the most beautiful I have ever seen.

    42. The shidduch crisis has more to do with a learning culture that’s shoulder deep in the material world than just looks.
      Besides, plastic surgery never quite looks right.

    43. Heres a thought: Tell the shadchanim to go some place. Then be friends with the opposite gender first, and only then think of romantic potential. Imagine that.

    44. I am a Chasidishe mother of both and boys girls – with sons and sons-in-law who are long-time learners. My daughters and daughters-in-law are B”H all attractive in their own ways.
      Despite being mothers of large families they continue to make every effort to look their best always – not only for the outside, but especially for their erliche husbands who don’t look at any other women.
      For those who had crooked teeth we got braces; for those who had acne we sought treatment; for those who had weight issues they went on diets; and, when of age we made sure that they had nice new clothing.
      To all the people on this site who are attacking this article because it refers to the “chutzonius,” I have a suggestion for you: There are many bochurim out there with bad acne, or who are overweight and are not having an easy time either. They would be delighted to date some of these girls. Remember “it is the inside that counts!” How many of them would be interested?
      If surgery on a BAD nose can enhance the appearance of an eligible girl, why not? Davka, if this gives her an edge in the Shidduch arena, she at least stands as much a chance then as the natural beauty would.
      Great article!!

      • are you really a chasidishe women/ maybe you ware the uniform but you get what it really mans. trying to remedy acne or loose weiht is not the same thing as going under the knife.a bad nose? what’s that? did your grandparents in europe think a jewish nose was ugly or is that something we picked up here in america?

        • FYI I am chasidish through and through, and what I wrote evolved from personal experience. If you read my post, note that I wrote BAD nose in bold letters, which indicates that we are discussing a nose which is so prominent that when you look at this girl’s face it is the first thing you notice.
          The surgery I was referring to – rhinoplasty – turned this girl from a self-conscious, shy, ugly duckling to a self-confident virtual swan. It was done under local anesthesia, not general.
          (By the way, in Europe there was a worse plague of older unmarried girls, but for different reasons. If a girl did not have a dowry she could have been the town’s beauty but she did not stand a chance of a shidduch. To the contrary, if she came with money, nothing else mattered. She could have had a hawk nose; been obese; been obtuse – the bottom line was “a naddan.”)
          I am not suggesting that girls should transform themselves, but there is no question that enhancing the features they are born with can only help!

    45. how shallow have you become. I am appalled at your article. the frum society has become so materialistic that it would stoop so low and even print this drivel. The reason there are so many single girls is really simple.

      Every mother (even those that think their son is great – when all he is, is an overindulged spoiled brat) only would like what is best for their son. In my day middos came first. Nice family. balabusta. then when these were reconciled came the bonus questions. was she attractive or pretty. then further down the line came a question of finances. but a boy that wanted to learn in kollel knew there would be sacrifices, you would have to give up some luxuries to sit and learn. After all, a true ben torah wouldn’t be fazed by that at all. Adjunct poverty was the norm amongst the well learned of most generations. when bais medrish elyon was around, a bachor that was going to sit and learn would know when he exited kollel he would be in debt for 10 years.

    46. One thing we must all keep in mind is that we never get a second chance to make a good impression. That holds true whether you are the boy or the girl. The concept was a good one but the variables was a little off IMHO. Maybe the first steps were to collect the girls and maybe in another program the boys of a certain age group who are looking for a certain lifestyle and have a panel of dating coaches present. Ask them to come as if they were going on a date. Seat them at tables of 5 each, and have the panel of coaches go from table to table to guide them with personal insights. Doing it in small groups is helpful because although you don’t want to embarrass anyone you also want to make sure that each one hears what others say and feel and that they don’t think or feel that they are the only one with those thoughts and feelings.

      Dating coaches can be male and females so these girls get perspectives from both sides. Appearance counts and they can hear what the Torah perspective and views are on appearance and attracting a spouse. Practice questions can be asked to see how they would handle themselves on a date. The coach can review and guide them based on their responses.

    47. why should a young woman (or anyone for that matter) change her looks just to satisfy some perverted checklist created by a shallow, demanding mother?

    48. (cont.)
      Today the boys are driven by clothing styles as much as the girls. as a matter of fact many of the really frum girls know less about the styles than the guys they date! They are taught in their household a new order of questioning. first it’s all about finances – if she can show an impressive financial statement – NOT INTERESTED!! when you pass that round, the next question is is she gorgeous..?

      Yitte, i guess you got stuck there and wrote the article!

      we are so vain and materialistic – that is the problem. I am financially secure….my daughter get red many shedduchim BECAUSE of this…and many i have to turn down because it is the first question….i was successful with my oldest…we found a guy that wanted to make sacrifices for two reasons….one, so that he can relate to other people learning l’shma and not as an extended honeymoon and second…he didn’t need much “i’m never really home” he says.
      gedolim honor convicted felons because they give money – i guess that sets the tone – as stated my malcom X – by any means necessary!

    49. Cont. Once the panel has passed through all the tables then they can go to the dais and either review certain things that came up or still take questions and give answers. Once the girls have been coached they can come back for a second session where they would meet shadchanim at the tables and they should be prepared with an appropriate resume which the dating coaches could have also reviewed previously.

      The third session could be shadchanim with mothers, like a PTA where either the Shadchan sits with the Mothers they brought and the girls approach the table or better yet, the girls sit in groups of 5 and the shadchan come with the mothers one at a time to a table, so the girls get accustomed to here the questions both the mothers and the shadchanim ask. This way the girls can get more comfortable with the process even if it is not them that are being interviewed. The mothers might also view another girl they might be interested in and ask the Shadchan to retrieve someone else’s resume and ask for an interview with another girl. Everything is possible.

      In this way many girls get even exposure to shadchanim and mothers of boys, and all get the advantage of professional coachi

    50. in the chassidish world it’s a girls world and in the litvish world and in the modern orthodox world it’s a boys world. This article is down right silly. There’s one ingredient for engagement and that is: To reallly want it. As soon as one really wants it he’ll be willing to overlook the small stuff and look at what’s really important. Like anything else in life. These days many older singles don’t want it enough. On a regular daily basis they feel accomplished and surviving.

    51. It would be a good idea for one that married her kids off at the accepted age cus it went for her. Or one that herself/himself got married at the accepted age in their community to simply close their mouths. I sometimes read suggestions and articles on shidduchim in magazines, even from psychologists; they are so ignorant. True advice can only be given by those that have gone through it and overcame it.

    52. It is reprehensible the way that the plastic surgeons advertise their procedures. In many cases, the procedures are not psychologically and/or medically necessary. However, the public wants to look like someone whom they have seen in the media. In one case, prison officials actually paid for both a nose and an ear plastic surgery procedure for an inmate; both were performed at the same time! NEBECH, the way our society has changed, in recent years!

    53. If parents would raise their kids to be soft-spoken, personable, neat in appearance, kind, understanding and well-read – refined, if you will – most everyone coming in contact with said boy / girl would soon get past physical features. Personality and midos would take over in a flash. How often do we think someone unattractive at first glance, only to consider the same person immensely appealing once we get to know him or her? Good luck to the prospective MIL who is so shallow as to reject a prospective son or daughter-in-law based on the shape of his or her nose or lack of make-up. If it’s bashert, it has appeal. Many plain-Janes and ugly ducklings have metamorphosed into beautiful swans once chosen as “the one.” Let the shallow-minded, superficial type meet up with their kind. Perfect shidduch!

    54. i have a solution to the shiduch crisis, but it’s VERY controversial – have the gedolei hador matir the cherem rabeinu gershon and allow men to marry more than 1 woman.

      just a thought…

      • A normal woman with self esteem is not going to be a shmata to some loser like you. Better to spend your entire life single than copy the mormons, moron!

      • Polygamy is illegal in the US, so good luck with that plan. Also, I don’t know one woman desperate enough to settle for sharing a husband. Do you seriously think that two wives are going to sit side by side happily pregnant and peeling potatoes in this day and age? Do you know anybody who could possibly afford the tuition’s from plural families? It’s seriously insulting to Jewish women to suggest that they should settle for a half a marriage while their husband is rewarded double the pleasure.

        • I read through about 120 comments and it seems pretty clear that people are very divided about the issue. Some people think that the article is ridiculous while others think it’s great. (Some people yearn for the days of old and pretend like in the world we live in nowadays it would be possible to turn back the clock and act like it was still 1970 or 1950. When they were young, I’m sure people were wishing it was still 1920.) Everyone seems pretty clear that they don’t like the current dating process. But I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the article. Just overhearing it from a friend I thought it would be a joke, but as I read through the article I realized the author did have good intentions and did make some good points. I think everybody can agree that is important for girls and guys to try to be the most presentable that they can, especially when they are trying to get married. The problem (besides the idea that perspective mother in laws are meeting with girls. This is only going to make things more complicated. As a married guy who dated for a long time, I can tell you that I would have never have wanted my mother to decide on girls based on meeting them (cont.)

        • (cont.) this way. After all I’m the one dating the girl not her!) is that the idea gets sensationalized by trying to suggest that people should get plastic surgery. So I want to know from the author herself, what the purpose of writing the article. If the main point was to encourage people to present themselves better and she added in the idea of plastic surgery as an afterthought, then good for her for trying to get her idea across. But if she really set out with the purpose of writing an article to convince people to get surgery and just filled it in with stories and peshatim then she will have lost all respect in my eyes. Even if her intentions are good who is to say that it didn’t cause several girls who were reading the article not to be pained by it. Does she have enough Daas Torah to weigh the factors and decide what is worth it to get “crucified” over. Why doesn’t somebody have to admit this kind of an article to a Posek before it gets published?

          • Submit the article to a Posek b4 publishing it?! Are u for real? Do u check with a Posek b4 u make any decision for yourself, ie. what to eat, when to go the bthroom…? How about the concept of being able to think for yourself ? Perhaps if u feel so offended by the article, you shouldn’t read newspapers or be on the internet. Did u ask a Posek about those moves of yours b4 doing them?

    55. i think people live in fairy tales – love at first sight is extremely rare, and most women need make up to look attractive, the most beautiful supermodels without makeup look hideous, simple makeup is for day to day (going to work and running errands), not for shiduchim – a girl needs to be put together otherwise there are plenty of other girls… it’s the harsh reality

    56. Demanding that women should look good, wear makeup, lose weight or get surgeries but not demanding the same from guys is just misogyny. There are many more guys who look atrocious simply because looking well kept, clean, fit is never emphasized in yeshivos. Guys are obsessed with everything tznius but want super models for wives? Has anyone asked what girls want? They are human too. And this ridiculous fad of shiduch resumes from girls is bizarre. How can anyone screen qualities of a person based on some text? Everything about this article s wrong. No wonder there is eating disorders in Orthodox world. Mothers like this woman who wrote this crazy article are not helping their daughters.

    57. Its with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes that i respond to this article, not only b/c i am a single living on the UWS for a long time but the meer fact there are people out there who dare think such things about women but even worse print such things is when we know klall yisrael is in trouble. I have a freind of mine who went to a shidduch meeting (she is also in her 30’s living on the UWS) the shadchan told her she is not attractive enough and not thin enough for her to make suggestions. Needless to say my freind went home in tears and I saw her self immage plumett. I told her many times that she is attractive and if she wants to loose weight we should diet together and make an excersize group for women. Any quite similar to your suggestion she was looking into sergicalll weight loss (without mentionting a thing to a sole) and made an appointment to have a band place on her stomach. I want to make myself clear that she did not medically qualify for the procedor via insurance so she paid for it out of her own pocket (yes she had it done). Sufice to say she has not been feeling well at all since the operation and has gone back to the doctor many times for checkups (to continue)

    58. This week my friend passed out on her way to work on the subway, she has been saying she feels like she was going to faint and i guess she was right! She was taken by paramedics to the hopsital and it turns out she had developed a massive set of infections (dont know why no one noticed it prior but thats not he point of my comments) she is now sitting in ICU have antibiotics given to her via IV and has complicatons as a result of this craziness. I promise you that I may be in my 30’s and i may be single, and yes time is passing by at lightning speed and yes i would like to find my zivug very badly indeed BUT are all of these things nessesary. Men and women both need to look at themselvs and be honest! HOW SOMEONE CAN PUT THEMSELF IN HARMS WAY TO FIND A SHIDDUCH IS BARBARIC AND INHUMANE! it has nothing to do with weight and looks it has to do with whats inside you heart trust me there is no lapband for the heart, and with divorce rates and a whopping 50% at the moment maybe there needs to be a change in mind set!

    59. I read most of tnhe postings not all of them and either I am dreaming or those make the postings are dreaming. I was little boy when Hitler overrun where I lived and me and other boys davened in concentration camp. I arrived in this country and fortunately met a lovely young lady. I had not parents and neither did she. I listened to her to my GED passed and finally landed a professional job. I was [proud of working and making a living. I never asked for division of labor worked, wnet to night school and did not mind taking out the trash or any other menial job required. Today is a different world you dream of yissocher and zevulun except they were brothers not father-in-laws or grandfathers. My son is battling this battle young men by virtue of being “bochur” expect to be maintained in a certain style. Of course dressed fitting a torah scholar but college is treife and there is a word in Kethubah “mefarness” the translation of which escapes them completely. Yes there is an issue “faulkeit” , chuzpah and total ignorance what marriage is all about and finally the wording of kethubah which is a contract with responsiblity assumed by the chosen to be “mefarness” his wife.

    60. I’m a little nauseated about this article.

      I believe in love and romance. I come from a traditional, non orthodox family, and fell into a BT yeshiva. I got married to a girl I fell in love with. She is FFB from a kind, nice family. I want my children to also marry someone they love. The end.

      Fix your teeth? Yes. Clear up the acne? Yes. Dress attractively, but not provocatively? Yes. Diet, and eat healthy food? Yes. Makeup – for women only? Yes.

      Take a Jewish girl, admit her to a hospital, administer general anesthesia, and slice and dice her so she looks like Barbie doll? I’m getting sick.

    61. Folks, to me the most absurd thing is that the mothers have to screen thru the girls for their spoiled rotten good for nothing sons. I have heard from more than one source that many boys are sitting in BMG and the ONLY reason they are there is to make a shidduch (i.e. win a jackpot). The boys today are extremely immature and this Mommy checking out the girls just proves it. Most of these boys are mamas boys and are nowhere near ready for marriage. I too, am a son of holocaust survivors. I went to Brooklyn College where most of my friends met their zivugim. I, myself, met my wife at a hotel upstate on a singles weekend. You wanna end the shidduch crisis, bring back the college scene; bring back singles weekends. Let them meet on their own. The system as is stinks and its NOT going to get better.

    62. I completely disagreed with the premise of a shidduch meeting for the girls to meet the boys’ mothers. But I do completely agree with Yitta’s feelings that girls must try at the very least to look appealing by using makeup. Of course, the boys as well should make efforts to appear presentable, groomed, neat, well-dressed, etc., but a known fact is plainly clear: men, by nature, are more attracted by a woman’s looks than women are by a man’s looks. While both need to have the attraction factor and “chemistry” in order to get and stay married, we all must face the truth that Hashem created men with a much stronger physical desire for the opposite gender, and looks do matter. I believe that to say awful things about Yitta, whom I know to be a most honorable, spiritual, kind person who hosts countless singles at her Shabbos table regularly, is terribly wrong. She is trying to help her fellow Jews, and for the rest of you, throwing mud at her for baring her soul and trying to help, shame on u.

    63. the exterior a person shows tells something about how they feel inside. the women don’t need surgery, just some makeup, hair, nail salon and dentist, and a diet. there’s nothing wonderfully natural about being overweight. but as a few have written, the men are worse. even on the subway, I am sorry to say, please do not suck on your pais, pick your nose, or twirl your hair idly in your fingers.

    64. Start by not giving cart blanche power to these rabbonim and female teachers who are brainwashing our precious children. Particularly be very careful of where you send them when they spend a year in Israel.

    65. To all the posters about “sheker hachain v’hevel hayofie”, doesn’t the Torah state by Rochel Imainu that she was “yifas toar viyifas mareh”? Why would the Torah state this if not for the fact that beauty is a maylah? It’s the same with being wealthy. It’s not the single reason to marry someone, but it’s definitely an edge. Would anyone turn down a million dollars because it would very likely change who you are?
      Yitta wasn’t advocating all women to go through that extreme, but some could use it. And just stating from personal experience, it wasn’t that expensive and it doesn’t change your whole look. You just look better. Similar to getting a great new hairstyle/shaitel; those were the comments given after getting it done without telling them what was done.

    66. Of course a guy (and a girl for that matter) has to like the inner person but if they are not attracted to the outside first, they usually won’t give their date a chance to like the inside. Let’s face it, if a boy sees 50 shidduch resumes, and each one says the girl is sincere, good middos, does chesed etc, and some girls look plain and some look more flattering, the boy will not choose the simple looking girl. It is just the way it is. Looking more flattering will not guarantee a girl a date, but it will increase her chances of a boy showing interest so she could have a date. Believe me, I’ve seem shidduch profiles of men not looking their best and I guarantee girls aren’t “cholishing” to date them either.Dr Mandel, a’h of the Jewish Press, once wrote,”if you want to attract the best , you have to be your best.:” This applies to men and women-both need to look their best, read books on dating, and have a good dating mentor.There are so many issues in the shidduch crisis-but anything that helps contribute toward getting more dates, is worth exploring. I applaud Yita Mandelbaum for her courage in writing this article.

    67. B’H I didn’t have such issues when I was dating, and was fortunate enough to meet my Kallah after really only having dated for a few months and only went on a handful of dates. I used no shadchanim or anything as A) I was an out of towner B) was a ger C) was 28 (or 8months old depending on your view point). So the pure agony I do not grasp first hand but as my wife and I have stayed friends with her single friends my heart sinks when they tell us stories of dating when they are by us for shabbos meals. From my view point there are many issues with the shidduch scene that cause this rediculious crisis. The One that sticks out more than others really though is the boxing in of a person, what clearly was addressed, dating isnt car shopping, year make and model or more applicable age, hashkafa, profession tell 0 about the person yet they have become the pre-screening items that make finding a beshert so much harder for some. We don’t all fit into a prefab box that we can be defined by, many people i know where married past the age of 25 married someone who either they rejected initially based on profile or took a chance on a profile type they never would consider. Perhaps if people took off the blinders they could see their besheret had been right there waiting for them all along, and we could advert tragedies such as the friend who had the mishap with the surgery or singles who go off the derech out of frustration…..

    68. Post 80 – – i condem you for cursing, she means good, if you have pain hashem should aliviate you.
      Post 60 – – 2 points – chasidsh marry young and grow together. When u r young you are more flexiable.
      Second – Chasidish girls espesially satmer/hungarian dress and live a baal batishe lifestyle.
      Temimus = Chein
      I vintch everyone with there basherte!

    69. This article is probably one of the most ridiculous pieces i ever read – if she was right there would be an equal or close to equal amount of girls and boys who are single and are having problems getting dates but as we all know there are not. I have heard many good explanations for the shidduch crisis this is not one of them. I agree with some of the previous posters that this kind of attitude helps perpetuate the shidduch crisis and people like this. The author should be really careful as anorexia is a real problem in the jewish community and she will be lucky if she is not sued or at least vilified. This is a very dangerous attitude to have. (FYI as far as I know every girl that I dated and that other guys i know dated put on plenty of makeup and presented themselves well.)

    70. Also in many cases the mothers are the problem – they are way more picky and selective than their sons (this is not their fault as they can afford to be selective). Having the guys meet first is a smarter move; adding more red tape is not a good idea.

    71. I agree, looks are important, although plastic surgery can be brutal.. if you have an issue (as I do) go ahead and get surgery (as I am doing)

      On a side note, I get no shiduch offers, nor am I looking, i’m not offended however because I think theres much more to life than wasting years trying to get married.

    72. Alot of you make good proposals like bringing back the college scene and singles weekends for frum people, the way our parents and grandparents all met and went on to establish normal jewish homes that lasted. The problem is it will never happen at least in the new york area because this community has poisoned itself with outfrumming each other and baseless chumros. OYYY VEYYY bas yisrael hanging out with a boy? Oyyyy her skirt isn’t long enough. oyy what will the yeshiva say? what will the rebbi say? WHO CARES! this system has destroyed everybody. it made living here a torture. these yeshivas have so many rules. they want this way of life and are against that way of life. then they want money somehow. and they also want looks but looks are assur to look at. its all one big contradiction. I wish the world would wake up and say maybe this baseless frumkeit isnt actually the right thing to do. maybe we went overboard here. its killing the youth, it makes the youth despise religion. it causes older singles to drop religion because they cant fit into it. I’m not making this up, count how many people went off the derech– IN THEIR 20’S AND 30’S, NOT THE TEEN YEARS. look what has happend

    73. props for this person that had the guts to write something like this, its solid good advice!

      I cannot relate to the whole girls seeking guy who learns all day etc but in the more non religious sector you have girls who dont care and end up going from guy to guy and then you have girls who understand that a huge nose, yellow teeth, flab etc is not good and they do something about it and they have a much easier time getting hitched.

      More and more men do care and its sad that many girls will convince themselves it dont matter


      Wash & trim your hair. Tweeze those bushy brows. Buy decent make-up & learn to apply it. Get a well-dressed friend (or hire a personal shopper!) to help you update a dowdy wardrobe. If necessary, go to therapy & learn social skills.

      I happen to agree with the article in principle – I’ve married off all my girls & most of my boys & I made very sure they were ALL presentable. Girls need to make something of themselves. Let’s be honest, if you go shopping are you going to buy the meat in the butcher’s store that looks greyish, dried-out & yucky? Or do you buy the piece that looks like the cow was just schechted?

      Maybe it’s an unfortunate analogy but isn’t it true?????

    75. Plastic surgery is necessary if chas v’shalom you have been in a fire! In other rare cases it might be necessary. On the whole, the knife is not going to change the person’s personality!! If they were serious, outgoing, funny, all this would have shown before!! So would other things. You need simple t’snius clothing (very well made) and a good personality!! Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!!

    76. One warning about plastic surgery. I had a good friend who had “everything”, but she also had a very large nose. She got it “fixed” and ultimately got married to a guy who had not known her prior to the surgery. A year or so later their first child arrived, followed by several others. I always wondered how her husband (and mother-in-law) reacted when they saw the uniformly huge noses on all their kids.

    77. A number of points:
      “I know I’m going to be crucified” was a very poor choice of words. Terrible, in fact.

      This reminds me of a story told in the name of Rav Moshe ZT”L. Someone asked him about daas torah or something of the sort, and he responded by asking if the man ever read a newspaper. The man replied that he regularly did. Rav Moshe then informed him that he had NEVER read a newspaper. (Moreover and therefore) every thought that came from his head was based on Torah.

      The author clearly did not write this from the proper perspective, as sincere as she might have been in intending to do so.

      Regarding the author’s whole premise that girls need to do more for their physical appearance:
      The use of makeup (other than for massive acne, etc.) on a ~ 20-year old is really only “enhancing” (when not overdone), and is not *necessary* to ensure the chassan will be attracted.
      For 99.9% of girls, cosmetic surgery is wrong to do.

      I also disagree that the girls should have dressed up as for a wedding, for this meeting. I imagine they did touch up a little.
      But they were there to give the mothers a better idea of who they are, not how well they can make themselves up.

      Hashem Yiracheim!

    78. “I grew up a homely teenager. My weight and my frizzy hair were just two of my issues. I still cringe when I think of the pain that was my constant companion. Even though I excelled in school, and my writing had been published from the time I was eight, nothing could ameliorate my self-consciousness, the terrible ache of knowing that I was not pleasing to the public eye.”
      In her own words, the writer of the article perceived herself through a prism that was not Torah based. All the girls at the meeting that she is denigrating want a chasan who appreciates natural beauty, HaShem’s individual masterpieces, not nose-jobs and Ollie hair treatment. Dr. Jofen was a professor at Baruch College of NYC University, hardly the setting for Torah unadulterated.
      The so-called multi-faceted and mushrooming shidduch crisis is the result of such great thinkers and tinkers who keep “improving” it. Was it a college professor who suggested girls encapsule themselves in faxed resumes? Surely, no Rosh Yeshiva ever conceived of suggesting nose-jobs or correcting “facial flaws.” No Gadol ever hinted at “make-over” sessions with hairstylists, cosmetologists and wardrobe consultants.

    79. Where does this author live?! She is totally out of touch with the realities of the community! Does she not know that only married women are permitted to dress to impress (the long sheitels, tighter and more colorful clothing etc.). That only if you are an “aishes ish” and not trying to find a potential husband, may your outward appearance become important enough to work on. It is almost practically becoming halachah that when you are a single girl, black is the only color you may wear but when you marry, you obtain the heter to really try to make oneself attractive.

      Every single guy knows that when he is on a date, that when evaluating a dates looks, he must try to picture how the girl would look married. This in turn allows many guys to continue dating girls they typically would not.

    80. There are basically pros and cons to this article. However nothing strikes me as horrific as the people that literally cursed the author. If you think the author was off – that is your opinion and privilege. But to curse her and her son – whatever possessed you? True you may have hurt and difficulties. But if you think someone is wrong and then you hurt them so deeply – do you actually think you rose above that person? Dont you see how lowly and awful your response is. Dont you think cursing someone is a serious responsibility. Dont you worry that maybe ch”v when you curse someone that may ch’v happen to you. May Hashem help us in all we need and lets agree to disagree if we have to. Lets be able to discuss issues without denigrating, hurting and cursing others that dont share our views. May Hashem help everyone to find there shidduchim easily and may we be zoicha for moshiach to come soon.

    81. Well, at least the girls were making a point by not getting dressed up for the mothers. Let them meet the boys directly and wait and see what happens. Mothers can have all kinds of conscious and unconscious stuff going on, such as competition, not wanting to let go of their sons, trying to impress others, their own unfulfilled needs and desires, all mixed up with genuinely caring about their child’s wellbeing. Do mothers need to be attracted to their daughters-in-law? It’s all a bit of a psychological nightmare.

      Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with someone correcting something that is a physical impediment, because these things can truly get in the way – but I would say, don’t do it for the mother.

    82. Please, lets give Yitta a break here. Those who are accustomed to Mothers meeting the prospective girls understand where this is coming from and will understand why this process might be a good idea. Please don’t forget that it is mothers who seek out and check out girls and wedding and other simchas and are the ones who inquire and check out the girls presented to them. They are known to spy on the girls anyway and show up wherever they find out the girls will be. This is a much more straightforward way of dealing with it. I would think the girls would much rather deal with it in a calm environment with a facilitators around to make things run more smoothly and keep the mothers in check, than have the mothers/parents show up on the first date with the boy, which many do.

      To each their own. If this is not the way you do things in your circles, then obviously this is not something you understand, but please don’t make fun of it, or shoot or hang the writer for bringing it to our attention. And lets not forget that prospective couples must be attractive to each other, that absolutely counts in a shidduch for both sides.

    83. H*shem help us if the non-religious world gets a hold of this garbage. I hope your son has by some miracle managed to pick up some better values than what you appear to have spent your time instilling. If spending thousands on cosmetic surgery is the only way to get a guy to marry me, I’d rather spend the money on artificial fertilization and raise the child by myself with some REAL Torah values. Thank you mom and dad for teaching me that beauty comes first from within. Perhaps you should take a moment and go back over the story of Esther, if you can’t find the time for it, then I wish you luck finding your son his very own Vashti.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here