The following is a letter to the editor in the Readers Write forum in the Yated. It is by far one of the smartest things I've ever seen written in that column. I have no time to add any personal comments.
Plastic Tablecloths and Stacking Dishes
Much has been said already about the shidduch crisis we are currently facing. It has been suggested that the bochurim these days are "marrying the wrong wife" by marrying girls who are younger than them. The undeniable truth, however, is that the Gemara teaches us that before a child is born, a bas kol declares that "So-and-So's daughter will marry So-and-So." The Gemara does not say, "So-and-So's son will marry So-and-So." The reason for this is because at the time of the birth of a boy, his wife has usually not been born yet. Thus, at the time of the boy's birth his wife's name cannot be proclaimed. It is only upon the birth of the girl, in which case the husband has usually been born already, that the bas kol can call out the name of the husband. Thus we see that the boy is usually older than the girl.
Secondly, we cannot argue with the otehr lesson of this Gemara, namely that a person's wife is predetermined from Heaven. It would seem nothing short of blesphemy to claim that all or most bochurim, by marrying "too young," are not marrying their beshert. Is the Eibishter not doing His job? Can we even claim to be able to "pick up the slack" (so to speak)?
Thirdly, the claims that there are too many girls being born, or too few boys, is likewise ridiculous, because it is impossible to calculate all the Jewish communities both in the New York City area and beyond it, inlcuding England, Australia, etc. Can we deny the fact that many bochurim marry out-of-towners and out-of-countryers? Can it be suggested that Eibishter is making too many Yidden, chas veshalom, for Him to marry off?
Isn't that what is really being said?
So, you're asking, why, then, are there so many unmarried boys and girls in the frum yeshiva community?
The answer can be found- and you can verify this for yourself- in the reasons people give for turning down shidduchim or not even considering them in the first place. Questions about whether people are "stackers" or "scrapers" are determining the marraiges in our community. And the questions get even more outrageous than that! The absurdity and true insignificance of these factors do not require elaboration.
In addition, many bochurim and bachuros unfortunately do not have anyone to turn to for advice. Instead, they turn to their friends and colleagues who-sorry to say- really know from nothing when compared to a rov or rebbe who has helped hundreds or thousands of bochurim and girls. These freinds, in contrast, offere counsel based on their minimal life experiences, which is exactly that- extremely limited, and ruin many shidduchim.
Bochurim during their high school years must be told that they need to acquire a rebbe for life, someone who they will be in contact with for many years to come, guiding them through life's challenges. In addition, this will give them a clear mehalech hachayim that is not just a self-made one combined from many other mehalchim from the various yeshivos he attended. When a bochur comes back from learning in Eretz Yisroel and goes to Lakewood, it is really too late at this point to begin finding a rebbi.
With proper reevaluation, we can hope to dance at many more happy chasunos this year. Amein.