2020 How to create a shidduch crisis in 15 easy steps
Chananya Weissman
October 1, The Jewish Press
  1. Divide the small Orthodox world into countless tiny boxes, and put everyone inside a box. People can only marry someone inside the same box.

  2. Encourage young people to marry up.

  3. Instill young people with an inflated estimate of their desirability and “value” on the market. This way, everyone feels that they deserve much better than they are ever likely to find. Force them to choose between continuing to search for what they deserve or swallowing their pride and settling. The greatest joy in a shidduch is not finding a wonderful life partner, but landing a great catch.

  4. Standardize the courtship process into a series of interviews and social rituals. Take all the spontaneity and romance out of dating. Expect there to be sparks and chemistry without spontaneity and romance.

  5. Eliminate natural meeting opportunities. Educate people that meeting on your own is forbidden and a terrible idea, besides. Condemn those who don't obey.

  6. Separate the sexes from the day of birth until their first shidduch date – in fact, make this a focal point of everyone's religious identity – then expect them to get married quickly and get along like two halves of the same soul. Assume that a little “coaching” will be sufficient for those who struggle with this.

  7. Rely almost exclusively on matchmaking, but hold matchmakers to no standards, have no oversight, no consequences for poor performance, no mechanism for weeding incompetent and even abusive matchmakers out of the system. Continue to lower the bar for matchmakers to receive financial rewards, even a “registration fee” simply for speaking to a single with no guarantees or obligations. Honor all matchmakers as “experts” and invite them to lecture the community on a regular basis.

  8. Base shidduch suggestions strictly on a single page of superficial, boilerplate data and “hunches” by people who do not know the singles involved, do not care about them, and do not want to invest any time in getting to know them.

  9. Allow feminist canards to infiltrate the community in subtle ways. Disparage the quality of single men at every opportunity. Emasculate the male population while building up the women as superwomen. Encourage women to look down on men, to laugh at them and be horrified by them, while simultaneously encouraging them to search for a husband they can look up to and become his helpmate. Then pretend that the problem is that there aren't enough men, let alone good men, and create a whole campaign based on this belief.

  10. Assume that anyone who doesn't marry quickly is too picky, has commitment issues, does not know how to develop a relationship, has something severely wrong with them, and needs therapy. All of the above.

  11. Make it increasingly difficult for people to marry quickly, so that increasing numbers of singles fall into the above waste bin.

  12. Ostracize anyone who deviates from a long list of superficial pseudo-religious expectations. Instill people with deep fear that any misstep or flaw renders them and their entire family undesirable, if not completely unmarriageable.

  13. Despite the requirement for strict conformity, singles must demonstrate that they are exceptional to be offered “quality” shidduchim. While demonstrating how exceptional they are, they must also exhibit charming humility.

  14. Ostracize anyone who publicly expresses dissatisfaction with the shidduch world, let alone deviates in any way from “the system”. Being that no alternative will be permitted, this will effectively protect “the system” and all who benefit from it.

  15. Blame all resulting problems on the “secular world” and mysterious decrees from Heaven.

   How to fix the shidduch world: Do the complete opposite of all the above.