Why People Leave

Before I get to the post, let me ask a question: Is there any point in life in which you’re old enough to be around girls? I just had a great shabbos, and at shalos seudos I jokingly asked if we could come back every week. They laughed and said they’d love to, but their house is usually filled with seminary girls at shabbos. I said that was fine. I’m taken, and my friend needs to get married anyway. And they laughed again.

But seriously, those girls are going to be dating when they get back to New York anyway. It’s July, which means they’re probably only a few weeks away from being in a hotel lounge with Yanky for the first time. My point being, doesn’t it make sense to let yeshiva boys and sem girls meet each other if they’re both dating anyway? A shabbos table with a family seems as kosher a place to start as any other. (Incidentally, I’m not kidding when I said my friend needs to get married. Anyone interes ted? He’s 5’10, athletic, dresses well, polite, likes to learn. But he’s 26, yet looks 21. Which means if you’re a beard lover, you’re out of luck. He’s in Israel through July and will be back next September.)

The family I stayed at made aliyah for the second time a few years ago. They originally lived here through yeshiva and sem and stayed when they got married. They said they lived in Neve Yaakov and Ramat Beit Shemesh in the mid nineties. They said they left when they sensed that the religious communities were becoming polarized beyond what they considered comfortable. The first straw was when his wife was told that if she continued to wear denim skirts and tennis shoes, noone would want to be friends with her. The second was that the kids started coming home from school with stories about violence that their friends were involved in (stone throwing, protests, tzniyus patrol…). The last straw, so he said, was when someone wanted to open up a trade school for wayward teenagers. Get them involved in metal and woodwork, as he described it. The community rabbis forbade it, out of concern that the kids would enjoy it too much, and therefore never return to learning.

He said that he figured their kids could go one of two ways. They could stay and be over is issur of sinas chinam, or leave and risk the possibility of them being over giluy arayos. They returned to America and later made aliyah to a settlement where all types come together without polarization of any kind. And they couldn’t be happier.

9 Responses to “Why People Leave”

  1. Out of curiosity, what settlement do they live on? That sounds like the kinda place for me! 😛

  2. They’re in Karne Shomron. Beautiful place. Although until shabbos lunch I thought it was called “Coronation Road”.

  3. Interesting question, I’d say many are afraid incompatible people will feel a strong attraction for each other and decide to go out for the wrong reasons.

  4. B”H

    Who wants to be around girls?

    Ew. Icky. Coodies.


    Seriously, though, don’t you find a different atmosphere went its mixed vs. all guys?

    Take your pick.

    Um, BTW, things aren’t as rosey as they think in Qarnei Shomron. Maybe this town’s tendency to avoid controversy, and pay adequate homage to the “Holy GOI” {government of israel}, is what they detect

    Of course, there is also a bit of a denial as to what’s going on around them. They’re within the so called security fence, so who cares about everyone else {Tapu’ah, Yitzhar, Ma’on, Adei Ad}. This is what I like to call the Efrat Mentality.

    Freshman MK Michael Ben-Ari, Moshe Feiglin, and Shmu’el Sackett live there with livens things up a bit, and hopefully keeps everyone on their toes, where they should be, so they don’t get complacent.

    Having lived in the middle of nowhere near Shchem, it just seems kind of silly to refer to such places as “settlements.”

    Go spend a Shabbath in Giv’ath Ronen or Tapuah West, then tell me Qarnei Shomron is a settlement.

  5. Thinking back to when I was in seminary, I don’t think I’d have enjoyed being a table with a bunch of guys. It would have been intensely uncomfortable, I think. Not altogether for frum reasons, though.

    Anyway, I think the reason why it is frowned upon is because of the fear that some may hook up together (and not in an official shidduch dating sense)! Which I am sure happens anyway in Israel even if they don’t meet at a host’s Shabbos table, so….maybe it doesn’t matter so much??

    Re: your second point, having a hard time finding a location in Israel that is more tolerant, I do think things are going to change. I have a close relative that just made aliyah (married an Israeli) and though her husband grew up in a charedi neighborhood he’s not charedi anymore–he says he has tons of friends just like him. They’re just now getting married and having kids. At some point neighborhoods will become populated by people like this. And believe me, no amount of pressure will force these people to turn black hat just so their kids can get into school. So somebody will eventually open up new schools, etc.
    I think it’s really hard to find your place in the community when you are coming as an outsider (i.e. America) rather than a native born Israeli.

  6. I think, and practice what I think, that inviting guys and girls together is a great idea. People are more comfortable in groups and nobody is put in the spotlight.

    “official shiddush dating” is why we have the shidduch crisis 😛

  7. Shidduch Crisis?

    1. I blame the shadkkanioth who only care about the woman, asks the man un-tzniustik questions for her own enjoyment, and sends couples out who have nothing in common with each other, and try to convince the man to marry this woman, instead of having the interests of both individuals are heart.

    2. Crazy Litvish “sems” which brainwash women into believing they may only marry men who learn all day AND are “well-established” {translation: wealthy}.

    3. “Rabbis” who teach that Shalom Bayis means to give your wife whatever she wants. A couple who practices this then produced totally messed up women AND men, who have at least one distorted view of Torah concepts.

    4. M/O’s acceptance of many of the confused gender roles {If the best doctor in town is a woman, of course, I’d consider going to her. That’s not what I’m talking about.} of Western/Galuthi society.

    There are many others I “blame.” But blaming isn’t so helpful. Taking responsibility is, which is why I suppose I’ll have to write my own “Shidduch Crisis” post.

    Stay tuned….

  8. “Polarization” is probably the worst thing happening to Torah observant Jews today. Great post.

  9. I think a lot of seminary girls are uncomfortable around the guys.

    If both groups say they are comfortable with it I think it’s a great idea. I have friends who met their matches at mixed gender shabbat tables.

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