Is This Really a Problem?

Although I’m in the shidduch scene thing, I’m obviously somewhat more familiar with the female half of things. So this article on Washington Heights, which has been circulating like a piece of profundity, raised a few questions.

1 – Why is the magazine called Guernica? Okay, I get the “arts and politics” thing, but isn’t there a more cheerful confluence of art and politics? (or do they never come together in a cheerful way?) A more American one, at least? I guess not.

2 – How do you lose blond hair? Like by forgetting it on a park bench? I find it hard to believe NYC hasn’t got enough sun to bleach the bleachable type of hair in the summertime.

3 – Is there really a difference between what guys are “taught” the woman’s role is and what the girls are “taught” to do?

This is the second time I’ve seen that listed as a reason for the so-called “shidduch crisis.” That girls – women – want to have a career, and guys think they ought to be in the kitchen changing diapers.

I have, once or twice, seen a guy make a face when I said I wasn’t likely to consider dropping work completely. I consider that to be a matter of practicality, and anyway, in this age of modern convenience, you really don’t need to be home all day to get the housework done (assuming that the wife is the only one doing housework).

I mean, I did get week and a half’s worth of experience recently, and it definitely did not take up a full day, even when I pulled a six-pot dinner.

So, once you’ve redecorated the living room, mastered the art of fruit-glazed chicken and souffles, packed enough stuff into the freezer to last til Pesach (which you don’t need because you’re making everything fresh every day), made thematic succah decorations, and completed the Purim costumes from scratch, and updated your family blog with photos of your adorable children and your latest toilet-scrubbing technique, what is left to do?  Become a gym rat? Go out for lunch with your friends? Volunteer for every organization under the sun? Visit traveling exhibits?

You’re going to wind up out of the house anyway (if only for the sake of your sanity) – why not get paid for it?  Yes, the thematic succah will have to go and the souffles will probably fall by the wayside, but most people survive without them anyway.

Besides, there is a growing trend (and don’t deny it, guys) that women are outpacing men in the workplace. Since it makes sense for the higher earner to be the breadwinner, there are higher rates of housekeeping husbands (hat tip to BiggestFish [I know who you are]) than ever before.

Sure, the household is the center of the Jewish solar system. But who says it’s got to be the woman doing the tightest orbiting?

All that was just for the sake of argument – and the controversy-lovers may begin shouting right now.

But it’s completely beside the point. It makes no difference to the question of: are guys “taught” that women should be in the home orbital? Exactly how is this taught? Do rabbeim give classes on these things? ‘What to look for in a wife’ or ‘Who’s place is in the kitchen (hint: not yours)’?

For the guys to whom this applies: how do you/they reconcile this with their plans to learn for several years and then go into a low-paying, late-if-ever paying ‘klei kodesh’ job? Do they also want their wives at home? (I get if a big-time lawyer who is never at home anyway wants his wife there feathering the nest, but if you’re small-time or average-time stuff…?)


49 thoughts on “Is This Really a Problem?

  1. Most guys that I know do not want their wives to stay at home. Most of them want their wives to support them or at least to contribute financially. Especially in the yeshivish world where even if the guy is not learning full time they put the financial responsibilities on the girl. I’ve mentioned to a couple shaddchanim before that I wasn’t really looking for a career oriented girl and they looked at me like I was crazy. Also the reason I don’t want a career girl is not because I expect my wife to spend all her time in the house. I would be ok with my wife working, I just don’t think most college educated girls could put up with me regardless of how much money I make.

  2. I think it’s perception masquerading as “being taught.” Sure, we are taught how a women are the caretakers of the future, and raising children is their best gift and responsibility, and this may be interpreted as “women should not get jobs.” I of course agree with the practicality of two wage-earners as well as the intellectually stimulating aspect. It may be male ego and the being intimidated by the successful female, but I always thought that that was a myth, too. Or it should be.

    BTW, you used the wrong “who’s” in the penultimate paragraph – I only say b/c I know you’d like to know.

  3. To make one side comment on the linked article, it said,

    “Both Goldstone and Rosenhouse, who is in rabbinical school at Yeshiva University, have had to find ways to balance their secular and religious lives. ‘You have one foot in each world, and everyone has to reconcile that for themselves,” said Ilana Nutkis, twenty-three, who moved to Washington Heights immediately after graduating from Stern with degrees in sociology and philosophy. “You’re a modern American and you’re a religious Jew, and that’s sort of a balancing act.'”

    For all those who agree with this, great. But my problem is that this is what makes me different from guys I know, and makes people think I’m less frum- This is not a balancing act for me; it fits perfectly hand in hand. Following “torah im derech eretz,” I find that I have both feet in both worlds, not one in each. I see that people who have to “balance” tend to sometimes go to extremes in either being lenient or strict. I.E. If I just spent Sunday morning learning, how can I watch a movie now? Or, I just heard that shiur so how can I get in a car and listen to non-jewish music?

    Instead, understanding that the secular world can complement the religious world makes one more stable because “balance” is not required. It’s like, “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Similarly, realizing that “bad” things like movies or goyish music can be used for the good can help people understand they do not have to constrict themselves or limit themselves, thereby making them feel more comfortable and less likely to see judaic inconsistencies and potentially go off the derech. No wonder this hashkafa was successful battling the enlightenment movement of the mid to late 1800s. Instead, the yeshivos and seminaries today, for good, “frum” girls tend to see these things in black and white.

    Rabbi Frand is big on this: Anything can be used for the good. If a guy exercises, fine. Great. But if he does that with the intention of having more energy to serve Hashem, or to be healthy so he can support his family, he elevates the mundane to the holy. The same is possible for movies and goyish music. It is not surprising that Rabbi Frand’s parents were yekkish (torah im derech eretz).

    More in my next response.

  4. If I start telling myself things like it’s “possible for movies and goyish music” to be used to “elevate[] the mundane to the holy” I should be worried that I’m fooling myself. Yes, in some cases people should not be overly restricted lest they go off the derech, but it should be understood that such leniencies are a sort of compromise, and hopefully temporary.

  5. Bad4 asked, “Is there really a difference between what guys are “taught” the woman’s role is and what the girls are “taught” to do?”

    Allow me to start with an example I recently saw on another blog (I forgot which one) about chosson and kallah classes and what is and is not allowed. If the chosson and kallah are taught differently, where one is more machmir and one is more maykil, you know there will be problems unless the couple actually discusses and works things out. If they don’t, boy are they in for some arguments.

    I believe the same thing applies to frum gals and guys today. Seminaries/yeshivos are teaching either different things or the same things but to a different degree of observance than yeshivos/seminaries. There’s a divide that is being created because seemingly, female and male institutions do not have their heads together. Now, I believe that, no matter what is being taught wherever, the end result is that it’s more likely for the girl to be more machmir than the boy. This is from where one of the problems of dating stems. As an aside, I believe girls are more religiously serious than boys (yes, there are exceptions), and this augments the hashkafic discrepancy when boys and girls exit their respective religious lyceums.

    Having said that, what is being taught all depends on the school attended and the parents one has. In a typical yeshiva today, boys are told that learning is the primary goal and purpose in life. Ergo, one should devote one’s whole life to learning. In other words: kollel. Ergo, someone else has to financially support this g-dly scholar. So, I am not sure where the female homemaker concept comes in unless the kollel-track guy thinks the girl can support him and be home to raise the children!

    This is why it’s so important for parents to not wholly rely on schools for their children’s religious education but to instill their values, minhagim, and hashkofos in their children when they are home, and even to correct anything taught at school to which the parents do not agree.

    Bad4, I am unaware that this is “taught” outright in yeshivos. There are no classes on this. Rather, this comes through subtle comments while discussing gemarrah or mussar, or just schmoozing with rabbeim. The lesson is that ‘guys should just learn and wives are expected to do EVERYTHING else (no matter how little that makes sense). Most yeshiva guys I know use their rabbeim as their puppet-masters for dating and this is the only time I can likely think of when the guy is told what he should expect and want.

    The yeshiva world does not really smile on independent-minded people, otherwise people would realize the inconsistencies between a woman (slave!) financially supporting her husband (master!) and that same woman managing the house and the children. Unless they expect to marry Superwoman from Krypton…

    Please let me know if that answers your questions.

  6. Lawschooldrunk- that’s precisely the philosophy which I follow=The Torah Im Derech Eretz perspective.

    THis outlook was NOT taught at the Bais Yakov I attended. It was actually quite the contrary where if you are Not looking for a full-time Kollel- OMG! you are practically non-religious. This creates a lot of pressure among peers and relatives although not everyone can or wants a full-time learner. That is how you end up with a ”Bench warmer” in Yeshiva.

    However, I still do not understand how Pure Entertainment Movies complement the Torah. It’s one thing to watch a Leonardo Da Vinci Expos’e and another thing to watch ”Super Size Me”!
    Do you know what I mean?

  7. I always thought it was strange that I didn’t learn a single practical thing in Yeshiva about dating, marriage or anything related to girls. I formed my own opinions about these things based on what I see around me and lessons I got from my parents. My sisters on the other hand came back from Seminary with ideas for better or worse that they definitely did not get from my parents. There is definitely a big difference between what the girls are taught and what the guys are not taught, if that makes any sense.

    u seem like a reasonable well balanced guy……but im confused…do u really let urself believe watching moveis and listening to goyish music can b elevated to a ruchnius level ??i really have never heard that “take” before and in my humble opinion that is more than slightly naive….no ofense there
    granted movies can relax and destress you but i think the going view is that they r still WRONG in essence and one strives to reach a level where they are not necessary or at least acknowledge that they are not good for ones neshama. obviously im not referring to the sci channels or mozart.
    mayb if u can explain to us exactly how movies (again not the disney/documentaries-) can be elevated from the mundane to holy i wud be able to understand ur point of view ?
    i believe its the mesilos hayisharim that describe lifes challengeas as battlegrounds that one can conquer and as he does elevate himself higher, but if one is content that all that he does or sees in life are ok than he will never improve……………..
    please explain

  9. Schoolgirl: I can’t speak for lawschooldrunk but I think I understand what he’s saying. Not that Movies and Goyish music are good but that it’s possible that your watching/listening to them can relax you and make it possible for you to do other things like learning or davening better. That’s not to say that you wouldn’t be better off if you didn’t need those things but most of us are not perfect. Also there are plenty of movies you can watch (not just boring ones) that are not bad and lots of Goyish music can be good for you as well.

  10. Oddly enough, I wrote in my resume that I’d like to stay home with my kids to give them a good chinuch, and so far every single guy that has been suggested has said yes after seeing the resume.
    I don’t believe in this nonsense, I am very talented and energetic but I am not willing to risk my children’s chinuch so my husband can learn. It makes no sense to me to leave my kids with someone else and support the family, with most of my salary going to child care.

  11. LawSchoolDrunk – you’re kind of a douche. SchoolGirl raises valid points and while she might not write well, don’t get on your high horse and ignore her until she spells to your standards.

    Second, regarding this whole article – boys and girls are taught different things in BYs/Yeshivas/YU/Stern/Touro etc. But at the end of the day, a woman is going to be the one who is better equipped to handle the day-to-day household and raising the children, and the man is the one who feels a much greater need to take card of and support his family in a monetary way. That’s the way it is traditional for a reason – it’s the way HaShem created men and woman. Separate but equal. Different strengths. And yes, I KNOW there are exceptions to every rule – but for the vast majority of Jewish homes, this is the way it is.

    And regarding househusbands – a greater oxymoron if I ever heard one. Any guy who feels comfortable staying home, raising the kids, doing laundry and washing dishes and cooking dinner while his wife goes out to work – please. I can’t imagine any woman who would respect someone like that. Man up and grow a pair.

  12. Bad4-Sorry, I forgot, I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. My shidduch PROFILE. Can you edit my comment? [I’d forgotten how awful soap tastes, thanks for reminding me.]

    BJG- The boys that have been redt are “learning”, but also involved in schooling, chinuch, or kiruv, although I must qualify this by noting I have only been redt 3 boys so far, so it could be beginner’s luck.

    Sorry Bad4, are the comments off topic?

  13. Law School Drunk, It’s true when you say “It is not surprising that Rabbi Frand’s parents were yekkish (torah im derech eretz).” They were fine, fine people. But add to that Rabbi Frand was raised in Seattle, Washington, a town that has not yet imported (thankfully) a lot of the Eastern shtuss that goes on.

    Anon, about your statement “And regarding househusbands – a greater oxymoron if I ever heard one. Any guy who feels comfortable staying home, raising the kids, doing laundry and washing dishes and cooking dinner while his wife goes out to work – please. I can’t imagine any woman who would respect someone like that.” Come on out to my community and I’ll introduce you to not one but two househusbands. And then I’ll introduce you to the wives that adore them. And the children who were lucky to have such caring and involved dads. Taking care of and supporting a family is not only about money, something these families understand and you have yet to learn.

  14. ProfK – I don’t care what my husband does as long as he’s “something”, not in the house doing, for lack of better terms, “woman’s work”. (My husband is in medical school, and I would NEVER have married a man who wanted to stay home and take care of our children while I supported them as a PERMANENT household arrangement.) Men are hardwired to want to support their wives and families in a MONETARY WAY (as I clearly stated before), and a man who would rather be a househusband is not a “real” man, at least to me. While “support” has many different shapes and sizes, I don’t want a man who gives it to me by completely emasculating himself. A man who becomes the “wife” in a marriage is doing just that. I have no respect for a man who stays at home and allows his wife to support him.

    Circumstances dictate the husband staying home for one reason or another? Fine. Decision made between two consenting adults? Fine, it’s your life – but he’s not a man I would respect.

  15. See this post, written by Road Not Take, which sums up my thoughts and experiences perfectly. The link is at the bottom.

    “And while I’m ranting on about the joys of housewifery, let me say some particularly unpeecee things about househusbandry. We have these friends from shul, a young couple, who are very young and stupid. She works, he stays home with their baby. I have to say, (and I know I’m going to get flamed for this but whatever) I have never known a guy who was a “househusband” who wasn’t a little strange. Granted, I’ve only known four couples where this is the case, but thinking about these men, they are all either 1) too lazy and unmotivated to pursue a career or 2) trying to prove some social feminist point that no one really gives a damn about anyway or 3) equipped with a history of mental illness. Seriously. I know there are statistics and studies etc. that bear out that househusbandry is perfectly normal and productive and okay, but I’ve yet to encounter this sort of setup where the players are not, well, weird. And frankly, some of their kids turn out even weirder.”

  16. I will never understand people who make dumb comments about grammar and spelling. That comment was actually composed and sent from my blackberry. Although some people may be adept at using the blackberry keypad, I have recently switched over and find it annoying and cumbersome. I really should not be defending myself but, I was also in the middle of class and therefore did not proofread my message.

  17. Life holds many surprises – nobody REALLY knows how they will feel about things like wife working or staying home with kids until they get to it. I am married and my husband would have said, Great, stay home with the kids. But now we need the money, so he wants me to work, and he sees lots of wives who are home who end up wasting their time and energy on things they could do without – gossip, baking some fancy cake to impress the neighbors when they bring it to a tzedaka tea, etc.- so he thinks it isn’t a bad thing to work part-time and be busy with that. I, on the other hand, wish I didn’t have the stress of working…but it depends on many factors – one year you may have twin infants, so it may make sense to stay home, another year you may have no baby at home, so you can work while the kids are in school, one spouse may land a high-paying job or one that involves travel…these conversations are silly to have on dates, and downright dumb before you even met the person…

  18. FWIW, a stay-at-home mom of young children can easily fill her time without even getting to redecorating the living room. She might spend a nice portion of her day just making sure she can see the floor. The responsibilities of maintaining a household that is continually attempting to default to chaos, shopping for everyone, liaising with the schools, dealing with various doctors, etc., can easily take all my time as long as I’ve got a kid home with me at least half a day. I’m not saying, “Everyone should try to do this”,or that the husband shouldn’t help; just that some of this post was really uncomfortable for me.

  19. Rachel: It’s true that you never know how your life will turn out and you may have to do things you don’t want, but it’s not dumb to talk about what you want. There is nothing wrong with a girl wanting a guy who wants to support her. There is also nothing wrong with a guy wanting a girl who wants to focus on raising a family. Circumstances may change you to some extent but, as an example, I will not go out with a girl who is in medical school to become a neurosurgeon b/c it’s unlikely that she would want to stay home with our kids, that’s not dumb.

    As for women who do stay home with their kids, there may be times when they are younger that they will be bored but not for long. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a time when my mother was able to sit back and say “I’m bored”, she is always crazy busy.

  20. You can get as off topic as you want; feel free to discuss the efficacy of artificial ice floes for polar bears, if you’d like. 😉 Just don’t offend my ears. Eyes. Whatever.

  21. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a housewife who was “bored” either, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have discretionary time that she allots to pet projects. It’s a funny thing about housework – it seems to expand to fill the void. When I had nothing else to do, it can take all day. When I had other things keeping me busy, I finish it off quickly and move on. Either way, I was always “busy.” It’s just a matter of how long I’m busy with any given thing.

  22. It’s not just housework, Bad4, Schoolgirl made a valid point. Being home to raise your children is a Very important thing, with a capital V. No person can give your children the love, care and concern in their every day life that you can. Even if you’re not the best teacher, or best mom, a child loves their parent, and is entitled to having a large portion of their childhood spent somehow in a relationship with them.
    I recently turned down a lab position, because the lab director’s definition of ‘dedication’ was a 9-7 day.
    So while you don’t need to ‘be home all day to take care of the housework’, what about the children?

  23. Thank you NMF #7 I am getting a degree, and will be very employable b”H, but like you said, nothing can replace a mother. Not that the mother can’t have a part-time job, but to feel that she has to be devoted to her work is not good for the kids. Even Superwomen who think their children are fine, are often out of touch with what is going on in their children’s lives.

    I feel strongly about this because my mother was and is a Superwoman, and I suffered from it until she took a year off and after that went only part time. I had loving babysitters before she decided to stay home, and she did her best in every way, but nothing can replace having a relaxed mother who has the time to bake cookies, help you with homework, and hear about your day. Childhood passes so fast, and my mother says her biggest regret is that she didn’t get to enjoy my growth from toddler to adolescent.

  24. I don’t get it. first you say there is no longer any need for a full time housekeeper/stay at home parent, then you say that if the woman is the higher earner the man should stay at home. Why should a man stay at home full time if there is no longer a need for anyone to stay at home?

  25. I don’t really believe it makes sense for the husband to be home full time either. What I do believe is that either one partner should have a part-time job or that both should have really flexible hours. But to each their own.

  26. remember when you asked if older singles are weird because their single or single because their weird? well yea, lately youve been turning weird bad4…this post was so uch! every guy is different and most guys want girls that have a degree…why? to work! its the minority that doesnt expect their wife to work, the rest realize that its very hard to get by today without a double income. guys arent bothered with girls with careers, they are afraid of girls that are their careers.

  27. 😀 Sorry for being weird – I was just quoting the article I linked to. It wasn’t my generalization! I will try to be more normal in the future… whatever the heck that means.

  28. To all: My computer was plagued with a computer virus since Friday but thank G-d it’s back and that is why I could not respond earlier.

    RedTred, I do understand what you are saying. However, this area is highly subjective, as I will reflect when I respond to schoolgirl’s comments, below.

    To address how a “pure entertainment” movie can still complement (in a loose sense) the Torah, allow me to illustrate through an example. Imagine you just got through a day that started at 7AM, ended at 7PM, and involved 4 hours total commute on a hot and un-air-conditioned bus, in the summer, carrying sweaty and smelly people. That is enough that I do not even have to mention the hard work you did that day. You have not spent a second that day relaxing or doing what you wanted to do. You have a seder/shiur after supper. Watching a 22 minute sitcom, while you eat supper, to release the tension in your mind and body will allow many people to feel refreshed to fully benefit from their upcoming seder/shiur. So, it’s not a “Pure entertainment” sitcom, but has been elevated to complement your service of G-d.

    To you or me, there may be a difference between some documentaries and less-educational movies, like dramas. But remember that there are people who will turn to you and say that to them there is no difference. Both are evil. So, every person has their own levels of distinction.

  29. Prof K wrote, “Rabbi Frand’s parents were yekkish (torah im derech eretz).” They were fine, fine people. But add to that Rabbi Frand was raised in Seattle, Washington, a town that has not yet imported (thankfully) a lot of the Eastern shtuss that goes on.”

    Prof K, how well do you know Rabbi Frand? Just curious.

  30. To Anon @19, who wrote, “LawSchoolDrunk – you’re kind of a douche. SchoolGirl raises valid points and while she might not write well, don’t get on your high horse and ignore her until she spells to your standards.”

    Please watch your language and do not resort to name calling.

  31. Schoolgirl, you wrote, “I will never understand people who make dumb comments about grammar and spelling.”

    I thinks how you respond to someone reflects what value you think their words have. It’s a derech eretz thing.

    Further, you wrote, “granted movies can relax and destress you but i think the going view is that they r still WRONG in essence and one strives to reach a level where they are not necessary or at least acknowledge that they are not good for ones neshama.”

    The problem I have with this is that you first mentioned the “going view.” I’m sorry but I was never one to just follow a crowd without thinking just because it’s the “going” way. I introspect how things affect me and how best I can serve Hashem. I don’t just do something without thinking because everyone thinks that way about it.

    Second, why are movies “wrong in essence?” Are they bad because that is the “going” view? I disagree with your “wrong in essence” comment. That was what I preempted when I wrote that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Guns in essence are not evil; they are what you use them for. The same applies to movies that present no issur, in which the worst you could claim is that you can use your time more constructively. The same applies to music that does not clearly influence you in a bad way.

    Additionally, you wrote that movies are bad for one’s neshama. Again, and see above, I disagree. However, I believe we are all far from being Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

    You see how subjective the whole issue is when you wrote, “obviously im not referring to the sci channels or Mozart[,]” and, “(again not the disney/documentaries-).” To play devil’s advocate, why is it obvious that you are not referring to the sci-fi channel or Mozart?! Mozart was a non-Jewish composer and on a subconscious level, it negatively affects your neshama, and kal-vachomer the sci-fi channel! Perhaps you read non-jewish NOVELS that someone else may say affects your neshama. I hope you understand my point.

    Everyone has a level of acceptability. Part of mine would be that as long as females are dressed as modestly as women in NYC are dressed (i.e. what you’d see just walking down an unavoidable street), and there is minimal cursing, the movie would not be bad to watch if used to help you serve Hashem.

    Last, in response to your “mesilos hayisharim” comment, Bored Jewish Guy understood the gist of my initial comments. I don’t wear my spiritual growth on my sleeve but there are so many internal things for me to work on before I work on movies or music.

    Personally, I do not watch TV, mainly because of the TIME it consumes and its nature to suck people in to watching more than they planned.

    Regarding music, not that I need the haskama, but a Rabbi and Rebbe once asked to listen to the music I was listening to, and after listening for 5 minutes told me that he never heard anyone play the guitar or drums so well and that there was no problem in listening to the music. Notwithstanding that most Jewish music tries to copy non-Jewish music, or is extremely subpar in terms of musical prowess and composition, I don’t think i.e. David Hamelech had in mind the accompaniment of an electric guitar and a rock beat when he wrote Tehilim. One may want to think about the manipulation of holy words the next time one listens to Jewish music.

    As an aside, there are worlds of non-radio, non-Jewish music out there that do not contain foul language and, far from having a bad theme, are quite deep, academic, and educational. And there are worlds of non-Jewish music that are instrumental. Instrumental happens to be my cup of tea.

  32. Good! In fact great! I’m really glad u have yourself figured out, but still movies and goyish music are not being elevated from mundane to holy. I really take offense to that. They are merely tools that mortals such as you and I rationalize are permissible in order to “relax” and release tension. Granted, you are convinced that these tools allow you to learn, and daven, and if without them you wouldn’t learn or daven, then of course you should use them. I am most definitely not putting down these things that we do to relax or the secular ideas we may upgrade for our torah lifestyles. I do them too. Is that justifiable? I am not the judge. We will leave that for god. However, they are not holy just because you bring yourself down to rely on them in order to follow your faith. Does that not make sense to you ?

  33. Lawschool drunk- Now I understand your view.
    Personally,I would have to agree with you on the goyish music part because I have recently discovered Instrumental music which the frum world is sorely lacking. Who can compete with Yanni?! Besides, I enjoy listening to Pandora’s internet radio WHILE I am studying so that I don’t get distracted by lyrics.

  34. Schoolgirl,

    I think we agree but are just talking semantics over the word “holy.”


    The Piamenta’s have a great instrumental album titled, Strings of my heart.

    Yanni is good (I love the drum solo and bass solo on the Live at Acropolis album and have fond memories of listening to Dare to Dream on the mirpeset in Israel during a balmy January sunset). Also try Gandalf for more mellow, classical welsh-ish instrumental music. And you should get into the progressive rock genre if you are looking for amazing musical ability and songs that go into instrumental jams that can last for 17 minutes. The lyrics are also usually clean and free of teenage-angst and lost love. Listen to Jordan Rudess, Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Joe Satriani, Derek Sherinian- all 99% instrumental.

  35. Bad4 – The whole movies/goyish music discussion is really not off topic. The question is how much distraction do you need to make you happy or at least prevent you from becoming depressed? This is the same question that a couple needs to address when they are dealing with parnassa issues. How much money is enough so that you are happy or satisfied or at least not depressed? What constitutes hishtadlus yeter? Being happy is a mitzva that leads to many other mitzvos. Of course, if movies and goyishe music makes a guy happy than there is definitely something wrong with him. He is far away from what a Jew should be -he should be like the Shteipler and relax by learning a blatt gemara. The reality for most people (unfortunately) is not that way. The point here is that he needs to be able to sit next to his wife on the couch while they both relax and unwind together.

    Rachel – it’s not silly to discuss this on a date. Window shopping can be a fun (and cheap) way to get to know each other’s tastes and expectations. The question of to what extent the home is a recreation center and to what extent it is a Mikdash Me’at needs to be addressed early in the dating process.

    But it is true that people change over time. There’s no way to know if they’ll do the right thing and turn down a promotion 10 years from now (even if you don’t need the money and the kids could use the time and attention). And it’s true that you can’t work it all out from the beginning. The reality is that most couples argue about money/parnassa at some point or another.

    Anyways, to answer Bad4’s question:

    The yeshivas are just teaching that IF you have the money and the Zitz-fleish, you MUST learn. It’s not optional. That’s about all you can say to an audience where one boy’s parents are millionaires and another boy’s parents struggle with reduced tuition. There is no general formula that’s right for everyone. Bottom line is that the couple is supposed to bring as much Ruchnios as possible into the house, and both men and women are taught that.

    P.S. I was a copy editor on my college’s newspaper. I threw in the grammar mistakes to make a point. This is a blog, not a term paper. A blog is informal and supposed to be somewhere between the stream of ideas that is talking and the organized presentation of ideas that is writing. If you understood what the blogger meant, then just relax and enjoy life.

  36. The real problem is that men see career women as “superior” AKA Janet from the date training video. For a woman who is viewed as “fun to be with” AKA Ann, the Shidduch crisis doesn’t exist. Try it for yourself. Pretend you’re Ann on Purim and see how men react.

  37. Pingback: My Explanations for the Shidduch Crisis « Bad for Shidduchim

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