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Saturday, December 10, 2005

One Crisis Begets Another?

From Friday's Hamodia:
A gathering of Roshei Yeshiva of the tri-state area, as well as Scranton and Baltimore, convened Wednesday night in the home of Hagaon Harav Shmuel Berenbaum, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Mir, to address the shidduch crisis.
...An open discussion among the Roshei Yeshiva followed, in which they explored many ideas. Everyone agreed that bachurim returning from years of learning in Eretz Yisrael should enter the next phase of their lives as quickly as possible, namely building a bayis neeman. All of the gathered Roshei Yeshiva agreed that earlier engagements should be encouraged.
There was consensus on the idea of abolishing 8th grade so that bachurim could leave for learning in Eretz Yisrael a year earlier, thereby moving up by one full year their entry into the shidduch world.

I find this difficult to fathom. These great minds of the Yeshiva world come together to solve the shidduch crisis, and the best idea that they can come up with is this? Marrying boys off even earlier than the young age that they are already getting married at?

First of all, I'm not sure what that will actually do to help the shidduch crisis. Yes, it will send boys into the dating market one year earlier, but does that really solve anything? Does anyone really harbor the illusions that these boys will be anywhere near mature enough to be choosing their life partner? And it isn't like this "solution" is going to magically create a large new crop of eligible young men. These boys were going to get to the dating market eventually, whether they skipped 8th grade or not.

Second of all, this proposal of sending young, green, immature boys with no life experience into the shidduch world may be a "band-aid" to the shidduch crisis, but I am very worried that it will increase the severity of another burgeoning crisis that I've heard is affecting the Charedi community. I will freely admit to having only anectodal evidence of the rising divorce rate of young couples in the Yeshiva world, but if it's true to any degree, it can't possibly help to force boys to make the decision of who they will spend the rest of their lives with before they even hit the legal drinking age.

63 Comments:

Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

They want the kids to get married before they realize what a crock they've been sold. Seriously. Look at what happens to those who don't marry young -- they have a much higher percentage of de-"flipping out."

8:41 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

OH, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! The Chareidi world creating this crisis by trying to eliminate the one thing that leads to marriage: boys and girls interacting with one another.

Now, they sound like the farmer who tries to save money by systematically starving his horse and is then disappointed that just when he gets the horse down to not eating at all—it goes ahead and dies! FOOLS!

9:12 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

Two things about this story offend (three if you count SW spot-on point)

1 - Why do they think they can micromanage the lives of the Jewish people?

2 - Who is going to support these 18 year old married couples? One of the leading indicators of poverty has always been early marriage. By encouraging boys to marry at 18, they are making it much less likely that those boys will be able to support their families.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

the chareidi world is starting to resemble Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe. They are creating a crisis situation which will inevitably result in widespread povery through unrealistic and in some cases malicious mismangement to force an entire generation into the hands of their perverted perspective of what it means to live a Torah lifestyle, what ever fantasy that is.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

They've got it backwards. Part of the shuddich crisis stems from the fact that there are more girls than guys dating at any given moment, due to girls starting to date at an earlier age.

But the answer isn't to make boys date earlier, it's to make girls start dating later!!!

Having boys start to date earlier will just lead to more divorces.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Yitzchak Goodman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so infuriating just how blind the yeshivas can be to the real world. Boys who really are not learners are encouraged to sit and learn and not earn a profession, and then encouraged to marry rich girls who can support them. The rich girls get shidduchim pretty easily, (until their "expiration date" anyway) and the ones who are not rich have a terrible time of it.

The Roshei Yeshiva should have made a concerted effort to discourage this horrible prejudice. I wish they would tell everyone to STOP LOOKING FOR MONEY, and if the families are so concerned about the children being supported, maybe they should encourage them to support themselves.

I don't understand how sending immature boys into the shidduch world earlier will help all the girls over 25 who are beautiful, smart, talented, and still unmarried.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a collection of idiots.Rav hutner,Rav Moshe,Rav Aaron,Rav Yaakov,etc. must be disgusred with their heirs.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Essie said...

How about educating the boys so that they will be productive members of society? Anyone can get married; it's staying married that is the challenge. Why do frum people's lives have to be dictated by "the gedolim"? Ugh, I'm too angry to even comment anymore, although I could from today until tomorrow.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the population increases by some significant amount every year, when girls are on average about three years younger than the boys they marry, there is a real gap in numbers. Whether or not boys will be mature enough at an earlier age to get married is another question altogether, but I suspect that if eighth grade is abolished and boys enter yeshiva earlier, the boys will mature that much faster, since a great deal of a boy's maturity in the yeshivish world is a result of being somewhat responsible for himself during his year(s) in Israel or earlier in dorms. Encouraging boys to go out with girls closer to their own age, or their own age, without starting to go out earlier - in other words, encouraging 22 and 23 year old boys to go out with girls who are 22 and 23 - would probably help much more. I suspect that the reason why the focus is on the boys marrying earlier is simply because taking away the stigma of an "older girl" is harder to do then getting boys to start to date earlier.

~Reader

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Fox said...

I generally don't put in this particular two cents' worth, but I cannot imagine why boys are encouraged only to date girls who are younger than themselves.

If the argument is that a woman won't respect a husband who is a few years her junior, that seems a red herring. Such a woman would find other excuses to disrepect her husband.

If the argument is that girls are often more mature than boys, well, so much the better!

My gut reaction is that the insistence of boys (or their families)that the girls be at least a year younger is more a result of American romance novels than Jewish values. Many gedolim of previous generations were younger than their wives -- sometimes much younger than the 1-3 years I would find reasonable.

My oldest son is still a few years away from marriage, but I fully intend to encourage him to consider girls his own age and a few years older. After a decade or two of marriage, G-d willing, no one will remember or care that the kallah was a couple of years older than the choson.

1:16 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

It seems like most of the best points were made already, particularly this one: But the answer isn't to make boys date earlier, it's to make girls start dating later!!!

Having boys start to date earlier will just lead to more divorces.


After just finding out about yet another divorce tonight, this cannot be emphasized enough (and note, I got married just before 21!!).

The supporting point is another good one. The idea of skipping 8th grade is SHEER IDIOCY. Most of the people I know who skipped 8th were highly immature for far longer, as 8th grade - particularly in schools where 8th graders are the oldest - tends to be a maturing year. Getting married earlier isn't going to help anyone but divorce lawyers; a good chunk of my friends (22-23) will readily admit they're not ready to get married yet, and most of them are in or finished with college. For those who are not in college, one would have to say (even assuming the learning boys are of equal maturity, which is sometimes NOT the case) that they are far less likely to be ready to be married.

ARGH. I can go on and on, even more than I already have. I'll stop here.

3:01 AM  
Blogger DovBear said...

I wish they would tell everyone to STOP LOOKING FOR MONEY,

===

Judaism is eating itself

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone lecturing the charedi world on how to avoid divorce is a hypocrite. Fix your own house first! Go show us how it's done.

9:51 AM  
Blogger my bald sheitel said...

how are a slew of way-too-young boys going to help the increasingly large older girl crowd? are they just going to be left to rot alone and keep davening until eternity? the answer is not more young boys, it is finding alternative ways for the older crowd to meet. however it is going now, it ain't working. i have too many older girlfriends who are FFB, adorable looking and really great people who are alone. it sucks. fix THAT gedolim!

9:52 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

Anyone lecturing the charedi world on how to avoid divorce is a hypocrite. Fix your own house first! Go show us how it's done.


I did not profess to have all the answers on how to lower the rate of divorce. I wish I did. What I am quite sure of, however, is that marrying boys off even younger that the present status quo is not the magic bullet.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the answer is not more young boys, it is finding alternative ways for the older crowd to meet."

sheitel, i couldn't agree more. when the chareidi community comes up with something other than having the boys skip a year of their already-pathetic education (wtf?!) this "shidduch crisis" might begin to be addressed. they couldn't be even a little creative and come up with ideas like frumster or singles shabbatonim or something else that might actually get the men and women interacting with one another?! (thank you, sw) the guys are out there, the women are out there - lets put our great minds together and try to find ways for them to find each other!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Anyone lecturing the charedi world on how to avoid divorce is a hypocrite. Fix your own house first! Go show us how it's done."

moron!!!! when boys ad girls are separated in every possible manner from birth to wedding night there is no possible way for social normalcy to occur. notice there is only a shidduch/divorce/drug/at-risk crisis in the past 10-12 years, coinciding with the prevalence of chareidi leadership impressing its unrealistic, monolithic ideology on a diverse community of people.

The Jewish community was fine -- well into the 80s. By turning normal boy/girl socialization into the biggest sin/taboo since the Aigel, the chareidi leadership has created a serious problem. How are they going to fix that???????

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sw - just be careful of sweeping generalizations. i agree with you that we need to find ways to get men and women of marriageable age to meet. but the be-all and end-all solution to this shidduch and other crises among the chareidi community isn't simply co-ed mingling. there are plenty of dating issues (been to the upper wesk side lately?) divorces, and "at risk" teenagers within the modern orthodox community as well, despite "normal boy/girl socialization."

and i'm not so sure "the Jewish community was fine -- well into the 80s." has our jewish - or any other - community ever really been "fine?" there's always one crisis or another.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous onionsoupmix said...

Here are some of my own great ideas about how to solve the shidduch crisis. Ready ?

Let's marry the boys off around the time of bar-mitzvah. This would make for a lot more boys available for all the older women. It would also safeguard these teenage boys against arayos and hirhurim and hormones. Another plus would be that since this is illegal, the women who marry them would be jailed. This would really limit the number of women in the orthodox population. Crisis solved.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

OnionSoupMix--

LOL!

2:23 PM  
Blogger gabe said...

OH, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! The Chareidi world creating this crisis by trying to eliminate the one thing that leads to marriage: boys and girls interacting with one another.

Now, they sound like the farmer who tries to save money by systematically starving his horse and is then disappointed that just when he gets the horse down to not eating at all—it goes ahead and dies! FOOLS!

Here's the difference SW, in your scenario, the farmer would have all of that feed left sitting in his barn, but the "crisis" these Rabbis were addressing, was only one sided-too many single girls- according to your logic there would be a different crisis-not enough members of the orthodox community getting married altogether. There is no such problem, thus, your hysterical rantings (FOOLS!, MORON!, etc.) hold no water.
Dov Bear,
They aren't micromanaging anything, thier flock, whoever they are, turned to them for guidance, and they responded as is thier responsibility to thier flock. I don't beieve the rosh yeshiva of Mirrer Yeshivah was suggesting that the MO boy in the upper west side start dating earlier. Concerned, broken hearted, parents of girls who are sitting at home crying thier eyes out over what THEY view as a dismal propect of leading what to them is a fullfiling, meaningful life, approached THIER spiritual leaders for advice, direction, help, whatever you want to call it, on how to aleiviate THIER crisis. Those rabbis were formulating a policy for THIER followers. Those same students that turn to them for advice in all areas of thier lives, on how to behave going foward due to this emerging phenomenon.

3:55 PM  
Blogger gabe said...

"moron!!!!... notice there is only a shidduch/divorce/drug/at-risk crisis in the past 10-12 years, coinciding with the prevalence of chareidi leadership impressing its unrealistic, monolithic ideology on a diverse community of people."

I find it amazing how you twist all the facts to conform to your views. "Chareidi leadership" has been proponents of seperating the sexes for way longer than 10-12 years. The drug/divorce/at risk crisis, however seems, as with everything else, to have hit the chareidi community approximately 25 years after it hit the secular community, there is a yiddish expression which loosely translated means, the way of the goy eventually becomes the way of the jew. Meaning, that unfortunately the religious community picks up on the bad habits of the rest of the world, the sixties was the start of the prevalence of immorality in the rest of the world. Drug use, divorce rate, teen dropouts, etc. all escalated during that generation. The chareidi community is just now being saturated by those same problems. It may be precisely this phenomenon that the rabbis with (what you seem to view as thier excessive) Chumros, were trying to limit.
If your theory were correct, the modern orthodox community, which does not impress this "unrealistic, monlithic, ideology" on itself, would not be suffering through these same "shidduch/divorce/drug/at-risk cisis.

4:12 PM  
Blogger chuck said...

correct me if i'm wrong
but isnt the divorce rate higher among non charedim?
even though they have coed schools?
maybe the charedim have something good going,a nd the problem is more of an ego issue

once apon a shtaytel if ya needed a shidduch the rov (always a great tzaddik) suggested a shidduch. being that this shidduch came from the rov aka heaven, there was no doubt that s/he is your bashert. if s/he didnt suit you exactly...well too bad cause this is who hashem chose for you

nowadays most likely due to hollywoods influence, people have IDEAS oh she's not rich/georgous enough he's not a big enough lamdan, his earning potential isn't enough for my pech'tchy daughter

if harav pam walked up to you (bear in mind he's dead)at the next simcha, in public and told you in clear wording that so and so is your childs bashert that child would not only marry that person but never even contemplate divorce

i know, i know, it'll never happen
but we should have i little more faith in bashert its crazy out there
you gotta put a little effort into a marriage
marriage is under this huge misconception "whats in it for me"
marriage is a oportunity to do chesed
its for giving
hashem needed a world to do chesed
we require a spouse to do chesed
"lo tov heyos adam levado"

6:26 PM  
Blogger chuck said...

oh ya i forgot
better midos would go a long way

6:28 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"... but the "crisis" these Rabbis were addressing, was only one sided-too many single girls- according to your logic there would be a different crisis-not enough members of the orthodox community getting married altogether. There is no such problem"

Gabe -- Say what!!?? The rabbis are addressing the problem that too many single girls remain unmarried because they aren't married before a certain age and are henceforth considered "expired goods" by over-pampered yeshiva princes, their overbearing mothers, and space cadet Roshei Yeshivot.

This is a DIRECT result of the prevalently infantile mentality within "frummer circles" (ugh!) that completely rejects (ignores) the very normal, very necessary concept of socialization between boys and girls. So, tragically, by never actually talking to or being taught to respect woman/girls, these jaded yeshiva princes come to view women not as people, but rather as products -- no different that the Lexus they are led to assume they will eventually own.

Indeed! These kids expect their wives to comes fully loaded with the latest features, and only a late model will do, thank you. and because there are more girls than boys, they get away with it. That's the crisis. That the Yeshiva elite (HAHAHAJAHAHA) has successfully spawned a generation of 'educated consumers'. NOT caring feeling people who are remotely capable of entering and succeeding into a healthy marriage. Are you still so sure there's no problem?

7:05 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"I find it amazing how you twist all the facts to conform to your views."

I find it amazing how myopic the yeshiva/chareidi leadership is for not realizing that they caused the problems they are so flummoxed by.

"Chareidi leadership" has been proponents of seperating the sexes for way longer than 10-12 years."

Yeah. But thank god they haven't been the prevalent force in the OJ community until lately. Otherwise we'd have much worse problems today.

"The drug/divorce/at risk crisis, however seems, as with everything else, to have hit the chareidi community approximately 25 years after it hit the secular community, there is a yiddish expression which loosely translated means, the way of the goy eventually becomes the way of the jew."

You'd think such geniuses would have used their 25 years of lead time to dodge the problems instead of walking right into the crossfire.

Meaning, that unfortunately the religious community picks up on the bad habits of the rest of the world, the sixties was the start of the prevalence of immorality in the rest of the world. Drug use, divorce rate, teen dropouts, etc. all escalated during that generation.

This is a copout. Your raising this whole issue suggests the inevitability of deviancy. If anything, arrogance, monolithic dictums, and unrealistic expectations fuel deviancy, rather than stave it off.

The chareidi community is just now being saturated by those same problems. It may be precisely this phenomenon that the rabbis with (what you seem to view as thier excessive) Chumros, were trying to limit.

BALONEY! Excessive chumros (I call them: "Chumras-for-the-sake of-hiding-from-reality") result in defining deviancy UP. Kids who act normal are told they're deviants. If you're a deviant for wanting to talk to a boy/girl, then why not give up. Drugs and sex are next on the list. Instead of setting normal limits as in generations past, the chareidi leadership systematically drives normal kids away.

If your theory were correct, the modern orthodox community, which does not impress this "unrealistic, monlithic, ideology" on itself, would not be suffering through these same "shidduch/divorce/drug/at-risk cisis.

The problems in the chareidi community are more prevalently the RESULT of unrealistic, monolithic ideologies promoted by a backward and misguided leadership that hides behind religion. god knows there are problems among Jews who call themselves modern (i personally think "modernity, l'shita" is idiotic). BUT THAT IN NO WAY is an argument that lets the irresponsible leadership of the chareidi community off the hook. If anything, it underscores the failure of the "Chumra-for-the-sake of-hiding-from-reality" lifestyle chareidim promote.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Chuck -- you make good points including the horror that is the co-ed school philosophy. Co-ed schools are a terrible idea. But so is pathologically separating boys and girls. As for Rav Pam, zt"l, I know for a fact that Rav Pam advocated Pre-marital counseling sessions for EVERY SINGLE Frum engaged couple.

The concept of pre marital counseling is important because it lets couples who are new to the whole conceot of being in a relationship to understand, in the presence of a trained therapist, their different personality types, their qualities, deficits, needs, wants, and concerns to effectively manage expectations future spouses have of one another so that once they are married and starting a family, they will be less stymied by the inevitable disappointments, frictions, and frustrations husband and wife invariably encounter.

If the chareidi elite wants to prevent the marriage massacre that's starting to unfold, they'll start to be as innovative as Rav Pam was. They avoid this at their own risk.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Frum Singles said...

I have a great Shidduch for you!


This happens to me all the time. Someone will come over to me and "red" me "great" "attractive" girl etc. I think you get the drift. When I ask if (s)he has seen the girl (or a picture of her) the inevitible response is no.

Now frankly, this is arguably chutzpa and at a minimum a total lack of consideration. Basically, what I am being asked is to gamble my emotions, energy, time (and some money) so that this person may be a "winner" and be able to say that (s)he made a shiduch (and then get a brokerage fee a/k/a "shadchanuus") to boot.

If you you don't know how to cook, you don't belong in the kitchen. If you're not a doctor, you shouldn't have a medical office. If you're not a lawyer, you shouldn't hang out a shingle. AND IF YOU ARE NOT A SHADCHAN, DON"T ACT AS ONE !!!!

7:48 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

Remarkably, the whole concept of marriage -- because of some ludicrous, unspoken social contract that every chareidi person is forced, at the risk of being socially ostracized and religiously marginalized, to abide by -- has been delegated to irresponsible busybodies and naive amateurs with a profit motive.

No wonder there's a crisis!!!

8:16 PM  
Blogger gabe said...

"As for Rav Pam, zt"l, I know for a fact that Rav Pam advocated Pre-marital counseling sessions for EVERY SINGLE Frum engaged couple."

Funny, I was a talmid in rav Pam's yeshivah for 15 years, he was my mesader kiddushin, he never directed nor advised me to seek premarital counceling. Furthermore, not a single one of my classmates met with a therapist prior to marriage.

"Remarkably, the whole concept of marriage -- because of some ludicrous, unspoken social contract that every chareidi person is forced, at the risk of being socially ostracized and religiously marginalized, to abide by -- has been delegated to irresponsible busybodies and naive amateurs with a profit motive."
Unlike the rest of society, were the concpt of marriage is delegated to what?...a singles bar?

No wonder there's a crisis!!!"

Once again your redirecting the point with you bluster, the crisis being addressed is the lack of husbands for single frum girls, if the shadchanim were at fault the problem would manifest itself amongst the males of the population as well. (I'd drop a bunch of exclamation points here for emphasis, but unlike you, I prefer to stick to the facts, without the bluster).

8:37 PM  
Blogger gabe said...

"I find it amazing how you twist all the facts to conform to your views."

I find it amazing how myopic the yeshiva/chareidi leadership is for not realizing that they caused the problems they are so flummoxed by.

"Chareidi leadership" has been proponents of seperating the sexes for way longer than 10-12 years."

Yeah. But thank god they haven't been the prevalent force in the OJ community until lately. Otherwise we'd have much worse problems today.

"The drug/divorce/at risk crisis, however seems, as with everything else, to have hit the chareidi community approximately 25 years after it hit the secular community, there is a yiddish expression which loosely translated means, the way of the goy eventually becomes the way of the jew."

You'd think such geniuses would have used their 25 years of lead time to dodge the problems instead of walking right into the crossfire.

Meaning, that unfortunately the religious community picks up on the bad habits of the rest of the world, the sixties was the start of the prevalence of immorality in the rest of the world. Drug use, divorce rate, teen dropouts, etc. all escalated during that generation.

This is a copout. Your raising this whole issue suggests the inevitability of deviancy. If anything, arrogance, monolithic dictums, and unrealistic expectations fuel deviancy, rather than stave it off.

The chareidi community is just now being saturated by those same problems. It may be precisely this phenomenon that the rabbis with (what you seem to view as thier excessive) Chumros, were trying to limit.

BALONEY! Excessive chumros (I call them: "Chumras-for-the-sake of-hiding-from-reality") result in defining deviancy UP. Why then is deviancy going up at the same pace in modern orthodox communities where here are no "chumros for the sake....", where kids who act "normal" are not told they're deviants. (Although all the time I was growing up in yeshivah, and acting out my normal teenage urges, the only reaction I got from my "Chareidi religious guides" was support and an avenue of improvement)
Kids who act normal are told they're deviants. If you're a deviant for wanting to talk to a boy/girl, then why not give up. Drugs and sex are next on the list. whereas in all other communities, where talking to a boy/girl is acceptable....??? Drugs and sex are still next on the list.

Instead of setting normal limits as in generations past,

Which generations past are you referring to? The Europe my grandparents grew up in, where the girls didn't even leave thier homes? These rabbis are not generating any new chumros, only reinforcing the ones that were in place for generations, and only recently trampled upon by modern society's penchant for lowering the bar.
If your theory were correct, the modern orthodox community, which does not impress this "unrealistic, monlithic, ideology" on itself, would not be suffering through these same "shidduch/divorce/drug/at-risk cisis.

The problems in the chareidi community are more prevalently the RESULT of....

what do you have to back up this premise? who decided that this was the cause of the deviancy in the chareidi community anymore than exposure to media, internet etc?

god knows there are problems among Jews who call themselves modern (i personally think "modernity, l'shita" is idiotic).

Why not answer the question instead of throwing up all kinds of blather? IF THE CHAREIDI LEADERSHIP IS WHAT IS CAUSING THE RISE IN DEVIANCY, WHY THEN IS THERE AN EQUAL IF NOT GREATER RISE IN DELINQUINCY IN EVERY OTHER POINT ON THE RELIGIOUS SPECTRUM?

9:02 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

(i'll lay off the punctuation. i don't want to overwhelm you with emotion)

Is it possible that Rav Pam zt"l neglected to discuss a few of his personal feelings with you? Unless of course, you followed him everywhere and heard everything he said until the end of his life. Oh, maybe take a look at this website: http://cpcteam.org/

"Unlike the rest of society, were the concpt of marriage is delegated to what?...a singles bar? "

Oh brother!! How typical of chareidi thinking to suggest that if another Jew is not doing something the accepted Chareidi Way, then they must be completely traif, registering at the other end of the spectrum. Yes, Gabe, the world is thoroughly Black and White -- just like your wardrobe (excluding your Hermes ties, of course).

Again, back to the crisis that you don't believe exists:

Why ARE there less men than women? Well, we can look at two possibilities:

1) God just screwed up. He clearly doesn't know what he is doing and created too many women. Oops.

2) Sanctimonious Chareidi-types have created a fantasy world where too many bochurim would rather live single or wait for the next batch than marry a girl who doesn't fit the accepted criteria (rich, hot, ignorant, rich, hot, rich, did I mention rich?, etc.) of the modern-heimishe wife.

Take your pick. (hint: the shadchanim are just a symptom of how twisted this system has become. )

9:03 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"Why not answer the question instead of throwing up all kinds of blather? IF THE CHAREIDI LEADERSHIP IS WHAT IS CAUSING THE RISE IN DEVIANCY, WHY THEN IS THERE AN EQUAL IF NOT GREATER RISE IN DELINQUINCY IN EVERY OTHER POINT ON THE RELIGIOUS SPECTRUM?"

There isn't. Plain and simple. You're wrong about this.

And if you had any direct access to the "at-risk" universe of chinuch professionals working day and night trying to stem the tide of drug and sex addiction among frum teenager, you'd know that the level of deviancy is worse, more pronounced, and more difficult to manage among chareidi kids who have been told nothing their whole lives but, "you're bad, you're a shaygitz, you're a (fill in the blank). The same kids who reach the end of their teens with no infrastructure of education, employment, or community. Their issues then lead to miserable unfulfilled, unhealthy marriages and set the stage for yet another screwed up generation.

But at least we have your gleaming yeshivas and redundant do-gooder chesed networks and corrupt chassidishe kashrus corporations to pat yourselve on the back about.

Last, I'm glad you had empathetic mentors in your life, but you probably grew up in a time when the status quo was not rule by chareidi fiat and the behavior you exhibited was not yet confined to the measure of religiously deviant. You think a kid today would get that chance? If you say yes, then you're not informed.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Frum Singles said...

I have a great Shidduch for you!
This happens to me all the time. Someone will come over to me and "red" me a "great" "attractive" girl etc. I think you get the drift. When I ask if (s)he has seen the girl (or a picture of her) the inevitible response is no. Now frankly, this is arguably chutzpa and at a minimum a total lack of consideration. Basically, what I am being asked is to gamble my emotions, energy, time (and some money) so that this person may be a "winner" and be able to say that (s)he made a shiduch (and then get a brokerage fee a/k/a "shadchanuus") to boot.

If you you don't know how to cook, you don't belong in the kitchen. If you're not a doctor, you shouldn't have a medical office. If you're not a lawyer, you shouldn't hang out a shingle. AND IF YOU ARE NOT A SHADCHAN, DON"T ACT AS ONE !!!!

3:15 AM  
Anonymous Essie said...

fox said...After a decade or two of marriage, G-d willing, no one will remember or care that the kallah was a couple of years older than the choson.

Believe me, 5 minutes after the chuppah no one will remember or care that the kallah is a few years older than the choson.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

So basically the solution is to replace the "shidduch crisis" (which, BTW, doesn't just affect laides) with other possible crisises including:

The Poverty Crisis
The Divorce Crisis
The Single Parent Crisis

Any other potential crisis that I missed?

And, how will "solving" the shidduch crisis help us solve the "Tuition Crisis?"

8:36 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

first, we need to solve the 'moronic leadership crisis'

8:28 AM  
Blogger my bald sheitel said...

SephardiLady said...
So basically the solution is to replace the "shidduch crisis" (which, BTW, doesn't just affect laides) with other possible crisises including:

The Poverty Crisis
The Divorce Crisis
The Single Parent Crisis

OMG LOL Amen SephardiLady. Amen. Not everyone has rich parents or can get rich in-laws to float their expenses.

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Unlike the "at risk" crisis, there is no evidence that in the *charedi* world (NOT THE MO WORLD) the "Shidduch crisis" has worsened, proportionately, and anecdotally, I think it's lessened, prob. quite a bit, since the 80s.

2) The charedi world always discouraged mingling between the sexes and this hasnt changed appreciably in the last few years

3) The MO world allows and encourages such mingling and they have a shidduch crisis of worse proportions.

4) the theory is that there is a surplus of boys to girls because the birth rate keeps rising, and since boys marry older than girls, there will be fewer boys for available dating girls.
This only works as long as the birth rate is rising. The birth rate is no longer rising, and so in theory, the shidduch crisis should end. In fact, I think this is what we are seeing, as I believe the shidduch crisis is far less severe than it was a decade ago.

5) It would be far wiser to encourage the girls to marry later and get some more education under the belt before marrying than to encourage boys to marry earlier. The chassidiche world already encourages early marriage, and the problems in that community particularly relating to arayos are so well-known, that it is criminal to copy them. These problems exist despite the fact that chassidic couples bring fewer expectations to marriage. The frustration of a yeshiva guy who feels he married too young and blames his unhappiness on that will be harder to deal with, as he will have more expectations for the relationship.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Essie said...

I second the Amen to sephardilady!

Not everyone has rich parents or can get rich in-laws to float their expenses.

there's more to marriage than expenses. just because your parents are rich doesn't mean you're ready for marriage.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi All,

Coming from a logical perspective, there are a number of options open:

1) Reduce the number of Girls.

A successful way to impliment this would be to do something in line with China's 'one-child' policy. So that the disgraceful prejudice exhibited by some families in valuing of Males over Females led to many Female Children being murdered in secret. Reducing the number of females overall.

2. Allow polygamy.

So that girls can share a husband. Surely this would lead to benefits such as Shabbat's where the wife gets Friday Night Dinner off.

3. Share Men and Women in a collective fashion.

Have a pool of Men and Women not in relationships that contract themselves as a couple for a night or a few weeks. Since Women tend to cope better and enjoy a fuller lifestyle on their own than men, maybe they'll be able to get physical satisfaction from Men (this would mean training for most men, but would provide extra jobs) and the emotional support from the Sisterhood.

4. OR just let the guys and girls work it out for themselves: have lots of opportunities to meet singles, no age stigmatisms and require all to be self sufficient before being allowed to marry (thus eliminating the money aspect).

The choice is yours everyone. Lets hear it our

1:28 PM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

So I guess anonymous above would like to introduce a brand new crisis:

The STD Crisis.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Courtney Love/Martha Stewart said...

There's an elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring: what does or does not happen is God's will. We don't like to think about the fact that it is clearly God's will for some people to not marry. If it weren't, the shidduch "crisis" would be solved and we wouldn't be having this discussion. Am I advocating that singles who want to marry don't look for mates? Of course not! There just has to be some acceptance that not everyone is meant to be married. What our community needs to work on is getting rid of the pity and scorn often directed toward singles. We can do this by valuing them as equal, important members of our communities and encouraging strong social networks with other singles and families.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"There's an elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring: what does or does not happen is God's will."

Are you calling god an elephant?
That religion is called Vishnu. Are you in the wrong forum?

5:41 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"We don't like to think about the fact that it is clearly God's will for some people to not marry. If it weren't, the shidduch "crisis" would be solved and we wouldn't be having this discussion. "

Are you saying that the "Gedolei Hador" who got together to solve the shidduch crisis are apikorsim? sure sounds like it.

5:42 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Let's begin, lulei demistafina, with some well-deserved mussar for our host—and my good friend—Orthomom, along with the other nattering nabobs of negativism who have jumped gleefully onto her bandwagon.

Posts like this simply serve to undermine the honor, and yes, the authority, of the Gedolei Hador. Even if we are to question the accuracy of the Hamodia report, I saw no one jumping in to offer an alternative opinion in the name of a Godol. In other words, we think the whole concept of Gedolim is silly. We feel that those who are considered Gedolim (by Jewish newspapers or otherwise) really don't "get it" and therefore say silly things, which we—the knowledgeable bloging public—ought to criticize and ridicule.

Fact: According to Torah Judaism, there is a concept of Gedolei Hador, and there is a commandment to listen to them and to honor them.

Furthermore, the only one in the room who doesn't seem to have an axe to grind is the Anonymous (PLEASE take a screenname next time) above who outlines five points in a calm, reasonable manner (though I disagree with some of his/her points).

So let's lay out some facts.

One: The singles "crisis" is not strictly a chareidi problem. It is also a modern orthodox problem and it is even a secular, and non-Jewish, problem. The only place it doesn't seem to be a problem is in the chassidic community, where they—get this!—marry younger.

Two: There is no evidence linking early marriage to divorce or unhappiness. The idea that one's marital problems stem from having married "too young" is a classic post hoc ergo propter hoc argument. If anything the statistics measuring happy marriages appear to lean in favor of those marrying younger.

Three: Statistically, in the chariedi community, the difference in ages between girls and boys when they begin dating (about five years) should make it more difficult for girls to get married. Shortening that divide, therefore, makes a great deal of sense. As some have pointed out, this can also be accomplished by having the women start later.

Four: I am still waiting for someone to provide real evidence that deviancy is greater in the chareidi and chassidic world. Anecdotal evidence doesn't count; our "Man Bites Dog" instincts tend to highlight those cases. When a Modern Orthodox person stops keeping Shabbos or kashrus, no one makes a peep. When a secular Jew stops attending synagogue on Yom Kippur or skips the Passover Seder, no one hoots and hollers. But when a chassidic kid cuts off his payos, we're all there salivating.

The chareidi world, in the past fifty years, has built a successful society beyond anyone's wildest dreams—including their own. Initially this achievement frustrated only the Conservative and Reform movements. Now it seems to frustrate even the Orthodox—those who do not consider themselves part of that camp. What a shame that the decline of Modern Orthodoxy in America is accompanied by a spewing of spite and bile toward the “other.” It’s tragic.

Not to mention pathetic.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cloojew, you must be kidding. OM is the last person to show disrespect for the gedolim. of all the posts and bloggers in the blogosphere that skewer gedolim, choosing this one to give "well-deserved mussar" about is a bad joke. Who do you think you are?

"In other words, we think the whole concept of Gedolim is silly. We feel that those who are considered Gedolim (by Jewish newspapers or otherwise) really don't "get it" and therefore say silly things, which we—the knowledgeable bloging public—ought to criticize and ridicule."

Who's we?? Speak for yourself. You don't speak for me, and I'm not sure how you think you have a right to speak for OM. And get a new picture. i can't take a defense of the charedi world seriously from a guy who keeps a picture of George Clooney in his profile.

10:22 PM  
Blogger gabe said...

Cool Jew, I wish I were as eloquent as you, you verbalizd everything I wanted to say. Thank You. BTW, For all those assuming that the Gedolei Hador, (Whomever they are, as I certainly don't feel qualified to make the determination) Don't know what they're talking about, Rashi on the lav of Lo Sasur says "even if the sages say that right is left".

12:11 AM  
Blogger gabe said...

"We don't like to think about the fact that it is clearly God's will for some people to not marry."

Or maybe it is G-d's will that people make a greater effort to facilitate every girl finding a shidduch, and maybe it's G-d's will that "Gedolim" get together and wrack thier brains to find a solution, or maybe it's G-d's will that.......It's hard to know what G-d's will is, but in some instances we can. Like for instance we know that it's G-d's will that we love our fellow man like ourselves, BECAUSE HE TOLD US SO. Now if we were in crisis, we'd certainly not want anyone to throw up they're hands, and say "It's G-d's will". Were it one's own daughter ChV"sh suffering, they'd certainly not be satisfied with that response. If so, then the dictates of the aforementioned "G-d's will" (the one that we know for sure is his will-'cause he told us so) force us to do all we can, because ipso facto-That is HIS Will.

1:12 AM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

Anonymous (naturally!),

I agree that OrthoMom is not a Gedolim-basher, but the tone of this post, along with the comments it inspired, justify what I wrote.

Furthermore, the "we" in question is the general audience here and elsewhere. It does not include myself, or gabe, or you apparently. However, in the spirit of achdus, I think, lulei demistafina, that it's an appropriate term.

Also, it's important to note, per a comment on RenReb's site, that the article in Hamodia may not have been accurate (imagine that!), the possibility of which few people even stopped to consider.

Lastly, it's unfortunate that you can't take me seriously because I happen to look like a movie star. I suppose if I grew a beard and wore a dusty fedora, I'd have more street cred, but that's not how God made me.

1:52 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

ClooJew, let's call a spade a spade. You want to criticize the tone of the comments, feel free. The tone of my post shows no disresepect for Gedolim, and to say otherwise is really disingenuous.

6:47 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

(Crossposted at RenReb's comments)
I agree with Gabe. I harbor no illusions that the Charedi lifestyle encourages teens to go "off the derech". I think the escalation of the phenomenon rests simply with the immorality of the times we live in. Everything is out there, nothing is hidden. I recently went on a class trip with my son's class to a location in Manhattan. We went via the Midtown Tunnel, and the boys were regaled with billboard after billboard of scantily clad women and men, some embracing. (Amazingly, these billboards were selling clothing - though there was almost none to be seen on the models). The teachers were beside themselves - and for good reason. Who could anticipate that a simple trip to an educational spot would entail giving these kids an "education' about the female anatomy? certainly not their Yeshiva. Now does anyone really think that a busload of secular children would have been any less affected by the sight? And, if yes, can you really point to that as a GOOD thing?? The bottom line is not whether this discussion of the shidduch crisis should lead to a recommendation of relaxing the protocol upon which men and women meet in the charedi world. That isn't going to happen, and I'm far from convinced that it should. The one suggestion that I've seen in these discussions that I actually think is brilliant, is encouraging girls to wait another year before they go out into the shidduch world, which would dovetail nicely with their being able to get an education that would be more likely to support their future husband, who will very likely be learning for some time.

Incidentally, Hamodia has a more detailed account of the shidduch meeting in this week's edition, though it restates all of the facts that Gabe says were incorrect from last week's article. Maybe Gabe should get in touch with the editorial staff there.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous SephardiLady said...

ClooJew-I do not at all want to be disrespectful to anyone. Believe it or not I would like to actually have a serious discussion about the state of marriage in the Orthodox community. However, I think that even the comments made in jest (mine included) point to very serious issues.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Also, it's important to note, per a comment on RenReb's site, that the article in Hamodia may not have been accurate (imagine that!), the possibility of which few people even stopped to consider."

Incorrect, ClooJew. Check out RR's comments.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I would like to offer the following first-hand account of the "Shidduch Crisis Meeting" (well, you might call it second hand since I wrote it for my relative, who was one of the Rabbonim there, and he reviewed and corrected it.)
I would also like to mention that an editor at haModia did speak to my relative, to try to confirm the facts they were given. This happened between the Friday article and the later article in the weekly the following Wednesday. Unfortunately, not all of the corrections made it into the article.
Now, I understand that several people can attend the same meeting and come away with different impressions. After all, our preconceived notions color our views and how we interpret what we hear. However, I'd like to offer a different view obtained directly from one of the Rabbonim mentioned.
First, let me explain the demographic information. Note that I am going to use random numbers just to illustrate my points, I don't know the exact numbers and I'm not sure anyone can be 100% accurate.
Given an average birth rate of, let's say, 6 children per family (I'm just using a sample number here, I don't know the actual number), there will be triple the population in the younger generation in about 25-30 years (2 parents –> 6 kids). This, however, doesn't happen suddenly, but gradually, so with a gap of 4 years between boys and girls, there were more girls born 19 years ago than boys born 23 years ago. This is the simple math. It may be worse.
(And - it' s not a self-limiting problem. Because, when those 6 kids get married (in a guteh sho'oh) and each have six kids, that results in 36 grandchildren (counting each one's spouse, that's 6 couples, or 12 kids, having 36, so again three times as many.) But, you see, the spouses were also one of 6, let's say, so 3 times their parents' numbers. This is known as exponential growth.
Mom -------- Dad
|
| | | | | |
Boy Girl Boy Girl Girl Boy
BBBGGG BBBGGG BBBGGG BBBGGG BBBGGG BBBGGG
Now, a couple of very nice, well-meaning young men did further research to tabulate the numbers of girls (the anticipated pool) who are in all the Bais Yaakov-type high schools in the U.S.
(Note, also, this crisis does not seem to exist among Chassidim where boys marry at 18 or 19, nor in Eretz Yisrael where boys may marry at 20 or 21. I am only guessing that MO circles commonly have the girls finishing college and not necessarily looking to get married as young; also their birth rate is lower).
Anyhow, these young scholars presented their theories and suggested that the way to solve the "SHIDDUCH CRISIS" is to narrow the age gap. This was the focus of the Agudah convention discussions as well as the meeting of Roshei Yeshiva at the home of R' Shmuel Berenbaum, Shlita.
[GABE: please note. This meeting took place at a house on East Seventh Street between Quentin and Kings Highway. As far as I know, that is where R' Shmuel shlita lives. Where did you get your information?]
I do hesitate to write this, because I don't want to insult or hurt these well-meaning activists. However, because of the bizayon of Talmidei Chachomim that has occurred, I feel obligated to stand up for Kovod haTorah and explain that the Roshei Yeshiva were only asked to come and discuss this specific issue.
There was no consensus that this is truly the problem. This theory leaves out many factors, such as the following.
1. Our tradition teaches us that a Bas Kol calls out who is to marry whom. Don't you think Hashem can do the math just as well? He obviously wants both the shadchonim and the potential meshudochim to do hishtadlus, but this does not mean turning the whole Yeshiva education system upside-down.
2. There are new people coming into this particular shidduch pool, such as baalei teshuvah, geirim, and even those from Modern Orthodox circles. Since it's a "boys' market", plenty of FFB girls marry BT boys. Now we have to know if there is a large number of BT girls looking for the same boys.
3. People have bechirah. This means that they can turn down their pre-destined shidduch because of misplaced priorities, or be refused by that shidduch because of his or her wrong decision. I don't mean to hurt any older single with this, I'm just saying it's certainly true for some people (as the Steipler is said to have told the older bochur who asked when he'd finally meet his bashert – "You met her five years ago, you didn't like her nose." I don't know if this was ruach haKodesh meant literally or just mussar, but the point is valid). And sometimes it's the parents who don't understand what their children need and turn down the shidduch for their own wrong reasons. In fact, a prominent mechanech of girls told me last week that he believes it's the mothers that are at fault!
4. Maybe the Bais Yaakovs are just too successful in producing sterling ba'alos middos and yereyos shomayim, who all want the top boy in Brisk. But there are only so many top boys from Brisk.
The causes of the problem can be many, but this meeting was ONLY about this one issue, "narrowing the gap". A vital step was skipped here – asking the leaders of our community to consider this possible theory, along with many others, and decide how to attack the problem.
The following conversation took place at the end:
RY A to RY B: I am sorry if you feel it was a waste of your time, since I pushed you to attend, but I felt we had to show our empathy for the problem.
RY C: However, it's not worthwhile for a Chillul Hashem to come out of the meeting (meaning, it will be unfortunate if people hear what went on and think that's the best we could do – as indeed happened.)
So, what did happen? Well, since "The Gap" was the agenda, many ideas about possibly narrowing the gap, some of them ludicrous, were batted around. I will list just a few and the objections that were raised.
1. Start boys earlier, get rid of Pre-1A. However, there is probably a good reason why elementary schools have made their deadlines later, possibly because so many boys were failing to learn to read.
2.
a. Send boys to Eretz Yisroel earlier
b. or not at all
c. let them get married before going to Eretz Yisroel.
Most Roshei Yeshiva agreed that the majority of boys benefit greatly in personal and scholastic maturity by going to Eretz Yisroel, as well as getting a taste of idealism and curbing the materialism unfortunately so rampant in the U.S. Most will not be mature enough to get this benefit if they go at a younger age, and if they marry before going they'll make different choices and build a different home.
There were few who agreed that the boys should get married younger. One venerable Rosh Yeshiva who did NOT attend (contrary to the article, NOT because it was re-scheduled) said he is not interested in giving more business to those who arrange Gittin (Jewish divorces).
There is no doubt that the article was inaccurate in implying that ALL Roshei Yeshiva would have attended. The article said that because the meeting had to be rescheduled because of anticipated snow, many hadn't come, but would be involved in later meetings. I think this statement was written by those thinking wishfully that everyone agreed to their agenda. Many clearly did not!
R' Malkiel Kotler, shlita, who is one of the committee to work further on the problem, said we need to hire shadchonim to concentrate on the girls who are being left behind. This would seem to include both older girls and young girls with no particular money, yichus or contacts who are just not getting good suggestions. The shadchonim will work on their behalf and convince boys to consider them.
And – Roshei Yeshiva are willing to encourage their students to keep an open mind when suggested an older girl (I've started already – says my relative). Probably, the tendency to prefer younger girls is based on the conception that after seminary a girl is full of enthusiasm for the "kollel lifestyle". If she's working in a non-supportive environment, not going to shiurim, and does not come from a strong Torah home, the concern may be valid that her values and goals "deteriorate". However, it's certainly true that many girls teach and/or go to shiurim, work in a supportive environment, and should be no less a good candidate.
Please note as well. It is not because of selfishness or lack of unity that there's no takanah to have girls wait longer (although some are in favor of improving girls educational and vocational programs). Let's face it, the girls are more mature and are ready to get married younger.
The main point is, anyone can propose ideas. But we need the real leaders to decide which ideas to implement, particularly if we want the whole community to sign on.

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