Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How About Addressing The Problem Instead of Just Changing The Definition? reports on a new development in the Ger community in Israel. As it turns out, a Ger bochur is usually expected to become engaged to marry at the age of 18. However, for whatever reason, more and more Ger bochrim are passing the age of 18 without becoming engaged. Sometimes bochrim as old as 20 are still looking for their match. At that age, a Ger bochur is already considered "old."

I don't want to comment on whether or not an 18 year old is ready to get married. Let's just say, for the sake of argument that they generally are, and that it's a good thing for the community that they are married so young. That being the case, what do you do when you find out that more and more young men are becoming the Ger equivalent of "old maids" at 20 and 21?

Well, the Ger community in Israel hit upon a solution. They are simply going to add an extra year on to the elementary school curriculum. This will cause the high school graduates to be a year older. Therefore, 19 and 20 won't seem so "old" anymore.

Personally, this strikes me as simply a case of redefining what "old" is, rather than actually addressing the problem. If this is a major concern for the Ger community, what they should do is actually look into the reasons why bochrim are delaying engagement and address those reasons. Simply issuing a new definition of "old" is not going to solve the problem I'm willing to bet that, absent, any other action, we'll be hearing the same story in a few years, with the ages simply being one higher.

The Wolf


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Redefining is easy. Takes a few strokes of the pen.

Tackling the problem means admitting that the system you've adopted is flawed. For some groups, that thought threatens their entire sense of legitimacy.

Holy Hyrax said...

>hey are simply going to add an extra year on to the elementary school curriculum. This will cause the high school graduates to be a year older. Therefore, 19 and 20 won't seem so "old" anymore.

I don't know. Is it me, or does that sound like logic you would find somewhere in the Talmud?

Anonymous said...

Very logical. sort of like--A chair has legs, I have legs, therefore, I am a chair.

mother in israel said...

I understand that Ger (at least in Israel) has an excess of boys. (I can't understand the reason for this, unless girls are defecting.) So if the boys marry a little later than the girls, there will be a greater pool of girls to choose from.

DAG said...

Blogs are the Modern Day Misyavnim acc to Yated editor n...f+Everyman.html

"In today’s day and age, Yevanim hide behind the power of the pen, the web, blogs and populist demagoguery to attack us. Misyavnim offer wild accusations to back up their unfounded charges. They spare no effort to vilify and castigate us, as if they were paragons of virtue. The more growth our community experiences, the more scorn the misyavnim heap upon us. It is interesting to note that no one has analyzed the religiosity of Bernard Madoff in an attempt to smear all who serve G-d as he does, or doesn’t."

DAG said...

TRy this link, sorry!

Anonymous said...

Here is some logic for you:

If you assume they are marrying later because they want to learn more or they are not mature enough, then adding another year of mandatory schooling makes sense.

BrooklynWolf said...


That's interesting, but it really has nothing to do with the point of the post.

The Wolf

BrooklynWolf said...


I agree with you - that would make sense - provided that that's the reason that they're delaying marriage. The story, however, doesn't convey that at all - in fact, it doesn't give any reason at all. In addition, I would think that an extra year of learning would make a potential chosson *more* attractive, not less.

The Wolf

Anonymous said...

Why does Ger's logic remind me of a little town in Poland named 'Chelm'?

jack said...

the real reason is,that a large percentage of girls from gerrer homes,absolutely refuse to marry gerrer boys,for the obvious reasons,
therefore the shortage of girls