Sunday, December 16, 2007

In celebration of Bochurim

Usually, before I begin to blog, I search for inspiration among the websites listed to the left. Tonight, like the night before, I failed to find any inspiration. So instead I'll do a little rambling, and perhaps find some inspiration among the words I weave. Oh, perfect, I didn't even have to sink into morass of adjectives to find something I could write about. Look at the Jerusalem Post for the reason.

Boteach. Shmuley Boteach. Shmuley Boteach in Crown Heights. Shmuley Boteach in Crown Heights for Shabbos. Shmuley Boteach in Crown Heights for Shabbos, in 770. Shmuley Boteach in Crown Heights for Shabbos, in 770, together with The Real Shliach.

As you may or may not have heard, Shmuley Boteach was in Crown Heights for Shabbos, as was I. I didn't actually see him, but that's OK. I wouldn't have said anything until I read an opinion piece by R. Boteach on the afore-mentioned newspaper's website. It dealt with not only his incredible ego, which is only to be expected, but also with an issue that he correctly points out is a major problem in the Lubavitch world.

A Note: I have absolutely no business writing about this topic. Sure, some of my friends are affected, but neither I nor any of my relatives are feeling the strain. In fact, I'm too young to be writing about this. This is of course exactly why I'm writing about it.

Another Note: Why in the world does this guy have to spell his name "Shmuley"? Why the extra "E"? Does it stand for "Excellence", or "Exquisite", or "Extraordinary"? Just wondering. Anyway...

Boteach's point is two-fold: 1. Why are Lubavitch men suddenly focusing on beauty as the sole determinant in choosing their mate, and 2. The repercussions resulting from this, namely the growing single's crisis.

Shmuley is a bit of a latecomer to this topic. The Jewish Press, and every other Jewish publication, has been writing about this ever since I was a small child. With regards to the first issue, Shmuley writes the bleeding obvious, that there's a heck of a lot more to a girl than her looks. As I say, this is obvious. It's easy for me to say this, of course, because it doesn't affect me, but I trust that when the time comes it won't be too much of an issue. Shmuley adds that girls in Crown Heights have responded, in the best possible manner of course, by becoming much more Tznius. Ha! Actually, sadly, it's quite the opposite. Perhaps we should all begin to wear burkhas as a sign of our delicacy and holiness.

With regards to the second issue, I really don't see a solution. Incredible as it may seem, many people, including myself, enjoy being a Bochur. I am not talking about being a bachelor. The second a guy enjoys being a bachelor he should find a wife post-haste. Though the two labels share many similar characteristics, they're diametrically in principal. Being a Bochur is enjoyable because being a Bochur allows you (or me, for that matter) to tell the world Kushen Tuchus. This means staying up until four in the morning Farbrenging on a Tuesday night; it means deciding to go to a Shliach for Shabbos on Friday afternoon; it means being able to learn Chassidus for two hours before Davening every day; it means BS'ing about Misnagdim for four hours on a Wednesday afternoon.

I don't think I have to write about the bachelor lifestyle, principally because it should be obvious, but also because I have no experience. Do I live the lifestyle of a Bochur every day? No. Is this because I'm not a good Bochur? I don't think so. Nobody's perfect, or so I've been told.
So yeah, if you don't want people marrying at 25, make 'em marry at 20. And if they don't want to marry at 20? Perhaps a database should be set up with information about every single Bochur, and Bochurette, in Lubavitch, and then parents and Shadchanim can comb through the lists. Just like I don't believe that every 23 year old Bochur wants to get married, I also don't believe that every 20 year old Bochur wants to be a Bochur. The same is obviously also applicable to girls.

Is anyone going to do this? Probably not. Nu Nu. Oh yes, and a final word to Rabbi Shmuley: Perhaps if you lived your life as a Chassid people could respect you as a Chossid. Just a thought.

31 comments:

CCL said...

I didnt get to see what Shmul E Y wrote, but if he implied that girls in CH have lost their tznius b/c bochurim only care about their looks, he should keep his fantasies to himself.

The girls in CH have lost their clothes b/c they can! Because their parents let them. B/c they can walk naked down the street and nobody shuns them! The same reason that married CH women can go shopping with only a tefach covered - b/c no store-owner is willing to hang a sign that says no skirt no shietel no service! Why wont anyone say something? B/c the pritzim (portzos?) have become the vocal, violent majority.
So who does raise the issue? The kosher sex rabbi. Shkoiach.

e said...

agreed. A certain moderately-chassidish female CH resident told me that she dresses moderately untzniusly because she doesn't want to stick out among her peers.

The Real Shliach said...

A year and a half later... yup, it's summer in CH, and the streets are filled with the sound of immodestly dressed women!

le7 said...

He's partly correct. it's sad but there are unwritten lines about what is "too tznius." Even I scoff at the "too tznius" girls sometimes...

Anonymous but not so anonymous said...

It's also true that bochurim care too much about looks.

Why else would it be that the only 19 and 20 year olds that get married (except moi) are super skinny and fashionable? Ahem. Exactly.

Of course my friend claims it's because they're all [insert word that I'm too embarrassed to write] and thus don't know anything. AKA that bony people are... bony.

The Real Shliach said...

"They're all"=boys? girls?

Explain yourself M. Anon.

Anonymous but not so anonymous said...

Boys.

The Real Shliach said...

You're saying that boys are quite lustful and therefore going for anorexic damsels?

anonymous but not so anonymous said...

No, that boys are lustful yet virginal and pure so they go for anorexic damsels not knowing what all the black boys know that they should be going for the slightly heftier girls.

The Real Shliach said...

Is this a bad thing?

Anonymous but not so anonymous said...

Are you implying that it's a good thing because they're getting what they deserve?

The Real Shliach said...

No, my question would have been the same if I had said, "Is this a good thing?"

And why would they deserve this?

le7 said...

What are you talking about?

The Real Shliach said...

OK, let me rephrase this. You say bochurim know nothing about life and therefore go for girls who won't necessarily provide everything they are looking for.

Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Does anything need to be done about this?

And is anyone to blame?

le7 said...

Yes. Bochurim for watching movies. Kill all the bochurim.

e said...

I'm wondering who this anon. is. How did he land on this post punkt now?

The Real Shliach said...

le7: or else blame the mothers of those boys...

e: yup. It's a mystery all right.

le7 said...

Fine. So let's raise pure good boys. The end.

The Real Shliach said...

We're trying!

e said...

Amen!

Altie said...

trs addressed the shidduch crisis so long ago? smart guy.

interesting commentary here i must say.

The Real Shliach said...

Yes he is.

Any opinion on it?

Altie said...

yes, i do. but i'll just say, contrary to what u may think, i dont like arguing. so i'll just state my opinion, and feel free to discuss it if u have what to say.

i dont think there is an actual shiduch crisis.

i think there is a greater percentage of girls than there is boys, physically, and plus, a lot of the girls are more frum than the boys. so if u have x amount of girls that have to get married, and x amount of boys that have to get married, but 1/3 of the girls are more frum than the guys, than a 1/3 of the boys wont have anyone to marry.

but of course, in my opinion, g-d created enough girls and boys for each other, and every baby born has a designated spouse, sp i say, why worry?

thats why i say there is no shidduch crisis. but then again, i havent even started.

abt the tznius/chassidish issue- i disagree. i think the girls who wish to dress less tznius, or are less chassidish, do it of their own accord, or because of pressure from their friends, but definitly not because the boys are less frum. no one does something thinking, oh well if i want to find a husband i must wear a skirt that is a bit shorter.
they make those decisions consciously, or subconscioulsy, on thei own.

then of course there are ppl like E, who dont even factor in. lets say u have a guy who is aconfirmed bachelor- then there is no problem, there doesnt need to be a girl for him, because he is most likely not going to get married, unless some damsel can steal his heart.

so E is not a confirmed bachelor- but because of his religious status, he doesnt even count in the shidduch crisis.

and once again, i dont believe there IS A 'CRISIS.'

problems are what you make of them, and how you percieve them, so if u dont see a problem, then there is no problem.

iy''h with g-ds help i should be able to find my spouse in a timely matter, may it be soon, and all this talk wont be for naught.

The Real Shliach said...

Whether or not you want to believe it, the fact is that there are a great deal of older unmarried men and women out there, who are desperately looking to get married and can't find someone to marry. There have been a million and one solutions offered, and some have helped some people, but in general, there is certainly a problem.

Altie said...

who's problem is it? not yours or mine. it's G-d's. go take it up with Him.

The Real Shliach said...

Whose problem is parnasa? Or Israel-Palestine? Or children with cancer? Duh it's G-d's, but we need to do our hishtadlus.... Blaming it on G-d and expecting him to solve everything is a cop-out of epic proportions.

Altie said...

really. ok. so u know any girls for all those older guys? or guys for the older girls? what are u gonna do, pull them out of a magic hat?

The Real Shliach said...

You think I have a solution for the problem? The only thing to do is for each and every person to do his and her darndest to bring people together. Difficult? Yes. Worthwhile? Yes.

Altie said...

so what are you doing about it?

The Real Shliach said...

Incredible as it may seem, I have in fact suggested some shidduchim and certainly intend to continue doing so in the future.

Altie said...

ok good 4 u. i'm still of the opinion that there is no problem.