The Shidduchim Process – Marrying Off Your Children – Rabbi Yaakov Haber – Mp3

Today we’re posting an audio file from the Life After Teshuva conference, by Rabbi Yaakov Haber titled “The Shidduchim Process – Marrying Off Your Children”. (Click on the link to listen or to download the audio file to your computer, click with the right mouse button on the link and select Save Target As.)

One of the insights that Rabbi Haber offers is that in the FFB world, there was a “business deal” aspect to Shidduchim. I know from friends who recently married off children that the financial arrangements for the beginning years of marriage are a major issue, especially if the boy is learning and the girl is finishing school, and it makes sense that we should be aware of this reality.

But the major point that Rabbi Haber makes in this audio is his suggestion that due to culture similiarities, he feels that the best matches are a BT to BT, or a child of a BT to a child of a BT. He brings support for his position and acknowledges that it caused much controversy when he presented it at an Agudah convention in about 1986, but at the time of this talk in 2001, he still stuck firmly by his position.

We all know of many BT-FFB and other cross-cultural success stories, Rabbi Haber makes it clear that he isn’t saying that it can’t work, just that it makes the most sense to keep cultural differences to a minimum when searching for shidduchim.

Give the audio a listen and let us know what you think.

7 comments on “The Shidduchim Process – Marrying Off Your Children – Rabbi Yaakov Haber – Mp3

  1. One other point-I saw another fascinating typology as opposed to the BT and FFB categories-FTP-frummer than parents. This category can be applied to almost any student who returns home from a year or more in a yeshiva/ seminary and who appears and acts “more frum” than his or her parents re Shmiras Hamitzvos,view towards college education, shidduchim, etc.

  2. Mark-excellent post-That observation re shidduchim im KGH is another simple but compelling example of where Dr Heilman erred in comparing KGH to other and more homogeneous neighborhoods.

  3. I think that the underlying language of culture plays a huge role in relationships, but am not completely convinced that the culture of many Bnei-BT’s, especially very established BT’s, is that different than Bnei-FFB’s.

    The point about shidduchim being a business deal (in the more Chareidi world) is a point that should not be missed. Those (BT and FFB) for which a shidduch is a researched would be shocked and taken a back by the negotiations that pervade the deeper Chareidi world. I know when I was working on a shidduch, I was told that beyond the basics, that I would be negotiating the financial aspects of the couples life and if I did not want to do so (which I did not!!!) that I would not be paid as a shadchan, I was a bit shocked.

    This type of negotiation is clearly outside of my cultural realm, and I hope it remains so for the long future.

    I have no problem with the suggestion that when someone is seeking a shidduch that they look for someone who “speaks the same language.” I think speaking the same language makes the day to day interactions of marriage very natural and easier.

  4. I’ve listened to the tape a number of times and I think the point of potential problems as a result of cultural differences is valid and Rebbetzin Heller makes a similiar point on one of her tapes.

    However I agree with Bob, Shoshana and others (on different posts) that Rabbi Haber may be overplaying these differences by applying them, more or less, across the board and creating some unnecessary barriers between observant Jews, specifically between BTs and FFBs.

    For example, in KGH the higher level of tolerance and acceptance and common cultural norms among the residents breaks down the BT-FFB barriers and leads to many BT-FFB and Bnei BT – Bnei FFB marriages.

    Whereas in other neighborhoods, specifically where BTs often feel the need to hide their backgrounds, the cultural norms may create the barriers that Rabbi Haber refers to.

  5. We have overemphasized the similarities among BT’s on the one hand, and among FFB’s on the other. I’ve seen great differences in personal background and approach across the spectrum.

    We now have a wide assortment of micro-communities, which can work against the communal unity that is needed to rationalize the management of education, etc.—as many commenters have noted on Beyond BT.

    If exaggerated notions of compatibility will now foster even more inbreeding inside these micro-communities, we will splinter even more.

  6. Mark’s point re financial arrangements is an excellent illustration of part of the problems. Simply stated, the emphasis on finances is valid and important, but has morphed into a corporate merger ethos that sometimes winds up with midos being displaced in their set of priorities.

  7. I have to admit to being slightly offended by the shiur (though I have to say that I didn’t manage to listen to the whole thing). But I have lots of Baalei Teshuva friends whose families are incredibly different from mine, and I know those who grew up FFB whose families are extremely disparate. I don’t think it’s a matter of FFB vs. BT, I think it just has to do with personal family dynamics and the individuals that make up that family. I don’t believe that there is a formula, through religious background, that determines which “culture” you come from.

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