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Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Torah Musings.

The opinions and facts here are presented solely by the author. Torah Musings assumes no responsibility for them. Please address religious questions to your rabbi.

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  1. micha says:

    With regard to the Age Gap issue and the shidduch crisis: It’s not a question of whether “the math works” but rather whether the ballpark estimates for family size and average age of mother at time of birth are valid. (Also, I think this calls for a geometric average rather than a linear one, but that makes little difference in the case of ballpark estimates.)

    As I see it, the ballpark numbers make sense: average family size of 6 means 3x growth per generation could well mean 15% growth in two years.

    My take, though, is only slightly different than the author’s. They write:

    “The population growth only has a snowball effect on an already existing problem, but it itself is not the source to the problem.

    “While I concede the age gap and rapid population growth perpetuates the problem, it is not the source to the problem.”

    While I agree that the age gap is not the cause of the problem, I would go further and say it’s not exacerbating the problem either. It’s a symptom.

    As the author writes, “The major contributing factor is a supply and demand cultural problem and that is the fact that hundreds more girls are taught to seek after the relatively few ben Torah boys, and by the time they turn around (at 24 which happens very quickly) and realize that there were only a few such boys around, it is late in the game, and their age becomes one more consideration against them (since most boys do in fact prefer younger girls).”

    The age gap perpetuates despite this imbalance in numbers because it’s the boy’s market. What keeps supply and demand in check is that what the girls limit by starting out only wanting a very narrowly defined “ideal chasan” the boys reply by shopping among younger girls who outnumber them.


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