Audio Roundup

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by Joel Rich

From an email I recently received: (Modern Technology in the service of an ancient tradition? Of course the next step is to virtualize the meeting as well – perhaps a reduced resource option where the information transfer occurs on line through avatars?)

It gives us great pleasure to inform you that
Maran Harav Asher Weiss Shlita
Will be in New York
From Sunday June 30 through Tuesday night July 2
The Rav will be available to meet privately with Talmidim and friends, to offer advice and to give Brachot. If you are interested in meeting the Rav, please press the link below to schedule time with the Rav.
CLICK HERE To Schedule A meeting

From R’ Aviner (I’d love to know the algorithm as to when we don’t just say “it’s an ofeneh mishna brurah”)
Talit which Falls Off
Q: Does one have to recite another blessing if his Talit falls off?
A: No. Shemirat Shabbat Ke-Hilchata 1:69. Not like the opinion of the Mishnah Berurah 8:15.

  • Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen, Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, Rabbi Benjamin Yudin -Azkara for Rabbi Dovid Lifshitz

    A commemoration of the life and times of R’Dovid Lifshitz ZT”L (The Suvalker Rav – where my father’s ZLL”HH family hailed from). R’Dovid is remembered as:
    *steadfast in his avodat Hashem
    *zariz (quick to act) in his avodat Hashem
    *a warm and caring and concerned teacher
    *a Talmid Muvhak of R’Shimon Shkup (whom he quoted verbatim)

  • Rav Nissan Kaplan – war againts torah in ey

    “Yeshiva” means Torah only; one must be “meimit atzmo” (kill himself figuratively) in dedication to Torah learning and only Torah learning. A baal habayit (non-Yeshiva student) who learns 8 hours a day still thinks Torah is not the most important thing. [me – one might say the exact opposite]

  • Stephen Hawking-: Questioning the universe

    We now know (me – sounds like Rambam in the original – not really mamin (believe) but leyda (know) of HKB”H) that universe could spontaneously occur (hmmm – a real maamin, that’s enough to satisfy his curiosity?). In theory probability should be high of other intelligent life in the universe (me – and we are intelligent?) yet we don’t see it (me – so maybe theory is wrong?). Our best hope for survival is space travel so some seed remains if we destroy earth.

  • Rabbi Ari Heller-Why am I Dati Leumi?

    Religious Zionists have the ability to form the bridge for the chareidi and chiloni societies to get on board to bring moshiach, but we have to improve ourselves first.

  • Rabbi Reuven Taragin-Q&A

    Interesting to see what’s on students’ minds. Some Q&A include:
    1) One must believe in the world to come because the scores don’t add up in this world.
    2) Diaspora is partially rehabilitative punishment, we can bring it to an end by doing the right thing and getting others to do so as well.
    3) Talmudic cures – why don’t they work? Science of the times or times were different.
    4) Sociological Chazakot – some change, some don’t – only great Rabbis can draw the lines! (me – does Tan Du sound familiar?)
    5) How do blessings (like Isaac to Jacob) work? We don’t know, but they do.
    6) Is there an ethic outside of Halacha? Yes, but not outside HKB”H.
    7) Morality is based on what’s practical in the world (it was ok to have slaves until the economy could get along without them) but general society doesn’t seem to be doing so well in the moral arena and its impacts on a healthy society
    8) Women’s issues (“and he will rule over you”), etc. – Perhaps overcoming original curse to Adam and Chava (like working by the sweat of one’s brow) is a good thing to bring redemption (or maybe not).

  • Rabbi Azarya Berzon-The Mitzvah of Pirya VeRivya & its postponement, spacing, Part I

    Parameters of Pru U’rvu (be fruitful). To channel Uncle Moishy – “It’s a BIG Mitzvah”. The Torah does not provide timing parameters (me – similar to marriage?) so the question is, is putting off completion of this mitzvah a bittul aseh (passive indifference?) or a lesser offense of lack of alacrity? Revierw of sources. R’Kahn thinks Ø allowance to postpone having kids if you don’t have any, but may be room for “leniency” if already have one (quotes – R’OY, R’MF and R’Henkin).

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 301-6

    Using a cane and other prosthetics outside on Shabbat. The general rule is if you couldn’t walk without it, it’s permissible.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 301-7

    You can’t use a non-clothing item to go outside with on Shabbat to protect you from the rain. Discussion of what you can wear for wound protection.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 301-8

    A government required badge may be attached to your clothes even for outside Shabbat use. Then discussion of bells and/or hankies attached to clothes for Shabbat use.

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 301-9

    Amulets – not really germane today. (see R’Mizrachi shiur on fakirs)

  • Rabbi Reuven Spolter -Parshat Balak – When Leadership Errs

    Analysis of Cozbi/Zimri sin for its lessons in leadership. Why did Moshe forget the halacha of kannoim pogim bo (Zealots put them to death)? Why was Moshe held responsible? What about the Zekeinim (elders)? Perhaps the “guilt” was that they could have stopped the sin from happening by an earlier intervention.

  • Rabbi Yossi Mizrachi-The Scams That Jeopardize Authentic Judaism

    A long presentation debunking phony kabbalists and other fakirs and magical imports from outside of real Torah. Interesting side point, apparently R’Mizrachi can prove the truth of HKB”H and Torah to anyone who will listen.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Th Middah of Emes- when is one allowed to not tell the ‘truth’?

    Short analysis of the three cases (mesechta,ushpiza,puraya – all defined herein)where a Talmid Chacham is allowed to not tell the truth due to other considerations.

  • Steven Pinker- Human nature and the blank slate

    Children are not really blank slates when they are born and pretending they are is counter productive. Apparently the idea that they are is current academic gospel.

  • Rav Weiss Balak 5773 -Tzar Bali Chaim

    Tzaar baalei chaim (causing pain to animals) is a Torah prohibition, but it’s unclear as to specific source. R’Weiss categorizes it under “Ratzon Hatorah” (HKB”H’s will). Lists a number of possible sources given by others. Depending on what you think the source is, you may come to different conclusions on how extensive the exemption from causing pain is for human needs (e.g. using animals for drug testing vs. hunting).

  • Shay Schachter-Shelo Assani Yisrael / She’assani Kohen!

    Why no daily blessing for Kohanim “that you made me a Kohain”? Perhaps since no special daily duty for Kohanim. Ties into shelo asani eved (“that you did not make me a slave”) etc.
    [I have to admit, I still don’t get it – it always seemed to me we should say thank you for making me what you did[yes I know there are several reasons given why not]]

  • Rabbi Nosson Rich -Mishna Berura Yomi: Hilchos Shabbos Siman 301-10

    More on amulets plus protections for cuts on bottom of foot. Then on to wearing a talit outside with no eruv (or one you don’t hold of ) – it’s got to be really worn not just draped on the neck. (General rule – wear things the way they are usually worn)

  • Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein-Will the Torah change in the future redemption?

    Conflicting sources on what the world will be like in the future (e.g. Messianic times). Will halacha change? Will facts on the ground (metziut/teva) change? Maybe we’re talking about different future [my standard response is – just let mashiach come already and we’ll “worry” about it then].

  • TITLE 19
    Daniel Fridman-A Portrait of the Artist as a Spiritual Man: Judaism and Aesthetics
    Some folks reject all forms of art (philosophically & experientially) as bitul Torah, others assume it’s 100% kosher/appropriate. The Beit Mikdash is full of examples of art in service to HKB”H. Even art not directly used in service of HKB”H but using the talents that HKB”H gave you is a reflection of HKB”H and can help you cleave to him [me – but still must be measured in context of glorifying HKB”H?]
  • Rabbi Ezra Schwartz-Maaser kesafim: Using for mItzva and tuition

    Focus on the nature of “Maaser” (tithing) today and how the various opinions impact on the use of our maaser funds for causes other than the poor (e.g. for different mitzvoth like buying an aliyah).
    Specific discussion of status of Shul dues, Yeshiva tuition and support of Torah learning. Wide range of opinions may also be related to the specific facts and circumstances of each time and place.

  • Rabbi Hershel Schachter-Parha Shiur – Balak 5773

    Parsha Shiur includes:
    *Can we learn halacha from Bilam quotes (derivative of issue of Bilam being a great prophet)
    *Chumash doesn’t always have direct quotes from protagonists – HKB”H put the “quotes” in a way we can learn things for future generations
    *Mashiach related issues
    *Mikra (words) vs. Masoret (pronunciation) discussion
    *Abbreviations in Torah
    *Defining parhesia (public) for purposes of Kiddush Hashem
    *Balak was rewarded for the sacrifices he brought, even though he was evil
    *Some think we shouldn’t say mah tovu due to its source (Bilam); others say HKB”H put it in his mouth so it’s ok
    *”Am Lvadad Yishkon” (a nation that dwells alone) is inherent in the nature of the Jewish people (me – relates to our discussions on sociological Chazakot – which are inherent in nature)
    *Bilaam’s curse may be source of rule that as long as you started Shma or amidah within the proper time, you get credit even if finished after the proper time
    *R’YBS on emotions being private as a part of humility

  • Rabbi Baruch Simon -Defining Shkiah and Tzes By a Mountain/Valley

    R’Moshe held that sunset is determined by what would have been seen on level ground even when you are surrounded by mountains, whereas tzeit (night) is by actual facts on the ground! Discussion of davening time determinations related to skyscrapers, airplanes and the like.

  • Rabbi Michael Taubes-Parshas Balak Tircha DeTzibbura

    Review of sources in Talmud and Rishonim concerning Tircha d’Tzibura (burden on the assembled). Perhaps it’s related to the honor of the assembled (Kavod Tzibbur). Quotes R’Asher Weiss as it being a Torah requirement left to the Rabbis to establish parameters.
    Interesting how the Mishneh Brura took the established rule of the Shatz not waiting for the Rabbi to finish the amida and turned it on its head for all to wait for thr Rabbi due to current circumstances (actually sounded like someone before him did it and he justified it).

  • Rabbi Ari Kahn-יין של מחלל שבת (H)

    Rabbi Ari Kahn-יין של מחלל שבת (H)

  • Detailed review of sources concerning status today of non-mevushal wine touched by a non-Sabbath observant Jew. There may be room to be lenient after the fact.

  • Zemirah Ozarowski -Rosh Chodesh: What are we celebrating?

    Messages of Rosh Chodesh:
    *We can sanctify time
    *Importance of each moment we have
    *Celebrate looking forward to the future!

  • About Joel Rich

    Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.


    1. R. Berzon seems to be adopting the (imvho incredibly destructive) R. Willig line on this issue. In the following shiur (74:00 onwards), R. Baruch Simon, based on a multitude of sources, advocates a far more sensible (obviously imvho) approach:

      I would note R. Simon’s description of the terrible human cost of stringency on this issue. R. Simon also corrects R. Berzon’s mistaken citation of the Chazon Ish (a mistake first propagated by RHS in his article on this issue), which has actually already been pointed out by R. Moshe Kahn.

    2. r’j
      thanks for the link. I specifically noted R’ Berzon’s opinion because it was different from what seems the word on the street of at least some RIETS R”Y. I also thought about the underlying hashkafa of allowing “delay” in getting married, but not in pru once married. Is it possible we have a trade off in encouraging early marriage? Do we too much encourage playing house? It’s certainly imho an area that requires careful thought.
      She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

    3. From afar, it seems to me that there has been a shift between the older RY, such as RHS and RMW, who take an extremely hard line on this issue, and younger RY such as RBS. Some of the rhetoric in this shiur from RMW for example, from 34:00 onwards, is simply frightening:

      Given the fact that RBS’s view is both well sourced and far more humane (he himself notes the very serious problems caused by those who insist on a hard-line approach), I hope others will agree that this is a positive development.

    4. Has anyone looked into the sociological impacts of delaying childbirth? Is this not one cause of the Odyssey Years?

    5. I think the sociological facts described by R. Simon (which certainly ‘ring true’ from my experience) speak for themselves. The limited delay for very young couples under rabbinic supervision advocated by R. Simon has, to my mind, few negative side affects and the potential to limit the occurence of many of the tragic cases which have unfortunately become increasingly common.

    6. R’ Gil,
      Interesting thought-I was thinking one cause was delaying marriage because of the realization that (IY”H-and for all too many it doesn’t work out right away) one has to have kids right away. Again there are many complex forces at work requiring imho very up close and personal hadracha.
      She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

    7. Joel: One difference is that delaying marriage is shev ve-al ta’aseh. Delaying childbirth requires (generally speaking) a kum va-aseh of using birth control.

      J: I’m not sure what you mean by tragic cases but I will try to listen to R. Simon’s shiur. I’d be hesitant to label anything a trend based on one dissenting voice. Maybe there are more that I am not aware of.

      I found in my personal life that my wife and I were never ready for our next child but somehow, often with difficulty, adapted to the new situations.

    8. Gil: Of course you are better informed than I am, but from what I hear, R. Simon’s approach is becoming increasingly mainstream. I have heard of rabbanim to his right who adopt a very similar approach, although this is less common.

      And I’m glad everything worked out well for you, but R. Simon is addressing a rather different concern – that of youngsters who, for various reasons, are (legitimately) advised to get married, but still need to develop emotionally before they are ready to have children.

      I’m sure I don’t need to spell out the tragic consequences of what is likely to occur when a young couple are pressured by their rabbanim to ‘go ahead’ without heed to their emotional maturity. And there’s no reason to think that the advice R. Simon (and others) dispense to young couples should lead to hefkeirus on this issue more broadly. If anything, the fact that a rav is prepared to adopt a position that adequately addresses the very real human need for flexibility on this issue is likely to encourage more respect for his counsel further down the line.

    9. I heard in that shiur R. Simon speak for about 10 seconds. It seems that this should be a limited heter for people with this problem and perhaps the problem should be avoided in advance so there isn’t a need to rush marriage. (For what it’s worth, I got married the summer after college while my wife had another year of college ahead of her.)

      I’ve heard rabbis give incredibly lenient rulings to individuals. But they intentionally did not publicize them so that the rulings would be limited.

      Let me be clear that I know little firsthand about R. Simon’s position on this. I just speaking to the part of his shiur that you linked to. But it bothers me that you seem to think that this is an approach rather than an appropriate ruling for an unusual situation. Although I could be wrong in my assumption that this is a specific heter and not a general approach.

    10. I’m not advocating it for everyone at all – I’m referring to cases such as the one described by RMW in one of his shiurim on this issue, where he described a couple who approached him with what sounded very much like the case described by RBS (and RBS refers to rabbanim who are stringent where he is lenient), and despite the girl’s tears, he (in his own account) told her that there is no hetter beyond pikuach nefesh. I’m happy that the lenient approaches receive sufficient publicity that people are made aware that there are other opinions.

    11. Sounds similar to what I’ve heard from various sources about niddah questions – some folks are so sure that the halacha on an issue is black and white (based on what they’ve heard in public) that they never ask a question which could have made their lives different.
      She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

    12. But also needs to be weighed with the phenomenon of self-pesak

    13. R’ Gil,
      That’s true – back to the old type1 vs. type 2 error issue and how much weight do we give to each.
      She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

    14. re: odyssey years, there’s “delay” and there’s “delay.” it’s hard to say that putting off childbearing from 22 to 25 for someone already married is part of the same problem as 30 year olds failing to launch. my impression is that it’s delayed marriage that is much more related to the other issues of the oddyssey years.

      I agree with J that there is something of a “trend” here, not just the opinion of one younger rosh yeshiva in limited circumstances. lots of couples who would not have used birth control before having a child 15 years ago are using it for a year or two when they first get married, in their early 20s, today, is my impression, confirmed by a friend who fields a lot of these shailos.

    15. Emma – thanks for confirming what I had thought to be the case. I should stress that the difference in ‘approach’ is not merely semantic; there is a substantial halachic divide between the two camps – whether or not ‘shehiyah’ of a mitzvah constitutes bitul. Rabbi Berzon explicitly says it does, which is why he ‘can’t see any hetter’, whereas RBS spends two hours trying to prove that, given a legitimate need, it doesn’t. Once you adopt that paradigm (or perhaps even without it), the idea that encouraging people to marry later to avoid the initial use of contraception will result in fewer aveiros being committed seems misguided to say the least.

    16. J: I still haven’t listened to R. Simon’s full shiur but I will note that R. Yehudah Henkin agrees that it is bitul. Even if it is shehiyah, I don’t really see how delaying the first child allows you to fulfill the mitzvah better.

    17. In 2008 milin havivin published a few articles on the mitzveh of procreation and delaying: see below

      The Two Objectives of the Institution of Marriage 52
      Rabbi Dr. Binyamin Lau
      Postponement of the Mitzvah of Procreation: A Response to Rabbi Dr. Binyamin Lau 68 Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin
      Family Planning and Halakha: The Postponement of Mitzvat Peru U-Revu 73 Rabbi Yitzchak Avi Roness

      and in hebrew
      Marriage and Torah: Navigating the Tension ג Rabbi Dov Linzer

      J. and Emma – I wonder what was the situation 30 years ago when it was rare for YU students to get married while in college – esp. the 1st 3 years – i will venture to say there may be an influence for what is taught in chatan v’kallah classes. is it different in Israel (factors like army may be in play)?

    18. “– back to the old type1 vs. type 2 error issue and how much weight do we give to each”

      During recent discussion about agunahs IMO that is what we are dealing with-not that anyone is higher and more attuned to women etc.

    19. (why is it not she ve-al ta’aseh for the person with the mitzvah to passively allow his spouse to use birth control?)

    20. Emma: According to most, women have some part of the mitzvah. Poskim generally quote the Ran but he isn’t the only one.

    21. Gil – I am well aware of Rav Henkin’s views on the matter. Note, though, the authoritative citation on the Nishmat website:

      “Rav Henkin generally permits newlyweds to use contraception for up to the first six months of marriage if they feel they are not yet ready for children”.

      Rav Henkin was responding to Rav Lau’s misuse of the teshuva of the Maharit; both articles appear in Ruvie’s link above. RBS discusses the Maharit in the shiur I linked to.

      As to your claim that delaying does not necessarily improve the fulfilment of the mitzvah here, see Rabbi Roness’ article in Milin Havivin, and the originals in Ohr Hamizrach, where he defends the claim that it does. More to the point, according to the Chazon Ish at least, shehiyah can be justified for the sake of any legitimate need, and not necessarily one that enhances the kiyum hamitzvah.

    22. My justification for considering Nishmat/Yoatzot’s citation of Rav Henkin’s views as authoritative is the following quote from their website:

      “On the website, yoatzot draft answers to the questions we receive. Rav Yehuda Henkin reviews and comments on the answers. No e-mail of a halachic nature is sent out without his approval. He also reviews all articles on our website.”

    23. Ruvie – I presume you’re correct, although I’m not sufficiently familiar with either scene to confirm.

    24. I see you are very excited about this issue. I’m not particularly interested because it seems to me socially irresponsible to be lenient, regardless of the halakhah. But if you look at R. Henkin’s teshuvah (vol. 4 no. 15), he allows the six months because of eis la’asos (!!!), not because he thinks it is mutar. And R. Yaakov Ariel only permits waiting after the first child, not before. R. Eliezer Melamed used to be lenient but after seeing the disastrous consequences, no longer allows delaying having children.

    25. I’ll leave the stira between his teshuva and the way he has chosen to allow his opinion to be presented on his website for others to resolve. His chumra based on the Maharit is rather idiosyncratic anyway. You say I am excited about the issue, but you’re the one who thinks we should asser something even if it is muttar for (unclear) social reasons, despite the very real issues described by RBS which seem to bother you not at all.

    26. r’ Mycroft,
      IMHO it is generally true of policy debates. I just wonder how the policy makers evaluate the “data” before moving forward.
      It’s my guess that a lot of this change comes from driving marriage age down (all the good ones will be gone etc.)
      She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

    27. “I just wonder how the policy makers evaluate the “data” before moving forward.”
      You have more confidence than I do that they look at data or are even concerned about data.

    28. J: To be clear, I am not saying that it is permitted. My survey of poskim yields a general attitude forbidding. However, even those who say that there might be room to be lenient, refuse to do so because they see real (negative social) issues in doing so. R. Baruch Simon might disagree on any or all of these points. If so, I believe that he is in the minority. But none of this is to say that there are no exceptions. Everyone could find exceptions. A woman who is traumatized by a miscarriage will (hopefully) not be told that she must immediately try again for a first child but will instead be told to seek counseling, all depending on the specific circumstances.

      Re R. Henkin, see the paragraph “Ibra” on the second column of this page:

    29. can you flesh out the negative social issues? because from where i sit i also see negative social issues in people who have barely reached emotional maturity themselves, and who have no idea how to be married, immediately dealing with the stress of pregnancy and a newborn. not to mention long term financial consequences (though i know it is verbotten to think about those in the context of birth control for some reason).

    30. Nobody is ever ready for parenthood. It is scary. But you sacrifice and you focus on people other than yourself. You struggle and make things work. You put others first, not your career. It’s tough, and spouses have to take turns going to graduate school and other difficult juggling acts. But it creates stronger families and mature, responsible adults.

      The negative issues are extended childhood. Older singles and childless couples are (generally) selfish and social/religious experimenters. This leads to less religiosity and, ironically, weaker marriages because of selfishness. Of course, I am speaking in broad generalities here.

    31. “But it creates stronger families and mature, responsible adults.”

      Children can create stronger families but also put a strain on marriage.

      see eg

      That of course does not take away from the requirement of marriage and pru urvu.

    32. Gil – I’m not sure there’s much to be gained from continuing this discussion. I would just note that from what I hear from frum therapists, the policy you advocate has a fair few negative consequences associated with it too. Ve’habocher yivchar.

    33. And thanks for the reference to Rav Henkin’s teshuva. My (wholly unsupported) guess is that the issues I’ve mentioned play at least some role in explaining the difference between what would seemingly be implied from that teshuva and the way he has allowed his position to be expressed on the website. The easiest way to resolve this is probably to ask him.


      Some interesting input for this discussion

      She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

    35. Agree that this has reached the agree to disagree point, but I would add that it has also reached the point where the questions being asked could be answered by empirical data. Such data, such as it exists for the nonjewish population, suggests that the getting married and having kids young does not cause people to be more mature, selfless, and stable. but perhaps there are orthodox factors that are different. i suspect that most interested parties do not want to know the empirical answers here, though, as usual…

    36. None of which has any relevance to the question of whether or not nineteen year old girls should be allowed to delay starting a family for nine months upon marriage. The demographic I’m discussing starts families *very* early by any secular standards.

      Amongst people I know, the main difference four years down the line between those who move in circles where the rabbanim adopt the slightly more liberal line I’m advocating and those who don’t is not whether those who have stayed together have children – virtually all of them do (and if they don’t, it’s for reasons of physical or psychological health, not ‘selfishness’). Rather it’s whether those who are divorced/separated have them too (and if anything, the divorce rates are higher on the more Charedi side).

      I am familiar with too many cases where this has happened (and the rate is increasing exponentially) to believe that a ferocious adherence to the old paradigm will solve the problem – if anything, it is the problem. How a 19 year old girl who wants to start a family at twenty as opposed to nine months earlier can be viewed as a selfish careerist is beyond me. It seems that, perhaps for ideological reasons pertaining to inter modern-orthodox tensions, some are keen to perceive a radical LW agenda where none exists.

    37. “getting married young” in dailybeast-speak (ie, uppermiddleclass speak) is “starting to look for a spouse in your early 20s.” not actually being married and pregnant at 21 or 22.

      i am not talking about opinion pieces, but about statistics. and the statistics even those pieces quote show that, in this country, the people who get married younger are poorer, less educated, and divorce more. now, which causes which? probably a little of both…

      to echo J, we are not talking about delaying childbearing for 10 years, or even 5. we are talking, in practice, about people waiting for a year or two at most (and that’s the more liberal ppl – for tohers its a matter of months, as j says). how this causes social upheaval, expecially since it is likely related to a willingness to marrey earlier, is totally unclear to me.

    38. emma – i wonder what data there is today. how many divorces within the first 2-3 years of marriage and how many with children. over shabbat a guest opined that the rate of divorce in marriages under 1 year is increasing dramatically – he knew of 4 in his friends’ children in this past year. I wonder if 3 dates and chuppah is one of the causes? I also question how many in the mo world ask the sheilah- i suspect many more today than 30 years ago- as oppose to self pesak (knowing that there is a heter).

      “. But it creates stronger families and mature, responsible adults” “The negative issues are extended childhood. Older singles and childless couples are (generally) selfish and social/religious experimenters. This leads to less religiosity and, ironically, weaker marriages because of selfishness.”

      obviously, you haven’t spoken to any professionals on this matter. extending childhood is having parents paying for everything etc. you must live in a different world than others i know.

    39. J: Is that what we are discussing, delaying pregnancy by less than a year? That was not at all clear to me. I thought we are discussing delaying pregnancy to go to graduate school — 2 or more years.

    40. Yes, that is what I am referring to – this reflects the question as commonly posed by the demographic I am most familiar with. I am in full agreement that an extended period of child-free married life would do much to undermine the frum family structure.

    41. J. – “I am in full agreement that an extended period of child-free married life would do much to undermine the frum family structure.”

      2-3 year wait at 21 will undermine the frum family structure? how so?

    42. I’m not sure where the border between ‘extended’ and ‘limited’ is. Less than a year is under it and half a decade is above it, but I suppose the main point is that, as Gil implies, delaying begins to be associated with a shift in one’s outlook on life more broadly.

      My main concern is avoiding the horror stories that I can see , from my own cohort (mid-twenties), are becoming increasingly common, particularly amongst the ‘moderate Charedi’ crowd. A delay of nine months or so (for those who are interested in it) should usually suffice to at least establish whether or not there is a problem that warrants further action.

      I have heard the claim that giving people an ‘easy-out’ where they only opt in to starting a family a few months down the line is likely to lead to a less committed approach to marriage from the start and increase the risk of divorce; but at least anecdotally, as far as I can observe, the proportion of ostensibly successful marriages (and, conversely, divorce rates) amongst those who opt for one or the other approach provides little evidence for this claim. And this has to be balanced against the multitude of children who are now destined to grow up without both parents (who are often the subject of bitter custody battles, as RBS notes), due to a short lived marriage. I actually just learnt of another case today.

      As I’m sure those older and wiser than me can confirm – there are multiple reasons why marriages may fail which may not be fully apparent in a ‘frum’ dating context, and some of them at least are likely to be apparent after a year of living together.

      To repeat, I’m not advocating this as a recommendation for everyone, merely that those who feel the need for it should not be turned down. If you’re interested in preserving the health of frum families, this policy offers high returns with few negative externalities.

    43. “Nobody is ever ready for parenthood.

      Sure. But some people/couples REALLY aren’t ready.

      “It is scary.”

      Again, sure. But there’s scary and there’s petrified.

      Having had 38 years of parenting experience between the birth of my oldest daughter and the graduation from college of my youngest (we had a number of lengthy breaks), I am even more firmly convinced that what really is “socially irresponsible” (to us Gil’s phrase) is pushing couples to have children who are not ready, and whose marriages are not ready, for the responsibility of parenthood.

    44. R’JK,
      Just curious, what are your thoughts on pushing kids to get married at younger ages?
      She-nir’eh et nehamat Yerushalayim u-binyanah bi-mherah ve-yamenu,

    45. Since you’re curious. Kids should never be “pushed” to get married. In fact, “kids” shouldn’t get married at all. And “adults” shouldn’t be “pushed” to get married either, although there are some unmarried adults who would benefit from a serious discussion about marriage from someone close to them. And being cute aside, getting marriage and having kids is too complex and personal to be governed solely by halacha. As some say in other areas, it should have a vote but not a veto.

    46. “Just curious, what are your thoughts on pushing kids to get married at younger ages?”

      I hope parents are pushing anything but many young adults do feel peer or communal pressure at certain ages. Parents should be less involved in their offspring choosing a mate.

      “But you sacrifice and you focus on people other than yourself. You struggle and make things work” – yes that is what marriage is all about – compromise. having children is a different ball game. life changes forever and not in the same way marriage does.

      “But it creates stronger families…” and how does 20 or 21 yrs. old having children do that? just the opposite.

      J. – “I’m not sure where the border between ‘extended’ and ‘limited’ is. Less than a year is under it and half a decade is above it,” agree – i would think the time element – for limited or extended -is determined (dependent) on the age of the couple [21 vs 30].

      “…delaying begins to be associated with a shift in one’s outlook on life more broadly.” – i think that may be true in some cases of marriage (and religiousity) but not when waiting to have children.

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