Thursday, January 06, 2011


So last night Heshy and I mysteriously ended up in Brooklyn. That's because my sweet and beautiful 18-year-old sister-in-law got engaged last night! We went in for an informal family L'Chaim, except there ended up being a whole lot more people than I would have thought qualified for "informal" and "small". But that's okay.

In any case, I may have to change my mind about three-b'shos-and-that's-it because SIL and her future husband looked extremely happy and were beaming from ear to ear. (A b'sho, for those who don't know, is where the girl and guy meet for say an hour and a half while the parents sit in a different room in the same house or apartment).

And yes, in case you're wondering, it IS only seven weeks after our own wedding. But hey, this has always been my life- get married, have a birthday, have your SIL get engaged and party hearty.


Etana said...

Long time no speak! Miss you :-)

This is NOT a commentary on the specific case of your sister-in-law and is a generalization about one-and-done marriages. I genuinely wish her the best and a hearty mazal tov!

I was surprised by your suggestion that happiness at a l'chaim is can be testament to the success of this type of matching. One may be thrilled at that point in time due to the excitement of a new relationship or even (in some unfortunate cases) due to relief at finally being "picked."
Success of a match can only be determined once a relationship exists and continues to function, even through difficulties.

Thanks for your posts! They're always a pleasure to read!

Etana said...

*excuse the extraneous "is"

harry-er than them all said...

I was listening to a piece by someone who studied arranged marriages in india. They commented that the most divorces there are between "love marriages".

the theory is that with an arranged marriage you are also marrying into the family. So your love needs are fulfilled not only by your spouse but by your family and their family as well. in a love marriage you are gambling that all your needs will be fulfilled by your spouse. in certain circles where the family is very close to the young (and even not so young) couples, this could explain the success and even value of such marriages.

harry-er than them all said...

that is not to say that they are guaranteed to be successful as some family's can be too burdensome. But if you stress that the family be normal and supportive, then the value may be greater than a classic love marriage.

Anonymous said...

Anybody know the happiness stats, between MO Chassidish, Yeshivish and the world at large (WAL)?

I do know the WAL has a 50% divorce rate, this could stem from the influence of the "I" society, or just a lack of midot.

harry-er than them all said...

@anonymous, its not a 50% divorce rate, its whatever the marriage rate, half that number get divorced. Meaning for instance if 20,000 marriages happened in this past year, 10,000 marriages ended in divorce. meaning those 10,000 could have come from any marriage that happened in the past 50 or so years.

anonymouse said...

"a classic love marriage."
Pray tell what is Love? HINT: see previous post.
Can one truly love a spouse before marriage?
I would posit that pre-matrimony feelings are not love or ahava but rather chein, which is closer to grace/affection, mixed with expectations and a hint of lust.

But not true love.

Anonymous said...

Etana expressed my thoughts exactly. How could one be happy if there is no bond or to celebrate?

researcher said...

This borrowed from a different site it appears from this following research that 'arraigned marriages' are happy ones.

"Hasidic People: A Place in the New World, by Jerome R. Mintz; Harvard University Press
page 390:
"It is estimated that the general American divorce rate for marriages
made between 1970 and 1985 is 50 percent. Rates of divorce among
American Jews are somewhat lower, with approximately one of every
three or four marriages predicted to end in divorce. The percentages
scale downward depending on degree of religiousness, with close to 50
percent predicted for the general Jewish population in most urban
centers, while a quarter of modern Orthodox marriages are destined for
failure, and divorces among the ultra-Orthodox will hover at over 10 percent. All the rates for divorce are the highest in the history of Judaism. See Nathalie Friedman and Theresa F. Rogers , The Divorced Parent and the Jewish Community ( New York: American Jewish Committee, 1985); Jay Y. Brodbar-Nemzer, "Divorce and Group Commitment: The Case of the Jews," Journal of Marriage and the Family 48, May 1986, pp. 329-340; Greer Fay Cashman, "Making Marriage Work," Jerusalem Post.

OY said...

According to this, the divorce rate in the US is about 50%.
Modern Orthodox Jews (who date) %25.
Charaidim who do b'sho thingy rate best at %10.
I going to ask my wife if we could have a b'sho tonight.....

frum single female said...

some of the reason people in arranged marriages don't divorce is because there is very strong pressure not to divorce in those types of communities around the world like india. woman have no status if they arent married so they must marry and stay married so to me the fact it is an arranged marriage and there is little divorce means very little to me.
there are alot of yeshivish people who only go out for tachlis who divorce these days so what does that mean?
severe social pressures keep chasidim married so im not sure that saying their arranged marriages are better means much either.
the only thing that i will concede to is that the attitude of a society about divorce has more to do will the high rate of divorce than anything else.