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Will You Marry Us?

Michal Eisikowitz

When someone who looks just like you is also “in the parshah,” how does it feel? What happens to your relationship when she ties the knot? The unique struggles — and giggles — twins face in dating and marriage.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For most frum identical twins, the first bump on the journey to matrimony is deciding who’s going to date first — and if Twin #2 will wait in the wings.

“My husband Yisroel is three minutes younger than his twin, Doni,” shares Yael Malek, a Detroit-based mother of four. “He told Doni, ‘I’ll wait for you… three minutes!’ ”

Many families still take the traditional route, giving the elder twin the green light.

“I was always viewed as the oldest,” says Reena, a take-chargeTorontoteacher born three minutes before her twin. “When we came back from seminary, my European parents were adamant about ‘going in order,’ but I was very uncomfortable. The pressure is awful — it’s like having someone breathing down your back. Did I really want to be the reason my twin was not getting married?”

At Reena’s insistence, the parents and twin daughters met with a rav, who introduced a compromise: Reena would date for one year, at which point her twin Leah would make her debut.

“My parents were satisfied, and Leah was happy. She’d wanted to focus on getting her degree for a bit anyway,” shares Reena, now dating alongside Leah.

For Antwerpian twins Miri and Tzirel, the decision was based on personality — but there’s a good chance their personalities were molded by birth order.

“I’m the older twin and oldest girl in the family, so I was used to doing plenty around the house,” says Miri, now a teacher inBrussels. “I was very mature and ready to move to marriage.”

“I wasn’t at all in the parshah. I wasn’t interested, ready, or looking,” recalls younger twin, Tzirel. 

Brooklynite Sarit (Kaufman) Janklowitz is seven minutes older than her twin Orit, but in their case, age did not factor in.

“We said, ‘We’ll take it as it comes,’” remembers Orit, now an occupational therapist inLakewood. “We knew we’d each get what was meant for us, so there was no feeling of crisis.”

Most shidduchim for the Kaufmans were suggested for “one of the twins,” but surprisingly, Orit says they actually preferred it that way.

“We are very, very similar — same interests, same strengths, same tastes. We have our own identities, but we understood why people were lumping us together. We probably would’ve been insulted if the shadchan chose one of us over the other.”

When a boy was redt to “either twin,” the Kaufmans had the freedom of choosing between themselves who’d be more suitable. Thankfully, the setup was short-term (Orit married the third person she dated), so there was never a situation where both girls wanted to date the same person.


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