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Mix & Match

Riki Goldstein

As the litvish world brainstorms solutions for its “older single” daughters, the chassidish sector grapples with an inverse shidduch crisis – alte bochurim who haven’t yet found their bashert. But passionate shadchanim, open-minded singles, and happy “mixed” couples say chassidish-litvish matches could tie the knot on these loose ends.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

She was 28. Single. The world of shidduchim offered its typical roller coaster ride: highs of potential promise followed by crashing letdowns and intense disappointment. And sometimes, for months at a time, it offered nothing. “I come from a real litvish home. My father is a Litvak through and through,” Mindy says. “After a few years of teaching, a job came up in a chassidish school, so I was able to pick up Yiddish, and I also got to observe chassidim up close. I found that they were regular, normal people.” A co-teacher at Mindy’s school knew of an “older chassidish bochur,” a plumber by trade, who rented on her block. One Friday afternoon, faced with a plumbing emergency, this woman called him over. Impressed by his efficiency and super-helpful demeanor, she wondered if perhaps he’d be a suitable shidduch for her personable, refined workmate, Mindy. “Would you marry a shtreimel?” she asked Mindy, who had been in shidduchim for close to a decade. “A shtreimel?” Mindy responded. “I’m not marrying a hat — I’m marrying a person. What’s he like?” After thorough inquiries, the couple met — and married. Although some people might shrug and say, “What’s the big deal — they’re both frum, aren’t they?” Mindy says she would never have entertained the shidduch if not for her positive experiences working in the chassidish sector. She describes her husband Sender as “chassidish, but not ultra-chassidish.” Sender, who was a chassidish working boy in his late 20s, didn’t want to hear about this suggestion at first. “I thought it couldn’t work with such different backgrounds. But when the shadchan described how Mindy said she wanted to marry a person, not his levush, I was impressed. It gave me the push to meet her.”

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