Tuesday, 15 Kislev, 5781
  |  December 1, 2020


Something You Don’t See in a Headshot

From the COLlive inbox: "While dating the bochur who became my husband, I discovered we both made an 'old school' decision. What is most surprising, is that it wasn't solely from a chassidish standpoint." Full Story

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October 19, 2020 11:59 pm

Of course you are correct. I am happy that this mindset has persisted into the next generation.

October 19, 2020 11:59 pm

There’s a famous Gemara that basically says that each person used to vouch for their qualities; beautiful girls would say to look for beauty, girls with yichus would say to look for yichus, etc

As someone currently involved in shiduchim, from a simple family with no lubavitch yichus, photos are actually really help me get dates. I don’t mean to sounds pretentious, I’m illustrating a point in how photos in a certain sense can actually level the playing field and make things more fair, if you’re lacking in other areas. It is what it is.

You are not lacking
Reply to  Eh
October 20, 2020 1:17 am

Those people are just losers if they say no based on some of the things you said!

Reply to  Eh
October 22, 2020 2:24 pm

Just a friendly reminder that you are not looking for dates, but for a wife…

It is so damaging
October 20, 2020 12:24 am

So many people would be married now if it wasn’t for the need to see a picture.
Don’t look at a picture go out and see the person.Pictures mean nothing. My daughter has never been photogenic but is a good looking well dressed Tznius girl.She would be married now if not for the pictures.

Reply to  It is so damaging
October 20, 2020 7:29 am

A little faith! G-d can figure out how match up the right people even in the age of photo requests.

professional photos
Reply to  It is so damaging
October 21, 2020 12:17 am

Professional photos are worth their money. Not getting into the arguments for or against, but if someone isn’t photogenic and the mother thinks the girl is not getting dates bc of that, a professional photo can provide a much better photo.

Blah blah blah
October 20, 2020 1:16 am

It’s 2021 we live in a modern world with access too to much. Everyone wants a pic.

Reply to  Blah blah blah
October 20, 2020 10:01 am

Well not this couple, right?

The world is bigger than your perspective.

Even we backward pre-moderns saw one another while dating, right.

Reply to  Blah blah blah
October 20, 2020 10:25 am

Its literally not 2021?? It is actually 2020. #factcheck

I Know Why
Reply to  UMMM
October 20, 2020 11:28 am

It’s because the Jewish year date is 5751, so since the two calendars are usually sharing the same last digit for most of the year, people who primarily use the Hebrew calendar can get confused.

I agree
October 20, 2020 1:31 am

When my daughters were in shiduchim, I resisted giving a picture to the shadchan. I even had a shadchan not suggest anyone until I give her a picture! I held fast, but it was a while ago.
When it came to my sons (who are all younger than my daughters) the shadchanim offered pictures, or even sent them with the resume. I always ignored them and printed out the resume without the picture, even when I had to reformat the resume to do so.
Pictures don’t show someone’s personality. A meeting does.

The old days
October 20, 2020 2:01 am

Let’s not forget that it was more usual than not that the boy’s mother or close family member actually would make an effort to see (and meet) the girl before they went out. By other chassidim there is frequently a ‘bishow’ to check out the girl.
My husband and I never exchanged photos as it was way before the internet and things weren’t done that way. The shadchan was expected to help with that assessment.
Once we had the internet, almost everyone could find pictures if they wanted to.

This article is so true
October 20, 2020 4:52 am

Years ago you just met by suggestion. No resume and no pics. So much better. If we didnt have resumes and pics so many more people would be married. Resumes and pics puts the wrong emphasis in a shidduch. The way shidduchim were done for so many years before was so much more chassidishe

Very nice, but not reality
October 20, 2020 5:37 am

In a perfect world, this advice makes sense. However, we don’t live in a perfect world. Many people place a high value on external looks, and they have every right to do so. For someone who places a high value on looks, setting them up WITHOUT a picture is doing a major disservice to both parties. The man or woman (not the “boy” or “girl” as these articles like to use, as if we are marrying off children) will likely reject the other party in such a scenario, resulting in a world of hurt. If your daughter is having trouble… Read more »

I agree
Reply to  Very nice, but not reality
October 20, 2020 12:48 pm

Though technically we are marrying off girls and boys.
I think especially when the whole shidduch process takes so long for two people to meet (resumes, background checks, etc..) a picture is a great way to speed things up.

Reply to  Very nice, but not reality
October 20, 2020 7:27 pm

Too bad that you put such a high value on looks. Sad for you.

Mendel D.
October 20, 2020 8:10 am

Nice article! Here’s what came up for me when I read it: is it possible that pictures weren’t needed as much because the person setting up the couple knew both parties and made a judgement as to whether they were compatible in looks? As opposed to nowadays where many shadchanim haven’t met the guy or girl? Maybe this would explain the over-reliance on pictures and resumes, because many shadchanim only know singles through their resumes and pictures, so they can’t make a suggestion without using and sharing those tools? Hope that made sense, and I’d love to hear other people’s… Read more »

Maybe the shadchan should meet the parties
Reply to  Mendel D.
October 20, 2020 9:45 am

If the shadchan met the parties the shadchan would have a much clearer view of the parties inner quality instead of just going on externals. Meeting in person can never compare to just looking at a pic and a resume. You really dont know someone without having met them in person. I know this as i remember talking for weeks with a shidduch by phone but it was a whole different story meeting in person. My views changed completely. So much is hidden both good and bad by not meeting in person. At least the shadchan should meet by video… Read more »

This is a new one!
Reply to  Mendel D.
October 20, 2020 10:21 am

“Compatible in looks”???
What the heck does that mean????

It is Not
Reply to  This is a new one!
October 20, 2020 10:47 am

It has always been something obvious to me. People are more attracted to people of similar body structure and looks. A girl who knows she is very good looking (and yes, you have to admit there is such a thing), will feel reluctant dating a guy who is perceived as “not good looking.” A guy who is very lean will usually be less attracted to someone who is large. These are facts, and people must accept rather than denying.

Mendel D.
Reply to  This is a new one!
October 20, 2020 10:58 am

Hey, maybe that wasn’t the best choice of words. Here’s what I think I was trying to say. From my small experience in this world, it seems like we generally try to match up people that are similar to some extent. So for example, if you know a girl who is an intellectual and loves reading in a broad range of disciplines, I think it’s fair to say that most people would not think to set her up with a guy who hasn’t read a book in 10 years. Or if you know a guy who is 400 pounds, the… Read more »

A lot of things were done differently
October 20, 2020 8:56 am

A lot of things were done differently, at different times, and yet we strive to find balance in “living with the times”. I loved the first comment’s conclusion: “it is, what it is”. TrueDat. ph

Absolutely Agree
October 20, 2020 9:00 am

I absolutely agree with the author.

Never reject/judge from a photo OR RESUME.

I respectfully disagree
October 20, 2020 9:41 am

While the author and her husband may be very איידל, most people (that I know) who call themselves chasidim of the rebbe have not (yet) reached that level of refinement and if they know in their heart of hearts that they will not settle for a girl who he does not find physically attractive, then why waste his and her time/energy/emotional well-being and go out with a person who you’d likely never marry?

Not something to aspire to!
Reply to  I respectfully disagree
October 20, 2020 11:07 am

not actually chassidishkeit – A man 100 % should be attracted to his wife. Don’t aspire to be someone who can settle for less.
It is not the yiddishe way, and being smarter in this area is unfair to both you and your wife, and is not a type of Chassidishkeit the Rebbe would be proud of.

Last edited 1 month ago by Not something to aspire to!
Mistaken Identity
Reply to  I respectfully disagree
October 20, 2020 7:33 pm

No one said you should marry a person not attractive, but people are judging without meeting. It’s a real sign of coarse culture having infiltrated peoples identities.

The Yetzer hara wears a mask, while the Shpy has 20-20 vision. Every time you insist on a picture, you promote more singlehood in our community.

No need to “settle”
Reply to  I respectfully disagree
October 20, 2020 7:54 pm

The Torah says that a *husband* must find his *wife* attractive. That’s why a couple must meet before getting married. Nowhere does it say that a Bochur must find a girl he goes out with attractive! The purpose of dating is to analyze the *complete* person’s compatibility; to base one’s decision to meet on physical appearance alone is objectification and has no place in Yiddishkeit. My son has a very slight build and so didn’t want to marry a heavy girl. He didn’t need to see, and actually refused to see, any pictures, so I asked for a physical description… Read more »

October 20, 2020 9:51 am

And very true.
I think I was born in the wrong generation…. sigh.

It's not about the picture. It's about the values
October 20, 2020 10:00 am

As a parent in shidduchim, I have mixed feelings about pictures. I look at the picture to see the details that speak more than the actual picture.
I know that many people are not photogenic, but I get information about choice of picture, the style of clothing etc.

I don’t show the picture to my child until I made my decision.

An article for itself....
Reply to  It's not about the picture. It's about the values
October 20, 2020 11:03 am

YOU Should not be deciding who your child goes out with….

Until YOU make the decision?!
Reply to  It's not about the picture. It's about the values
October 20, 2020 11:25 am

This is the exact problem and the reason for the shidduch crisis. I have so many friends whose parents say no to people they themselves would say yes to (nothing to do with looks). Parents, wake up and grow up, your kids are not looking for what YOU are looking for. Sheesh. For this reason many people have just started taking things into their own hands and not involving their parents.

Only Half the Story: Someone Who Tried Both
October 20, 2020 10:40 am

Let me share my story and shed some light on this hotly debated topic. When I started to date I didn’t ask for a picture. I thought it was “Chassidish,” I thought it was “Aidel.” However, I wasn’t being true to myself, I know I wanted a beautiful girl in the physical sense, and not looking at pictures only caused me undue agmas nefesh for the girl and me, wasting hundreds of dollars. Even when I started asking for pictures, I was very forgiving and and went out anyways even if the picture wasn’t to my liking. Let me tell… Read more »

Your marriage is based on physical beauty??
Reply to  Only Half the Story: Someone Who Tried Both
October 20, 2020 7:26 pm

I hope you learn to love your wife for her Neshama and Middos, in the sense of אהבה שאינה תלויה בדבר, because in 20-30 years she isn’t likely to look as beautiful externally!!

I wonder who will leave who first
Reply to  Only Half the Story: Someone Who Tried Both
October 20, 2020 8:06 pm

since your interest in marriage is entirely dependent on something, in this case Physical beauty, can only assume that your spouse has the same values. 10 years max till one of you trade in the other. You should be disgusted with yourself. I am.

Oh cmon
Reply to  I wonder who will leave who first
October 20, 2020 10:55 pm

Don’t you think that’s a bit harsh? We’re human beings and we are attracted to certain people-fact. Kudos to this man for admitting what many people are afraid to say

LA Morah
October 20, 2020 10:46 am

The entire concept of these photos is disgusting.

True but disagree
October 20, 2020 11:47 am

It is true that we would be better off without pictures, and if someone chooses not to look at a picture, Kol hakavod! But most people are not at that level and it’s 2020. So if we send profiles without pictures and someone wants to see a picture, they will easily find a way to get a picture on their own. You may as well send a nice picture.

Rise to the Occasion
Reply to  True but disagree
October 20, 2020 8:08 pm

You call yourselves “Chassidim”.
Act like it!

October 20, 2020 12:05 pm

As if a few years ago you people weren’t into looks…
Get off your high horse of how righteous everyone used to be.
We’re just saving time these days instead of going out and getting hurt.
G-d has a plan for everyone

Straight facts
October 20, 2020 1:04 pm

Straight facts

It's all personal preference
October 20, 2020 1:52 pm

I’m a 24 year old bochur, and I don’t ask for pictures, (some resumes come with it and so I have seen some in advance obviously) nor do I send one in. I also don’t have an “about me” paragraph on a resume. It’s an old school attitude of allowing things to happen organically. I’ve seen pictures of girls and they show up looking completely different than their headshot because they’re not photogenic etc. And if I had based my desire to meet her on her picture, (which let’s be honest, happens) I would have been greatly disappointed. But I… Read more »

October 20, 2020 2:29 pm

You have to find common ground and values but you have to find some physical attraction (not necessary beauty), but you don’t want to have negative feelings every time you are with person you are dating. True it’s not only looks. But Hashem created us as human beings. Though often times personality doesn’t come across in the pictures. That’s why you have to do inquiries – most important. And if it’s Bashert it’ll happen anyway

Talking Profile
October 20, 2020 3:43 pm

Toby Lieder’s idea

I totally disagree
October 20, 2020 9:59 pm

For sure the ultimate situation is to choose a partner by looking on his/her inside rather than just the outside, but the outside is still there and still very important. I can’t find anything wrong with asking and getting a picture / s before starting dating. We all know that a very big part of those dates that are not ending up with marriage are because of the outside look, and even though the bochur and girl have dated a few dates and find out that the other side is more than his/her outside look and appearance but it still… Read more »

Toby Lieder, Veteran Shadchan responds:
October 21, 2020 3:51 am

I am a shadchan and Dating Coach and my humble opinion about this whole picture/profile sharing is that ideally, we must all band together and decide together as a whole, to go back to the ‘old traditional ways’ of taking the Shadchan’s recommended suggestion only of-course if it matches up our requirements/values. We should make a new stand and say NO THANK YOU when offered a profile or photo. We should say INSTEAD, “Tell me more about him/her, and whom can i call as references.” WHEN SPEAKING TO THE SHADCHAN, MAKE SURE THEY HAVE MET THE SINGLE THEY ARE RECOMMENDING.… Read more »

Better than a photo...
October 22, 2020 12:58 pm

I have often wished we could meet or at least see the young man or woman we are considering for our children, as parents do in other communities. The shadchanim can “talk” a shidduch, but they rarely come up with a viable idea on their own. When I met the bochur my daughter was dating, by pure hashgacha pratis, at a simcha, I knew he was the one, because I knew he had what my daughter was looking for.
All those photos don’t do the trick.