Anyone who reads COLlive and frum publications has heard endlessly about the so-called “shidduch crisis” for years on end. The crisis usually centers around girls who cannot find eligible boys, for a whole host of reasons.
I would like to shine a spotlight on a different area of concern: working boys.
I am a bochur who went through the Chabad Yeshiva system and got a job once I graduated. I work full time, and have a full beard, daven with a minyan every day and go to regular shiurim.
In other words, I check off all the boxes – except that I work. And that seems to be a crime these days…
When shadchanim ask what type of person I am looking for, my answer is someone similar to myself: Frum, chassidish values, yet worldly. For some reason though, many of the shidduchim which mostly fit that description, are heavy on the “worldly” part.
Just this last week, I turned down a shidduch because the tznius was lacking. The next morning, I heard a friend say no to a different girl after their first date for the same reason.
In both instances, the shadchan stated that “the girl was comfortable with their tznius.” And if you’re not familiar, that’s code word for: “They know they are lacking, but are OK with that.”
I am constantly told that what I am looking for doesn’t exist; that I should ignore this glaring issue, and instead focus on the girl’s “pnimius.” I wonder if a shadchan has ever told a good chassidishe girl to ignore the fact a boy is clean shaven, and instead “focus on his pnimius.”
What’s funny is, that I imagine that there are girls who fit the description of what I am looking for, and have similar issues. I have been told countless times that as a working boy who is (still?) frum and chassidish, that I am a rare breed.
Except I am not. I know many of us. And we are all being told the same thing. And I’m sure the same thing is happening to girls as well. What we need is for people to stop selling us short. Working isn’t a bad thing. Talk about looking at one’s actual pnimius? Working doesn’t make us any less frum or chassidish. Set us up appropriately!
If I may, I’ll end with a note on tznius:
I know it can be challenging, but it is a challenge that has to be met head on. Men have challenges as well when it comes to clothes and tznius which can be inconvenient and not comfortable.
Yet as chassidim, we fight through. Tznius is something many of us care about very strongly. I want to make sure my children will be raised with a proper role model, and as such, need a wife who will be able to lead by example.
Many bochurim, (and yes, even those of us who work) feel the same. In the merit of tznius, may we all be zoche both to find our zivugim, build true yiddishe chassidishe homes and greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu.
+ A Bochur’s Advice to Girls