Monday, December 17, 2007

Turbo Lover (Twin Turbos)

Chananya Weissmann, who is greatly honored to hold the first reference in my links section, had an interesting article out a few months ago. The good ol’ schidduch crisis, again. Weissman, however, deviated this time from his usual approach of attacking the rigid social idiosyncrasies. Instead, he jumped on the masses’ bandwagon, blaming everything on the charedim in covert words. He generally addresses the subject as a whole, and when focusing on a specific community, it’s more the MO crowd. Yet this time he imports the Charedi meshigassen and blames the MO‘s problems on Charedim.

Guys and girls aren’t allowed to mix freely, a year in an Israeli Yeshiva turns the immaculate virginity of unsuspecting YU kids into rabid Yeshivish hard-liners, and Frisch grads simply cannot resist the temptation of deserting to the deepest darkest dungeons of Neturei Karta, right? I wonder whether Belz and Vizhnitz were successful in smuggling into the Young Israel crowd their demand for a spotless pedigree as a prerequisite to any prospective match?

In my opinion Weissmann totally misses the point. There is, of course, a common denominator in the schidduch crises on both sides of the aisle. But that is, so far, out dirty little secret. So let’s first give everyone a round of good bashing. The Charedi meshigassen are pretty easy for all to see: Hassidim want a fat schwer with lots of gelt, life support, a house, (“viz finish basmint tzi rent out for other chussid who vant hous viz finish basmint”) a Lexis, a Seberben and a beezniss. Of course, a “yichuss” to Rashi, Rabbi Yochanan HaSandlar and Dovid Hamelech goes without saying. Unfortunately, even in this wonderful America, the American dream isn’t yet a granted reality. All the more so the perfect schidduch – not so American, but much closer to a dream. Not everyone can be a millionaire, and even corrupt politicians haven’t yet figured out a way to hand out kallahs in a welfare program.

In the nasty world of kalter Litvaks, the situation is far more sophisticated: the girl (and the boy) must have clearly defined hashkafas, and must not veer astray - even a mashehu. Hashkoffeh, oy, die heilige Hashkoffeh! You see, litvaks aren’t just unwashed bums like those Chassidishe brutes. Each word, term, expression and name has a proper feel and touch to it, that little indescribable tone and facial countenance. “Lomdes”… “Chazon Ish”… “Teireh”… “Moron”… “Hasmodeh”… “Mesirus Nefesh”… woe onto the prospective chosson or kallah who roll their eyes the wrong way while these saintly words escape their lips! The chosson must, of course, unconditionally surrender to 24.3 hours of uninterrupted Torah toiling – the five cell-phones being only a necessary evil accessory to strengthen the bond with his rebbetzin. Of course, the kallah must be prepared for total devotion and absolute, selfless mesirus nefesh to Torah and a life of utter simplicity, even poverty – provided her father (preferably a Rosh Yeshiva – but if all he has is gelt, nu, we aren’t over-demanding) arranges for a fully paid apartment, furniture (used in top condition is OK – we Litvaks aren’t dirty materialists like you Hassidim or MO), maid and new Borsalino hat quarterly.
You can understand that for such a match made in heaven one must go through hell.

But the MO, oh, the true pioneers of derech haemtzais, pluralism, moderation, open-mindedness and academic freedom, nu, let’s give them a standing ovation. After all, how can one criticize these angels of absolute relativism, who freely mingle the sexes without the slightest shade of a doubt of improper behavior? Could anyone suspect the muses of moderation of dissociating themselves from a lower tier? Is it possible to even surmise the sublime disciples of Heidegger are capable of succumbing to material temptation? Could the exalted emulators of The Rav’s ways be suspected of vanity and looking down on people without PhD’s? See, coarse people like yourself, read a greasy blog by someone who actually touches a potato with his bare hands, performs an oil change on his non-late model gas-guzzler, and even –Darwin yishmerainu- drinks beer and smokes cigarettes! You guys can’t even begin to fathom the sophistication that goes into the shidduch decisions of an elated YU alumni. You have to understand that people who insist on their prospective life partner having a degree, a well-paying job, being able to converse about Hegelian nons… ooopppsssssss, um, genius, have a certain finesse that we “blackneck” Litvacks simply lack. Us, blues-listening, white-knuckled proletariat would never understand that a wife washes the dishes, laundry and children not because she happens to be a woman, -that’s horribly degrading- but for the mere fact that his Honor Mr. Chemical Engineer, Esq., PhD., EtC., who learns two shiurim and attends night collel simply doesn’t have the time to do these chores.

Schidduch crisis? Not in the least, no siree. The problem, essentially, is the same in all sectors; only the symptoms are slightly different. Scientific studies about the male to female ratio and the influence of a yeshiva year on one’s personality are good conversation for saleshidess, but in the real world are as irrelevant as Heidegger’s hogwash. Sinas chinom and “I” are the problem. The power that creates idiotic societal norms is called Sinas chinom. Then, it galvanizes segregated communities based on those meshigassen, to separate us from the other Yid. “I”, the ego, freezes our brains in such conceit that we can’t lower our honorable Self to accept second-class merchandise, lest we too be labeled second-grade.

Schidduch crisis? How about our complete egomania, our total infatuation with oilom hazeh, our reluctance to admit it and renounce it? Couple it with absolute laziness – we want to be the Gaon MiVilna overnight – and even on that night get a good sleep! – and there’s your perfect recipe for absolute disaster. So no, I don’t think there’s any schidduch crisis at all. There’s a “me” crisis raging.
Come to think about it – how good can a marriage of such people be? Mmmmmm, more schidduch crisis please!

© Joseph Izrael 2007

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