After being on the shidduch market a bit as a working boy, it is obvious to me that there are many more working boys than there are girls who want working boys. My question is: what is happening to these boys? What hope is there for them?
I’ve noticed that the girls who are interested in working boys have more options than they know what to do with. Is there anything we should do to shift this mindset? After all, it isn’t surprising that not all boys are capable of learning 8+ hours a day.
What can boys like me do to increase their market value when the vast majority of girls and parents give them a “no” off the bat?
On the one hand, it is theoretically possible that our educational system and overall cultural messaging has somehow produced a reality in which there is a notably larger number of young women seeking a husband who will learn full-time post-marriage, than there are young men who desire or aspire to do so.
And on the other hand, it is also quite possible that many wonderful b’nos Yisroel, along with their parents, are caving to the constrains of communal conventions, and are merely recapitulating the canned standards and principles which they have been instructed to have – time and time again, and throughout the course of many a decade – despite their having little to no authentic and inner inculcation of those values and ideologies. If one has been led to believe that anything less than “X” constitutes a failure of one’s very existence as a Yid, it is not terribly hard imagine that many of us are chasing dogmas we do not earnestly hold, out of fear of being branded a disappointment to our families and/or the public at large.
As far as what can or should be done, I would simply like share the following collection of thoughts from Rav B.C. Shloime Twerski ztz’l, the Hornesteipler Rebbe of Denver, and leave it for the readers to decide how best to proceed. These ideas were voiced approximately a half-century ago, and sadly, I sincerely feel that their relevance has not diminished one iota.
1. One of the reasons so many people lack contentment and joy in their lives is a result of not living in harmony with their true essence, but rather, in accordance with the expectations of others. That is to say, they measure themselves not against who they honestly and fundamentally are, but against that which others have established as “good” or “bad,” be it their parents, their teachers, or their coterie.
2. A person can find and attain prominence in anything they do, even when one’s activities are rooted in the material and corporeal. And it really is not such a difficult task to achieve. It is only because society has deemed certain endeavors as lowly and unbecoming that it therefore has become an inordinate challenge for a person to accept and internalize that there is genuine greatness and magnificent meaning to be discovered in that which they must do.
3. The ability to identify, sense, and connect with ruchniyus in one’s life is not dependent on what a person is doing. It is dependent on how a person perceives that which they are doing, and their ability to recognize the immense significance inherent to it.
May the Melech Gadol Umehulal Batishbachos help each and every one of us to fully and wholly comprehend, acknowledge, and appreciate the unique, incomparable, and vital contributions we are all destined to make on behalf of Am Yisroel, and in order to actualize and fulfill the ratzonhaBorei b’olamo.