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  • The Archer

Huff and Puff and Blow Your House Down

We have a new crisis.

I know. That means the Jewish community is now back to 0 days without a crisis.

This new crisis is The Solution to the Shidduch Crisis Crisis or TSSCC for short.

We've been enjoying the Shidduch crisis for decades. Bored at a Shabbos table? Discuss the Shidduch crisis. Want a definitive answer for why Moshiach isn't here that doesn't make you culpable in the slightest? Shidduch crisis. Crying on Rosh Hashana? Nebbuch, this Shidduch crisis is bad!

And for every crisis there is a solution. Or 400,000 of them.

Each solution starts as a well meaning idea from a well meaning person who knows that every solitary thought that crosses their mind was put there by G-D and therefore needs to be expanded upon. Frum Judaism has a vetting process that means that only 98% of these ideas make it into fruition, fruition meaning a badly formatted email or Whatsapp status.

(Side thought. I just realized there's a bell curve graph for how Yeshivish you are based on Whatsapp statuses. On the left side are the totally non Yeshivish with zero Whatsapp statuses and on the right are the people who don't have smartphones. Wow. That blew my graph mind.)

Some of these ideas have included educating the girls more, educating the girls less, teaching the boys some manners (This is a joke! No one came up with that as an idea!) getting boys to marry older girls, getting boys to start dating at 17, running into a field with borrowed dresses and waiting for someone to take you (This works well in Brooklyn where the only field is a baseball diamond for optimal privacy), making sure no one has access to the internet and therefore no access to movies and porn, sponsoring Kollels, removing support from Kollels, and talking because if there is one thing that never works but the Jewish people will keep trying, it's talking.

Last week I stumbled upon a new solution and knew that it needed to be skewered like a Passover lamb.

A house has been purchased in the middle of Crown Heights for the sole purpose of Shidduchim.

A quick Zillow search shows that a comparable house is selling for $1,200,000 which for New York real estate is not nearly as bad as I'd thought it would be. Only living in New York can make you think 1.2 million is cheap.

But, cheap or not, around a million dollars has been spent on giving the Shidduch Crisis a home. I didn't know that the crisis itself was homeless. Perhaps had I given it a dollar after it juggled on the subway, I would now be married. But it is too late for that because now it has a house.

And why does a crisis need a house? That's a separate crisis for homeless crisis.

In all seriousness the article I am referencing (which you can access here) discusses the need for"a space for Shadchanim to do their holy work in a relaxed atmosphere conducive to getting the job done."

To me, this sounds like a project management problem, not a space problem.

As far as I know, making matches doesn't take up that much space. It can be done with a binder or laptop or even a phone. Unless the Shadchans are all using the dartboard system which is much more complicated and explains why I keep getting set up with exactly who I told them not to set me up.

However, I am looking at the pictures of this house and there are ZERO dart boards so that idea is out.

Another topic approached in the article is that Shadchanim need a quiet space, free from distractions to make Shidduchim. Now, while I understand that working from home is difficult for all of us I hesitate to throw on my veil for the Shadchans who are now, finally, able to look at my profile without kids in the house. I think it's an expensive and flashy solution that doesn't solve any of the actual problems, other than the problem of Shadchans not having nice dining rooms.

(BTW I will give you money to redo your dining room if you do something nice for me, like, I don't know, find my husband.)

So this adds to the crisis. Not the shidduch crisis, the TSSCC. Now, in addition to the campaigns and GoFundMe's and websites sprouting like grass, we also need to fund dedicated Shadchan spaces for the holy work to happen.

It's a shame we don't already have holy space in our community where we might gather, pray, have joyous events, maybe pre-schools could be there, there could be offices, it could be quiet during most of the weekdays and I JUST INVENTED A SHUL.

Look, if this house allows the Shadchans to make matches and get people married, great. I'm skeptical but hopeful for everyone in my boat. I just don't want to have to buy you a house in order for you to make my match. I need to save for my own house and I only have one income.

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