This is the first in a series. Also see Part II: Meeting the One, Part III: Genetic Testing, Part IV: Dating Venues, Part V: Shidduch Crisis?, VI: Internet Dating, VII: Paying the Shadchan, or Not, VIII: Wedding Costs, IX: Planning Tips
My oldest son is nearly twenty. I’m not encouraging him to get married, but it’s not completely in my hands either. Friends have told me that when it happens, it can happen quickly.
To help prepare readers whose children are entering the world of shidduchim (matchmaking), I’ve prepared a series of posts to discuss current norms and trends. The series will focus on the dati-leumi (religious Zionist, or modern Orthodox) community in Israel. Even with that limitation, there are many subgroups and I’m sure replies will vary widely.
Each post will contain one or two questions about dating, engagements, weddings, and the period after the wedding. They relate to economic, emotional, societal, and relationship issues.
Marriage in the Religious-Zionist Community
Part I: Dating Readiness
Israeli young adults in the dati-leumi world have several issues specific to them:
- Premarital relations are forbidden by Jewish law.
- Birth control is discouraged, especially before there are children.
- Yeshiva, national service for women, and army service for men mean that higher secular education and, by extension, ability to earn a living, may be delayed by several years.
- No formal system exists to help young people find partners, as there is in the haredi world.
Here is the first question:
How old was your child (or you) when he or she became interested in dating for marriage (or friendship)? Did you and your child (or parents) have conflict over this issue, and how was it resolved?
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