The recent discussion about the need to solve the problem of
the expense of marrying off children brought a wave of
responses. What was truly remarkable, however, was the
nationwide organizing of avreichim and communal
activists to seriously and practically address this need.
There is a group of Yerushalmi activists and educators whose
goal is to find a way to ease the pressure on parents. They
suggested ideas and formulated a plan, but although they feel
that everyone wants a solution, it is difficult to be
After many consultations and deliberations, a logical,
practical plan was prepared to set up every couple in its own
apartment with a reasonable effort by the parents and no
burden on the young couple.
The organizers established "The Committee to Marry off
Children Joyfully and Honorably" under the auspices of HaRav
Ezriel Auerbach and HaRav Yehuda Silman.
But before the practical work begins, the committee members
expressed a need to receive the declared trust of the bnei
Torah public. Is the public at all interested in
takonos? Maybe it prefers the existing situation.
Perhaps there are people in the community who have enough
money to buy apartments for all of their children. It is true
that many people request takonos, but maybe they are
in the minority?
Another reason to turn to the community is the effectiveness
of the takonos. The hope is to make takonos
that would obligate the general public and be enforced by the
roshei yeshiva and seminary principals. The only way
to do this in our society is to have tens of thousands of
signatures of avreichim and their families that would
make clear to themselves and others that they are willing to
accept the takonos of gedolei hador to solve
the problem of marrying off their children.
The signing began last Wednesday, mainly in kollelim
in Yerushalayim and Bnei Brak, and there are already about
1800 signatures. This is without any advertising, just word
of mouth. By the time this article is published, the petition
will have reached the seminaries and yeshivos, and the number
will have grown and possibly doubled.
Below is a translation of the letter that will soon be
distributed in chareidi neighborhoods throughout the country.
Readers who care can cut out the letter, get as many
signatures as possible, and send it to P. O. Box 57666,
Jerusalem, or fax it to 03-579-0065 in Bnei Brak or 02-653-
7372 in Yerushalayim.
This is the letter:
The Committee for Marrying off Children Joyfully and
Under the auspices of the rabbonim geonim shlita
HaRav Ezriel Auerbach, HaRav Yehuda Silman
P. O. Box 57666 Yerushalayim
Bs'd Teves 5760
"A time to do for Hashem"
With the kindness of Hashem yisborach, we have merited
"ki hirchiv Hashem lonu uporinu bo'oretz, that Hashem
has expanded us and we were fruitful in the land."
The chareidi community that fears Hashem grew and developed,
and our families are large and blessed with children kein
yirbu. When the children reach marriageable age, a heavy
millstone falls on the parents' neck, when they must marry
off their children properly, and parents who want to bring
their children to the chuppah are buckling under the
financial burden that is too heavy to bear.
Because they generally do not have much money, the parents
are forced to take out loans and financial obligations that
they are unable to pay back, and the expenses are terrible
and who can fathom the consequences. Many could not withstand
the burden and broke physically and emotionally; there were
even horrible cases where people collapsed under the burden
and their life was cut off Rachmono litzlan. The
public is crying out: How long will this go on?
A few communal activists therefore gathered together, and we
accepted upon ourselves to save the soul of yirei Hashem
vechoshvei shemo and to return the simcha and
honor to Yiddishe homes. Then be'ezras Hashem, soon
the sound of the chosson and kalla will truly
be heard together with rejoicing and happiness.
We ask thousands and tens of thousands of bnei Yisroel
to trust and depend on us to act in the public's name and
enact this great tikkun.
"We, the undersigned, accept upon ourselves all that the
chachmei hador shlita instruct us in enacting
resolutions for the purpose of marrying off our children
besiyato deShmaya, besho'oh tova umutzlachas."