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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Tue, 26 Nov 1996 22:57:49 -0500 Subject: Shidduchim : An Actuarial Approach Anonymous recently decried the practices of Shadcannim in lying about their clients background (Vol 25 # 23). Just to support the protest against these practices I note that Maimonidees (Laws of Sales) prohibits EVEN e.g. selling a shoe made with non Kosher leather to a non jew who requested a Kosher leather shoe. The consequent comments to be made about fraudulent Shadcahnnim are obvious. While I applaud the protest against scrupulous practices I would like to suggest some simple ideas which might help the "social problem" in the Jewish Community. First recall how say Rabbi Akiba and Rachal met: He worked for her father's "ranch". He was always around at the house, they would speak frequently about everything and one thing led to another. The point here is that they were in an environment where they could naturally interact (vs an artificial dating situation where both parties are "confronted"). The idea of creating natural environments where Jewish singles can meet with dignity has been the focus of several people: (e.g. Rebbitzen Jungreis, AMIT women and others have sought to create such environments). My concern here is statistical: I know of no study that simply presents data on couples who have actually married. Here are some sample questions and alternatives that I would like to see analyzed. Such data could productively lead to environments where couples naturally end up married). Some sample questions might be: 1) STATUS: How long have you been married 2) MEETING: You first remember meeting each other thru 2a) An event 2b) Someones suggestion 2c) You grew up/went to school/were in this group together 3) ENGAGEMENT: You seriously saw each other socially for how long before becoming formally engaged 4) TOGETHER ACTIVITIES: While you were seeing each other you principally did the following: 5)ADVISE: Before becoming engaged you discussed/sought advise/were given advise/ from the following 6a) MOST/LEAST:The following environmental factors (e.g. meeting places, friends,..) were most helpful in your relationship 6b) MOST/LEAST: The following were least helpful There is a subtle point to this inquiry: We are so use to hearing how a couple SHOULD meet based on considerations of modesty and the nobility of overlooking faults that we have ignored the question of how they DO meet. Perhaps someone out there knows of a study on this matter. If not perhaps someone will make such a study. I think a knowledge of actual practices will help create similar practices and possibly stabilize the very unfortunate social dilemma we have Russell Jay Hendel, Ph.D, ASA, rhendel @ mcs drexel edu