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Advice to Lovelorn: Want to Marry? So Say ‘Yes’ and Get Married

Without social pressure, nothing good in the world can happen, says Rabbi Shmuel Yaniv. He recommends more - not less - pressure on young people.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/23/2009, 2:44 PM / Last Update: 11/23/2009, 3:01 PM

The growing crisis among young people who are not married, and suddenly realize they are not so young, can be solved by more social pressure, exactly the opposite of what many youth say, according to Rabbi Shmuel Yaniv.

He recently founded the Taglit organization to help men and women get over what he says is a fear that grows when they remain single.

Rabbi Yaniv rejects claims that social pressure is harmful and makes matters worse for people who want to get married but have not found the "right” match. “They are afraid they will not have enough strength to enter the world of marriage,” he says.

“We encourage good and positive social pressure,” he asserts. "Nothing good in the world comes without social pressure. Without social pressure people would learn less Torah. Without social pressure, people smoke and become addicted until it is too late."

“The problem with this generation is that there is no social pressure. It is a mitzvah but must be done with sensitivity.”

Rabbi Yaniv argues that if  a young man or woman has met 50 or even 30, people and rejected them all, then  they will reject the 51st or 31st. He advises people to seek help to improve their self-image and to aid them to overcome the inability to make a decision.

He also warns against people rushing into a marriage because "their ears are burning red” from emotion. “That is not real love,” he says,

On the other hand, young men and women have to understand that the world is not perfect and that every one lacks something. “The greater the expectations, the greater the disappointment. All of us are flesh and blood,” he notes.

One piece of advice to young people is that they look for direction on which a marriage can be based, noting as an example a couple that recently wed because of their common dedication to the Land of Israel despite other problems and differences.

Postponing marriages for material reasons is a mistake, and it is better to marry when young, he advised. He explained that if people are worried about making a living after leaving the army at age 21-24, then they may remain single for another several years while learning.

“After that, they are less able to make the decision” to say “yes”, according to the rabbi. He concludes, “The greatest kindness in our generation is to help someone find a mate.”