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Rabbi Lau to Singles: Tent sitting won't get you married

Matchmaking organization director at conference: Facebook bad for dating.
By David ben Aryeh
First Publish: 7/28/2011, 3:52 PM / Last Update: 7/28/2011, 7:54 PM

Rabbi Yisrael Lau
Rabbi Yisrael Lau
Israel news photo

The ‘Yashfe’ National Religious Shidduch (matchmaking)  organization is holding a  volunteer convention in Jerusalem. Arutz Sheva was there and brings you the details of this much-needed work.

The keynote speaker was MK Ori Orbach (The Jewish Home). He has initiated and supported the addressing of the ‘singles’ phenomena, as the growing problem of unmarried individuals in national religious and hareidi-religious circles is known.

“In this period, the concepts of family and a Jewish home have come under severe scrutiny,” says Orbach. "Marriage is disrespected. People get married in the paper, and divorced on TV. Religious ritual marriage is criticized in the media. One shining precious stone in the breastplate of the high priest, the Yashfe, glistens brightly in this bleak reality. It gave the organization its name. Yashfe matchmakers aren’t annoying nagging aunts – they are friendly partners to our children."

“Addressing this important issue of matchmaking is a new political statement. Politics should be about bringing people hope and happiness. Before regional peace and solving the Iranian nuclear problem, we must provide means to manage the close-to-home issue of the singles.”

Chaim Falk, Founder and Chairman of Yashfe spoke next.”We have some 4,000 unsatisfied customers,” he joked. “We were amazed to see so many new matchmaker volunteers. Our request for them apparently touched a nerve.  Over 1,500 people have answered our call and joined the revolution.”

Falk expressed himself in prayer, wishing the matchmakers patience even when the date doesn't work out, or when the pair calls to report on the date while the matchmaker is busy. "This task you have chosen is a labor of love, as you strive to build Jewish homes and families."

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, spoke empathically. ”As a Tel Aviv resident, I can tell you that the problem of the unmarried singles is widening – and sitting in a protest tent camp won’t solve it.”

Addressing a hall filled with matchmakers, Rabbi Lau said, “You are all so devoted, my encouragement seems unnecessary. I want to give you strength to go on. Your path is not an easy one. There are pitfalls and setbacks. You want to influence and build lasting homes with strong foundations, not temporary fragile unwanted episodes. Go with your might, and bring salvation to Israel.”

Yashfe director Shirat Malach was full of emotion. “My heart swells to see all of you wonderful people here today."

“In recent days I have found a way to recharge myself in the wee hours of the night. I review some of  the 400 volunteer matchmaker applications.  We have a teacher, a social worker, a media personality, a doctor… Such an experience! We are seeing our volunteer initiative come to life. We are one elite team, on a great mission."

Malach related to the Facebook trend. “We never used to show potential date photos, but in the last two years 99 percent of our applicants are happy to present their photos before a date. Unfortunately, this causes many matches to fail before they start.”