Your editorial “Recalculating the Road to Shidduchim” raised some very important points.
The husband who wrote that his wife is terribly embarrassed in front of her friends and family because he left kollel earlier than the husbands of his wife’s friends represents many others in the same or similar predicament.
Even if one would assume that long-term kollel life is the ideal solution for all of American Jewry, it is vital that this idealism be tempered with realism. Some seminary students will marry long-term kollel learners, but many will marry young men who will study for a limited amount of time in kollel, and some will marry wonderful young men who are working.
As the letter-writer mentioned, what is particularly painful to observe is the plight of the older bachurim. While it is perfectly acceptable for a 26-year-old yungerman to go out to work after spending five years in kollel, in “yeshivishe” circles, a 26-year-old bachur will often find his shidduch prospects severely affected if he would go out to work, even though he has spent the same amount of time learning.
It is vital that our daughters are educated with the understanding that every Yid has his own particular mission, and every one of them can come close to Hashem by doing his best within his specific circumstances.