Rav Mendel Slomovitz shlit”a, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Chaim on Ridge Avenue, told his bochurim in a recent schmooze that his bochurim can no longer remain in his yeshiva for fourth-year bais medrash.
Citing the shidduch crisis, in which there are more girls than boys on the “market,” Rav Mendel instituted the yeshiva’s new policy beginning this coming Elul zman.
Lakewood Alerts is told that Rav Mendel broke down in tears over the plight of girls in shidduchim when making this announcement this past Friday.
Of note, Rav Mendel and another rosh yeshiva, Rav Mottel Dick, met with Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch in Eretz Yisroel several months ago to discuss various options to resolve the ongoing shidduch crisis. His announcement appears to be a result of that meeting.
Lakewood Alerts has been informed that Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch plans a visit to the United States in honor of this historic development.
“Although arguments have been made for the benefit of fourth year beis medrash for today’s bochurim, effective this Elul zman, all bochurim in yeshivah are on notice that the yeshivah is no longer allowing any bochurim to stay for a fourth year and the yeshivah is shuttering the fourth year option for all bochurim.”
“We say by the Parshah of Eglah Arufa “ידינו לא שפכה את הדם הזה ועינינו לא ראו”,” Rav Mendel was quotes as saying in his shmooze.
“Our hands have not spilled this blood and our eyes did not see.” Being that our yeshivah and it’s esteemed bochurim do not want to have even an indirect role in the shidduchim calamity that is occurring in our circles, it is time to implement policies to stem and turn the tide and have all bochurim begin shidduchim younger — the way it was until just the last 15–20 years.”
“It is well documented that chassidim worldwide and litvish/yeshivish communities in Eretz Yisroel, begin shidduchim younger, yet there is no higher a ratio of divorce rates in those communities. There was also no higher a ratio of divorce rates 15-20 years ago in Lakewood when the current trend and “new” phenomenon to delay the shidduch start date began in many of our yeshivos. When given responsibilities, we must all rise to the challenge!” he added.
“It is my hope that despite the sacrifice we are making of being the first Lakewood yeshivah to formally eliminate fourth year, our yeshivah will be the catalyst for many other yeshivos to follow suit and eliminate the extra year.”