Dear Goldy:

My sister called last night and told me to get my dancing shoes ready because her daughter Raizy became a kallah. I was shocked, surprised, happy…and confused. A few weeks ago, my sister said that Raizy, her eldest, was going to start dating. I laughed and told her she better be ready for the long haul. Three out of my four children are, bli ayin ha’ra, married. I know the ups and downs and craziness that goes on.

Raizy’s engaged? I had so many questions. I asked my sister all the regular questions: Who is he? Where is he from? Where’s he learning? What about his family? And, What’s the rush? Three weeks! I still can’t believe it. This is the first boy my niece dated. And he proposed on their three-week anniversary! And the chasunah is already planned for Lag BaOmer. That is so fast! All of this has happened so fast. Maybe I’m jaded from my own experiences with my children and shidduchim. None married their first or second. When it’s bashert it’s bashert, but I have questions and worries here.

Of course I’m happy for my sister and her family, but I can’t believe this. They went out six times in total and now they’re engaged. And it’s the first shidduch date for both of them! My niece is 19 and “Chaim” is 20. Isn’t this a little fast? Does Raizy even know what she wants? Is she sure she knows “Chaim” well enough to want to commit her life to him? Does she know herself well enough? They are both so young with no experience – in life, dating, or the real world. I don’t want to burst my sister’s bubble, but I asked her how she felt about this whole thing: how fast it went, the fact that Chaim was the first and they got engaged so fast. My sister said that she was surprised by the news when the shadchan called my brother-in-law a few days before to tell him that this was going to happen. Maybe the shock wore off for her. But the shadchan called? Why didn’t Chaim call and have this discussion with my brother-in-law? He’s old enough to get married, but can’t call and have (one of the most serious) conversations of his life?

What is going on here?

A Concerned Tanta



Thank you for your email, Tanta.

Mazal tov on the exciting news.

I am going to look at this from both sides to be fair. But the most important part is that Raizy and “Chaim” are happy, and they feel that this is the right decision for them. Marriage is hard, and I don’t have to tell any married person about shanah rishonah. People learn a lot about themselves and their spouses in that first year. And it’s still difficult, even if you dated your spouse for a year before you got married! It’s very different when you live with someone and see him every day and do his laundry, cook for him, run errands for him...and I’m not being sexist. The man can be the one doing the cooking or the laundry. It doesn’t matter who does it, but it must be done. My mother always asked me, “Do you want to wash his underwear?” when I thought I liked someone I dated. That was the clincher for her; if I didn’t mind sorting through his dirty laundry, washing, and then folding it, then he was a keeper.

I understand everything you wrote about. Yes, Raizy is young. I don’t know her, but sometimes people are “born old.” They are very wise and mature for their years. A lot depends on their personality and their life experience; but some 19-year-olds behave and sound like 40-year-olds. Is Raizy one of those? Or is she a typical 19-year-old living at home, coming and going to and from school, friends, simchahs; the only time being away from home was camp and seminary (maybe), never really looking and trying to understand the world around her. And I’m not saying that in a bad way. When you’re 19 and in your 20s, “That’s the time to have fun. Before life gets serious and boring.” If Raizy is a “typical” 19-year-old, your sister may have to have some serious conversations with her about life, marriage, ups and downs, compromising, life not being like dating, etc. Unfortunately, I know of two couples who dated for a short time and married (one of them dated for five weeks, the other I’m not sure about), and things did not turn into happily ever after because, as one of those four people said: “We were kids. We didn’t know anything. We couldn’t mature together. You need to know who you are before you try to merge with someone else.”

On the other hand, I have a friend who married the first fellow she dated. They dated for less than a month and boom! Next thing I know I was at their l’chayim. They have been married for over 20 years and have five beautiful children, bli ayin ha’ra. It worked for them. And yes, I have plenty of nieces and nephews who go on a b’sho or date someone two or three times and then we’re called to come to the l’chayim. I am not referring to them or the way other sects of Judaism handle shidduchim, so don’t mix up the two. I’m speaking to Tanta about Raizy here, not about how a certain way is right or wrong.

We don’t know what’s supposed to happen. Did I know I would date for over ten years? And at my lowest, I felt like making my niece my beneficiary because I never thought it would happen. I wish I didn’t have what happened to me in some cases happen. I didn’t need that “life experience” to learn and walk away from. But Hashem thought I did. We must put our belief in Hashem that all will work out. But you are not wrong with asking these questions. You’re a concerned Tanta!

Three weeks is fast, and the engagement period isn’t long. That could be good and bad for obvious reasons. I will focus on the good. Did Raizy and “Chaim” have many dates that lasted six hours or more? I know of couples who go on marathon dates that last hours and hours. That’s better than any hour-and-a-half coffee shop and walk in the park type of date. You really get to know the person that way by spending hours upon hours with him. They probably spent more time on dates than couples that dated for six or eight weeks and had three-hour dates.

I’m not talking about a “love at first sight” kind of thing, because I don’t believe in that. I believe in “like at first sight,” but love is something that is deep and emotional. How do you know if you love someone just by sight and not knowing who he is? Raizy and “Chaim” think they know each other well enough to make this important decision. I’m thinking of all the times I’ve heard people say (and I did it once or twice), “I want to try dating _____ again. Maybe the last time we dated it wasn’t right, but I really want to try again.” And then sometimes it ends up at the chupah and sometimes it doesn’t. But here they don’t want to see who else is out there that may be shayach for them. Sometimes it’s worse when you have a choice rather than if something is given to you. And dating is one of those categories where you can get dizzy and confused by “What if the next one...” Baruch Hashem, Raizy and Chaim won’t have to get dizzy. Let us trust that they are mature, know what they want out of life and in a partner, and enter into this marriage with eyes wide open.

Don’t pop your sister’s bubble. She herself said she was surprised when she first heard about it. I’m sure she and her husband spent time talking about this, and Raizy and “Chaim” have their approval. I’m sure they’ve spoken through their concerns, maybe even consulted someone to help. Why “Chaim” didn’t make the call himself, I don’t know. You never mentioned what type of person he is. Maybe he was advised to go through the shadchan. Has the shadchan been involved this whole time? These are things you may not know. But know that talking to your loved one’s parents about marrying their child is a very difficult conversation to have at any age! You need to be the happy sister and Tanta. Be supportive with what is happening. Have a full heart of happiness and love when dancing at their chupah. You can’t worry about things you have no control over, and this is not in your control.

Hatzlachah to you all!

Goldy Krantz  is an LMSW and a lifelong Queens resident, guest lecturer, and author of the shidduch dating book, The Best of My Worst and children’s book Where Has Zaidy Gone? She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..