The issue was brought to these Gedolei HaDor and, without exception, they all signed on the enclosed letter dated in the month of Taives ten years ago and is translated below. The only additions that were made to the letter by the author are the headings – which were added to facilitate better comprehension and greater clarity:
Our community finds itself in an increasingly difficult situation, with thousands of Bnos Yisroel getting older and not finding their zivug. It has become clear, with Hashem’s help, that the primary cause for this is that bochrim generally marry girls who are a number of years younger.
Since the population increases every year, there are more girls entering shidduchim than boys – and many girls are left unmarried.
Clearly, the way to remedy this terrible situation is to reduce the age disparity in shidduchim. Many Chassidishe communities who do not have age disparities in shidduchim are not facing this tragic situation of numerous unmarried girls. Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us to work diligently to save our daughters from this plight.
FORBIDDEN NOT TO ACT
It is assur for anyone who can help to stand passively by. All Yidden are responsible for each other and the Torah cries out to us, “Lo Sa’amod al Dam Rei’echa!”
A key component of the solution is to have our sons marry at a younger age. And in order to accomplish this, it would be good for the bochurim to come back earlier from Eretz Yisroel. Calculations show that if bochurim would begin shidduchim one year earlier on average, then within ten years, over a thousand women would be saved from the agony of waiting indefinitely for their zivug.
OBLIGATION ON YESHIVOS AND ROSHEI YESHIVA
Therefore, we have come to publicize our opinion that there is an obligation on the yeshivos and Roshei Yeshiva to find ways to enable the bochurim to begin shidduchim at a younger age including encouraging them to return sooner from Eretz Yisroel.
OBLIGATION ON BOCHURIM
We are also calling on the bochurim themselves to return from Eretz Yisroel at a younger age in order to be ready to get married at the appropriate time. Through their nesias ol, they will merit true Kinyan Torah, reaching ever-greater heights, and they will be zoche to build a Bayis Ne’eman B’Yisroel L’shem U’siferes.
Rav Elyashiv [zatzal], Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman [zatzal], Rav Shmuel Auerbach [zatzal], and Rav Chaim Kanievsky [zatzal]. Rav Elyashiv zt”l signed it one year before the letter was published. This author’s research is that Rav Chizkiyahu Mishkovsky shlita, a mashgiach in Orchos Torah was the one who was behind the writing of the letter.