Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Simchas Bais Hashoeva

There have been a lot of announcements about which shuls, yeshivas and private citizens are having a Simchas Bais Hashoeva and when. The celebrations, during the interim days of Sukkot, are in commemoration of the Nisuch ha-Mayim which was performed each morning in the Bais HaMikdosh during Sukkot.

However, growing up I was also told that the Simchas Bais Hashoeva was a time for the girls to "eye" the boys for the purpose of shidduch making. (And yes, I'm sure there was some eyeing back.) An awful lot of shidduchim came about because of the Simchas Bais Hashoeva. The weird part is that almost all the Simchaot that are being advertised are for men only. I honestly think that Klal is missing out on a great opportunity when they segregate the sexes this way. Just think of it ladies: all the bochrim lined up and in one place so that you can say "yea" or "nay." And yes fellows, you could strut your stuff for a whole group of eligible women. No more dates that end up going nowhere because one or both of the parties wail "You didn't tell me he/she looked like this!"

If it worked way back then, why shouldn't it work now?


Jacob Da Jew said...

Another lost oppurtunity. Sad.

Debbie said...

My mom remembers this as being around in her days. Her shul held a simchas bais hashoevah and all the young people came and looked.

Can't think of a single yeshiva or girls school that wouldn't scream if their grads did this today. Sure sounds like it was easier in mom's days.

G6 said...

It is a big pity....
I'll go one step further. I remember them setting up a 'womens section' in the beis medrash on Purim for the women to watch the chagiga as well. You got a good sense of personalities and I think that maybe the boys behaved better knowing that they were being observed by the fairer sex ;)

Ari said...

Agree with you. Although I would point out that in-shul simchas torah celebtrations can serve the same dual purpose.

Shimon said...

WolfishMusings has an interesting thread going on about whether a girl should say thank you to a stranger who is male if he does something like hold open a door for her. A lot of the discussion is quoting from various meforshim that ossur having any contact with women at all--no talking, no looking, no thinking about, no nothing.

If that's the attitude then of course the simchas bais hasoeva has changed to all males. What's next? Separate planets for each sex?

I'd be a lot more bothered about private, clandestine meetings between a male and a female. A public gathering like this is ideally chaperoned through sheer number of people there and the openess of the gathering.

When did logic get lost for the frum olam?

reader said...

Interesting post.

However, what is suggested here is in some ways the reverse of what happened in ancient times, as recorded by Chazal, who say that there were no Yomim tovim for Yisroel like Tu beAv and Yom HaKippurim ('Yom Kippur'), in which the singles would go out in the vineyards....and the women would dance and say different things (e.g. the ones with yichus would say, look at the mishpocho, etc., etc.).

So then the women danced and now it is the men to be the dancers? Which is generally better at dancing by the way...

P.S. I am not fond of the expression "strut your stuff". People should just do what they do, not act for an audience.

P.S. #2 You say that they are for men only. Maybe that means that the active participation in the men's section is. Are you sure that means that the ezras noshim is closed as well?

Finally, I think Ari above has a good point though, and if people wait a few days, they will have that.