Penitential prayers (archives)
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Young women look for shidduch in synagogues

New phenomenon in southern city of Kiryat Gat during penitential prayers: Girls arrive at women's gallery in order to seek forgiveness for their sins, while searching for potential mates

A new phenomenon has emerged during the penitential prayers held in the southern city of Kiryat Gat after midnight: Young girls arrive in masses at the synagogues' women's gallery, and while seeking forgiveness for sins they committed over the past year, they search for potential mates among at the young men praying at the temple.


Meanwhile, the boys appear to cooperate, many of them telling of dates which take place at the end of the prayers.


Recent years have seen an awakening among the city's teenage residents, who take part in the Selichot prayers held at local synagogues. There are those who say many have become newly religious following these prayers, which are accompanied by melodious singing.


Members of the opposite sex have also begun arriving at the synagogues in masses, attempting to hunt down a captivating male youth.


The boys, on their part, pray vigorously, some taking part in the singing with their pleasant voices in order to impress the girls with their talent.


Following the prayers, which end past midnight, the meetings begin. The teenagers spend the night attempting to find a suitable mate ahead of Yom Kippur.


The synagogue rabbis have no plans to put an end to this phenomenon. They view it as a positive thing, as the girls arrive at the synagogue in modest clothing, and sometimes even vow to observe the mitzvoth. The rabbis are also encouraged by many cases of youths becoming newly religious.


The penitential prayers began about a month ago, at the start of the month of Elul, and will end on the evening before Yom Kippur Eve, giving the young men and women enough time to track each other down. The new couples will likely be seen at the synagogues following the Kol Nidrei prayer on the eve of the Day of Atonement.


פרסום ראשון: 10.04.08, 16:19
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