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August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
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Anguish That Does Not Go Away: The Singles Problem (Part One)


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

* Don’t volunteer to do something or make calls or start a program unless you are serious and prepared to put in the work. Think through what you are offering before you actually offer it. Empty offers are painful.

* Spend time and network with everyone you know. It’s simpler than ever with e-mail and text messaging. You can’t imagine how many potential shidduchim can be made by asking people if they know someone suitable. Bring it up at a simcha or after davening in shul. Call relatives you don’t usually see, find a friend in an out of town community, etc.

* Think twice and three times before asking a single person to baby-sit. Your request is that much more painful precisely because that single person doesn’t have children. Also – and this is important – don’t imagine that because someone is not married, he or she has no life with nothing to do.

I am not naive enough to think the tide will turn thanks to this letter, but perhaps some people will take my words to heart. And if just one single is spared further pain, and just one reader makes a call for a shidduch connection, my taking the time to write will have been worthwhile.

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5 Responses to “Anguish That Does Not Go Away: The Singles Problem (Part One)”

  1. N. Wittlin says:

    Well said. This is true for the non-Orthodox and physically disabled as well.

  2. N. Wittlin says:

    Well said! It’s true for non-Orthodox and physically disabled as well.

  3. Ramona says:

    It’s downright offensive the way everyone assumes all singles are lonely and suffering. Some of us are not; in fact, we love being aunts and uncles and live very fulfilling lives. How do you think it feels to have people automatically assume we’re “unfortunate” or a “pity case” when that is so far from reality. My friends and I are in our 40s, and most of us don’t want to get married. We’re very happy and fulfilled with the lives we have. We celebrate holidays together. Our families don’t ask about marriage at every get together because they know our lives don’t revolve around being with another person. Many of us do community service, volunteering in hospitals, soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters, etc. Marriage is not the be all and end all in life. Maybe if Jewish communities started being more accepting of lifestyle diversity, single people would feel more comfortable attending holiday services and talking about all the wonderful things we do have in our lives. As for babysitting, in this economy, many people are unemployed or underemployed and would be happy to look after someone else’s kids as a one-time job without ever feeling deprived because we’re not parents ourselves. Please, get with the 21st century.

  4. Eileen Pollock says:

    I am a single older woman, a maiden aunt with a multitude of darling grandnieces and nephews. I have a job in a stimulating environment that provides me with a lovely apartment, I am involved in numerous interests, lifelong learning projects, physical activities, and have recently lost 40 pounds through discipline and an exercise program. I think I’m lucky and am not in the slightest self pitying or expecting anyone to “help” me. In fact, I try to add joy to the children in my family’s lives, by visits, showing an interest, enjoying their fascinating little comments. I do not seek or evoke rachmanus. The views of the writer are foreign to me, because I enjoy every moment and look forward to the future. No one is obligated to me, I go to shul and listen carefully to the rav’s drasha, I attend interesting lectures. Why should I be a subject of an indifferent community? Why should people involve themselves in my life other than my closest family, and then at a comfortable distance. I’m not a loner, I enjoy intellectual stimulation from intelligent company. But that’s hard to find as most women are not intellectually stimulating company. Thus my lifelong learning program. I have a wonderful life, and I am grateful I did not choose the uninteresting young men who (seldom) were ret to me as shidduchim in my 20’s and 30’s. I am so glad that stage of life is over and my life is happy.

  5. Eileen Pollock says:

    I am a single older woman, a maiden aunt with a multitude of darling grandnieces and nephews. I have a job in a stimulating city that provides me with a lovely apartment, I am involved in numerous interests, lifelong learning projects, physical activities, and have recently lost 40 pounds through discipline and an exercise program. I think I’m lucky and am not in the slightest self pitying or expecting anyone to “help” me. In fact, I try to add joy to the children in my family’s lives, by visits, showing an interest, enjoying their fascinating little comments. I do not seek or evoke rachmanus. The views of the writer are foreign to me, because I enjoy every moment and look forward to the future. No one is obligated to me, I go to shul and listen carefully to the rav’s drasha, I attend interesting lectures. Why should I be a subject of an indifferent community? Why should people involve themselves in my life other than my closest family, and then at a comfortable distance. I’m not a loner, I enjoy intellectual stimulation from intelligent company. But that’s hard to find as most women are not intellectually stimulating company. Thus my lifelong learning program. I have a wonderful life, and I am grateful I did not choose the uninteresting young men who (seldom) were ret to me as shidduchim in my 20’s and 30’s. I am so glad that stage of life is over and my life is happy.

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