web analytics
April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Lack of Chizuk (Conclusion)


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Special Note: In last week’s column I published two letters from disenchanted singles. They expressed their concern, their loneliness, their pain – but more significantly, they blamed family members and friends for lack of chizuk – sympathy, understanding and support. The female writer complained that at family simchas, her suffering intensifies because no one bothers to acknowledge her presence, and she becomes invisible. Worse still, when they do acknowledge her, it’s usually to chide her and her mother for not yet having found a shidduch. She also complained that because she is single, those family members who are married with children, somehow forget to invite her for Shabbos or Yom Tov, and even if they promise to call her, they never do. Not one of them ever made a constructive suggestion as to how she might find a shidduch or recommended a good shadchan, she stated. Her conclusion: If you are over 30 or 40, it’s best not to attend family events because people behave as though you’re not there.

The 57-year-old man who wrote the second letter expressed resentment at the attitude of those around him. For one reason or another, he never married. Nevertheless, he was still determined to find someone young enough to bear children, and therefore he was interested only in women up to their late 30’s. He explained that his desire to have children went beyond that of most men, for his only sibling had intermarried and consequently, it was up to him to carry on the family name. However, not only did he find that people were uninterested in helping him, but they were downright discouraging, telling him that it would be more realistic to consider someone closer to his age for marriage. He expressed resentment at their lack of understanding, especially since he knew of other men in his age category who did find younger women, so why, he wondered, couldn’t it happen to him. The following is my reply:

Dear Friends:

I decided to publish your letters in one column because, while they touch on different points, there is a common thread running through them – and that is your anger and resentment.

I can certainly empathize with your feelings. It is very painful to be alone in a community where most people are married and have children and grandchildren. You always feel like the ”odd man out” and stigmatized.

There is no escaping the fact that your situation is distressing no matter what spin you try to put upon it. There is a saying in Yiddish that a sick person is uncomfortable, regardless of the position in which he is placed. Similarly, to be single and over a certain age is cause for anxiety. So while I understand your concern, I’m not certain whether you are being altogether fair in your criticism.

Of course, I am not familiar with your individual situations, but speaking generally, I do believe that of late, the Jewish community has become more sensitive to the plight of singles and much effort has been expended on reaching out and helping. I know that there are many good people who invite singles to their Shabbos and Yom Tov tables, although singles have confided to me that that too can be a hurtful experience. To have to sit at someone else’s table – to see husband, wife and children interacting, knowing all the while that you are alone – is not always easy to swallow. But the Torah community does extend itself and many innovative measures have been taken. Shidduch committees, in which married women meet, put forth names and try to make matches, have become popular, and many organizations have some sort of singles programs. In other words, I believe that there is a definite awareness among our people as to the plight of singles. This is not to say that there is no room for improvement, but certainly, progress has been made.

Obviously, I am not familiar with the dynamics of your family, but in general, I can say that wherever I go, there are always aunts, uncles, cousins, who approach me and say, ”Rebbetzin, I need a shidduch for someone in my mishpacha. Can you help?”

I’m sorry that that does not seem to be the case in your family, but there are many people in the Torah community who would deem it a genuine privilege to extend their families and open their doors to you. If you wish, come down to Hineni and I will be happy to make such a connection.

As for the 57-year-old man who takes offense at his friend’s suggestion that he forego the idea of finding a woman in her late thirties and marry someone closer to his age… I really don’t think that you have a right to be annoyed at your friends’ recommendation. They are being realistic and sincerely want to help.

I vividly recally when, some years ago at Hineni, a gentleman walked in who looked vaguely familiar. When he introduced himself, I recalled that he had attended our classes over 30 years ago.

”I’m still single,” he announced, ”still looking.”

It so happened that at my class that evening was a lovely woman, close to him in age. I asked if I might make an introduction, to which he replied, ”Oh, she’s much too old. I would still like to have children.”

Today, four years later, to the best of my knowledge, that gentleman is still single and still looking. So while it may be true, as you stated in your letter, that there are some men who marry women much younger than they and raise families, the story that I cited is also true, and it is that possibility that your friends want you to consider.

Before closing the subject, I wonder whether you ever entertained the possibility of marrying a widow and adopting her children, or adopting children.

Finally, may I recommend that both of you come to Hineni, and perhaps we can help you find your bashertes. In the interim, I would like to suggest that you bear in mind one of my husband, Ha Rav Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l’s favorite teachings from the Bresslover Rebbe, zt”l: ”When there is no reason to smile, put a smile on your face and G-d will give you every reason to smile.”

Don’t wear your bitterness on your face. Don’t allow your resentment to show in your eyes, because that will only serve to retard your situation and alienate people from you. Keep smiling even if you are hurting. I know that that’s easier said than done, but the other alternative is harder, for if you give in to anger, your world will become an angry place and you won’t be able to escape the darkness.

Attend those family simchas and even if you feel that you are being ignored, extend yourself to your family, and if you do, you will see that, B’ezras Hashem, eventually your kindness will be reciprocated.

May Hashem grant that this New Year bring you and all of K’lal Yisroel brochas and good shidduchim.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Lack of Chizuk (Conclusion)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Aftermath of a rock-throwing attack in Samaria.
Arab Teen Attacker Shot, 2 Israelis Hurt in Attacks
Latest Judaism Stories
“Thou shall not reap all the way to the edges of thy field.”

Putting parents before oneself is a step toward putting the more abstract concept of God before self

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In her diary, Anne Frank wrote words that provided hope for a humanity faced with suffering.

Leff-042415

The Arizal taught this same approach, making the point that the Torah would never mention wicked people and their sins if there was not great depth involved from which we are to learn from.

Staum-042415

Humility is not achieved when all is well and life is peachy but rather when times are trying and challenging.

In order to be free of the negative consequences of violating a shvu’ah or a neder, the shvu’ah or neder themselves must be annulled.

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

He feared the people would have a change of heart and support Rechavam.

Ramifications Of A Printers Error
‘The Note Holder’s Burden of Proof’
(Kesubos 83b)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

In this case one could reason that by applying halach achar harov we could permit the forbidden bird as well.

“What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” my husband remarked. “Well, baruch Hashem we are safe, there was no accident, and I’m sure there is a good reason for everything that happened to us,” I mused.

The answer to this question is based on one of the greatest shortcomings of man – self-limiting beliefs.

Myth that niddah=dirty stopped many women from accepting laws of family purity and must be shattered

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rabbi Fohrman connects the metzora purification process with the korban pesach.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Pesach bonds families and generations: “So that you may relate it to your son and your son’s son.

Amalek’s hate never dies; its descendants are eternal & omnipresent; Hashem is our only protection

I try to be observant, davening daily, but it hasn’t awakened my heart or my mind or changed my life

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

“Surely,” my family insisted, “there must be someone suitable for you. You can’t be so picky.”

Shouldn’t we Jews, having experienced the barbarism of many societies, speak support the NYPD?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/lack-of-chizuk-conclusion/2003/11/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: