web analytics
April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Lack of Chizuk (Conclusion)


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Share Button
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.
Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Lack of Chizuk (Conclusion)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Blue Valley High School, Overland Park, Kansas, the school attended by 14-year-old shooting victim Reat Griffin Underwood.
Kansas Shooting Suspect a White Supremacist, Indicted for Murder
Latest Judaism Stories

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

Haggadah used at the Passover Seder

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

Rabbi Sacks

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Marror is the reliving of the bitter enslavement and matzah is the under-eighteen-minutes redemption.

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim argues it is time for Ashkenazim to abandon the prohibition against Kitnyot. What do you think?

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

We have windows of history, of Yom Tovim, but the dust continues to obscure our vision.

On Shabbos Zachor the Torah commands us to “Remember what Amalek did to you.”

We should invite divorced people into our homes for Shabbas and Yom tov.

I attended the recent Shabboton for frum divorced people and listened to your talk. You gave me hope to go on. I was very despondent when I came and went home considerably more upbeat. It was all due to your focus on “being a blessing.”

One can sigh with relief when the divorce is finalized but the heart is full and it aches with pain. Yes, there were conflicts. Yes, there was a cold war that made for a frigid atmosphere in the home. But loneliness is a very difficult thing to bear.

My ex despises me and is bent on destroying me. He has done everything to torture me.

The Torah tells us that ancient Egypt had 49 levels of contaminating impurities and Hashem wanted us out before the fiftieth would become viral.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: