Several weeks ago, in response to a letter from by a young woman in her thirties who wrote of the painful plight of singles, I wrote a column that has since mushroomed into a series of articles.
We have myriad matchmaking programs all over the world, from word of mouth to computerized, from well-intentioned individuals and professional shadchanim to singles organizations.
Some readers may wonder why I’ve devoted so many recent columns to this subject. The answer is that finding one’s shidduch has become a problem that has reached crisis proportions in the Jewish world. And despite all the efforts of individuals and community leaders, the crisis shows no signs of abating.
I believe in my last column we established that when it comes to shidduchim we cannot rely on our own “seichel” – for while singles may believe they made the right choice, they might just discover the opposite to be correct.
Could it be she wished to tell you that nowadays many men can be superficial in their search for a life partner, looking for a “glamour girl” rather than an aishes chayil? Could it be she tried to tell you it would be wise for you to be more flexible, more open-minded, and not lock yourself into limiting your options to just a certain “type”?
For the past few weeks my column has focused on the difficulties singles experience while trying to find their soul mates.
The woman in her mid-thirties who initiated this discussion a few weeks ago bemoaned what she considers the indifference and the insensitivity of most people to the plight of singles.
Last week I shared a letter from a 30-plus young woman who was very troubled over the challenges confronting singles. She felt the Jewish community was not sufficiently engaged in reaching out to and helping the many singles desperately looking for their soul mates.
Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis, Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, one of many you surely receive each week about shidduchim. I hope to act as a representative of all the sad and lonely unmarried men and women in our society. I am hoping that if you share my message in whole or in part with our community, it will have an effect – even if it’s minute.
For the past several weeks I have been discussing the various crises currently engulfing us. With this column I will conclude the series (at least for now). What I write is based not on whim or opinion but on that which is rooted and documented in our Torah.
For the past few weeks I’ve been discussing the crises facing our people. I’ve been asked by many of our readers the question that should challenge all of us: What are we to do?
For the past few weeks I have been writing about the crisis our Jewish community is witnessing, a crisis reminiscent of pre-Holocaust Europe that caught the Jewish community sleeping and unawares.
My column usually focuses on guiding and advising those who have difficulty navigating the turbulent waters that challenge their personal lives. From time to time I depart from that format to comment on the issues that affect our very lives as a people. Of late this has occurred more frequently than usual. Events are unfolding so rapidly that before we can absorb one, another befalls us.
Yes, I’m afraid. When I say these words, most people do not understand, and they attribute my fears to the fact that I am a survivor and live in the shadow of my Holocaust experiences.
Last week I interrupted a series of columns on the subject of “holiday mayhem,” concerning the problems faced by many families whose adult children come home for Yom Tov with their families.
I am interrupting my series on “Yom Tov Mayhem,” focusing on adult children who come home for the holidays with their families and expect their mothers to be cook, housekeeper and baby-sitter all rolled into one.
Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis: I have been a reader for many years. I realize that lately you have been focusing on very serious subjects that pertain to the very life of our people, so I do not know whether you will publish my letter, which deals with family problems. I hope, however, that you will do so, not because it will change my family situation - it is too late for that - on the chance that others might learn from it.
In the early years of Hineni, I spoke to a standing room only audience at Binyanei Haouma in Yerushalayim. As I looked out from the stage, I noticed there was a large contingent of frum people present, and on the spot I created a story to share with them.
Yom Kippur approaches and memories crowd my mind. I see my saintly father, HaRav HaGaon Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, zt"l. I see his holy countenance; I see his beautiful face, upon which the Shechinah rested. I hear his voice - a voice that penetrated the heart. Those who heard it never forgot it.
Many moons ago, when I established Hineni, kiruv - outreach - was a foreign concept. The Orthodox world looked askance at the idea. "You're wasting your time," I was told. "Maybe they will become observant for a day, or even a few weeks, but then they will go back to their former life style."
In my last column I wrote of that which we must do in response to the wake-up calls that have been knocking incessantly at our doors these past few months.
That which transpired during these past few weeks should have shaken us all. To be sure, traumatic events have been pounding away at American Jewry for years now - as a matter of fact, from 9/11 on. But few of us have taken them to heart. Something was happening and is happening in the world, but we choose not to see or hear. It's easier to attribute everything to natural causes because then we can go on our merry way and indulge in business as usual.
Last week I concluded my column with the story of a Jew who wanted to make changes in the world and inspire people to do teshuvah - to return to their roots, their Divine heritage.
Last week I wrote that we are now at a very critical juncture in our long history. We have entered the period of ikvesie d'Mashiach - a time of travail when the footsteps of the Messiah can be discerned. We are receiving wake-up call after wake-up call, and they come in many shapes and forms. Hashemis sounding the alarm, but we remain deaf to its implications.
"Not again!" you may say. To which I respond, "Yes, again!" I say this as I write once again about the most heinous tragedy that could have befallen us, so even though it may not be popular - even though your reaction may be, "We heard it already" - I am nevertheless writing because I fear we have returned to business as usual.