web analytics
January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


The Readers Respond (Continued)


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

I have received much e-mail from my readers in response to my series on “Why Can’t I Get Married?” There is one common denominator that unites them – finding a marriage partner has become one of the most challenging problems of our generation, and the older one gets, the more formidable this simple quest becomes. While this dilemma applies equally to males and females, by all indications, it appears that women suffer more. At the end of the day, in this area at least, it’s still a man’s world, with older men seeking young women, while the converse does not hold true.

Among the many recommendations that our readers seem to agree upon is that there be less focus on the romantic illusions of our 21st century that have rendered “electricity/chemistry” the criteria for all shidduchim. The time has come to focus on the examples of our patriarchs and matriarchs who regarded chesed – Torah values, as the critical ingredient for marriage.

While this is a vexing problem, affecting many, and unfortunately, there are no silver bullets or magic panaceas, I would nevertheless like to offer my own personal invitation to all singles to avail themselves of our Hineni organization’s shidduch services. And of course, remember that for a shidduch, we need Hashem’s help so constant prayer is essential. Minchah is especially propitious – a good omen for a shidduch, for it was after he davened Minchah, that our Father, Yitzchak met our Mother, Rivkah.

The following are excerpts from e-mail that has reached my desk:

Letter #1

Dear Rebbetzin:

I applaud your addressing the painful problem of older single Jewish women. I am in that category. I can tell you that I wasn’t picky in dating, that I was engaged to an abusive man and broke the engagement (which I do not regret). I am convinced that if I hadn’t taken that step, I would now be a divorcee with even more burdens and scars to carry. I am now 51 and because of my age, I have encountered terrible frustrations in my search. My appearance belies my age – I am slim, very attractive, personable, talented, and hold a good job, yet I have an incredibly hard time finding my soul mate.

Rebbetzin, without going into detail, I suffered much pain in my search. I am not from a religious background and chose to be frum – observant. One would think that, with my qualifications, it would be easy to find a shidduch, but sadly, the opposite is true… I have been reduced to a number – “51″ – and it is humiliating. I just want to marry and build a beautiful Jewish home, but men want women who are much younger than they are. They are simply unrealistic and think that they will get someone 30-years-old even though they are over 50. It is very tragic, because, in our contemporary society, as people get older, they become less desirable as marriage partners.

Surely Hashem must have someone for us. Surely He has not destined us to live our lives in loneliness. What can we do to build a vessel so that we might receive this blessing of marriage? I hope that your column will speak to all older singles – and I mean not only to women, but to men as well so that we might go under the chuppah and build Jewish homes before our lives pass us by.

May Hashem bless you for all the incredible work that you do – for your dedication – your passion – your love.

Letter # 2

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I’ve read your column for many years, starting from before I became observant. Thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of singles and non-singles alike. When I read this column, I was moved to write to you for the first time. As you say, this issue is complex, and in my observations it is as difficult in the religious as in the non-religious world. I’ve come to believe that there is a crucial factor that must be addressed. While of course there are always exceptions, and by no means should my comments be viewed as something that applies to everyone, I do believe that among older men, marriage is no longer an imperative, even if they loudly protest to the contrary.

On the other hand, women yearn for marriage and family and are willing to put in whatever effort is necessary; networking with matchmakers and making spiritual, emotional, physical and psychological improvements. They try to look at shidduchim with a “good eye,” but this does not appear to hold true for most men. Of course, this is not always their official position, but in practice it becomes clear that they are not as driven to marry and do not consider the single state an unbearable void in their lives.

We are taught that the first criterion in an appropriate marriage partner is Yiras Shamayim – fear/awe of Heaven – commitment to our Torah values. Of course, this has many implications and dimensions, but what I am getting at is that if observant men would meditate on the fact that marriage is a mitzvah from Hashem, things would look quite different.

In the same way that they would stop at nothing to put on tefillin and search for it even it they had mistakenly misplaced it, similarly, they would stop at nothing to find their missing half – their soul mate. They would realize that to be a frum Jew is to be married – and that their service to Hashem is incomplete without their entering into the holy covenant of marriage.

Marriage is good, it is G-dly (surely it is not rational) and just like a father rushes to make his son’s Bris early in the morning, men must rush to fulfill this vital mitzvah as soon as possible

Thank you for your consideration in publishing this letter.

With Warmest regards and Chag Kosher V’Sameach.

Letter # 3

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I have been following with interest your series of columns on the difficulties of getting married in today’s society. I originally wrote to you with my own woes in that area, but I also have thoughts on that issue arising from my own conversations with people in similar circumstances, be they married or single. Since you requested input in your latest column, I decided to share a bit more with you.

You hit on a strong factor with the “chemistry” issue, but I think it needs to be delved into more deeply. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to who think romantic love is the be-all and end-all of marriage, and that if the “romance” is gone, it justifies “moving on.”

Like you, I do not deny that attraction is important, but it is not love and should not be mistaken for it. Love is an action of the will, a choice, but so many think it is a force of nature, of something that strikes like lightning and those who are so struck must follow its dictates, even if it means destroying other relationships, whether it be with parents, siblings, or current spouses and children.

In my opinion, attraction can draw a couple together, but love is something else – something that must be earned and given to someone who is honorable and trustworthy and is willing to live up to the demands of marriage and raising a family. Even if you don’t feel “chemistry” right away, love develops over the years. This is substantiated by our Torah. Let us consider the example of Isaac and Rebekah, regarding whom it is written that it was only after marriage that they experienced true love.

Of course, all this assumes that a potential spouse will be evaluated. Eliezer, the trusted agent of Abraham evaluated Rebekah before he recognized her as a proper shidduch. I’ve found that nowadays, many people evaluate a potential spouse less carefully than they would a sitter for their cocker spaniel.

Thanks again for taking on this difficult, painful subject. And I do hope that, G-d willing, you will write a book on the subject!

(If you like, you may publish any or all of the comments in this e-mail, but please do not publish my name. Thanks!)

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 “The Readers Respond (Continued)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo of Al Qaeda founder and former leader, Osama Bin Laden, seen above a Palestinian Authority flag.
Shin Bet Sting Nabs Israeli Arabs Joining Al Qaeda, ISIS
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Sacks

Torah opposes slavery; G-d desires the free worship of free human beings, yet slavery’s permitted-?!

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Approximately 18 years ago, my uncle called me into his office saying he had an urgent matter to discuss. I didn’t know what he had in mind.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

“Where is God?” asked the Kotzker Rebbe “God is not everywhere but only where you let Him enter”

An Explosion In The Trench
‘With A Glowing Hot Knife’
(Yevamos 120b)

Her first tactic was tefillah; she immediately began to recite one perek after another of Tehillim.

When a miracle occurs that transcends nature, Hashem has broken the laws of nature to create the miracle.

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

How can the Da’as Zekeinim say this was Hashem’s plan to allow them to become the Torah Nation? We know it was actually a punishment.

A strange midrash of fruit trees surrounding the Nation of Israel as they walked to freedom

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

“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?

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

When art and evil are intermingled, evil is elevated and made acceptable.

In BB, he said “You, my children are the angels of Shabbos and the licht are your beautiful eyes.”

Why does Hebrew refer to mothers-in-law as “sunshine” when society often calls them the opposite?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/the-readers-respond-continued-2/2010/03/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: