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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 3/05/10

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We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

* * * * *

Fast and furious reaction to “Unfaithfully yours ” (Chronicles 2-19-10)

Dear Rachel,

I was floored by the sheer chutzpah of Unfaithfully yours.

Mister, H.W. Longfellow had some choice words for you: “Though the mills of G-d grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.”

You act the wise guy now, but your day of reckoning will come. None can escape it. All of your swagger and bravado will not save you then.

Aizehu chacham, haroeh es hanolad – Who is wise? He who can foresee the future

Don’t have to be a Navi

Dear Educated, (aka Unfaithful)

Congratulations! You have officially graduated and you have received your “B.S.” degree. I am “beyond baffled” that someone with your intelligence actually can write that you are happily married yet cheat!!

I wonder if your spouse feels the same way – or do you have a mutual understanding that you are happy with each other as long as you turn a blind eye to your respective separate lives? Eventually there are going to be slip-ups and only then will you first know what the word “branded” means.

If you care at all about your kids you would get your raging hormones under control and seek professional help and maybe go to an S.A. meeting. There is no excuse or room for blame for cheating. Marriage is sacred, Jewish or not!

You are so in denial that it is frightening! Remember that the one you are cheating with is going to cheat on you too, or don’t you care? Do all your like-minded café friends have a schedule of who gets to be with whom at designated times?

By the way, the piece of paper that legalizes your marriage does not identify you as “marriageable material” so that should be completely irrelevant to you when choosing your next fling.

The community and “Rachel” are not naïve; that Jewish people in our community can succumb to their impulses does not escape us. Your reasoning, though, does.

Just for the record, I personally do not agree with the Chassidish way (of one sit-in and then engagement). But, though I dated my “Chossen” for a while and thought I knew him so well, guess what? You don’t really know someone until you live with him or her – a concept that is an entirely different discussion.

What planet are you living on?

Dear Rachel,

I can’t believe what I’ve just read. “Unfaithfully yours” comes across like someone void of any conscience or feeling. Heaven help the people he comes in contact with. He sounds like a real menace to society and in particular to the lonely and vulnerable people whom he manages to charm and mislead.

As I write this, your answer has yet to be printed. I sincerely hope that you will remove your kid gloves and be forceful in your condemnation. This man deserves nothing less.

Many years ago my son married a girl who we felt was not for him. All of our other children followed family tradition in meeting with their zivugim (the Chassidish way – not exactly as described by Unfaithful)), but this one son had somewhat of a rebellious streak; let’s just say he was not serious about his religion or his learning and seemed interested only in “having a good time.” Someone somewhere introduced this girl to him and he informed us that he had “fallen in love.”

My husband and I tried to reason with him but in the end we had to go along with his choice. It was either that or placing distance between us, something we would never have considered risking. Sometimes parents must allow their children to grow up at their pace, even if it might mean watching them suffer from their mistakes somewhere down the line.

To condense a long story, the marriage was rocky almost from the start. She was not a bad person but her background differed drastically from his. Whereas our son was raised in a heimishe, Chassidic environment, she came from a moderately observant one. Their differences, not insignificant ones, gradually wore down their “love” for one another.

As they grew apart, the constant friction between them created feelings of animosity that didn’t do their children much good either. As a mother and shvigger, it was certainly not in my place to interfere. The world says that no girl is ever good enough for the boy’s mother, but I must say that I truly wished for her to be. It is heartbreaking to see your children hurting and unhappy.

Over the years my son matured, became more serious and “outgrew” his wife, by which I mean to say that while they may have been on the same level when they first met, my son bypassed her in growth somewhere along the way.

After years of enduring a miserable marriage, they divorced. I say all this to make the point that “Unfaithful” is either very ill-informed or is playing dumb. In his letter he asks, “Why be loyal to your husband if you know another man just as well or even better than your husband?” Can he really believe that you can get to know someone’s true colors by sneaking dates on the sly? Everyone knows that the only way to get to know someone is by living with him/her. My son “dated” his future wife for several months before getting engaged, all the while mocking “our way.” Today he freely admits that had he gone the traditional route, he’d have had a much better chance at happiness and a long-lasting relationship.

Unfaithful though seems to be suffering from more than simple immaturity. If he meant everything he said in his shocking letter and did not intend it as a Purim shpiel (if he did, it was in very poor taste), then he is an oddity – or better yet a freak. Maybe the best thing is to ignore him and he’ll go away. We don’t need his kind among us.

Living in Reality

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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