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April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 7/30/10

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Infertility: Where do we draw the line?
Re: Is tznius not the hallmark of our lifestyle? (Chronicles 6-18-10)
Part 3

Dear Rachel,

It seems to me that the person who has a problem with the whole issue of infertility treatment is quite insensitive. I wonder if it is because she is bitter about some aspect of this, such as not having any children of her own or maybe she is an older and unmarried single.

I am a senior citizen who had many problems having children. I won’t go into detail but I can tell you that I went to many doctors, clinics, etc. and pursued anything I heard about that may have been able to be of help to me.

Thanks to Hashem, I have two children, many grandchildren and many, many great-grandchildren.

If the medical help in the 1950’s and 1960’s were available as it is today, I may have been able to have many more children than I did.

I tell my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that not everyone is so lucky to be able to have children naturally. They understand that it is a bracha from the Ribono Shel Olam if one has it easy. Many of the people to whom it comes easy don’t know how to appreciate it.

Kol Hakavod to organizations such as Bonei Olam, ATIME, etc. They are Hashem’s emissaries for those who seek them out.

I would suggest that the person go to the Bonei Olam Chinese Auction where there usually are speakers who talk about their difficulties and of how Baruch Hashem they now have a child or children. Many people in attendance understand the pain and can be seen crying openly.

If you have no children and couldn’t be helped, be happy for those who were and pray for those who find themselves in a situation that requires a yeshua.

Being happy for others, even though we may be suffering, will help bring the Geulah, bimheira beyameinu.

From one who’s been there

Dear One,

You sure sound like a sensitive, responsible and caring sweetheart.

Now take a moment, if you will, to step out of your world, the world you and the others preceding you (see Part 1 and 2 of this series) have been fortunate to find yourselves in due to the kindness of Hashem and the help of His “emissaries” – and you may just come to see things from another perspective.

Each of you has indicated in one way or another of “knowing” the pain (of infertility) and of having “been there.” But you speak in the past tense, for you are no longer “there” and can therefore technically no longer claim to be in the shoes of the person who remains childless and who may, moreover, need to live with the certainty that his/her current status will never change.

To be sure, neither you nor I have the slightest knowledge of the personal details, trials or conclusions pertaining to the one who wrote about having issues with the treatment of fertility.

Besides, as much as we were all created equal, we all differ from one another, since there are no two people alike and no two people who will react the same way in any given situation.

I’ve known couples who have had to give up hope of ever having children yet have taken their fate in stride, raised adopted children as their own and are happy and fulfilled in the roles they have obviously been meant to take on in this life.

While some marriages break up under the stress of the emotional burden of infertility, there are childless couples that seek and find joy and fulfillment in other blessings proffered upon them and they wisely make the best of their lot.

Sometimes following testing a woman may be diagnosed as capable of having children and suspicion of “unproductiveness” may fall upon her partner, her husband. Halachic complications can force the couple to abandon any further hope of ever having children.

All this is being said only to point out that as much as one may claim to “feel” another’s pain, it is virtually impossible to do so.

Therefore let us try not to sit in judgment of the letter-writer (the one who engendered all this emotional outpouring by women who have succeeded in their quest to become mothers) and presume him or her to be either bitter or childless or still single or insensitive – for we don’t really know much about the person, to put it mildly.

A commentary by the Karliner Rebbe (referred to as Reb Aharon the Great) to take to heart: If a human is to give his fellow man the benefit of the doubt, doesn’t it stand to reason that we should grant the same benefit to G-d?

When we, as frail earthly creatures, feel that we haven’t received our fair share from heaven, should we not give Hashem the benefit of the doubt – and praise him equally for both the good and the bad (as we may perceive it) that comes our way?

Thank you all for taking the time to write of your own personal feelings and experiences. May Hashem grant us all the strength to cope with whatever He deems best for us.

* * * * *

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.

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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