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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 11/03/06

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Dear Rachel,

First, thank you for your very informative and helpful articles. You are doing a big chesed for K’lal Yisrael. Your article presenting singles looking for shidduchim (Chronicles 8-11) hit a note with our family. Our 30-year-old daughter is a single physician. She is slim and attractive, with a lovely caring personality. She and many other young professional women like her have been having a difficult time finding their bashert, or even getting dates. The reason: Men fear that successful women will put work before marriage and children. Please inform them that with the support of a caring and involved husband, one can marry a Doctor or Lawyer or Executive and still build a loving Bayis Ne’eman B’Yisrael − and that successful mothers are wonderful role models for their sons and daughters.

These terrific girls deserve a chance at happiness. It is the lucky man who will marry one of them. Also, as a way to ease our present shidduch crisis, it might be a good idea for men to consider a woman one or two years older. In the past couple of years this has been introduced in the Chareidi community with great success. Twenty-two-year-old men have been marrying 25-year-old girls (with the approval of the Gedolim) and everyone appears happy. Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch and the Chofetz Chaim married women considerably older than themselves. As Rav Hirsch put it, “For what I need to accomplish in life, I need a mature woman. I cannot marry a child.”

If there is a single man out there, 28 to 38-years of age, interested in possibly meeting his zivug, he can contact Rachel to set things in motion.

Hatzlacha.

Proud of our Progeny

Dear Proud,

Thank you for bringing to light a rarely discussed dimension of the shidduch scene. Allow me to congratulate your daughter for her great ambition, accomplishment and service to others. Where would we be without the caring and compassionate members of the medical field who are G-d’s blessed messengers?!

Everyone has his/her appropriate zivug waiting in the wings, and sometimes the only thing that stands in the way of a match converging is one’s stubborn mindset. As for the compatibility factor, a viable pair need not consist of two like-minded professionals. A healthy self-esteem, maturity and a good heart are the true vital components of a successful marital union. An age difference either way − barring a tremendous gap − would prove totally irrelevant.

A lion once asked the wily fox to find a match for his shidduch-aged daughter. As the fox pondered the challenging task before him, a wealthy landowner decided that he could no longer use the services of his aging dog, which had served him faithfully for many years. Before setting his trusted old hound free in the wilds, he outfitted him with the pelts of a bear and a lion.

The fox cast about for a zivug befitting a daughter of the king of beasts, but his search proved fruitless. His visits to R’ Ber and R’ Zev netted no positive results. Word soon reached the fox of the newcomer in their neck of the woods − a rare breed of lion and bear. Wondering if this intriguing specimen would be suitable as son-in-law for the lion, the fox was eager to set out the welcome mat.

“Who are you?” inquired the fox of the dog, dressed in bear and lion’s clothing. “My grandfather was the mighty lion,” boasted the new beast. The fox, unimpressed, repeated his query. “But who are you?” Smugly, the dog replied that his father was the big bear. The fox was still not swayed. “Who are you, by yourself?” This time around, the stammering response was humbling and revealing. “I am nothing but a hound…” The wolf and the lion later shared a laugh at the old dog’s attempt to dazzle the wolf by flaunting his ancestry.

Our holy rebbes would use this parable to stress the importance of yichus atzmo (self-earned distinction). In the pursuit of one’s life partner, one should steer clear of placing undue emphasis on a family’s social stature or monetary status. It is the potential shidduch’s personal qualifications that should be the primary focus. Zechus avos (meritorious parentage) can then be considered a plus.

Tefilla is a powerful tool in actualizing one’s hopes and dreams, while hishtadlus entails setting our sights in the right direction. May the right time and proper match make their harmonious appearance at your door very soon.

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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