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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 3/02/07

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Reactions To ‘Anonymous But Not Ashamed’ – Chronicle Of Jan. 19

Letter #1

Dear Rachel,

Some years back, Rabbi Manis Friedman wrote a book titled, Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore. It’s astonishing to me that Jews describing themselves as religiously observant can express their desire to engage in extramarital dalliances because they no longer find their spouses physically appealing.

Equally appalling are those who have weighed in on the subject trying to justify placing such emphasis on the body. The story of Chanukah was about taking up arms when the masses became Hellenized, influenced by the Greek model of the body beautiful. To be sure, both partners should take care of themselves and try not to “go to pot.” But a marriage that follows the ethereal concepts and practices of Judaism will not be affected by such gentile thinking. Unfortunately, as our gedolim have warned us, by allowing this decadent society to pervade the mainstream through television, Internet, etc., we become fodder for the yetzer hara’s tentacles. And if the recent letters to this column are an indication, he’s doing quite well.

Compounding the problem is the “Can you top this?” mentality rampant in the frum community. This means purchasing the finest clothing, sheitels, cars and homes. In addition, there is the very dangerous practice of couples “hanging out together.” While the letter writers focus on “chubby hubbies” and their female equivalents, Shlomo HaMelech teaches why spouses stray. “Mayim Genuvim Yimtuku” – Stolen waters taste sweet. As the Gemara explains, water is water – what makes the forbidden attractive, is that it’s forbidden.

If we understand this in its fullest context and make a conscious commitment to devote ourselves to living a Torah lifestyle, this idiocy will fall by the wayside.

Letter #2

I can’t believe the absolutely ludicrous arguments. When did people stop taking responsibility for their behaviors and blame others for their lack of morals, decency, self-control, consideration, and compassion and become totally self-absorbed with superficial values? “I love the flattery and attention from the looks I get.”

Marriage is about a deeper intimacy and connection, which is beyond the initial physical attraction. She has completely missed the concept of a meaningful, emotional, religious and family relationship, which is more than skin deep. What about the comfort of home where one can put on our “comfortable old slippers” and enjoy the pleasure of a loving relationship without pressure and competition?

She should try focusing on all her husband has to offer, reconsider her behaviors, and run as fast and as far from her affair as possible. In addition, she should go for help to try to figure out her fear of intimacy and her need to self-destruct.

My very simple solution for Disappointed Husband: Try really listening to your wife, helping her with her chores and responsibilities, and then try a few compliments. Wine and dine her as you did when you were dating, and see if she doesn’t melt to your charm.

Let’s all try to give a little more and expect a little less in return, and we will be that much happier.

There still is hope

Letter #3

I love your column and read it every week. This was hard stuff. The woman is a shame for the community. I find it hard to digest that so-called frum women behave this way.

What about the terrible issur of eshet ish, which any frum woman should know of! Where is her yirat shamayim?

Thousands of women are unhappy in one way or other in their marriages, so as you pointed out so smartly, they should go for therapy and seek a solution. But to feel cool about it is sick!

Kol HaKovod for your smart answer – especially when you wish her a refuah shelaimah. I loved it!

Yashar Koach!

Letter #4

You answered her quite forcefully, but she needs to be shaken to the core of her WOW being, so that she will shake and shudder at the magnitude of her sin. It appears as if she is bragging and looking to get caught. I will venture to guess that the reason she can get away with this crime is because her husband is slaving away to keep her in the style that she has become accustomed to. What she doesn’t realize in her self-centered mind is that chances are very good that her “partner in crime” has committed this aveirah many times over. He will eventually get bored of her as well, since a new WOW woman will catch his fancy. She of course deserves to be dumped – but perhaps by her husband, for her cheating ways.

Does she understand that aside from this being the ultimate sin that a Jewish married woman can commit she is risking her family’s future? Somebody will find out about her affair, and she is also risking bringing disease into a frum home. She needs to get out and work – she has too much empty time on her hands. She is a pariah on the community and deserves to be thrown out of her comfortable lifestyle.

In early American times she would be tarred and feathered and banished from her home for the sin of adultery. Then she will have learned her lesson.

Thank you, Rachel, for dealing with matters that no one else will touch. You really are brave.

Another wow woman, telling the truth

Letter #5

Call me naïve, however it sickens me to know that there are Jewish frum women who are having affairs and are furthermore, brazen enough to publicize it in a public forum. How many of these women would stab someone to death?

Killing a person and being disloyal to a spouse are two of the greatest sins one can commit. How can a person transgress, admit it openly, and sign their name “not ashamed?” (If you are not ashamed, why sign yourself Anonymous?)

Women, let’s try not to “wow” other men! If you need self-esteem, find it elsewhere!

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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