A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.
Last time I wrote about the misguided attitude toward sports and exercise that seemingly permeates many frum circles. Some askanim view physical activity as unnecessary, needlessly diverting precious time from Torah study.
I described my own experience with this outlook via a “catch” I was set up with. He asserted after a few dates that should we marry, my kids could no longer indulge in their beloved sports activities “because it would take away time from learning.”
While at first glance this statement was motivated by his “frumkeit,” I quickly came to realize that this matter-of-fact utterance was fueled by a man with a seriously dysfunctional personality that manifested itself in the need to control and dictate.
I mention this because I know that there are many singles in the shidduch parshah – some young, some old, some never married and some spouseless because of death or divorce- whoarealoneandlonely, and riddled with feelings of inadequacy.
Lonely people, especially women or the elderly, can make very foolish choices in a desperate attempt to alleviate their loneliness. They can fall prey to human predators who will only bring emotional – and often financial – misery into their lives.
These predators do so by slowly and insidiously whittling away your self-belief and that of your capabilities, making you feel so inadequate and unsure of yourself that you yield your right to make personal decisions over to them – allowing them total control over your life.
Predators begin by breaking down your spirit: they achieve this by constantly being critical and insulting – both components of verbal abuse. They tell you over and over that you are dumb, stupid, ugly or inept. He (or she) will find fault with everything you do – even something as simple as washing a glass. There will always be something wrong with what you do, to the point that you start believing that you are incompetent and useless.
Often the seeds of self-doubt and the crippling belief that they don’t “measure up” afflicting many adults were sown in their childhood by overly critical parents who wore away any innate self-confidence they might have had. Predators instinctively know how to make these seeds blossom into full-blown dependency and surrender, due to an acute lack of self-belief.
Single adults are often treated – inadvertently or not – in the married world as “outsiders” or “B” list entities. This reality only adds to their sense of inadequacy, and leads them to further question their worth. “Am I not married because there is something wrong with me?” “Did my spouse die because I am a bad person and God punished me?” “Did I get divorced because I am not likeable?”
This, combined with being single, makes them easy prey to master manipulators who have their own dysfunctional need to feel superior. Hence the need to control: “You’re clueless; only I know what’s best for you [and yours].”
When this man with his peyot blowing in the wind declared that my children would have to live according to his dictates, I immediately understood that he was a dictator who would demand absolute obedience from his “subjects.”
My children’s opinions and feelings, along with mine, would have no weight in his kingdom. Unfortunately for him, whatever self-doubt I might have accumulated through my life experiences, whatever loneliness or sense of being left out I might have felt, had not led to the level of desperation that would allow me – and by default, my children – to fall into his conniving clutches. Better to be alone, and free to breathe and live life on my terms, than to be suffocated in a toxic marriage.
Unfortunately many people, single moms in particular, are so anxious to be connected to someone (and thus not be alone) and fit in with the mainstream community – and/or they feel so worthless and inadequate – that they blind themselves to “in your face” warnings as to the evil knocking on their door.
For the sake of your children, proceed with caution.
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Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.
We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.
Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.
Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.
A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.
Dear Dr. Yael:
My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.
The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.
Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.
She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.
Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!
Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.
While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.
I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.
Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.
A young lady in her early 20’s, “Sarah” was redt to “Shlomie” a boy from her home town who learned in an out-of-town yeshiva. The families know each other well, which in today’s shidduch scene is a big plus – since it was therefore unlikely the kids would “fall in” due to misinformation and misinterpretations.
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.
Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.
One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.
For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.
Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.
The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/beware-the-predators/2009/08/26/
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