web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Tachlis Trauma

Kupfer-071913

The Three Weeks and all its social restrictions are now behind us and we are in the “season” of Tu b’Av with its emphasis on shidduchim and marriage.

I believe that next to teething, dating is arguably the most emotionally and physically draining experience in a young person’s life.

Every human being – young or old, male or female, rich or poor – has a need to feel liked or accepted. Every person wants to feel that their parents and siblings value them, and as our social world increases, we thrive when our peers – the kids in the neighborhood or our classmates – accept us. Later as adults, we want validation and acceptance from our spouse, colleagues and children.

People never outgrow the need to be recognized in a positive way and be viewed as an insider – a member of the “gang.”

Rejection, disapproval or being dismissed as irrelevant or unimportant can be toxic and if it happens often enough, an individual’s self-image as a likeable, competent being likely will be severely compromised, leading to a damaged ego.

The young and inexperienced are especially at risk for feelings of inferiority that can erode and wash away a positive perception of self.

That is why the dating parsha can be a very difficult, stressful time for young people, most of whom are sensitive and struggling to figure out who they are and where they fit in. Too often they compare themselves to peers in terms of looks and accomplishments and tend to see themselves as lacking – whether this is a realistic assessment or not.

If a young man or woman in the parsha has had a series of one-time dates – even if the lack of interest was mutual – s/he might begin to wonder if something is “wrong” with him/her. The natural thought might be: “The person I was set up with wasn’t what I was looking for in a spouse – but I am a catch – so why didn’t s/he say yes?”

Intellectually, the person knows if the shidduch wasn’t right for him, likely she felt the same way, but, nonetheless rejection stings at whatever stage the relationship is in – even at the very beginning.

It is normal to feel a flicker of disappointment if the dater would have been happy with a second date but the other party didn’t. As I mentioned, everybody wants to feel wanted. Think of how you feel when you pick up a baby and she starts crying and shrieking hysterically. You can’t help feel somewhat chagrined and inadequate. And this is with a temperamental baby yet!

But a flicker can become a conflagration if the dater has a series of “not interested in another date” experiences.

Unless one has a very strong sense of self and is confident in one’s own value, the serial dater is at risk of being infused with self-doubt, which makes dating the next person even harder. A lack of confidence can lead to anxiety, possibly causing the person at the other end of the table to erroneously conclude that his date wasn’t comfortable with him, and consequently will walk away with a wrong, negative impression of the dater – leading to yet another “no.”

Feeling “unlikeable” is compounded with every subsequent unsuccessful date, much the same as a blister grows as one continues to walk.

It is not unusual for some parents, frustrated by their child’s lack of success in the shidduch parsha, to be critical of them. Negative comments like, “You should have worn less/more makeup” or “Did you bore her with your non-stop political views?” only exacerbate the young person’s lack of confidence and sense of failure.

Back in the day when my friends were in their early twenties, I remember one of them telling me that when she would come home from a date, her mother would immediately ask if the young man asked her out again. (That is how it often worked in those days, when shadchanim were less involved post-date and the couple might discuss a second date in the car in front of the house.) The mother didn’t ask if she was interested in going out again – only if he was interested in her. It was as if she was being asked if she “passed” or “failed” her likeability test.

She began to feel like such a failure each time there was no second date, which was often because she began to act “desperate” on her dates, agreeing with whatever her date said instead of expressing her opinions – a turn off for most people, male or female. Only a control freak would want a spouse who acted like a shmatta, going along with everything he dictated. Sadly, her confidence shattered and desperate to get married, that’s what she ended up with.

I would venture that her parents’ had their own insecurities for whatever reason (possibly because there was a never-married aunt in the family). Then there are the times when parents go to the other extreme.

In their eyes their child is Hashem’s gift to the Yiddish velt and nobody is worthy enough of their precious jewel. I would venture to say that there are more parents today in our community who feel their offspring are yotzeh min haklal – outstanding and extraordinary, way above the crowd – and thus are quick to say no to potential shidduchim.

It’s great to have such a positive outlook about your child’s value and likeability – even when the perception is rather distorted – nonetheless that means that there are a lot of great young men and women who are being told there is no interest.

Rejection often comes when a shadchan makes a suggestion –and it is quickly turned down. I am seeing this inability to even “get in the game,” let alone get to a second date happening more frequently. Many of my friends and acquaintances have lovely sons and daughters who barely go out. The other side often says no without any real explanation. This initial rejection is a head–scratcher for me. These are young people from “good” families, are “presentable” (as my mother often would say), meaning they are attractive, well-groomed and dressed, intelligent and have good middos. Yet, they running to shiurim and taking courses or running chesed projects instead of being on dates – let alone setting up their own ba’atei ne’eman b’Yisrael, because too many parents have inflated views of what they or their child are “bringing to the table” and are holding out for what they feel they deserve – big yichus and big bucks. But it’s often a two way street – these families might have kids sitting home, because as they look “higher” they may get that “no” from the other end as well!

Either way, too many fine young people are hitting their early twenties having only been on a handful of dates. With each rejection comes feelings of inadequacy, bewilderment and eventually, despair. They are beset with doubt and anger and may reject the community that seemingly is rejecting them.

Some may even go looking for a spouse with a different hashkafa or level of observance, because they are beginning to doubt whether they “belong” or actually “fit” in the community they grew up in. That can lead to other problems down the matrimonial road.

Gayva may be causing this shidduch crisis. It’s something to consider as the Days of Awe and Reflection come upon us.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

One Response to “Tachlis Trauma”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rabbi DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    KINGS AND QUEENS, PAWNS AND KNIGHTS: THE ‘GLATT GAME’.

    “THE SHIDDUCH CRISES”.

    The Jewish populace seems too busy confronting themselves to realize that there is a shidduch, the tragedy before them. All of us are engaged in the “I am Frumer (more religious) Than Thou Game.”.

    Yes, the chess game of the Jewish people does exist and it consists of numerous players including Kings, Queens, Pawns and Knights. Let us analyze these players. The Kings and Queens are found everywhere. They are better known as the “Better Than Thou” contingency representing, with nose held high, the so-called “ultra ultra”, whose main function in life is to supervise and interpret the motives of others.

    The J.A.P., a term which applies equally to both sexes, reigns supreme. A true J.A.P. is one whose true emotions and feelings of dedication and idealism are hidden under the heavy burden of appeasing self-righteous motives. Is it any wonder that some young Jewish singles seek elsewhere?

    AND YES, let us not forget the elite, the “Yechis (status) Seekers”. “Remember my son, you belong to a righteous family; avoid the Baal Tshuvah (a non-observant Jew who became religious), after all they may change their ways. Remember who you are and where you came from.”.

    And if these were not sufficient, the Kings and Queens engage themselves in the “I AM GLATTER THAN THOU PAGENTRY.’ This requires the ability to openly criticize others regarding their mode of dress, their eating patterns, recognized certified Kosher products are not acceptable, the fictitious Glatt pickle is preferred, and, of course, an open attach against religious leaders, their ammunition being the infamous non-existent 14th century Chumrah (strict legal view) entitles one to acquire membership in this select group. The only problem is that no one wants to be a follower and thus the leaders continue quoting profound statements found in the tractate “Buba Meisah (fairy tales).”.

    Now, the heroic Knight enters the arena. This individual, male or female, traditionally minded and filled with the love of Torah, wages an heroic campaign. The Knights are represented by clergy and lay leadership who open their hearts to Jewish young people communicating the love and harmony of the Torah. Numerous Rabbis are fighting on the front lines to create a vibrant Jewish community. Young people are engaged in Shabbatonim, retreats and seminars in an active attempt to spread Yiddishkeit; yet, too often, Jewish organizations seem more interested in the establishment of plush swimming pools than in financing such religious projects a community mikvah (ritual bath).

    THESE KNIGHTS, however are confronted by numerous foes. Rabbis are challenged by the Glatt contingent whose battle cry seems to be “The Mechitzah (separation between men and women in the synagogue sanctuary) is not high enough.” Some musmochim (rabbinical school graduates) forget that they are not the leaders of the congregation and consider Shabbat and Yom Tov a day to play “Challenge the Spiritual Leader.” Others are more compassionate; instead of aiding the Rabbi, they just lean back awaiting the opportunity to privately render their illustrious Psak Din (Legal decree). This is the prelude to the “Let’s create another Shtibbel (synagogue) game”, starring these above mentioned unassuming geniuses of Jewish Law.

    Forgetting the great “Tuna Fish and Bubble Gum Controversy” of yesteryear, let us turn to other significant and crucial issues. The agunah, divorce and conversion procedures, together with the existing problems of Mamzeres require our immediate attention. Yet, they too cannot escape the “I am glatter than thou game.” We are informed that a sanhedrin (universal Rabbinical Court) is needed in order to solve many of our numerous halachic difficulties. The only problem, of course, is that we cannot agree on membership to the Sanhedrin.

    Why is there a Shidduch crises? Perhaps it is because in the chess game of life, it is the PAWN who suffers the most.

    THE TORAH holds the answers to all our questions; however, human beings, with G-d’s help, are needed to overcome so called obstacles.

    If only we, the pursuers of Torah knowledge, would realize that the battle is immense and the time is short. Instead of playing the Glatt Game called “Frumer than Thou,” let us communicate love and knowledge , let us act in the image of G-d; only then will we be worthy to be called Frum Yidden who walk in the “Glatt path”. In the words of Rav Kook, “Just at the Second Temple was destroyed by acts of brotherly hatred, the third Temple will be built by acts of brotherly Love.”.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
The UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. In 2007. it was repeatedly used as a launch site for mortars. (Archive 2007)
Hamas and IDF Misfired Rockets and Shells Hit UNRWA School Killing 17
Latest Sections Stories
WC-072514-TCLA

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

A-Night-Out-logo

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

Singer-072514

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Certainly today’s communication via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and the like, including the ubiquitous Whatsapp, has reduced the need to talk with people and communicate at length.

These two special women utilized their incredibly painful experience as an opportunity to assist others.

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

Sleepily, I watched him kissing Mai’s chubby thighs.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-032814

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.

Kupfer-031414

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have to do what is right for me – as long as it’s “ halachically kosher” and doesn’t negatively impact on others – and not worry too much about what others think.

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.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/tachlis-trauma/2013/07/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: