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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Aishes Chayil’

Jewish Dating: “Glamour Girl” or Aishes Chayil?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

For the past few weeks I have been focusing on the difficulties of finding an appropriate shidduch. Despite the many efforts made by individuals and the Jewish community, the problem does not go away – if anything, it continues to escalate. I have received numerous e-mails in response to this painful challenge.

In last week’s column I shared with you just two of them, and B’ezrat Hashem, in the future, I hope to publish more. I invite our readers to share their views on how to best resolve this dilemma or at the very least, ameliorate it. In the interim, however, I will discuss the letter of the young lady who felt so hurt by the insensitive words of the shadchan whom she consulted.

My dear friend: I totally understand your feelings. It’s very difficult to call someone for help with a personal problem as sensitive as finding a shidduch, only to be put down and suffer embarrassment. Having said this, I would like you to try to bear in mind the teaching of our sages: “Al tadin…Do not judge your friend until you stand in his place.”

I know this is a tall order because it requires that we consider the actions or the words of the person who hurt us from his or her perspective. So let us consider what this shadchan may have meant to say when she uttered those abrasive words.

Could it be she wished to tell you that nowadays many men can be superficial in their search for a life partner, looking for a “glamour girl” rather than an aishes chayil? Could it be she tried to tell you it would be wise for you to be more flexible, more open-minded, and not lock yourself into limiting your options to just a certain “type”?

I do not know if this was her true intent, but let’s react the Torah way and give her the benefit of the doubt. Try to look away rather than allow her to injure you emotionally and diminish your confidence and self-esteem. When we feel hurt, it’s much better to let go and move on. To nurse our pain may just leave deep scars. So, once again, I advise you to give that shadchan the benefit if the doubt and move on.

The very first shidduch I made was at the age of sixteen. I discovered then, and I have seen it again and again, that while everyone dreams of that “ideal” future spouse, very often people end up marrying a totally different type. Yet, amazingly, they are convinced they have found the “person of their dreams.”

I can cite dozens of examples where singles seeking a shidduch come to me and describe their requirements. I would be hesitant to introduce them to someone who did not meet those expectations – only to later discover they had married a person whom I had never considered recommending for they were the exact opposite of what they described.

So, yes, I advise you to be more open and not lock yourself into a preconceived image.

And now I will share with you what is perhaps even more incredible when it comes to shidduchim. It can happen that the qualities you admired during the dating process can be the very qualities you find objectionable after marriage. For example, you always wanted someone who was strong and capable of “taking charge” – someone you could respect. And, happily, you found him. After marriage, however, these very same traits you admired will now seem oppressive.

Or you might meet someone during the dating process who is very kind, very considerate and ever ready to do whatever you desire. After marriage, however, these very qualities can become irritants as you now view them as a weakness – an inability to give direction or assume leadership.

There is much more to finding the right shidduch than meets the eye. It’s one thing to get married but it is something else again to live in harmony afterward, and at the end of the day that is what counts. Unfortunately, going under the chuppah does not guarantee a bayit ne’eman b’Yisrael where shalom bayis prevails. For this we need a lot of “siyato d’shamayoh” – help from G-d.

In my next column, I hope to outline exactly what that means. I will also cite those situations where you must stand firm, where you cannot have an open mind, where you cannot negotiate or compromise.

For the Shloshim of Yaakov Tovia ben Boruch Altman and Second Yahrzeit of Sara bas Bentzion (Harnik)

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Dear G-d,

 

As a mourning Yesoma sadly left behind

I’ve been turning things over and over in my mind

And have resolved to speak directly to You, my Creator

For who better to understand us – there is none greater

 

It’s You who can comfort us and wipe away our tears

It is only You who are capable of alleviating our fears

Now that our beloved parents no longer grace this earth

The ones we could depend on from the moment of our birth

 

Two beautiful neshamos, they’ve both left us and gone

Up to Shamayim to bear witness upon

The onus of a bitter Golus they personally braved

From early on when heinous mortals proved to be depraved

 

Throughout their unspeakable ordeal that reverberated in Heaven

You kept a close and watchful eye on them 24/7

Dispatching Your malachim You saved them many a time

From the unrelenting viciousness of the Nazi swine

 

 

At 19 our dear mother z”l was met with the greeting “Arbeit Macht Frei”

As she debarked the smothering cattle car and was forced to bid good-bye

To precious family members herded along a different path

Leading to the “showers” of Auschwitz that culminated in their bloodbath

 

Our dear father hk”m was iron-willed, agile and fit

Divinely blessed with a tenaciousness, vigor and true grit

He hid in snow on rooftops and in flooded cellars come spring

Paying no heed to hunger pangs or the preying insect’s sting

 

But You, Hashem, know this all – from You nothing is concealed

Moreover, it is You who held their hands and acted as their shield

You further brought the two together, postwar and parent-less

Notwithstanding their bitter experiences, they were shining models of finesse

 

Fast forward … on to the Holy Land, to struggles amid life anew

In due course to Canadian shores where one was still challenged as a Jew

Bur our dear father’s dogged resistance was to serve him well again

For he’d never dream to abandon Your statutes to conform to those of men

 

 

No elaboration needed, dear G-d, for You are quite aware

Of this twosome’s warmth and generosity, a sweet and gentle pair

Despite invariably modest means, they’d fill each outstretched palm

Their delightful company and lending ear were to so many soothing balm

 

Ah, but the Beis Midrash was our father’s love (save for his family)

For years on end from before the break of dawn he’d toil there happily

Ensuring the mikveh’s effective function to orderliness all around

His selfless devotion to this holy avodah was far and wide renowned

 

No rain nor hail, no sleet or snow would deter him from his morning routine

At 5:00 a.m. when the masses still slept he’d slip away mostly unseen

Up until 48 hours before You deemed to reclaim his holy soul

He carried on his daily shiur and minyan and was faithful to his passionate goal

 

It was on Erev Shabbos, Parshas Vayeshev quite a telling sign

The parsha teaches that a tzaddik’s focus is on the bottom line

Maasim tovim defined the life of Yaakov our eminent patriarch

As was our own dear father’s life’s ambition – with which he made his mark

 

How apropos (as You well know) that chof-daled Kislev memorializes the day

Of the Chanukas HaBayis of the Beis Hamikdash, our acutely yearned-for mainstay

On Erev Chanukah You summoned our Tatty to ascend on high to ignite

The Chanukah candles in Gan Eden … and with our dear mother there to unite

 

It was close to two whole years since he’d abandoned motivation

To take delight in life’s small joys as he had before their separation

It broke our hearts to witness our dear father’s world turning dark

Life without his Aishes Chayil had simply lost its glowing spark

 

A bittersweet end to an era – not easy for us children left behind

But You, Ribono shel Olam are HaMakom menachem and indefinably kind

You are the Healer of the brokenhearted, the Father of orphans and more

We await the great light at the end of all eras when perfection You will restore….

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/for-the-shloshim-of-yaakov-tovia-ben-boruch-altman-and-second-yahrzeit-of-sara-bas-bentzion-harnik/2010/01/15/

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