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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Dear Thank’

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 2/22/08

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

To all women, men or children who feel that they are at the end of their ropes, please consider joining a support group, or forming one.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help agunot, please send your tax deductible contribution to The Jewish Press Foundation.

Checks must be clearly specified to help agunot. Please make sure to include that information if that is the purpose of your contribution, because this is just one of the many worthwhile causes helped by this foundation.

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Dear Rachel,

In my wildest dreams I never thought I’d be writing to you.

I am a man in my 30′s, happily married, with three children. A year ago, I was in a situation where I met another woman; she was also married. Although I never thought I would ever go down this road, one thing led to another for three weeks. We fell very much in love. It was the kind of love that makes your stomach drop at the mere thought of one another.

We knew it was wrong, but we were so happy that we did not allow ourselves to think of the consequences.

One day, though, the guilt started to set in. After much heartache, we decided to stop. We both felt that we could not put our kids through a divorce. We would stifle our feelings for each other and avoid a divorce – which may end up with our happiness but cause much harm to our children.

I must emphasize the following: I am not unhappy in my marriage. (We have the run-of-the-mill disagreements like any other marriage, but nothing out of the ordinary.) It’s just that when I met this girl, I realized that I never had with my wife this deep love that turns your stomach to mush. My wife and I are happy and we respect and love each other, but I don’t think we ever “fell in love” so deeply as I have with this other girl whom I cannot be with.

Rachel, I made a mistake, I know that. I tried to rectify that mistake. We stopped our relationship (although we do speak every so often just as “friends”). But here’s the problem: It’s a year later, and I think of her constantly. She is always on my mind and I am still very much in love with her. But I know that we cannot be together right now. We realize that our children are our priority. What do I do? How do I live out the rest of my life being so in love with another woman?

I know that G-d is punishing me; it is the perfect punishment for me. I live every day with pain and heartache and love for a woman I cannot have.

I would greatly appreciate any insight or encouragement you may have.

Thank you

Dear Thank,

Thank heavens you allowed some sobering thoughts to encroach on your impulsiveness.

From the first day of our existence, we have been inundated with temptation to be drawn into forbidden acts. I salute you for your strength in breaking off your illicit relationship, especially at such point where Satan already had you in the grip of his jaws.

However, the contact you maintain with this aishes ish (another man’s wife) clearly poses a threat to your emotional and spiritual existence. You are asking for trouble – by keeping your pain pulsating and the yetzer hara salivating. The past has, unfortunately, seen more than one family torn apart as a result of a situation typical of yours. Broken hearts and shattered lives, years since, testify to the folly of allowing base instincts to rule better sense.

“Love” driven by passionate ardor will cool, while the serenity and comfort of a loving wife and happy home will endure forever, as you go on to share nachas and milestones from the children whom you had a share in bringing into this world and have the responsibility of rearing.

I can hear the protest – this was love, not lust! Such attempt at justification will not hold sway in the Heavenly Court.

The following is a chilling, documented account that may help extinguish the still-burning embers in your heart.

In the time of the Arizal in the city of Tzfas, Reb Avrohom was recognized for his piety and wealth, as well as for his generosity and good-heartedness. His neighbor was an affluent businessman who dealt with Reb Avrohom’s wife, for while the Chassid involved himself mostly with matters of Torah, it was his wife who took care of their worldly concerns.

One day, this neighbor was struck with sudden illness. No doctor or any amount of money at his disposal was able to cure him, and after much suffering, he passed away.

A couple of years later, a ferocious-looking black dog appeared on the Chassid’s property. Though many attempts were made to chase it away, the dog stubbornly persisted in returning. An unsettled Reb Avrohom and his family always made sure to carefully lock the door behind them.

One early morning winter day, Reb Avrohom neglected to close the outside door as he hurriedly left for shul. The dog promptly entered the home and wandered from room to room until it found what it was seeking. It pounced upon the sleeping form of the Chassid’s wife with wild frenzy, mauling and tearing at her flesh. Bleeding profusely, the poor woman’s cries alerted the neighbors who ran to summon her husband.

A distraught Reb Avrohom consulted the Arizal, who deciphered the horrid event as such: “You should know that the business dealings your wife had with your neighbor led them to cohabit with one another. Due to his grave sin of adultery, he was reincarnated in this black dog – and granted permission to exact revenge on the woman who had brought him to sin with her excessive chatter.”

The Arizal concluded, “If your wife will confess her transgression, she will then die having done teshuvah. If she chooses not to, her end will be bitter…”

Realizing that her sin lay bare, Reb Avrohom’s wife acknowledged her wrongdoing, closed her eyes and departed this world – just as the Arizal had foretold.

Your neatly handwritten letter is reflective of a put-together, grounded individual. If your current life setting makes it next to impossible to avoid communication with this “other woman,” take drastic steps to alter it – for the sake of your family, your sanity, and your soul.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 2/01/08

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/ Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215.

To all women, men or children who feel that they are at the end of their ropes, please consider joining a support group, or forming one.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help agunot, please send your tax-deductible contribution to The Jewish Press Foundation.

Checks must be clearly specified to help agunot. Please make sure to include that information if that is the purpose of your contribution, because this is just one of the many worthwhile causes helped by this foundation.

* * * * * * * * * *

Dear Rachel,

Your column is a pleasure to read each week. It is a safe space for anyone to express her/his heartfelt feelings, and for that I thank you.

Your latest discussion about needing to really be there for your spouse (Been there, done that – Chronicles 12-7) certainly came at an opportune time for me. My husband of 15 years walked out the door, explaining he loved me but was constantly hurt by being last on my “to do” list and was getting burnt by my stinging criticism.

After much self-analysis and help from an insightful Chabad rabbi and a frum therapist, I was able to see how tough I was to live with. There was no safety in our home for my husband, as he never knew what I would come up with next.

Let me clarify that I am a popular and fun person but am used to things done my way. I had no idea that I was upsetting my husband to the extent that he would leave. After promising to continue to work on myself, my husband is back.

I would never have thought that this could happen to me. I now think before I speak and do something kind every few hours. It doesn’t have to be time consuming, just thoughtful. The past few weeks have been great, and I only wish I would have known the importance of creating a safe and kind environment for my husband years ago.

Thank G-d it wasn’t too late for me

Dear Thank,

On behalf of readers who will surely benefit from your experience and your wise and sane approach, I thank you for taking the time to write.

Dear Rachel,

I’m writing this in response to “Frustrated Mother” (Chronicles 12-14).

Dear Mother,

I’m one of those singles of whom you speak. I may even know your daughters (or even be your daughter)! I just wanted to say that I fully sympathize with you. What you said about people suggesting shidduchim and never following up on them is so true. I completely agree that if people won’t follow up on their suggestions, they should never suggest them at all! This cannot be stressed enough.

I think that the reason that people do this is because they are trying to be nice and helpful but they don’t realize that instead they are doing the opposite. They have no idea that the girl/boy to whom they are suggesting the shidduch is standing on tiptoe and holding her/his breath while waiting for a phone call to know what’s happening.

I believe that all these people have never gone through this and don’t know how it feels, for I’m sure that if they did, they would never do this. They were, baruch Hashem, lucky to meet the right one right away and they don’t understand the crisis of which we speak.

If only everyone would read this and understand, but sadly, that’s not how it is. You, I and others who have gone through the same thing will know never to do it to other people, but we must give them the benefit of the doubt.

I also agree with Rachel that girls in their mid-twenties did not “miss the boat,” although unfortunately this is what most of our community has learned to think, so I see where you are coming from. If people would be a little more open minded, and learn to accept that not everyone has to get married at eighteen, there wouldn’t be such a big crisis.

I am sure that this is the nisayon of our generation and that we must be strong and pass this test! It’s sad that it has become a true nes when one finds his/her partner in life. I wish your daughters the best of luck, and I hope that they find their basherts really, really soon!

Dear Rachel,

Frustrated Mother is right on target. As long-time members of a shidduch group, we all know too well the built up frustration, disappointments, anxiety and despair as a result of phone calls that have never been returned, leads that never materialize, of promises that are seldom kept by well-meaning but unsuitable so-called shadchanim.

Shadchanis is not for everyone. That’s right. Not everyone is cut out for this task, which requires in the least: diligence, tact, diplomacy, self-control, maturity, loyalty, and most important – time. If you lack some of the above qualities, please do yourself and the prospective single a favor and stay away.

Channel your well-meant intentions by reciting a perek of Tehilim or working to perfect a midah in the zechus of a certain single, but please, please do not get involved unless you are determined to follow through on phone calls, leads and suggestions. For this job, only the most responsible and mature need apply. Why? Because we are dealing with Jewish neshomos, Jewish lives, future Jewish homes and kinderlech. Can you think of anything more important than that?

And it goes without saying that if your daughter/son/niece/nephew were in the shidduch parshah, you would want quick and up-to-date service. So, we ask, why not for others? Yes, get involved, but only if you bring your time, your efforts and your maturity with you for this truly holy task.

May Hashem send all Jewish singles their basherten b’karov.

Frustrated but still plugging away

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-93/2008/01/30/

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