Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

I am sitting here in a complete state of shock. My world, which up until two days ago had been safe, normal and completely ordinary, has crashed and burned and I am in a state of “free-fall,” with no safety net to catch me.

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I am the fifth of six children who, until a day before yesterday, led a happy, loving and secure life. I went to a prominent and well respected yeshiva, was a good student, well thought of by my rabbaim, teachers and friends. I got along well with my siblings, especially my oldest sister, who favored me somewhat more than the other kids, but I never really thought much about it.

She married while I was in high school and moved to Israel. During my two years in yeshiva there I felt completely at home.

Upon returning home, I entered the shidduch parsha, as was expected, about four months ago I was set up with Miri. Two nights ago, I told my parents that Miri was my bashert and that I wanted to propose to her. I saw a strange look pass between my father and my mother and then they suggested that I might be acting too hasty; that maybe I should wait, go out with others, take more time. I thought this odd, as many of my friends are married or engaged. I chalked up their reaction to anxiety about the empty-nest they would be facing, as all my siblings were married.

But I stood my ground and insisted that Miri was the girl of my dreams and that both she and I agreed that we were ready to commit to each other. I told them I wanted to propose as soon as possible, but first wanted them to meet her parents.

And that’s when they told me.

It took a while for them to get it out; a lot of hand-wringing took place until they said there was something they had to tell me. As my world turned dark, they admitted that they were not my parents but actually my grandparents. My older sister had made a mistake years earlier and my parents adopted me.

Mrs. Bluth, I don’t know what else they said as all I could think of was how Miri and her family would react and if she would want to marry me.

I have been sitting in my room, locked away and weeping over this horror. You are the only person who knows about this lie I have been living, because I don’t know what to do or who to talk to. Please help me, I feel like I’m dying.

 

 

Dear Friend,

Stop crying, take a deep breath and calm down. No good has ever come of giving up without even attempting to make things right. Being a victim of anything over which one has no control is never a good thing, but in the vast scheme of things, you are luckier than most. You have your family.

Of course, you are shocked. Your world has been turned upside down and you are concerned about how Miri will react.

Do you think it will change the way she feels about you? It might. You envision that this will kill any chance of your finding happiness with her or anyone else for that matter. Well, that could be true – if you are willing to give her up and a chance for a life of happiness without letting her decide for herself.

After all, who got killed here, what crime did you or your parents (grandparents, sorry) commit that you should be held accountable for? As a matter of fact, I find what your parents did to be very admirable and beautiful. I believe, given some deep thought and a little more time to digest this new state of affairs, you will see how fortunate you are under the circumstances.

It appears that I have more faith in Miri than you do. If you care as deeply for each other as you say you do, then I think you will be able to overcome this. I think you should tell her as soon as possible, and trust her to see past all the adversity that is so blinding you.  If it turns out that I’m wrong, which I so rarely am, then it’s best you find out now and move on. Since you only became aware of this now, no one can say that she has been deceived. If I have any recall about the power of young love, she will stand by you.

Life is not an easy trip for anyone. We each have something we must overcome. This is yours. Stand up, walk tall, you did nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, you come from wonderful people, who, by the way, are probably terrified that you abhor them for not telling you sooner. Please know that they did this out of love and to protect you as long as they could. So they need your love and assurance as well at this time.

I am here to be of help in any way I can, just let me know how I can lighten your load and I will be glad to be of service. Your first order of business at this moment is to call Miri and sit down with her, face to face, and tell her of you situation. Then, if need be, call me. Hatzlacha.

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