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Dear Rachel,

Feeling Helpless in Ohio (Chronicles, October 23), the 20-year-old girl whose family suffered a financial setback and whose mother took her to a shadchan who suggested that she might have to consider a boy with a disability or a divorced one, is not being well served and I heartily disagree with your advice. There is nothing wrong with making a shidduch with either of these men, but only if such a match is a voluntary choice by the prospective bride.


This unfortunate girl is being shopped around without regard to her feelings of worth. Your advice to her to “enjoy this beautiful stage of your life” is not helpful. She is clearly distressed. As her mother and her shadchan are not assisting her respectfully, she should empower herself and take fate in her own hands: volunteer for a religious nursing home and grandma will recommend her to a worthy grandson; join a religious organization to pursue a hobby and meet a new girlfriend who has a wonderful brother who is sick of the unworthy “resume” scene; make an appointment with a religious outreach organization and explain her plight and ask for help; call everyone she knows and respects and tell them her parents unfortunately experienced a financial setback but she is a great prospect for marriage.

All the foregoing is just a small sample of what this young woman can do for herself aside from, of course, davening. She is decidedly not unworthy merchandise.

Lainie from Cherry Hill



Dear Rachel,

With all due respect to the widow who says she’s alone but not lonely (Chronicles, October 28), I would caution her to never say never. She doesn’t state her age, but that doesn’t really matter much. She can never know what Hashem has planned for her.

I am reminded of an old friend whose relatively young, vivacious mother-in-law suddenly took ill and passed away. Remarrying was the furthest thing from her father-in-law’s mind. He went about his life, resigned to his fate. He’d had a good marriage, his children – some married – kept him busy, and he felt no need to have his wife replaced at this point.

One night my friend’s husband had a dream that would be the catalyst for a whole new outlook. His mother came to him in his dream and urged him to speak to his father and to convince him that he was not to spend the rest of his life alone, that he should pursue all suggestions of a shidduch.

The son did as his mother had instructed him to and immediately relayed the dream to his father. The widower took his late wife’s bidding to heart, and it wasn’t long before a suitable match was on the table. My friend’s father-in-law married a wonderful woman, a widow, and they lived happily for a quarter of a century (until he passed away at a ripe old age).

It was a win-win for everyone. The blended families, stepchildren and all got along really well and still keep in touch.

Just saying


Dear Readers,

Your comments and suggestions give us food for thought and are much appreciated. Thank you.


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