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Hodu L’Hashem Ki Le’Olam Chasdo

Give thanks to Hashem for He is good; His kindness endures forever!



Dear Rachel,

I should preface my story with “believe it or not.” Can hardly believe it myself, had I not lived it.

Several months ago I met this girl who was redt to me. We hit it off and had several dates before getting engaged. We had a beautiful, lebedig chasuna that went by like a dream – until the nightmare began. Let’s just say that by the next day it was over. Not the wedding. The marriage.

Inexplicably, my new wife turned cold on me as soon as we found ourselves alone. She started to cry when I attempted to get anywhere near her. No explanation, just tears and rejection. By the next day she was off to her mother’s place and didn’t even bother returning to our apartment.

I was stymied, as was everyone else, including her own family. Nobody saw it coming. By all accounts, she was an enthusiastic, happy kallah who danced the night away.

Her mom promptly arranged for some professional intervention. After a few sessions, my wife began to text me with a half-hearted apology. All she indicated was that she was working on herself and would try to make amends.

We texted tepidly back and forth, on and off. When I asked if she was ready to come back to me and to our home, the most she agreed to was to meet me someplace on neutral ground. She seemed to be suggesting that we start the dating process all over again so we can get to know each other better. This after having repeatedly told me while we were dating that I was the best friend she ever had.

By this time about four months had elapsed since we’d gotten married. Aside from the embarrassment (to my family and myself), I was beginning to get really turned off. I felt like I’d married either an imposter or a baby. Though I was in touch with her mother who tried desperately to set her daughter back on track, I began to face reality.

Would I ever regain the respect and admiration I felt for my kallah before I had the rug pulled out from under me? What if I gave her that second chance, only to be rejected again?

In short, I gave her a get. It saddened and relieved me at the same time. I’m not sure how she felt, but I knew she was under a lot of pressure to make it work. She is young and as far as I know I was the first boy she went out with. I’d like to believe her only problem is that she’s got lots of growing up to do. One thing seemed certain: had I gone along with the play-by-play, it would’ve been her family I was married to, not her.

I realize that I’m not writing to ask for your advice. Obviously I’ve made my choice. I write rather to warn others to be wary, to try to make sure the girl they’re contemplating marrying is mature and on the ball.

Single and singing Hodu l’Hashem


Dear Single and Singing,

Thank you for your letter. It’s a great lesson, in more ways than one. The first lesson is for outsiders: Never be judgmental! Only the parties involved have the inside “scoop.”

The second lesson is for eligible singles, at whatever age or stage in life: Never say yes under duress or pressure of any kind!

To the letter writer: Kudos for your patience, stamina, and the courage to walk away (after much pain and heartache) and move on with your life.

You will ultimately, b’ezras Hashem, come to realize that you were meant to go through this challenging ordeal, for good reason. Nothing, as we know, happens by happenstance. We may think we are in charge, but in realty G-d is running the show.

More commonly than we’d like to believe, couples married (or engaged) briefly end up meeting their intended only after their first commitment dissolves. Their second zivug is usually someone they’d have never originally considered as a suitable match, for whatever reason. Through their now altered lens, a shidduch that was not in the offing the first time around becomes suddenly appealing. Hashem’s handiwork behind the scenes.

All that’s required of us is to check things out as best we can, daven for clarity, and hope to Hashem that it’s the right one.

If things still go awry despite our hishtadlus (due diligence), we must trust and believe things were meant to go this way and that it’s all for the best. Your signature tells me you’re on the right track. Keep singing your praises to the Ribbono Shel Olam and He will reward you beyond your dreams. Hatzlacha!


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