Dear Readers: There have been many articles in The Jewish Press written by various advice columnists and families as well as singles themselves about the nisayon – the stressful experience of being unmarried, especially in a community whose primary focus is family life.
A relatively new columnist, Miriam Beigleman, who married after several decades of being single, writes of her challenges over the years of being on her own. She shares her poignant insights as someone who has “been there and done that.”
With sefira over and Shavuot behind us, it is now wedding season, with the myriad of joyous activities enveloping excited kallahs and chossons, that culminate in the chuppah and new beginnings.
It’s incumbent on everybody to make it a priority to try to set up the non-married. It’s extremely daunting and time consuming to basically put two strangers together and be a frequent go-between, negotiator, and adviser, but when it happens, and eventually children are born, you become a partner with Hashem in creating “worlds.”
Below is a poem that perhaps will give some brief insight as to what it is like to be single in a married world.
The Single Aunt
She gets out of the taxi at her little sister’s place,
As she approaches the front door she slows down her pace.
She takes a deep breath and forces a smile on her face,
Though sadness and anxiety make her heart race.
She sits at the crowded table, surrounded – but alone,
The reunion brought by Yom Tov weighs heavily like a stone.
A guest of her baby sister, a baalbusta all grown,
She aches with the need for a family of her own.
Her siblings and their spouses converse with delight,
Catching up on family news well into the night,
She listens politely, but has little to say,
When you live alone, there is a sameness to your day.
The children stop their playing and run to the tish,
Climbing on a parent’s lap eager for a kiss,
Sweet, shiny faces that reflect childish bliss,
A sharp reminder of what she continues to miss.
The festivities finally over, she goes to her cot,
Sleepless, she agonizes over what she hasn’t got,
No matter how much she’s welcomed, she feels so left out,
Her siblings are flooded with nachas, while her life is a drought,
She prays to Hashem to bring a new tomorrow,
One that will banish her ever-present sorrow.
One where she will finally feel whole,
One where she will meld with the other half of her soul.
This she knows will happen, for she is suffused with belief,
That her Creator is watching, and will send sweet relief,
And that the day will come when she will find her true mate.
She tells herself often she must be patient and wait.
But for all her resolve, her singlehood is not easy,
Being with young marrieds makes her feel queasy,
As do the pitying glances and the resulting exclusions,
The snobbery, the indifference, the negative conclusions.
Emunah and tefillah keep her somewhat afloat,
But at times she feels she’s in a sinking boat,
This is her nisayon, one she hopes to pass,
But at the end of the day, she wonders if she will last.