Thursday, September 1, 2016

Single Girl in Shidduchim ..... Letter to the Editor

September 1
This was printed in the  Letters to the Editor in the FJJ (Flatbush Jewsish Journal)

A Public Plea From An Older Single Sibling Of The Kallah 

In a perfect world, all siblings would marry in the order that they were born, because a perfect world is fair.
 However we live in the Olam Hasheker, which, by its very definition, appears to be cruel and unfair. We accept this as a reality of life and we believe that everything Hashem does is for the best. 

However, it does not make the situation any less painful for us. 

It is extremely painful that our baby sister, whom we bathed, fed, dressed, walked to preschool, taught how to whistle, took to Disney movies, etc. etc. is walking to the chuppa before us and (in many cases) to the first male that she interacted with socially since playgroup. 

If we had it our way, we would not be present at this simcha at all (admit it, it’s true!). Yet we know that we have to do what is right for our families and for our sisters. 

However, I am making a request to all of you readers who find yourselves at such a wedding. 

Please take my words to heart as rachmanim bnei rachmanim and hopefully we will soon hear kol chosson v’kol kallah b’arei yehuda v’chutzos yerushalyim, Amen. 

My request is as follows. 

Reserve all Mazel Tov wishes to the chosson/ kallah, their parents, and their grandparents. Do not wish the older single siblings (applies to males and females!) of the chosson/kallah a Mazel Tov. It is not their simcha. They are not getting married. It is not a well wish. It is a punch in the gut. Let’s not even get started on “Im yirtzeh Hashem by you soon!” These words are the nadir of halbanas pnei chaveiro b’rabbim, which Chazal equate to murder. 

Please daven for us, and have us in mind during Tehillim, Hadlakas Neiros and Hafrashas Challah, but do not verbalize your wishes to us. It hurts. It makes us cry. In fact, do not even speak to the older single sibling at all. Let him/her make the first move, just as the Halacha is with Nichum Aveilim. If the avel wants to cry the whole time, s/he is 100% entitled to do so. Perhaps the older single siblings wants to be left alone, as s/he is spending the whole night hoping and davening that s/he won’t cry, faint, vomit, etc. 

If the older single sibling wants to talk, then s/he will greet you and say something like, “Thank you for coming. I’m so happy to see you.” If the older single sibling greets you, discuss neutral topics. Ask a question such as, “How’s work/ school?” “I hear you were just in London. How was?” “I hear you just passed your road test. How exciting for you!” Believe me, if the older single sibling wants to discuss the simcha, s/he will steer the topic in that direction. And if s/he doesn’t, s/ he will be grateful for your sensitivity and understanding.

 Let us look at the story of Chana and Penina in Shmuel Aleph, Perek Aleph. Penina tortured and taunted Chana every day about her childless state. The Midrash quotes examples of what Penina used to say to Chana. “Didn’t you buy clothes for your children? Haven’t you gotten your children up and dressed yet?” (This is no different than wishing the single older sibling of the chosson/kallah Mazel Tov, isn’t it?)

 The Midrash says that Penina did it 100% l’shem shamayim, namely so Chana would daven harder for children. Yet Penina was severely punished for her behavior, because hurting other people’s feelings is wrong, regardless of the intentions behind it. 

Maybe your intention is simply to wish the older sibling well. Yet if you really wished them well, you would sincerely daven it and not say it. We will conclude with Rabbi Akiva’s statement in Pirkei Avos, Perek Shlishi, “Siyag lachamah shtika.” literally translated as “Silence is the protective fence of wisdom.” Just as a fence prevents us from entering a place that is forbidden, so too does silence (especially when in doubt on what to say) prevent us from entering the dangerous area of thoughtless, foolish comments and their serious consequences. 

With best wishes for all of Klal Yisrael to become chassonim/kallos at the right time and may we hear kol chosson v’kol kallah b’arei yehuda v’chutzos yerushalyim. A Fellow Jew


Anonymous said...

Sad that a person can be so tzebissen & misguided. Feeling good for her sister despite her own tzaar can bring her own yeshua closer min haShamayim where they appreciate working hard for a more positive attitude.

Monsey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hot Chani said...

I bet they are only in Their low 20s. Why do they pressure themselves.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is trying to minimize the lady's pain, but a few comments are in order.
You're obviously angry at people who have nothing to do with your situation, and because of the many weddings B"E"Y" these days, probably don't even want to show up, are tired, and come to say Mazel Tov and make the familes happy by showing up altogether.
You're giving a lesson on what and what not to say, much the same as nichum aveilik'niks are told what to say and what not to say at shiva calls.
Can you cut us some slack? People mean well.
Maybe your anger is at G-D, so why take it out on people who mean no harm.
Your references to Peninina-Chana, and Syog Lachochmo Shtika is tough.
Penina & Chana lived under the same roof and she harassed her constantly. Let's take the view that she meant it l'Shem Shomayim and wanted Chana to daven. For sure Chana davened already but now she took a step further and went to daven at the Mishkan site.
Surely, you also daven, and you should keep davening .... Maybe make a trip to EY, to the Kotel, to other mekomos hakdoshim... Maybe you already did... Well, do it again or ask someone's that going to daven for you.... Chana didn't say, as many do, that Hashem is everywhere and I'll daven at my local shtiebel... She made pilgrimage to the Mishkan site... After that, it's up to Hashem...
Shtika doesn't apply .... One has to speak to be menachem the avel, one has to speak and comfort the sick, and wish a Mazal Tov to balei simcha verbally and make them happy..
Everybody has issues , but your hostility and bitterness is misdirected at innocent people ...
Since even a birchas hedyot is significant, then a bracha by some guest to you can affect something in order to bring you happiness in the near future...
Don't put guilt trips and speech restrictions on people because you're angry...

the Derby

Anonymous said...

why would the OLDER sister just pass her driving test??! is the younger sister being married at 15? If not, then the older sister should not be worried about getting married if it took her 5 years to pass her road test.