Inviting divorced women to your Shabbos table?

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  • #1808121

    RebbeDebbie
    Participant

    Is there a problem of modesty when inviting divorced women to your Shabbos table with your family? My wife keeps inviting them, but I am not comfortable with them because they are too forward with somethings. However, people shouldn’t spend Shabbos alone. Any ideas?

    #1808131

    devny
    Participant

    Sorry I was being too forward, it’s just you were threatening your wife with the challah knife because she didn’t serve you enough cholent. So I said you should chill out a bit. I apologize for involving myself in your domestic violence issues.

    #1808217

    knaidlach
    Participant

    rebbedebbie, if you feel uncomfortable that itself is a reason your wife should not invite them.

    devny, thanks for putting on a smile on my face

    #1808235

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    What is the problem is it because she is divorced or withour a husband?

    #1808247

    kollelman
    Participant

    Start shmoozing with them. Your wife will stop inviting them. ;-p

    #1808248

    David Y
    Participant

    Everybody, strap yourselves in and get ready for the ride… I can see this topic heating up!

    #1808259

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Well that’s a generalization

    We invited a divorced lady one time and she didn’t talk too mich

    #1808286

    Billywee
    Participant

    Thank you for giving me the chance to make a Shechianu.
    I never thought I’d live to see the day when Yidden would discuss whether to invite a lonely person for a meal because of tznius.
    Hashem is looking down so proudly.
    The only positive is that anyone who wouldn’t have her is not someone she would enjoy eating at anyway. Hashem has a way of making things work out.

    #1808290

    Have no fear billy, troll threads open because someone wants to present an idea that either makes people think, or makes people look bad. After some musser from the mainstream posters the thread either gets closed or loses interest.

    #1808302

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    We very often (at least every other week and often more often than that) had a divorced woman by our table (and sleep over at our house) on Shabbos. I guess this proves, once again, how horrible I am. But don’t worry… I won’t be having this person over to my house again.

    The Wolf

    You may want to try rereading the post

    #1808311

    chash
    Participant

    Billywee. lonely people who have a lack of tznius dont get invited to my table, ones loneliness does give them a free pass on any mitzvos.
    That said. This is a HUGE oversimplification, maybe your wife like ‘forward’ people, but your comments’ wording implied that divorced women are to forward, that generalization is simply untrue. And you probably didnt even mean that.

    #1808340

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Is a widow or widower ok? I am a widower, who lost his wife nine years ago, appreciate being invited to a shabbos table.

    #1808343

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer – everyone’s okay. This was his personL issue and it has nothing at Ll to do with the divorce status. You are welcome at our table any time

    #1808347

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Its also possible that you could organize a Shabbos seudah at your home involving other couples or families along with the person your wife is seeking to host. Having more people might lessen the concerns unless the single person is acting overtly inappropriately.

    #1808346

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Thank you Syag for your reassurance.

    #1808318

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Another downside to inviting divorced women into your home: Divorced women are single and might get married to anyone. What if she marries your worst enemy, Jacob Randolph, and ends up telling him about the evidence board in your kitchen with red strings connecting different pictures of him, and it gets him suspicious about why you need to know where he was on May 9, 1997? It might not be illegal, but if he uses his police connections to investigate you, he’ll find out about the other thing. Better safe than sorry.

    #1808363

    BASESTHER
    Participant

    A person should go out of his comfort zone in order to chesed. Divorced women have very lonely Shabbosos. And if they have children, they crave having a shabbos table to enjoy. YOu don’t have to do this chesed every week. Set aside time for yourself occasionally for having family only Shabbos seudas, and at other times host graciously with the happiness and bounty H-shem has blessed you with. And be grateful to your spouse for being kind and loving to you and others.

    #1808395

    catch yourself
    Participant

    Learn to appreciate people, even if they are different from you.
    Like we read in the Haftarah on the morning of Yom Kippur, if עניים מרודים תביא בית then אז תקרא וה’ יענה תשוע ויאמר הנני.
    Who could be more עני מרודה than a person who eats alone on שבת?

    #1808398

    The little I know
    Participant

    Everyone is correct about the need to have the rachmonus and extend invitations to those who are downtrodden and lonely. I would reject the notion that anyone here feels differently. The issue that makes this a debate is the situation when the guest brings things to the family table that are not appropriate for the environment. We all have a chiyuv to make the environment of the home something Shabbosdig, appropriate for the chinuch of the children, etc. If a guest takes things in a different direction, we must rethink whether this is a good idea. Which obligation takes precedence, the one to invite guests that are in need or the protections for the home that are central to our Torah lifestyle. One can hear arguments in either direction. The position not to have such guests is not because one minimizes the need or is heartless.

    #1808414

    philosopher
    Participant

    RebbeDebbie, if you are uncomfortable with the type of guests ( divorced or not) you shouldn’t feel any guilt about not inviting them. The atmosphere needs to be on your spiritual level and it’s not a mitzvah to be dragged down spiritually.

    We must remember that while the Torah mentioned hacnasos orchim is great, whether in Tanach or in later sources, the women used to dress way more modestly, in certain times and places even their faces were covered. Certainly, the garments used to be looser and longer than the standard today. There’s also less formality between the genders in this generation.

    One must try to preserve theirs and their family’s kedusha even at the expense of this mitzvah that can easily turn into an aveirah of tarivus.

    #1808429

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    We can invite them like a BT and explain to them nicely the significance of shabbos.

    #1808397

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    There seems to be this totally false, dishonest and truly offensive theme in many postings that divorced or single women are somehow out to prey on happily married men or otherwise prone to act aggressively or inappropriately around men. I suspect the same could be said about single men as well (with respect to their behavior around women) since they are often immature and lack basic social skills. The reality is obviously that any individual may or may not act inappropriately at different times, but its total incorrect to characterize any subset of the tzibur as a “threat” whether it be their modesty, lack of hashkafah or likelihood to engage in lashon harah or anything else.

    #1808444

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    GH, bravo, nicely expressed. If you feel they are not behaving properly, tell them abour it with tact (the way you would want to be told) and they will welcome it.

    #1808568

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer: Its much easier for a single guy to “network” in shul or at the beis medrash and get himself invited to share shabbos with other families if he is from OOT or just new to the neighborhood or simply tired of spending shabbosm and yom tovim with his own family and anxious to meet and engage with new people. Once they are several years out of school/seminry single women in the Chareidi or Yeshivish velt often have fewer options to meet new friends and get invited to share shabbosim with other families. I’m not certain there is any valid measure of lonliness and depression in the frum communities but I suspect it may be higher among single women and all of us have an obligation to help them expand their networks in a welcoming and supportive way.

    #1808598

    philosopher
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah, you are the one that read that theme when no one was implying that. Everyone who suported the OP simply said that a person needs to feel comfortable in the company of their guests, in a spiritual sense or otherwise, and it doesn’t matter if the guests are divorced or not.

    Personally, I don’t get this inviting divorced women thing. In our Chassidishe community the women who are divorced eat at their own family’s Shabbos seudahs. Sometimes for Yom Tov divorced women do get invited out, but these women are already close friends to their hosts and their spouses are comfortable having them at their table. We used to have a divorced man over for some seudahs but he was my husband’s close friend and he almost never spoke to me or to my teenage daughters except saying “good Shabbos” in our general direction, saying “thank you” to me and inviting us all to his wedding. If the all guests behave like this, I’d say kol hakvod to hosting guests of the opposite gender…

    My mother was divorced at a time when almost no one was in our community was and we ate by ourselves or at our grandparents’. It never occurred to us, and especially to my mother, to eat at other people seudahs and we would never have gone had we been invited out.

    #1808600

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Personally, I don’t get this inviting divorced women thing. In our Chassidishe community the women who are divorced eat at their own family’s Shabbos seudahs.

    There are people who don’t live in your chassidishe community…

    There are plenty of divorced women who don’t have parents

    1. who are alive
    2. who live locally
    3. who are frum
    4. who get along with them
    5. etc.

    #1808605

    Joseph
    Participant

    Philosopher: Every guest is always “of the opposite gender” of some of the host family’s family members, as almost every family has members of both genders.

    #1808647

    RebbeDebbie
    Participant

    @gadolhadorah

    Give it up. When something is deleted repeatedly it is because it has been deemed inappropriate.  If you keep posting it anyway, nothing else you write will make it through either.

    Mod: I was going through and replying to individual posts in the thread. I was not trying to submit the same post repeatedly. My apologies if it seemed that way. Have a good day.
    Nice try but not quite.

    #1808688

    philosopher
    Participant

    Joseph, my point is exactly that. Hosts and their spouses, whichever genders they may each be, should feel comfortable vwith their guests of the opposite gender.

    As a seminary student I ate with my fellow students in many types of homes, many Litvish and even modern homes, and we mostly spoke only to the female members of the household. It’s only in the US and in certain frum communities where theres the breakdown of formality between the genders and “everyone is friends”. I’m not saying you can’t talk to your guests if that what’s done in your community, but there still must be reserve when interacting with the opposite gender and many people have lost that reserve.

    #1808711

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Philosopher, look at the Aruch Hashulchan about covering hair at davening, something that is done frequently wil not affect us anymore. People of opposite gender mix more and talk to each other more than used to, so they become immune to each other.

    #1808725

    philosopher
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer, the yetzer hora never rests and never lets people become immune… Look at the secular world, the genders intermingle casually and the rate of divorce is at 50%, and for those who are married there are many options within marriage… And just look at how these teens live coming from these freely mixing environments…They have immunity, right?

    A big part of why the divorce rate is lower in the Chassidishe community is because the majority of people in our communities don’t mix as much as in the non-Chassidishe communities. And in fact, married couples who are on the edge of Chassidish, having grown up in Chassidishe families and became more modern, often eat Shabbos and Yom Tov at each other’s houses and eat out in restaurants together, and their divorce rate is much higher than regular Chassidishe couples.

    #1808723

    Joseph
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer: You make an interesting point regarding the Aruch Hashulchan and hair covering. The Aruch Hashulchan strongly denounces and decries the terrible machla of married women not covering their hair and says it must stop. Then he says since it is prevalent in some places therefore you can krias shma in front of her if you don’t look at her.

    To take your example to this discussion, perhaps a small degree of immunity is obtained, but nevertheless it is very very wrong and must be stopped.

    #1808738

    Whatsaktome
    Participant

    I don’t think conversation between genders is inappropriate, provided it dosent go to far, and especially if one is married and older (than the other gender, not older as in old)

    #1808737

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Philosopher, there is a problem if the chasidishe sometimes must mix because they are not used to it. The divorce is less because the women have less desires for luxuries and they are satisfied with what the husband provides.

    #1808734

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Yesterday shabbos, I visited an older woman in a nursing home. We had a discussion of Torah pointing out why noshim are tzidkoniyos because the covering of their hair is for the benefit of the men as women among themselves would not have to do that.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Reb Eliezer.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Reb Eliezer.
    #1808773

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    As mentioned before, I am alone now as my wife passed away nine years ago. There are six chassidish fanilies on my block, but to this very day, none of them has invited me. My chassidish rav invites me for every Yom Tov especially for Pesach seder.

    #1808776

    philosopher
    Participant

    “Reb” Eliezer, the Chassidishe communities don’t have to fix problems that don’t exist, even if it does in your mind…Your comment about luxuries is based on ignorance of our Chassidishe communities. There are definitely problems in certain Chassidishe communities regarding women and men having strong desire for luxuries and live on a higher standard than they can afford. In recent years some Rebbes have addressed the issue of lowering the standards for weddings and many have listened, but the everyday lifestyle standards were never addressed. Many Chassidishe people like nice cars, designer clothing and accessories and other things they can’t afford. I’m not saying it doesn’t create sholom bayis problems but because the divorce rate is generally low in the Chassidishe communities doesn’t mean these problems don’t exist within some Chassidishe communities.

    #1808784

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    ”…..I’m not saying you can’t talk to your guests if that what’s done in your community, but there still must be reserve when interacting with the opposite gender and many people have lost that reserve…”
    Agreed, but what constitutes “reserve” is clearly a function of what might be considered in a social context, “mihhag hamokom”. I’m certain there is a vast difference as to what level of “reserve” is considered the norm or is appropriate as between a shabbos table at the home of a MO family versus that of a Chareidi or Chassidish family. My only hope is that to the extent possible and without jeopardizing your own shalom bayis, greater efforts be made to reach out to individuals who might otherwise be alone on shabbos notwithstanding their gender, age, maritial status or hashkafah.

    #1808787

    LOTR92
    Participant

    its is the right thing to do, and if you say otherwise, you have a very twisted way of understanding halacha

    #1808806

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    As I am thinking, maybe the chassidishe above are afraid of their behavior and not mine.

    #1808809

    philosopher
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah, the meaning of what it means to be “reserved” varies widely in NON-Chassidishe circles. What some may call “reserve” is nothing short of “unreserved” according to to other non-Chassidishe standards. It doesn’t matter how people judge the “reserved” barometer, if they are informal with the opposite gender, despite thinking they are “reserved” according to their standards, it doesn’t make them “unreserved”.

    #1808813

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer: I’m so sorry to hear of your loss (even nine years ago) and was intrigued (and to some degree saddened) by your sharing the fact that within your chassidish community, only the Rav has reached out to share a shabbos or yom tov meal. That apparently is the minhag hamakom in your velt and apparently in other similarly situated chassidish communities. If that is the norm and there are no expectations of a broader outreach effort than there is perhaps there isg no issue. However, it is my limited understanding that in some cases, there is a great sense of loneliness and isolation among those who for whatever reason don’t have a network of family and friends with whom to share a shabbos table.
    P.S. You should only know from simchas

    #1808814

    philosopher
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer, you may be an exception, there are always exceptions to the rules…but generally, the FACT is, that the more informality there is between genders, the more divorces and inappropriate behavior there will be.

    #1808822

    Billywee
    Participant

    It’s great when people with no idea how science works start stating facts.
    Who says the Chassidish divorce rate is lower because of the gender seperation?
    Could it be possible be that a 28yr old MO woman with a Masters degree, making $100k and 2 kids have an easier time deciding to leave?
    How much harder is it for a 28yr old Chassidish women with barely a H.S. education, making $22k, and 6 kids to leave?
    Everythings not black and white. Some leave over the slightest issue. Some leave when it’s hard, and some wait til it’s very difficult to stay in the marriage.
    Maybe Chassidim have fewer divorces because they, due to the difficulty of living as a Chasid after a divorce, have a lot higher tolerance for staying in a bad marriage?

    #1808831

    philosopher
    Participant

    Billywee, ok so if it makes you feel better let’s say the entire lifestyle of the MO potentially contributes to greater divorce rates…

    #1808852

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Philosopher, what is the meaning of the great mitzva of Hachnosas Orchim which is greater than the acceptance of the Shchina?

    #1808843

    MDG
    Participant

    Going back to the original question, if this lady makes too many inappropriate comments, then the husband should tell his wife to tell the guest to save the comments for later, perhaps when the two ladies are in private if need be.

    #1808845

    Billywee
    Participant

    Maybe it is the MO lifestyle, maybe its parts of it. A smart person would study it before making assumptions.
    Maybe it is because of gender seperation and Tznius.
    But, The Chassidish world has only gotten more machmir about gender and tznius over the last few years (separate streets on Y”T), yet the rate of divorce among Chassidim has gone up tremendously during this same time.
    Smart people think before they act. If the reason its rising has nothing to do with gender seperation isnt it negligent, to assume that and not focus on finding out the real reason?

    #1808874

    Joseph
    Participant

    Billywee: That’s factually incorrect. They haven’t gotten more machmir in recent years.

    #1808877

    philosopher
    Participant

    Billywee, indeed many Chassidim today are more machmir on gender separation than years ago and many non-Chassidim have relaxed their standards…Divorce rates have gone up in all circles and I don’t think all of it is bad- women and men will not stay in abusive relationships anymore. However, overall, the divorce rate is higher in circles where men and women have relaxed standards, that’s a fact. Of course, there are other factors involved, the relaxing of standards is according to how integrated one is in the secular world and how accepting one is of the secular culture, that goes hand in hand. Obviously, the more frum one is, whether they are Chassidish or not, the more formal one will be with the opposite gender. It doesn’t make a marriages automatically wonderful if one is more reserved towards the opposite gender, but certainly marriages dissolve more easily the more secular “values” are embraced.

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