July 5, 2011 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #597807
My friends all came over to wish me mazel tov on Friday night (I got engaged on Wednsday). When I walked them out the door, one girl burst into tears. She cried hysterically for about two full minutes (so not her style!). I was so shocked and confused, I didn’t know what to do! Her parents are divorced as well as most of her immediate family. Plus other issues…I feel so sorry for her! She’s a good girl, smart, pretty..and yet, it’ll be so hard for her. She’ll probably have to take a second rate shidduch.
Is this fair? OTOH, why should a boy with no “issues” marry her? Is there anything that COULD be done?
Also, Is there anything I could/should or shouldn’t do? Is it ok if I ever discuss with my friends my chosson, jewlery etc. in her presence?July 5, 2011 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #783164
I’d offer advice and words of comfort, but it seems that every time I try to say “judge the person and not his/her family/circumstances/etc.” I get shouted down.
The WolfJuly 5, 2011 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #783165
observanteen, one of my friends got engaged a while ago (she’s married now). Whenever she talked about her chosson she wouldn’t use his name. She would say ‘the boy’ or something like that. I thought it was so classy of her, sensitive. She wasn’t sticking it to us that she was engaged and we weren’t. Yes she talked about it and it was ok with us but she did it in a nice way.July 5, 2011 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #783166
“She’ll probably have to take a second rate shidduch.”
I agree with everything you said (about being supportive and sensitive) but take great issue with the 2nd rate quote.
What is 2nd rate about someone? Is your friend 2nd rate because she has divorced family members? (Not according to your words, ” good girl, smart, pretty”)
What we as a community need to start doing is looking at people for who they are, not what the media spin tells us to think about them.July 5, 2011 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #783167
I have a co worker who is engaged. I am the only one who ever worked in this office and still not engaged/married. I’m not upset at her but she is “gushing” the whole day about her chosson, wedding, apartment….Generally I dont mind when ppl talk about their engagements (in fact when a very close friend got engaged I loved talking to her about it) but she gets me very nervous.July 5, 2011 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm #783168
happiest: Good advice. Thanks! I felt so awkward discussing it with her sitting there…
bpt: No, she’s not second rate. But reality is that people won’t marry those who aren’t on their level (in society, learning..etc.).
adorable: I think it’s cheap to discuss every detail. (For ex. my friend who’s engaged told me that her chosson brushes his teeth twice a day so he’s neat and clean…sick!) But I still want to share my simcha with my friends…I hope I’m not annoying! (I stop when they look bored:))July 5, 2011 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #783169
Observanteen, first of all I want to wish you mazal tov. How kind of you to be so caring and considerate of your friend. Maybe it would give her chizzuck to tell her you will daven for her under your chuppah and have her in mind for shidduchim and won’t forget about her. You may have bochurim for shabbos and find a great shidduch for her!July 5, 2011 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #783170
“But reality is that people won’t marry those who aren’t on their level (in society, learning..etc.).”….
It’s people like YOU who make it reality!!!!! If u say it, others will believe it! Let me tell you, I got engaged a while ago, and i come from a divorced home, and guess what?? i got a wonderful amazing chosson and … A WONDERFUL FAMILY 2!!! People with family situations can still get the top out there.
I’m just stunned when i hear pple.’s comments when they hear i got a kind of “flawless shidduch”. They are so suprised like how can it be??? Well, it can be!!! and pple. gotta change their perspectives about shidduchim!!Be smart, and don’t reject those with “situations”!!July 5, 2011 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #783171
use your tact. if you see pple want to hear about your engagement etc. then its ok. its normal that it might be hard on certain friends to hear their friends talk about their chosson or arrangements that need to be made for the wedding. maybe you can include her when you go shopping etc. and she should be in your tefillos.July 5, 2011 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #783172
bpt – Why would a boy with a list full of names pick out a girl with family issues more than a girl without family issues?July 5, 2011 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #783173
Hashem is the mezaveig zivugim. He makes the shidduchim, so regardless of how things appear, He arranges it that people marry the right one. Then we go ahead and mess it up many times….
There are plenty of cases of BT girls or guys and people from other non typical backgrounds that married into regular frum families and didnt have to “settle.”
You really cant know why your friend cried, it could be that she feels she may never get what you got or just going to a lchayim or the like brings up too many painful emotions.
Either way, I would say for ALL KALLAHS. You are likely bringing jealousy and a very big ayin hara on yourselves when you gush and go on and on about your engagement. Its great for you to be excited and happy but be sensitive to the single girls, especially the ones getting older…July 5, 2011 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #783174
Observanteen, first of all, mazal tov. Now, it’s understandable why she is taking it very hard, and it is important to be sensitive to her feelings and not say things about your future plans if they may make her sad or jealous.
I’m actually concerned that you think she’ll have to settle for a “second-rate shidduch”. Perhaps I’m biased, coming from a similar situation to your friend, but I think a lot of people who are nice and normal, yet come from families with problems, are actually more first-rate than “regular” people. We have to work extra hard to stay positive, be outgoing, and happy. And if your friend is all of those things, she should have no problem getting the perfect partner. I used to think I would have to “settle for a second rate” girl, but I don’t think that anymore. It’s just a shame that so many people do think that.
I wish you and your future husband much happiness together.July 5, 2011 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #783175
Thanks to all who wished me mazal tov and for your advice.
Ahuva and MiddlePath: I totally agree with you. That’s precisely why it pains me. She’s a great girl and a good friend. Therefore, I’m concerned and feel bad for her. I hope and daven that she get a good boy from a good family. But bederech hateva she’ll have a hard time (I hope, hope not!). Unfortunately, people tend to take girls from “better” homes (although you can never know what’s going on behind closed doors). You mentioned you come from a home with divorced parents. Unfortunately, she has more odds against her than “just” that.July 5, 2011 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm #783176
” a boy with a list full of names “
That statement galls me. The “names” are people, not satistics.
How low we have fallen, if this is how we refer to women in our communityJuly 5, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #783177
You know Observanteen, I thought i would have a hard time finding a shidduch being where i come from , but it was baruch hashem bashert for me to get engaged quicker than i had expected!! Every one out there has there bashert, to some it comes quicker than others. Forget about problems, even the most “perfect” person out there may have a hard time 2! She will find her bashert just like u did iy’h!! Maybe u can ask ur husband if he has any friends that r suitable for her! U never know!!! Mazel Tov!!! Be happy u had it easy!! I’m sure ur a great friend!!July 5, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #783178
observanteen, I also have plenty of things going on besides having divorced parents. Actually, that’s one of the least of my “problems”. I just think that ultimately, a good family makes no difference. But a spouse with a wonderful personality and great character traits make all the difference in the world. But yes, it may be better for someone like her, or me, to marry someone with similar difficulties simply because they can relate better. People might think that’s considered “second rate”, but actually, for them, it’s first rate. If the person I marry cannot relate to what I went through because she comes from a perfect family, that, to me, is second rate. So when you daven for her (and it’s really sweet of you that you do), concentrate mostly that her partner should be great for her, without focusing on the family as much.
bpt, it makes me sick as well. I cannot stand the idea of a guy choosing from a list.July 5, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #783179
It’s never too smart to gush over your Chosson, Machutanim, presents, etc. You can get people to become very jealous/and very nervous!)
But you shouldn’t make it taboo either. Don’t ignore the fact that you’re engaged, or else she’ll realize that you’re trying to avoid this topic and she’ll be very hurt.
Use your own judgement!July 5, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #783180
First of all- mazel tov, may you and your chosson be zoche to build a bayis neeman b’yisroel.
I feel for your friend and I wish her the best. My first thought is that maybe Hashem put her in this position just to lead her to her zivug. Perhaps he is in the same position (a great guy from a broken home) and they wouldn’t have met otherwise?
In any event, I don’t like the phrase second rate shidduch. She is created in the Tzelem Elokim and that is first rate!
Also, if you look closely at anyone, there is probably something about them that would make others think of them as inferior. To someone who’s not looking for money; the poverty level of a girl from a poor family will be a non-issue, while to someone looking for money…
The best thing you could do, in my opinion, is to not hide anything from her but don’t mention anything that may make her jealous. (Don’t take off your jewelery when she’s around, but don’t flaunt it in front of her.)July 5, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm #783181
I don’t want to rattle on and on, but I want to emphasize a point that so many people are making. DO NOT DISCUSS YOUR CHOSSON WITH ANYONE! You can gush about him all you want to your mother and mother-in-law, and that’s it!
Rebbetzin Zahava Braunstein A”H said that keeping things like this private fall under the category of tzniyus.July 5, 2011 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm #783182
Thank you, once again to all who wished me mazel tov and to your brachos – amein to all of them!
Ahuva: That’s great. I’m truly happy for you. I hope history will repeat itself with my friend.
MiddlePath: Brilliantly put. I wish others were as sensitive and insightful as you are. Thanks!
Doctor: You’re right. There’s no such thing as second rate.
L613: Thank you. I think it depends on the maturity level of the kallah. In fact, I think tznius is common sense rather than halacha. I don’t like discussing my chosson, but I enjoy discussing the family, how the shidduch came about, presents..etc. But I’ll try being careful with that too since it might make others jealous.July 5, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #783183
bpt – You rather I say “a list full of girls”?July 5, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #783184
as a side note related topic. When having one of our kids a close friend of ours had their child within a week.
While our child was healthy, their child was born with a severe mental and physical disability. My Spouse and I decided not to discuss our new child within our circle of friends or family even though it was fresh off the presses and went on for the first year or so.
At the time we were wondering if we were being hypersensitive to the other family as some of our family and friends realized they we were playing down everything about our new baby and of course never discussed our new bundle of joy with the other couple or their parents and grandparents as we are all very close.
Recently, at a family simcha (now many years later)the grandmother of the disabled child saw our child who was present with us. She remarked how hard it was for her when our child was born, that she could not even think about our baby, as to why Hashem could not bring two healthy babies into this world, why did her granddaughter have to have a sick child (she did not chasvishalom begrudge us BTW). She then complimented us on how nice our child has turned out and wished us only simchas and yiddishe nachas.
My spouse and I were so grateful for being conscientiously “hypersensitive” when our child was born.It was a major nisayon to not talk about a new baby. We are now so grateful to Hashem.It would have been terrible to cause someone else tzar just to say how cute our baby was.July 5, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm #783185
I am not reading past Wolf’s response. Observanteen, I truly wish you mazel tov on your engagement, that you may be zochim to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel. That being said, your remark about your friend probably getting a second-rate shidduch sounded a little smug, and I am certain you didn’t mean to come off that way. SO WHAT if her parents are divorced? Why should that garner her a “second rate” shidduch, if she she has all the mailos you described. Whatever you do, PLEASE do not come off in such a condescending manner when you talk to her or about her to others.
Instead of making what sounded like a mean-spirited remark, you and your chosson should actively look for a TERRIFIC shidduch for her, a boy with NO issues (unless he is a boy that she wants for a shidduch). This judgmental aspect of frum people really saddens me. Is it HER fault that her parents couldn’t make their marriage work? They might both be exceptionally nice people, just not with each other. Please re-read what you yourself posted and see if you understand why I have responded like this to you.July 6, 2011 1:42 am at 1:42 am #783186
Is it HER fault that her parents couldn’t make their marriage work?
No, Oomis. Is it ANYBODY’S fault that they’re BT, ger, blind, deaf, diabetic, epileptic, ugly, fat, divorced, widowed? Not usually. Can they expect a flawless shidduch? They can certainly hope – stranger things have happened – but shidduchim work in capitalistic fashion (supply & demand), and they (and everyone else) need to keep their expectations realistic.
BTW, I wish you’d read the whole thing, including Observanteen’s responses, before you criticized. IMO she did not at all come across as smug or condenscending, and she retracted her term “second rate”.July 6, 2011 3:59 am at 3:59 am #783187
msseeker, thank you for the clarification. I responded immediately to her post (as did everyone else, btw, which is probably why she realized how she sounded). My criticism is really one of ANYONE who believes that because someone has a “problem” of some type (or even a perceived problem), that automatically it relegates that person to the less worth shidduch.
Each person shoudl be judged on his/her own merits and no one else’s. I’m glad Observanteen retracted, but she definitely sounded patronizing in the initial post, and I am sure she herself would not want to be thought of that way.July 6, 2011 4:12 am at 4:12 am #783188
I may be wrong but I think the second half of the phrase was- “but if you absolutely must brag about your husband… give your mother-in-law a call”.July 6, 2011 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #783189
i…GAH! its threads and stories like these that have framed my opinions on the whole shidduch scene. as i said in another thread (one i started) the whole process has become so industrialized. “he is from here here and here and shes from there there and there…he went to school X she went to school at Y his family is Z hers is A must be a perfect match!”
im sorry but i must object. why cant it just be about 2 people who like each other? maybe im being a bit naive or maybe ive just been influenced by teh american media…but i think the cookie cutter approach to shadchanus is disgusting. it shouldnt be about teh families or the money or the yichus or whatever…i mean seriously. youre choosing the person with whom you will build a family and spend your life, it shouldnt be brought down to extraneous variables. the families arent marrying, the boy and girl are. leave teh families and circumstances out of it.
another thing that always annoys me is the way people are all for kiruv…until its their son or daughter marrying teh product of said kiruv. teh way baalei teshuva are treated in shidduchim is absolutely disgusting. teh NIMBY approach taken to these wonderful people is so hurtful. i would be proud to marry a baalas teshuva.
gah…ive ranted about this many times before but it still gets me. especially since its going to be relevant to me in 2 or 3 years. i dont care how it was done in europe, i dont care what the tradition is, i dont care how shadchanim have been doing it for hundreds of years, the system is ridiculous. its self completely self serving and not acting in teh best interests of prospective couples.July 6, 2011 2:23 pm at 2:23 pm #783190
” You rather I say “a list full of girls”? “
No, Brisk, and you know it. But in case someone esle is following this, and missed the point, whats at issue here is the “list” like you’re buying a car, or shopping for an AC.
These are people. And once you reduce them down to facts and figures (both financial and otherwise) you strip them of their humanity.
A Bas Yisroel deserves better. And if you (the shadchan, the parents) can’t take the time to think about a person as a person (and yes, that might mean meeting them face-to-face) then you are doing them and yourself a huge disservice.July 6, 2011 2:59 pm at 2:59 pm #783191
And call on your husband’s birthday to thank her for giving birth to him.July 6, 2011 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #783192
bpt – So people should memorize the names and not have a list? (-:July 6, 2011 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm #783194
“should memorize the names and not have a list?”
This is going nowhere, Brisk. Go back to your list.July 6, 2011 3:42 pm at 3:42 pm #783195
I am confused:
Is a parents are divorced as well as most of her immediate family. Plus other issues “Second Rate”?
If she marries someone like herself, then she will get whatever she thinks of herself.July 6, 2011 3:50 pm at 3:50 pm #783196
bombmaniac – I think you should be less judgemental about people’s attitudes towards shidduchim with BTs. It very often stems not from a condescending attitude or a NIMBY approach but from a genuine concern that a boy and girl coming from very different upbringings may experience problems in marriage. This can and (I happen to know) sadly does happen despite the fact that they ‘like’ each other when they meet. Real life issues when building a home depends on more than just the good feeling (read romance) they each experienced initially.July 6, 2011 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #783197
Mazal tov!July 6, 2011 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #783198
OTB no. im gonna be just as judgemental as i want to be. every group has oddballs. you have greased up kolel guys who are REALLy weird and yet no one applies a stigma to kolel guys. i refuse to let up on this. i truly believe that the discrimination against BTs is absolutely disgusting. instead of welcoming them with open arms we treat them like mamzerim who can only marry a specific group. no. its awful. no guy or girl who is in their early 20’s is EVER redt a BT. EVER. you hit 30? all of a sudden the shadchanim roll out the “wonderful ballas teshuva girls” what happened then they were early 20 huh? were they any less wonderful? or were teh shadchanim just being small minded bigoted idiots?! ill go with teh latter!
i feel very strongly about this issue as you can probably tell from my posts on teh subject. and no. my opinions are set. i WONT let up. i hate how things work with a passion.July 6, 2011 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm #783199
I see where you’re coming from but please take it easy. Here’s what I wrote in a similar thread ==>9 months ago<==.
I normally stay away from threads like this so that I don’t offend anyone. If anyone does take offence please forgive me retroactively.
A teacher of mine in high school once told us that everyone in the world is discriminated against one way or another. The example he gave regarding himself was that he wasn’t allowed to be a fighter pilot in the U.S.A.F. because he was over 6’6″ and couldn’t fit into the cockpit!
Growing up my parents always taught us to have the utmost respect for Baalei Teshuva. In my fathers words- “They are on a level that we can’t even come close to”. My kids got to see this first hand over this past three day Yom Tov when my parents saved the best food and nicest China and cutlery for the seuda where we had guests who were Baalei Teshuva.
When my brothers and I were dating my parents politely told shadchanim that they would only consider girls whose ancestors have always been frum- the reason being that a kohain can not marry a challal and if he does his children can not do the avodah and are not considered kohanim.
Take a simple case where a non-frum couple got divorced and she got remarried to a kohain. Their children are challalim and can not marry kohanim. (And this is in the case where we’re assuming that the divorce was done properly- think about what the parameters change to if it wasn’t done properly!)
Although this may be very rare, I do know of one family where this happened and their children are not kohanim.
There are many silly things out there but I agree with my parents for taking this seriously.July 6, 2011 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #783200
bomb- do you mean THE when you write teh?July 6, 2011 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #783201
anon for thisParticipant
Dr. Pepper, do you have any sister(s) who are/ were in shidduchim? If so, what do/ did your parents tell shadchanim regarding suggesting BTs for them?July 6, 2011 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #783202
anon for this-
My parents tell the shadchanim that they want their grandchildren to be eligible to marry Kohanim (again, in a very sensitive manner).
(All of my sisters are heavily involved in kiruv and anyone that knows them or my parents know the respect that they have for a Baal/ Baalei Teshuva.)July 6, 2011 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #783203
“why cant it just be about 2 people who like each other?”
What a terrific question, especially since this approach seems to work wonderfully in the secular world. Why can’t we be like normal people? Let’s work on achieving a 50% divorce rate, ASAP!July 6, 2011 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #783204
wanna know why i take this so seriously? because im someone at a SERIOUS disadvantage. my family situation is so messed up…maury povitch would probably faint if he heard it. and that makes me unwanted. FOR NOTHING I PERSONALLY DID! but because my PARENTS made awful decisions. im punished for it. for no good reason. name me ONE good reason why someone from a broken home is incapable of themselves building a loving home?! oh because they had no example? i know plenty of people who came from “perfect” homes who are terrible cold and distant parents. so dont give me that.
in my eyes a baal teshuva REALLY IS greater than myself. whats said about them being at a higher place than anyone else, i actually take to heart. . now i may end up finding someone who comes from a broken home and is a baalas teshuva…but if i do i want it to be because she is the right one for me. not because some bigoted shadchan thought thats all i could get. that we were both second class and therefore relegated us to that sickening caste system.
everyone has some activism in them…my cause is unfair stigma. those of you who read my article about mental illness know that about me. well this is no different. and it has to stop. everyone talks about a “shidduch crisis” and that guys and girls cant find each other. WANNA KNOW WHY?! BECAUSE HALF THE POTENTIAL MATCHES ARENT BEING REDT!!! you can talk about bashert all you want…but if you turn your nose up at your bashert becuase she wasnt frum all her life? guess what…YOU BLEW YOUR CHANCE AT YOUR BASHERT!!!
EDITEDJuly 6, 2011 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #783205
“”why cant it just be about 2 people who like each other?”
What a terrific question, especially since this approach seems to work wonderfully in the secular world. Why can’t we be like normal people? Let’s work on achieving a 50% divorce rate, ASAP!”
not what i meant…in teh secular world its about 2 people being physically attracted. most couples have relations out of wedlock and then decide to marry after they’ve “test driven teh car” as it were. therefore teh marriage is predicated upon teh physical relations. when those are no longer as satisfying as they once were…teh basis of teh relationship is over and so is teh relationship. im not talking about that. im talking about just a normal…idk what you wanna call it…friendship type like? im not advocating hanging out or guys and girls being friends with each other. but when they start going out on dates for shidduchim…it shouldnt be about dollars and cents and all those other extraneous variables.July 6, 2011 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #783206
bombmaniac – its your choice but I think you are letting your anger cloud your perception. Firstly to say nobody applies a stigma to kolel guys is patently wrong. Probably most frum families in NY wouldnt consider a kolel guy – they may just not be your circle.
Secondly, as I have tried explaining patiently, not doing a shidduch with a BT is usually NOT ABOUT STIGMA BUT ABOUT TRYING TO CREATE A HARMONIOUS RELATIONSHIP uncomplicated by strong differences in upbringing.
But hey – it’s up to you. If you prefer – don’t let up, stay angry at the system and make sure true facts don’t get in your way.July 6, 2011 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #783207
so youre saying that there is a good and justifiable reason to categorically bar baalei teshuva and those from broken homes from being redt to otherwise mainstream people?! why not let them decide for themselves. aint that a novel idea. at this point its been so stigmatized that no one wants to touch them. and its disgusting.July 6, 2011 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #783208
bpt – You didn’t read my whole post, you missed the (-:July 6, 2011 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #783209
lol he has a point BPT 😛July 6, 2011 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #783210
bombmaniac: so are you saying that for the sake of equality people should go into a shidduch with someone with whom there is an increased chance of marital problems. Nobody has ‘barred’ baalei tshuva and those from broken homes. Again – nothing to do with stigmatizing. People just understandably go for a spouse that is most compatible. Are you saying they should sacrifice marital happiness on the altar of equality.
To put it starkly and I really hope I don’t offend anybody: We all try and integrate disabled people into mainstream life as best as possible. Would you accuse an able-bodied person who turns down a disabled shidduch as being stigmatizing, disgusting and feh to the system. I don’t think you would because you would recognise their would be a compatibility issue and marital harmony comes before any issues of non-discrimination.July 6, 2011 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #783211
“so youre saying that there is a good and justifiable reason to categorically bar baalei teshuva and those from broken homes from being redt to otherwise mainstream people?!”
Who bars anyone from anything? Have you seen a kol koreh forbidding BTs from coming b’khal H’? It’s simple capitalism, my friend. You can’t force anyone to marry BTs if they prefer FFBs, just as you can’t force caucasian BTs to marry Black gerim, no matter how great they are. And as long as anyone can afford to be choosy, they will be.July 6, 2011 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #783212
bomb- not taking sides but I hear where you are coming from and my heart goes out to you. I think the system that we have in place is a major disadvantage to people like you- who are smart and have created a stable life for themselves regardless of their family history. May you find your bashert at the right time, EASILY!July 6, 2011 6:33 pm at 6:33 pm #783213
and thats a lovely way of accepting the system. my point was its wrong. the preference is baseless. absolutely baseless. teh same could have been said about blacks “oh well i dont want to employ blacks because its just my preference” “why? idk…it just is…no specific reason…i just dont like them”
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