Time For Truth: Why Won't You Date A Ba'alas Teshuva?

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  • #592749

    I am a ba’alas teshuva but you would never know unless you were told. I have been in shidduchim for the past few years and can’t help but notice that well-meaning shadchanim look at my background as if I have a defect. Many boys would never consider going out with me even if I possess every other quality they are looking for. Boys and mothers of the boys, now is not the time for sugar coating. I would like serious replies only: What is is it about me that makes me less in your eyes?

    #709956
    Sacrilege
    Member

    I am not a boy or the mother of a boy.

    I am a girl in shidduchim, just like you.

    I date Baalei Teshuva and some times my friends think I am crazy, they ask me if I’m not worried about their past and their previous relationships.

    If this is my friend’s mindset, I would guess it would hold true for FFB boys and their mothers.

    #709957
    phrum
    Member

    Sacrilege

    What has been your experience with/approach to dating (and potentially marrying) Baalei Teshuva?

    #709958

    I’m not in shidduchim.

    But I will tell you this: I’ve heard hesitation in accepting a BT shidduch suggestion because “so many BT’s have gone back to their old ways”… Not because I agree with that, just figured I’d throw it out there for you to chew one. (You DID ask…)

    On another note: Do YOU consider BT’s as shidduch suggestions? (Besides the fact that I’m curious if BT’s sometimes prefer non-BT shidduchim, I also happen to know of a great guy with a BT background… I know this is a wild idea… but hey, ya never know)

    #709959
    its_me
    Member

    long time baal tshuvas should be treated like ffbs. that said, there is a gemara that says you should marry s/o from your family, if not then from your town ,your country, etc. the point of the gemara is: marry someone as close to your background as possible ! the reason: in married life there are enough gaps to bridge as it is. the closer the two are in backround, the better for shalom bayis . that goes for baal teshuvas and sfardim and ashenazim – try to marry your own kind. not to say that it CANT work. it can . its just not recomended.

    #709960
    aries2756
    Participant

    Honestly, in this day and age, someone’s personal background can be the same of any BT. I believe it is parents who are looking for yichus that have a problem with BT. As far as why a boy or girl would be afraid to date a BT, I will give you an honest opinion. A BT is a lot more serious about yiddishkeit than an FFB. A BT is usually more committed and usually knows why they do what they do. They have answers and many FFB don’t. If a BT were to question an FFB about brochos or why they say certain tefilos or do certain things. They would not have the answers but a BT would, because the studied it and researched it. That is the fear. A BT is so much more appreciative of our religion than an FFB who just performs the rituals because that is what they were taught to do from the time they were born.

    #709961
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Ok. Here is part of the truth. People think that:

    A. Many BT’s are weird. A little off.

    B. If you are a changing person, how is anyone to know how set you are in what you are doing now.

    C. Some BT’s seem to be living in a different sort of world, where ideals replace realities. This is closely connected to A.

    Popa being cynical:

    A. Maybe your sincerity scares people off who aren’t as sincere.

    B. Maybe people who do not see much worth in Judaism, and are only continuing to do what they have always done; don’t see anything in common with people who choose it willingly.

    Now, I know what I am alleging is anecdotal,and I’m going to be yelled at. I can handle the yelling. The OP wanted to know what stereotype she is battling.

    #709962
    dunno
    Member

    Some people have told me it’s because they are scared of taharas hamishpacha issues.

    #709963
    Health
    Participant

    I try not to make the same mistake twice!

    #709964
    Sacrilege
    Member

    Phrum

    I treat each person/date as a completely different experience and go in with a clear mind and dont compare them to any other BT.

    Every journey and person is so different so I find that when people make blanket statements about Bts its mainly out of ignorance.

    I dated one guy who was from an extremely “frum” Reform family who came to the realization at 13 that Reform is completely hypocritical. He also felt that Aish and Ohr Samayach where brain washing programs and he was completely against the concept of the kiruv movement. He was extremely into learning but wasnt “Yeshivish” at all.

    I also dated a guy who first came into contact with real frum jews through SEED, and that was the catalyst to his becoming Frum. He is extremely Yeshivish.

    Those two examples I think were the most contrasting.

    The “problem” I’ve encountered is that in the end I find that BTs usually are most comfortable with others with the same background as them. Fantastically, I think BTs want to marry FFBs but when push comes to shove they are usually most comfortable with people who went through the same experiences as themselves.

    I’m not saying it cant be done, I would be more than happy to marry a BT, I feel that they are more sincere about their Yiddishkeit and they are more multi-faceted than the typical Yeshiva guy (thats just me) but more often than not if a BT is honest with themselves, they will realize that its easier and more comfortable to stick with like minded like experience people, instead of dating for x amount of years before coming to that conclusion.

    #709965
    mghanooni
    Member

    One possible reason is that there is the concern that a BT does not know how to run a religious home. BT’s may be committed now, as an adult, but they never grew up in a frum community. Therefore they don’t know a frum way to raise their children (besides reading about it or occasionally seeing it). The same reasoning may apply to other parts of Jewish life.

    I think that some frum people think that since they don’t live an immoral, hedonistic life because of the Torah, that others – who don’t follow the Torah – must have done all that. People may reject someone whom they fear as being previously a substance abuser, immoral, etc… The fear may not be rational, but it’s there.

    #709966
    yes-its-me
    Participant

    we all know the great levels which a baal teshuva has and how loved he is in hashems eyes, but a child born to parents who do not keep taharas hamishpacha has what is known as a pegam which is a kabalistic concept. the many virtues of a baal teshuva may over-ride this disadvantage, and this pegam may be far less than the pegam many ffb’s may have from other things they do, but the pegam which belongs collectively to baley teshuvah is the parents.

    let us not forget that avrohom came from terach and see where he got to!

    in times gone by when ffb’s were less street wise than today than a “boy” ffb may have contained his pure level of raishis oni which a baal teshuva will almost certainly have lost. [unfortunately today even the ffb’s aren’t what they used to be

    #709967
    twisted
    Participant

    Hi chevre the former Koma fell on hard times: a shumtz attack killed my server which contained my password,and my email was hacked and closed. I took it as a siman to not hang out here so much but the BT thread and the conservative/reform thread hit home. RE: people concerned with yichus. Its quite ironic they ignore the chazal ” where a BT stands….” A BT is his/her own very impressive yichus.

    Yours truly,

    Amok/koma/twisted

    #709968
    WIY
    Member

    twisted

    You got hacked by going to shmutz sites and you decide not to go to YWN anymore for that reason?

    That is twisted!

    #709969
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Nothing, except my wife would kill me.

    #709970
    Helpful
    Member

    apy, who wears the pants in your house?

    #709971
    twisted
    Participant

    WIY: I am mochel you for choshesh b’kasher. I deleted Firfox because it started tossing up garbage, I had no idea why. The hacking was my gmail account. Somebody stole my name and notified all my contacts that I was stuck in London with my passport seized and that I needed 1800 USD to get out. Some of my more gullible friends actually got worried. Most know that I don’t leave EY casually, and concluded it was a hackjob. Shyihyeh lachapara.

    #709972

    Sacrilege – Im also a girl in shidduchim and date BTs.

    But most boys aren’t what I would consider “real” BTs (at least not the ones suggested to me) they just come from less observant homes and became more observant.

    #709974
    morning19
    Member

    many people feel that baalei teshuva are not set in their ways- they are still finding their place. mnay ffbs feel that is not for them.

    also i have heard the taharas hamishpacha reason from many people. many times their parents did not have a kosher wedding and did not keep the halachos of taharas hamishpacha- this is a big concern for many people

    #709975
    Sacrilege
    Member

    pascha

    I have gone out with some of those as well, frum out situations. More modern backgrounds and they became frummer then their families the examples that I gave where “real” BTs, altho the latters family did become shomer shabbos/tahara hamishpacha/kashrus due to his becoming frum.

    BTW, check your email the Mods sent you my email address. I had though of a potential shidduch for you (if your interested)

    mdd

    I think many BTs would be offended by that statement. People, especially ones that have “kedusha tendencies” usually arent the ones that are partaking in the extra curricular activities, shall we say.

    #709976
    cv
    Participant

    Being BT myself and a mother of married BT daughter, I can’t see why BT should be so desperate to be married to FFB.

    AishesChayil-in-Training – why you mentioned, that no one can tell you are BT? Is it because YOU feel it is something wrong to be BT? If you live your life as a Torah Jew why you are not looking for another Torah Jew, why your are looking for labels?

    #709977

    Sacrilege: I have learned to worry about past and previous relationships of FFBs as well as BTs… I don’t really see a difference. At least with a BT, they were just being normal if they had a relationship but when an FFB has a past it’s more of a red flag for me.

    vnishmartemmeod: If it is a concern then a smart person would only go out with a BT who has a solid track record, not someone who became frum more recently. I do consider BTs as shidduch options (as well as FFBs), so long as we share the same hashkafa and so long as he was a moral person before becoming frum. Before I was frum I was careful in choosing moral friends who stayed away from promiscuity and drugs so I certainly am not looking for a husband who used to be involved in those things.

    its_me: I agree with you but when, according to everyone else, does a BT lose the BT status? Also, we’re all family and even boys from my own hometown would have a problem that I am a ba’alas teshuva. No two people are alike when it comes to background, life experiences, personalities, and challenges. I don’t see myself more similar to BTs than to FFBs necessarily other than the obvious that we chose to be frum later in life as opposed to being taught from a young age. If I wanted to marry “my own kind” I would have a very hard time finding someone who is similar to me in every category. Of all the things to choose from, why does this one aspect need to be the deciding factor about what makes people similar to each other?

    aries2756: I definitely hear the argument, but aren’t there FFBs who appreciate Yiddishkeit as much as I do? I find it hard to believe that all of you are a bunch of robots… Wouldn’t any thinking person be able to relate to a BT in that regard?

    popa_bar_abba:

    A. I think that has to do with hashkafa, which should be thoroughly checked out no matter if the person is a BT or an FBB.

    B. Again, this could be checked out beforehand. Ba’alei teshuva go through a rapid changing process as they are starting out and still learning and taking things on, but after a while they settle down and integrate and live their lives as normal members of the klal.

    C. Do you mean this in the same way that aries2756 was describing?

    Also, in response to your cynical A & B, if my sincerity scares them off then B”H, they weren’t for me.

    dunno, yes-its-me & morning19: Gedolim have gone over this many times… apparently it is not an issue.

    Health: We obviously have no idea what you are referring to…

    mghanooni: Many BTs move into religious communities. We become part of a family and “fully immerse” ourselves. I also have those same fears of anyone I might go out with, BT or not…

    twisted: I agree with you… P.S. Many BTs happen to come from great gedolim even though we were not raised frum…

    mdd: Many FFBs are also not but I think it’s fair to assume that BTs are well the majority on that one. That being said, not all of us are disqualified. Why is this such a big factor?

    #709978
    Sacrilege
    Member

    I agree with you. I wont date an FFB who went off and then came back on (I apologize if that offends anyone) or a BT who came on and then went off and then came back on, for that matter. That to me demonstrates instability.

    #709979
    cv
    Participant

    Ok. Here is part of the truth. People think that:

    A. Many BT’s are weird. A little off.

    B. If you are a changing person, how is anyone to know how set you are in what you are doing now.

    C. Some BT’s seem to be living in a different sort of world, where ideals replace realities. This is closely connected to A.”

    Very true statement. Just to add a few comments.

    When I was grow up, the only religious person I knew was my grandfather. By observing his way of life, I got an opinion, that religious people are SPECIAL people. Unfortunately, I still live with this opinion till today. And when in real life I see some ffb people, who not very honest in business dealing, not follow all, what they learn in yeshiva / kollel, it cause me almost a physical pain. Yes, I may look in your eyes weird, but did some ffb ever try to look on yourself by my eyes, when they cheat me in a store, telling offensive jokes about BT at the Shabbos table? If you try to emulate Avraham Aviny by doing kiruv, maybe (just maybe) you need to try to emulate his other midos as well.

    #709980
    oomis
    Participant

    I married a B”T and have stated the challenges that we faced, in previous posts. However, I am the wife, from a FFB home, and there IS a difference whether it is the husband or the wife who is the B”T. Since the mother is the primary caretaker and teacher of the children when they are young, the boy’s family wants to be sure that she will make the proper Jewish home for their son and aineklach. That is a fair concern, and I mean no disrespect to you by saying that. I have seen the damage that can be done when the person in charge of the kashrus of the home (both food and Taharas Hamishpacha), is either ignorant or ill-informed in the proper halachos. That is another fair concern.

    Sometimes when a girl becomes frum, it is harder for her than for her male counterpart when her family is not supportive of her decision to be frum. It is easier for a boy to move out, than for a girl. People tend to look at a frum girl who live on her own, with a little more suspicion than they do of boys who do the same. THAT, is not fair, but it is what it is.

    Lastly, if a girl is a B”T, it is possible she may have lived her life in a way that causes problematic issues with certain types of shidduchim, like Kohanim. Another example, is it 100% certain she is halachically Jewish (is it certain her MOM is a Jew)? With the intermarriage rate what it is today, and people who are not frum, really not knowing what constitutes being an halachic Jew, this could be an issue.

    Was she promiscuous in her former lifestyle? (I am not chalilah suggesting you were, but you asked what some people are concerned about, and potential STDs are a biggie). People are also worried about B”T flipping in and then flipping out. I personally know a few people who fit that description, and it is very sad.

    Your best bet, IMHO, is to meet other B”T (maybe through Rebbetzin Jungreis’ Hineni group, or through NCSY, or another Kiruv organization). At least you can both grow together in Torah, and you would have the distinct advantage of understanding the other person’s mindset. I hope you find your zivug very soon, and wish you much hatzlacha.

    #709981
    its_me
    Member

    eishes chayil in training, the gemara’s point is to find a match close to your background.

    i will give another example in addition to BT-FFB and sfardi- ashkenazi that i think are not the same backround and will cause unneeded friction: FFB american to an FFB israeli. there are big differences in mentality between the two . not a good idea. also i heard from a great rosh yeshiva that he holds that despite a common language, American and British is not a good choice. cappeesh?

    we are not trying to find a match in every category ! that is the wrong approach and a shtus! marriage is about putting two DIFFERENT people together,which is hard enough! there is no mitzvah to make your life even harder by choosing a partner who comes from a different planet altogether.

    #709983
    so right
    Member

    twisted – I wired you the 1800. I hope you got your passport replaced at the Israeli consulate in London, and a new ticket back to Tel Aviv. All my messages to you have been bouncing. I need the money back ASAP.

    #709984
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Sometimes people want an extended family (I know several ben/bas yechidim). It is possible that a BT may not have a relationship with their family that these people want. In this regard a BT is no different than an FFB from a small family or one that has issues with family.

    #709985
    its_me
    Member

    ok this might be a bit off topic, but is it bichlal possible to be FFB? mommy fed you chicken for supper, and then you cried like a baby for your milk bottle, and you got it. even if you did keep all the mitzvos, you were not chayiv. there should be a new category- FAFB frum almost from birth. or how about FFBM frum from bar mitzvah.

    #709988
    Moq
    Member

    I think we should start a new catergory, – how about BTFB?

    #709989
    Ben Torah
    Participant

    You’re only responsible for mitzvos from Bar Mitzvah on. But really we all are Baal Teshuvos. Who hasn’t sinned? Who hasn’t done teshuva?

    #709990
    mdd
    Member

    Who has not done t’shuva? The ba’alei ga’ava and people who do not care about other Yidden!

    #709991
    HadaLXTP
    Member

    Ben Torah:

    “You’re only responsible for mitzvos from Bar Mitzvah on. But really we all are Baal Teshuvos. Who hasn’t sinned? Who hasn’t done teshuva?”

    Exactly my sentiment. I’ve seen profiles, and one of the questions is, ARE YOU A BAAL TESHUVAH? Usual answer is NO. I ask myself why not?…..

    #709992
    tzippi
    Member

    Many BTs know hilchos kashrus and other basic halachos much better than FFBs as they had to learn it systematically, whereas the schools the FFBs went to assumed the kids would learn it through osmosis.

    Many BTs come from lovely families, warm people who would make lovely machutanim and grandparents.

    HOWEVER, you may want to listen to a tape series from Rabbi Braun of Ohr Sameach on shidduchim. He asserts that for many BTs, depending on their background, a typical FFB might not be best for them. Not that they need to look for someone with the identical issues they’re facing, but they may do best with someone who him/herself has had some transformative experience, etc., a little more depth if you will. (This may also apply to kids who went OTD for a while, or “took a little detour”, IMO; but note the word “may”.)

    I will confess, as a parent, one concern is if a BT had “experience”. My kid might not (again, might) be able to handle going into a relationship with someone who’s had such experience. And people might also be concerned that you might have done some experimenting, even mild, that could come back to bite you. I don’t know who you’re dealing with as far as mentors, shadchanim, references, but you want to make sure you have a handler who can discreetly and skillfully answer any questions the other side may have. You still have a right to privacy, no one is entitled to know every detail of your life, but they do have a right to be sure you’re safe and to know some general history. (And this also applies to FFBs who’ve been out of the system for a time and come back.)

    What kind of IRL mentoring and support are you getting?

    Hope none of this was offensive, and all was helpful. Hatzlacha! I don’t have anyone in the parsha at the moment but I’d be proud to call you niece 😉

    #709993
    oomis
    Participant

    ok this might be a bit off topic, but is it bichlal possible to be FFB? mommy fed you chicken for supper, and then you cried like a baby for your milk bottle, and you got it. even if you did keep all the mitzvos, you were not chayiv. there should be a new category- FAFB frum almost from birth. or how about FFBM frum from bar mitzvah. “

    This IS veering slightly OT, but I am personally opposed to feeding babies and young children in this manner, even if it is not an “aveira.” If my kids ate fleishigs, they did not get milk, but rather juice, right afterwards (at least an hour later was another story). I did this for chinuch purposes, so even as small children they knew the separation of meat and milk. I get very upset when I see young parents doing what you described, giving a milk bottle right after (and sometimes WITH)a meat meal. BTW, this does NOT apply to breastfeeding, even if the milk is expressed into a bottle for the baby, as mother’s milk is considered pareve, which I was very surprised to learn.

    #709995
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Time for truth: Why won’t you date a ba’alas teshuva?

    I think the title is wrong. The question maight be better answered if when we speak of the shidduch crisis, and all the girls out there.

    Imagine you are a 24 year old Yeshiva Bochur. With all the choices and all the desperate girls, why should you date a ba’alas teshuva?

    #709996
    mdd
    Member

    Cshapiro, we were not talking about the modern chevra.

    Gavra-at-work, what was meant is why are the ba’alos and ba’alei te’shuva are totally off limits for some FFB families, come what may (almost).

    #709997
    WIY
    Member

    Twisted

    Sorry. You should be zoche to never get hacked again!

    #709999
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    mdd:

    Do you mean they would rather stay single or rather date an (C”V)

    older girl

    #710000
    mdd
    Member

    GAW,yes. I know a family where they have a single girl in her upper thirties, but they would not consider a BT for a son-in-law.

    #710001
    mdd
    Member

    They machmir in yuchseen.

    #710004
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    GAW,yes. I know a family where they have a single girl in her upper thirties, but they would not consider a BT for a son-in-law.

    For a girl not to be dating on her own once she is in her upper thirties….sounds like more is going on.

    Anyway, I have no experience with that type of discrimination, so I have no comment.

    #710009

    cv: Unfortunately, I know what you are talking about. Since no one knows my background, I often hear jokes and offensive comments about ba’alei teshuva from some of the “greatest” people. It is clear to me that ba’alei teshuva are looked down upon and regarded as second-class citizens by many, including people who claim to do kiruv and have many not frum people around their Shabbos table.

    oomis1105: I feel that this could also be checked out beforehand if it is a concern — if a boy marries a ba’alas teshuva usually the problem is the opposite: she knows more halacha than he does! The girls in these ba’alei teshuva seminaries learn halacha for hours each day. Shadchanim always ask if we can marry Kohanim and most of us can prove we are Jewish. I see how this could be an issue with people who don’t know halacha, but ba’alei teshuva are people who ARE already frum, not people who are just starting out. For those of us who were not promiscuous, we can take a test. However, I think even FFBs need tests because those who did go off a little at some point probably were not as well informed about protection. I unfortunately know many FFBs who were/are promiscuous, were molested, had abortions, etc. I thank you for your advice and your bracha however the boys who attend the organizations you mentioned are not boys who share my hashkafa. We definitely would not understand each others’ mindset.

    its_me: I understand that it could be difficult for two people from very different cultures to get married. However, I don’t have any cultural differences from other frum people in my circles. I don’t think anyone was really frum from birth, I think every FFB had to chose at some point. Also I don’t think BT is a proper label since I was tinok shenishba.

    shlomozalman: That’s what I’m sensing… the reasons given could be valid in certain circumstances but if someone would do proper checking as they would with any shidduch then it would leave him with a pool of very normal and stable candidates.

    so right: sounds like a scam.

    apushatayid: Many of us have very healthy relationships with our families and also have lots of frum family (cousins, aunts, etc.) which would be revealed with proper checking…

    mdd: Proper checking solves all of this!

    Moq: I think I am TPFB.

    Ben Torah/HadaLXTP: I think everyone should want to be a real BT and I hate that the term is now reserved for people who became frum. Also I hate when people ask because it is a very personal question! Even if someone would ask me if my family is frum or not or whatever, why is it anyone’s business unless they are redting me a shidduch?

    tzippi: I specifically don’t want someone who went off. Any thinking person will suffice. Does someone need to go off to be sincere when he is on? What is your kid’s concern about someone who had “experience”? And what do you mean by experimenting that could come back to bite? I have friends that all of this may apply to but I was a very modest girl even before I was frum… My IRL mentoring comes from my frum family, my not frum family, my friends, family friends, Rabbis/Rebbetzins, my Rav, etc. No offense taken… thank you 🙂

    gavra_at_work: I think your question illustrates that my title is perfect as is. Why WOULDN’T you date me? Your premise is that automatically a BT is a lesser option than the other desperate girls and that there needs to be a reason given for why a person SHOULD date me. I think I’m a great choice and I’m not desperate (yet, B”H), and I am trying to figure out what it is that all these desperate girls you speak of have that I don’t have. What wouldn’t I give to my husband and my children? Why do you deem me less capable? I’m trying to understand why people like you don’t look at me and think positively instead of negatively. A 24 year old yeshiva bochur in my mind should recognize that someone like me has everything he could want in a wife since she has chosen to dedicate her life to doing ratzon Hashem with great sincerity, has been tried and tested after overcoming many obstacles to be where she is today, and has been working on herself in every way and will continue to do so IY”H.

    #710010

    real-brisker: They do… all the time. And those who don’t, why? Many times it has to do with hashkafa which is understandable but a BT and FFB could have the same hashkafa…

    #710011
    phrum
    Member

    AishesChayil

    What is hashkafa? What hashkafa do you seek? In what communities do you find do you find such a mindset? If the shaddchan is running into the attitudes you described she is obviously looking in the wrong place for you.

    #710012
    Tzvi Hirsh
    Member

    The problem is more with the parents than the person.

    Many non religious parents consider it “as slap in the face” when their children don’t forfil the parent’s ambition when they become religious and then you and your children’s relationship with them can become very challenging to say the least

    #710014
    dd
    Member

    I married a BT more than 20 years ago. I have yet to meet an FFB that has middos equal to those of my not-raised-frum wife.

    #710016
    tzippi
    Member

    Actually, ,it was more my concern. Knowing that someone’s had certain experiences, not first with you, could be disconcerting.

    And by stuff that could come back to bite, take needles, e.g.

    It sounds like you are making excellent hishtadlus. There’s something going on that is clearly indicative that we are in ikvesa d’Mishicha and that is all the good girls like you out there, in front of whose houses you’d expect to see lines of boys in a normal world. Hatzlacha!

    #710018
    Poster
    Member

    AishesChayil-in-Training, u sound like a really special thought out person. I have nothing to add to this discussion but I want to wish you loads of hatzlocha. I hope the one you marry will appreciate your wonderful qualities and you will build a bayis ne’eman biyisroel!

    #710022
    apushatayid
    Participant

    AishesChayil-in-Training. Did I say something to the contrary?

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