Yom Tov & Divorce….
- This topic has 29 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 12 years, 11 months ago by Health.
March 22, 2010 1:17 am at 1:17 am #591432
As a divorced father of two lovely daughters, I am dreading the first days of Yom Tov. As per my custody agreement, this year they will be away wth my ex. and with me for the second days.
Of course I get a million invitations, but while being alone for a seder is lousy, I find it harder to be with other families when I know that MY family is elsewhere.
(I have my friends R’ Eliezer, R’ Akiva and R’ Tarfon to keep me company……)
Almost everyone thinks I’m nuts, but I think people need to respect my feelings…..
Anyone else out there with similar issues?March 22, 2010 2:26 am at 2:26 am #682379
Yanky, I don’t know how long you have been divorced, but while I truly DO respect your feelings about preferring to be alone, rather than in a family situation that will only contantly remind you of what you are missing, I hope you will reconsider. At least you might want to try and invite other people who are single and at loose ends themselves to join you at your private sedarim. They might also be looking for someone on his own without the kids (because they are in the same boat), and you would have the added mitzvah of kol dichfin, as well as not be alone. There is enough maror at the table, why add to it?March 22, 2010 3:32 am at 3:32 am #682380bein_hasdorimParticipant
Yanky; I take it going to your parents is outta the question.
I agree with oomis1105, perhaps you can invite some other single
guy or guys who need a quiet place to spend the seder.
you can be mekayem the big mitzvah of hachnosas orchim, & say kol dichfin
Whatever you decide you wont be alone at the seder as it says that
HB”H comes down with the whole pamalia shel Mailoh to watch how his
kinderlach perform the seder, pesach night.
Hoshata Hocha, L’shanah Haboh B’ar’oh D’yisroel.March 22, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am #682381haifagirlParticipant
I’ve been to families for sedarim. I’ve done sedarim alone.
I was very fortunate to find a family that does a great seder and once I found them I went to them for every seder.
Now I’m in a new city. And I remember my experiences before I found that family and how many really, really bad sedarim I had to endure. This year I’m doing my seder alone.March 22, 2010 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #682382telegrokMember
Do what your gut tells you to do. Being alone might be difficult, but being with others might be more difficult. Only you can make that decision. There’s nothing wrong with spending an evening with R’ Eliazar, R’ Akiva, and R’ Tarfon. And my guess is that the Rambam, Rashi, the GR”A, and contemporary commentators from our generation would be good seder company, too.
Sometimes, even the right decision is not easy, or pain-free; but that does not mean it is not the right decision.March 25, 2010 2:42 am at 2:42 am #682383
I try to spend Yom Tov with family or friends, but on Shabbos, a lot of the times I’ll eat by myself! I don’t recommend you being by yourself for the Sedorim.March 25, 2010 4:37 am at 4:37 am #682384aries2756Participant
Yanky, it is sad that your family is torn apart and you have to take turns sharing your children for Yomim Tovim. But, please understand that as difficult as it is for you to go enjoy another family’s children and have a family style seder, choosing to feel depressed and segregating yourself from ahavas yisroel and allowing others to have the mitzvah of hachnosos orchim, will also have a profoundly negative effect on your children. THEY don’t want you to be alone and miserable and if you enjoy a happy and healthy relationship with your children why would you want them to feel bad or guilty that they are not with you?
Yanky you are not alone, Hashem gives each of us our own nisyonos. B”H, you CAN see your children when you want to, and you know where they are and that they are well. There are so many families whose pained children have gone off the derech or worse and their empty seat at the seder table reflects the emptiness the family feels without them. These parents and siblings can’t see this child whenever they want, they don’t know how to reach them and they don’t know if s/he is OK.
No matter how bad off we feel we are, in emes others are suffering just as badly if not worse. So please choose to count your blessings. You can’t undo the divorce or make what was wrong right, but you can appreciate the fact that your children are happy and healthy and that you will be spending the second half of Pesach with them; and will have them for the sedarim next year. Think of it as preparation for when they are married and you will have to share them with the michutanim.
Please think about what I said and I hope you will choose to NOT be alone but to spend Yom Tov joyously with your friends or other family members. I am sure that your children will be happy that you are not alone and that they will have a much better Yom Tov not worrying about you.March 25, 2010 8:00 am at 8:00 am #682385sm29Participant
I think that if you want to be alone that’s fine. Or you could do what oomis said about having other singles over. You guys can keep each other company. Anyway, hope you have a good time during the second half of Pesach with the kids 🙂March 25, 2010 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm #682386smartcookieMember
YANKY55- my husband has a divorced friend that also has his 2 kids with him only some days. They join us for seudos and it is really beautiful.
I’m sure he’d rather be with his own fmaily but since this is the situation, he chose a friend where he’ll be comfortable and sticks one same home usually.
Maybe you too, should find one or two specific families where you’ll feel most comfortable and stick to them instead of running around.
This might make you feel like part of their family.
We love when our guest joins us and I’m sure he does too! He’s becoming more and more part of our family.
Hatzlacha rabbah and good yom tov.March 25, 2010 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #682387tzippiMember
This is difficult for you, but I hope you gain some comfort in knowing that you are working together in the best interests of your kids (at least I assume you are) which is the greatest thing you can do for them.
If you’re one of the younger siblings in the family, you may remember those years when you were the uncle/fairy godfather – you kept the kids happy, you were the extra pair of hands, etc. Or maybe you’re one of the older ones and you remember how great your single siblings were when you needed them. Maybe you can go somewhere where you’ll be needed, you can spend time learning with the kids, peeling vegetables, etc. Right now it seems bleak, but there is a way that you can end off yom tov with a smile.March 25, 2010 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #682388speaktruthMember
I understand your perspective but from a different angle as a single girl.
It is hard to be alone and sometimes when you see other ppl’s families it just makes you realize what you r missing.
Sometimes, I really am happier eating myself than going out.
I sometimes invite younger girls (such as seminary girls who are looking for shabbas invites) to join me for a meal and that enhances it (and they help with the cooking-lol).
I also have a few families who I am at home with and don’t feel like a guest.
For the seder, I think as a one time thing I would not want to be alone but its up to decide you what ever is best and will make u enjoy the holiday the most.March 25, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #682389bombmaniacParticipant
i cant say i have been divorced seeing as i was never married, but i can identify. i usually eat alone on shabbos and yomim tovim. and its ok…but its not the same. if you can get invited over to someone’s house for the sedarim at least, then do it. find someone you are comfortable with, and go there. i would not recommend having the seder alone.March 25, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #682390
Thank you all for writing and your good wishes.
I gotta go with those who believe I should do what my gut tells me is best for me. My therapist encourages me to go to people, but he respects my feelings. I DO think about what Aries wrote regarding my children feeling bad about me being alone. I try my best to reassure them that this is best for me.
Believe me, I AM grateful for the things I DO have.
B”H I will be busy with my shul. I need to layn and speak every day of Yom Tov, as I am the gabbai and we have no Rav in this minyan. I LOVE to bentch Tal more than anything else. I wrote up one drasha already and posted it here last week. I will try to post another (better) one, which can be said at the sedarim.
Oomis, thanks again for the recipes; I will let you know how they come out 🙂
Chag Kasher V’sameach to all!March 26, 2010 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #682392tzippiMember
About your children feeling bad about your being alone: they should know how much you love them and how essential a part of your life they are, but they will be happy with as whole a father as you can be, so they won’t feel guilty, especially if there are times that they get to make the decision. Hope I’m not overstepping my bounds here.March 26, 2010 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #682393
No, you are not overstepping your bounds. I appreciate your thoughts.
Chag Kasher V’sameach to you and your family!March 27, 2010 8:13 pm at 8:13 pm #682394haifagirlParticipant
I support your decision, no matter what it is.
As someone who is quite experienced in doing a seder by myself, I can tell you from my experience the hardest part is dealing with all the people who either a) pity me, or b) try to make me feel guilty.
I would much rather be alone at a seder that goes at my pace, and follows my minhagim, than to be a seder with other people who give me a hard time for drinking wine instead of grape juice, or for drinking the entire cup, or for eating a full shiur of matzah, or for wanting to wash for urchatz. And yes, these things all really happened, and all in frum homes.March 28, 2010 3:31 am at 3:31 am #682395
Chag kasher V’SAMEACH (emphasis on the simcha for all). May none of us be lonely or feel lonely, even if alone.March 28, 2010 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #682396
I know what you mean about people making you feel guilty ( i.e.”you CAN’T make a Seder alone!…it’s not right”!)
I also agree with you that I would prefer to do things my way, especially since that is what I did when I was the head of my household.
Why would anyone criticize you for the things you mentioned? What am I missing here?March 28, 2010 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #682397
Thank you Oomis-
Chag Kasher V’sameach to you and your family!
I plan to make the cakes tomorrow, so I will have to post at that time about how they came out 🙂April 1, 2010 1:06 am at 1:06 am #682398smartcookieMember
Yanky55: a gut moed!!
I thought about you a few times during yom tov.
So how did your sedorim work out?April 1, 2010 3:26 am at 3:26 am #682399
I am delighted with how my blondies and chocolate cake came out. I also made a chocolate mousse for dessert (no squirrel, for those who get the reference), and it was AWESOME. I hope everyone had a wonderful yom tov, no matter how they spent it, and may the sedarim (or even better, SEDER in Yerushalayim) next year be joyous, full of family and friends, zivugim for those who are unattached as yet, babies for those who want to become parents, and nachas from those children and grandchildren we already have.April 1, 2010 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #682400
A Guten Moed Smartcookie,
So nice of you to think about and ask about me. Thank You!
The sedarim were okay, though it was basically going through the motions. I kept in mind the message of the Haggadah that next year things will be better….Lishana habah b’Yirushalayim! That kept me going 🙂April 1, 2010 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #682401
I made your fudgy and gooey chocolate cake (the one where you wrote “best served with vanilla ice cream” and it came out gavaldik! Thank You!
Hope you had a good Yom Tov as well. Thank you for your good wishes and may you too have all the brachos you wished for everyone else!April 2, 2010 3:49 am at 3:49 am #682402fayweeMember
I really sympathize with you and your two daughters… I am also the daughter of a divorced family and have one, and only one sister…
All my life, I have been shlepping around to other people’s sedarim. Yes, even before my parents were divorced (my mother couldn’t stand my father’s sedarim… so we shlepped around). I understand that it is no easy feat being everybody’s “kol dichfin”…
I don’t think I would mind doing a seder by myself (or with my sister), but for society sake, and established norms, and by the law of “It’s Just Not Done…” I drag myself along- to aunts and uncles, grandparents, 3rd cousins-seven-times-remove, well-meaning rabbis and rebbetzins…April 2, 2010 5:01 am at 5:01 am #682403
I made your fudgy and gooey chocolate cake (the one where you wrote “best served with vanilla ice cream” and it came out gavaldik! Thank You!
Hope you had a good Yom Tov as well. Thank you for your good wishes and may you too have all the brachos you wished for everyone else! “
I know I made a great chocolate cake, but I mamesh don’t recall writing anything about ice cream, so it may be someone else deserving the compliments. In any case, amein to the second part of your post. I had a great SECOND seder (fell into an almost-coma by shulchan oreych on the first night).April 2, 2010 5:05 am at 5:05 am #682404
Ignore my previous post – I did in fact post that. But I never yet made the aforementioned recipe, I just posted it, ebcause it sounded good. Now with your endorsement, Yanky, I MUST make it for the second days!!!!!!April 2, 2010 4:27 pm at 4:27 pm #682405
To Yanky & Zephyr,
Even though I have been sick the whole week, I schlepped to my sister for the whole first days. Only one of my sons were there, the rest of my kids were with my ex.
The reason -because Yom Tov should be with family, but I don’t always go out on Shabbos- I eat by myself a lot.April 2, 2010 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #682406fayweeMember
Health- why do you say “Yom Tov should be with family.”? This is exactly what I mean… Just because it’s just not done…
I think that Yom Tov should be with happiness (so long as it isn’t against the halacha, in which case it can’t make you happy, and if staying home alone makes you happy- so be it.
It just requires a lot of guts to do what you know will be best for you, even if “it isn’t done.”
Wish I had some guts…April 2, 2010 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm #682407
Sorry you had to go through all that pain (and still do). I hope my daughters don’t feel that way. They say they enjoy the sedarim with their cousins who are their age, so I think they are okay but you never know what is going on deep down.
Forget what “society” says about what is or isn’t done.
Get your guts together and do what you feel is best for you, especially that which will bring you the most happiness.
The law of the land is now that if someone wants to be alone for the sedarim, so be it 🙂
Enjoy the rest of Yom Tov,
YankyApril 2, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm #682408
Zephyr – Because this is what I feel is right; I’m not a teenager anymore -I don’t do things because “it isn’t done”. If for some reason, the family or friends you go to, either you don’t like or can’t get along with, then don’t go. If going to these people stops your happiness because of their behavior -find some new family and friends. I was just discussing the aspect of staying home or going out from my own perspective. I don’t understand why going to someone else would make you unhappy? Granted, it’s more comfortable to be at home; but during Yom Tov, I feel it’s important to be with family and/or friends.
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