Forum Replies Created
May 9, 2011 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm in reply to: How Often Do You Daven For Shidduchim Of Those In Need? #765175
I would say that at least once a week is a minimum to be in compliance with Rav Chaim Stein’s (Shlita) request.
As I said above, no 2 people are alike and therefore generalities that “medication is inappropriate for long-term use” are quite dangerous. There are many forms of anxiety and the length of time a person needs med’s varies for each individual case, and as such needs to be defined by the mental health professionals (MD’s and counselors). The main thing we should be concerned with is that “2cool” can be treated properly and get back to healthy functioning. Let the doctors decide the “how’s” and “how long’s”. I definitely agree that talk therapy is a vital component of treatment, but the facts are that there are subsets of population for which talk therapy alone is insufficient and require complementary medication treatment even long-term.
NYRANGERSFAN: Can you please mention what med’s worked well for you? Maybe 2cool could ask her doctor to try the regimen that worked for you. Obviously no people are alike, but it is worth a try.
When people walk into doctor’s offices complaining of anxiety, they are often prescribed one of the benzodiazapene family (such as Valium etc.). But often they need a serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) such as Prozac (either alone or in combination).
2cool4school: I hope that you will go back to your doctor and ask for a re-evaluation of your med’s. If you are not satisfied, get a new doctor. But do not give up on medication – you will find the right one(s) and it will work. Hatzlacha Rabboh.
No, it was very complicated – I had anorexia nervosa, combined with OCD (which is a form of an anxiety disorder), but secondarily I developed depression, which in turn led me to do things that were potentially harmful to myself, so it was decided to hospitalize me. The field of medicinal psychiatry has become much more sophisticated today, so that there are a lot more choices of drugs for treating people with anxiety, OCD, depression etc. Back then, very few drugs were available and those had often very undesirable side effects. Today things have advanced greatly in this (as well as all other) field of medicine. Research has shown that when one drug does not work so well by itself (for anxiety in a specific patient; it still may work great for many other patients), that often a combination of 2 drugs works much better than each alone. Therefore, if your doctor has not yet suggested it, you might ask for another medication (since no 2 people respond the same to any given medicine – what works for you may not work for someone else) or a combination of medications (I am saying this since you wrote that you did not get relief from the medications you tried). Instead of seeing this process of finding the “right” drug(s) as painful, you might view it as an “experiment” that you are determined to find the right one (or combination) and will not give up until you find it. Also, if you don’t already have the Miami Boy’s Choir CD called “Bseyata Dishmaya”, I highly suggest you get it and listen to it – it will give you Chizuk. I wish that I could do more to help you, but unfortunately all I can do is encourage you from the distance. Also if you need names of good physicians and mental health professionals, don’t hesitate to call ECHO. I know an excellent LCSW (who is also a Talmid Chochom) in NYC, but I can’t put up his name on this site until I get his permission.
May Hashem bless you with a Yeshua K’Heref Ayin and excellent mental health.
2cool: I feel very much for your Tzuros and will be Mispallel for you. I strongly suggest that you should get to a Gadol to ask for an Eitzah and his Tefillos. Perhaps you can arrange to see the Noveminske Rebbe Shlita. He is a very sympathetic person; when I was a teenager in a psychiatric ward, he went to bat for me by speaking to my doctor to get leave permission for me to learn in a Beis HaMedrash (while I was an in-patient!). People also go to the Skvere Rebbe Shlita who is very knowledgeable in medical issues and he regularly recommends physicians for people in need. Do you mind me asking in which city you live – maybe someone can suggest a name of a mental health professional that has been sucessful in anxiety.
If you ever feel like harming yourself Chas V’Shalom, don’t wait another second – just get to a emergency room IMMEDIATELY – it may feel “stupid” to walk into a ER for something like this, but that is what they are there for. I took myself to an ER the Motzei Shabbos after I gave a Get to my ex-wife since I felt so awful and unstable that I feared I would harm myself and they were helpful.
May Hashem send His mercy to you and bring you a Refuah Sheleimah speedily. I am certain that when you find the right Shliach (i.e. the right doctor, hopefully very soon), with Hashem’s help, you will start to feel better.
2cool: There are several different “classes” of drugs that are used to treat anxiety issues. It is quite possible that the drug(s) prescribed for you were not of the correct class to help your individual sort of anxiety (there are different forms of anxiety issues as well and to know which drug should be used, requires correct diagnosis of your type of anxiety). Now please don’t get anxious about what I just said! It is just a matter of finding a psychiatrist who can take care of your unique difficulty. Perhaps you can call ECHO for a referral. Also I believe very much in going to a Gadol for help, to give your name for Tefilla. (I understand that going to a Tzaddik may cause you anxiety, but it is worth it).
As far as getting to the root – it is very difficult to get to the root; the medical field has just NOT progressed in psychiatry as far as they have in other areas of medicine. There may be genetic factors which you can’t control, so it is very worthwhile to concentrate on treating the symptoms with medications and going for talk therapy to reteach you how to take on life’s situations so that they do not cause you as much distress.
I also think that it is very important to have something you love to do, which can be a “haven” or “sanctuary” of safety from anxiety. I won’t list all of the things that cause me anxiety (doing laundry, going shopping, driving – fearful of car trouble, accidents, tickets etc.), but for everything I have one answer: I know that I am going to have a Seder of learning Gemora that evening which slams the door shut on anxiety for the blissful hour I learn. Also, I can’t survive a day at work without constant listening to Miami Boy’s Choir (I was told by 2 Rabbonim that I can listen even during times of Aveilus (e.g. 3 weeks, the year after my father A”H passed away, since it is therapeutic)
I promised the “prayer” I wrote. Here it is:
Dear Father in Heaven, please embrace me and hold my hand for I have no one other than You to lead me
Overcome by anxiety, facing a brick wall ahead of me with nowhere to turn
I have so many tasks that I must fulfill, yet so many seem too overwhelming, like a lead brick on my arm
How will I go on, how will I muster the strength to do what I must do to keep my life from failing
When I drive a car, I fear crashing into the car ahead of me, flying through the windshield
The clock speeds ahead of me, yet I keep falling farther and farther behind on account of all the fear that stops me dead in my tracks
I keep dreaming of wonderful scenarios that would magically and wonderfully take me away from this madness of anxiety
Yet, the anxieties, like the spots on a leopard, keep coming back to me to haunt me in new scenes
I feel so much out of control, wondering whether life can ever go on in a near normal and smooth scenario
All I want to do is go to sleep, because then I am able to escape these cables of anxieties that ensnare me
Please release me from this dread, from the fear of the future and the lead bricks that lead me to a dead stop
Allow me to enjoy the things in life that you intended for us to enjoy, that are so locked up from me in my current state
Please enable the real me to emerge, so that the rest of the world can also get to enjoy the strengths you endowed me with
Perhaps I have been chosen by You to face these challenges so that I help bring strength to others in similar situations
I accept my role willingly and I offer myself as a sacrifice on Your altar to help bring solace to others
But please let me succeed to truly overcome my difficulties for only then will I be able to bring genuine inspiration to others
Please lead me out of this prison, our Dear Father, our Rock and our Light
My dear Father, sometimes I feel as if I need to pull off my own skin in order to get myself to do a task that is so onerous to me
Please give me the strength to overcome these difficulties
So that I may go forward in my life and fulfill the potential you endowed me with
That I may beam with happiness, self-fulfillment and confidence in such a way that others may derive joy and confidence from being with me
Please lift up my light , let the spirit in me fly high
Dovv: Bitachon is esstential for everyone to help deal with life and life’s challenges, no more or less for a person suffering from anxiety versus a person suffering from diabetes. Each of the above need Bitachon to get through their uncertain fate. But to say that the cause for anxiety is lack of Bitachon; conversely that it can be cured by working on Bitachon alone, is groundless. I know people with magnificient amount of Bitachon, who have dealt with many huge life hurdles with great fortitude, but at the same time they were nervous people. The nervousness could have been treated by a physician, but for reasons I am not certain of, they did not get treatment and suffered for many, many years. No one in their right mind could have said to them: “have more Bitachon and your nervousness will go away” since their level of Bitachon exceeded most other people’s. Also, anxiety is not only a mental thing. Anxiety disorders have been shown to correlate with abberant brain glucose metabolism in specific brain regions, which normalize after anti-anxiety drugs were given, thus demonstrating that emotional issues are very often due to physical causes. I maintain that it is fundamentally wrong and moreover, probably cruel, to tell a person with anxiety disorder(s), that his/her problems stem from lack of Bitachon.
I was helped greatly by medication; my problem was more obsessive worrying, but med’s work well for both the compulsive and obsessive behavior. Meds can literally change a person’s life around. It might take a while to find the best medication for any given person, but a competent psychiatrist will find it. Med’s should be combined with psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy) since the combination of both offers better imrpovement than either one alone).
What are the concerns – why does the person feel reluctant to take meds? Is money a problem or fear of stigma? No one should be left untreated because of lack of money – although I unfortunately do not know how to find financial assistance for treatment.
I am in agreement with those who suggest talking to her Rov. My parents did nothing when I cried that I need to break up my Shidduch (during my engagement) and I ended up marrying the person, only to suffer much worse pain than if had listened to my inner self telling me something was wrong. A good Rov should know if the person needs to see a therapist, delay the marriage or break up the Shidduch.
2cool: I have dealt with serious anxiety issues for decades and I can assure you that it is totally unproductive to link anxiety with Bitachon or lack thereof. Those who would try to make you believe that you have a lack of Bitachon, would have you now try to fight your anxiety in addition to added guilt feelings for being weak in Bitachon. No one ever would tell a diabetic that their illness comes from a lack of Bitachon. Similarly, anxiety that causes you all these physical symptoms is caused by real medical issues rather than a lack of Bitachon. What to do about this? Get yourself to a competent mental health professional, who can evaluate what is going on and determine if you need medications or other treatment. Do this – please without delay. Start with your family physician and make sure you don’t leave his/her office without a name of a good mental health professional. Alternatively, you could ask your Rov for a mental health professional referral – that should also be a good route – but be wary of anyone who tells you that you are lacking this or that attitude or that you could self-treat. Absolutely nonsense and dangerous also (no one tells a diabetic to self-treat without going to a physician). Anxiety that cuases such physical distress as you described must be treated by a professional.
When I was dealing with asevere anxiety a few months ago, I wrote a prayer that described my feelings and my request to the Almighty Rofeh Kol Basar to help me. (I do also receive medical treatment, just for the record). I felt better after reciting this prayer and I would be happy to avail the prayer to you, but I must first check with the editors of YWN if I am allowed to post it in this CR forum.
Hatzlacha Rabboh and may Hashem’s Yeshuah come K’Heref Ayin, as long as you do your Hishtadlus to get professional treatment.April 29, 2011 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm in reply to: Using "self-composed" prayers for people facing serious tzuros #824332
I did get the OK from 2 Rabbonim to publicize in published Jewish media. I tried to get HaRav Stein Shlita’s approval (through a student) before he became ill, but I am not aware if he agreed or refused.
As far as not being allowed to compose today, where does it say that after the Anshei K’neses HaGdolah, the prayer book was sealed? Many Piyutim and Kinos were written over the past few hundred years. Of course, I don’t come to the shoelaces of the illustrious Talmedai Chachomin who were Mesader those Tefillos – but to say that the prayer book is now a sealed book, does not seem to be based on a Halachic source (as per the Chazon Ish, above).
Lastly, the Tzuros of all our sister and brothers are our OWN, as we are a single unit; so by same logic, the Tefillos that you compose because of your pain for Acheinu Beis Yisroel, are also my personal Tefillos.
Imagine if before going to sleep each peson spent 3 minutes davening for all women who don’t have a Shidduch or who are married but childless, perhaps using words of his/her own chosing, is it not possible that as a result, a few more families would have a Simcha sooner? All I want to do is facilitate this.
Thank you very much for your most touching words. They are very much appreciated and deeply moved me.
I find it very hard to go on alone, feeling like a “halbe-mentch”, especially after having been emotionally tossed around like a rag-doll throughout the 15+ year marriage, during which my ex-wife stopped going to the Mikvah numerous times for months a time. Lest someone say I must have been a beast and treated her in a crude, insensitive manner; on the contrary-I will have the testimony of Rabboim who will verify that I constantly consulted with my Rov how to speak to her with utmost Derech Eretz and sensitivity, how to be as humanly nice as possible to her (not just during the Chasson-Kallah period, but throughout the marriage). I went through counseling to try to become the best husband I could become etc. Now I see myself as continuing to get the raw end of the deal, after giving her the Get when she demanded it and now I can’t get my life back. Do I feel sorry for myself? I am ashamed to say: probably yes. Should I stop this behavior? Absolutely. I am looking for a Mehalech and attitude change to get the strength and Emunah to go on and to believe that there is happiness in a new healthy marriage at the end of the rainbow and to have the stamina and Simchas Hachayim to go on until I reach that time. I have so much to give to another and I am unable to do so on the proper level as long as I languish alone.
Thank you very much everyone for all your advice and support.
emunah613: Thank you very much for the Chizuk and the kind words. I appreciate the very sincere words of advice very much. Please kindly tell me how to go about “try to focus on filling yourself up with as much love and emunah as possible” – do you have a Hashkofah Sefer/Shiur audio that you can recommend? I know internally that it is so important to see the good in all situations; otherwise even in a apparently stable marriage, a person can turn themselves into a miserable creature by seeing only the half-empty parts. But, I have real trouble climbing out of the pain of the moment and filling myself with positive thoughts. I would be very appreciative for any Eitzos.
I meant to say that “unfortunately I am NOT such a Hailege Yid to adopt such a positive view”.
For obvious reasons, it is diffciult to post personal information (such as dollar amount of support) publically. The Petur stipulated that civil license must be obtained to remarry, so a civil divorce is needed. Plus, no woman in her right mind would want to date someone who is civilly connected to another woman (take for example, if he remarried without a civil divorce, the husband could never get the new wife on his health insurance plan, since there is no marriage license).
I was hoping that rather than giving out specifics on my situation, people could reflect on what other people (men or women) went through and how they got through it to restart their lives. It is so very difficult to be hanging in mid-air, not being able to get on with my life, especially when I was the one “tossed-out”. I was on a Chol Hamoeid trip with one of my children and it was very painful to realize that all other nearly parents had their spouses with them on their family trip whereas I was in no-one’s land. Is it possible to take on a more positive (thankful) attitude and look at the long-term picture? Undoubtedly I should count my blessings and be thankful that I was Zoche to have healthy children considering the health struggles many other parents have with ill children and those who are childless and can’t even take any children on a Chol HaMoeid trip; unfortunately I am such a Hailege Yid to adopt such a positive view.
Quite right – it was a big mistake for me to give the Get naively without Beis Din first working out all details for child support/custody etc. What did I know about divorce except that I tried everything to prevent it from happening? Naively, I gave the Get without delay, conditions, expecting that my Ehrlichkeit would be matched by her readiness to facilitate the civil divorce so that I could get on with my life. Now I have to spend a fortune in legal costs to attain some kind of legal arrangment for child support/custody to have a civil divorce by running through the courts. Batei Dinnim need to be aware of these issues and work out these details before writing a Get. As to whether I can remarry without a civil diorce, the Beis Din said I cannot remarry until I am given civil license to remarry, so now I am the real Agunah.
Lomed Mkol Adam: We should put our dispute into the hands of a Rov or a Frum therapist who could give their professional opinion. Our back-and-forth friendly banter will provide no positive results to the Tzibbur. Rav Chatzkel Levenstain ZT”L makes a strong arguement that Middos Raos can lead people to do the worst of behavior, (and I add that “intentionally putting down another person for the sole purpose of feeling themselves self confident” is well within the boundaries of what Rav Chatzkel discusses). Clearly you are correct that many people will benefit from therapy and this could enable them to become much better spouses, but to ignore the impact of Middos development and the contribution of poor Middos development on abusive spousal behavior is equivalent to me, to throwing out the a full Chelek of the Shulchan Aruch.
Lomed Mkol Adam: You and I could argue from “Heint Biz Morgin” on whether there exists a meaningful correlation between deep-seated insecurity and emotionally abusive behavior to spouses (I doubt a clear correlation exists), but we would still make zero headway in solving this community problem. For if my hypothesis is correct, even in very secure people, there exists underlying Middos Raos, which (in my opinion) is one of the key causal factors of emotionally abusive behavior. Examples of such Middos Raos may be selfishness (i.e. unable to see beyond our own needs), arrogance (i.e. thinking I am always right, so the other person must be at fault) and also a lack of Emunah in Hashem that He sees and knows all and can take care of all our needs if only we engage in acceptable behaviors Bein Adom L’Chaveiro. Take for example – what would drive a spouse to say to the other, in front of others, that he/she is unable to do anything right – it is a feeling of entitlement that I can say what I want when I want to, I deserve to get what I want when I want it, and I am totally not responsible for the crushing effect on the other’s feelings. This derives from a combination of arrogance, selfishness and the lack of belief that Hashem can help make it all work out. Very little of these Middos Raos have anything to do with insecurity.
I maintain that very focused and modeled behavior clinics must be presented in Mosdos Chinuch to show what is acceptable behavior and what is not. And this must be reinforced by Limud Mussar which teaches people how to “attack” and refine deep-seated Middos Raos. What we really need is to hear from Rabbonim who counsel and listen to people who are going through this.
Lomed Mkol Adam: Insecurity (whether it’s the same as low self esteem or not is debatable) may be a contributing factor in triggering abusive behavior, but I’ll bet that there are hundreds if not thousands insecure (Yiddishe) people who are not the slightest bit abusive. To become abusive, there must be a very rotten core of Middos Raos (character flaws) in their proverbial closet, where they can be kept very well hidden until after the Chasunah. What to do about this? See my earlier remarks from HaRav Chatzkel Levenstain ZT”L – working through one’s Middos via assidous Mussar learning, is a good start (with the help of a Rov/Rebbitzen).
Re therapy – many people are not aware or willing to face their flaws before marriage and would not classify themselves (nor would their friends) as aggressive, and so, according to your plan (very commendable though), they would never go for therapy prior to marriage, only to have unrefined (poor) Middos come out of their proverbial closet when things become not so much fun in marriage. Then they resort to abusive (or somewhat abusive) behavior against their spouse. So sending only “aggressive” ones to pre-marital therapy, is at best a small Yeshuah. We need to encourage our Chinuch Mosdos and individual mentors to help teens and pre-marital young adults really work on their hidden flaws (Middos Raos) through Mussar. No doubt that people could benefit from a healthy dose of therapy (although I am not certain if they should go for therapy when they start dating and/or bring their Chosson/Kallah into therapy after engagement, or even before they start dating) to help them really work out their hidden flawed Middos. I am sure this is oversimplification, but it is a start to tackle a nasty problem that every parent fears their child might be victimized by after the Chasunah.February 17, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm in reply to: Predicting success of marriages and Kesher with a Rov #741686
Since I think that this thread is coming to an end, I feel it safe to summarize that my experience has taught me that having a Kesher to a Rov would indeed increase success of marriages, as long as both parties share true Emunas Chachomim. The caveat that I would stipulate is that both parties have to tie their loyalty with the same Rov (not that each goes to their own Rov and gets differing Hadracha) and that they start the process as soon as they are engaged (if not earlier, if Shaalos come up before engagement). Which Rov to select is beyond my ability to say, but the entire issue should be spoken out during the dating process. In my case, it is clear that we should have selected the Rov from my family’s Kehilla (i.e. the Gadol who told me not to eat from the in-law’s kitchen when he said “their Kashrus is not our Kashrus” very emphatically) since I was the one that was being “asked” to let down my standards and eat from a less “Kosher” kitchen than had been in standard in my parent’s home. Clearly, it was incumbent on me (the most impacted one in this situation) to get a P’sak from the Rov who knew my family and I should have made it imperative that the other part honor this. Perhaps the policy should always be that the couple use the Chosson’s family’s the Rov or his Rosh Yeshiva etc. Any ideas?
msseeker: When you use say Torah Jews can be stubborn, domineering, demanding, we are not talking about a large leap from abusive. It is a continuum – where stubborn, domineering, demanding ends and abusive behavior begins in a gray line at best. The bottom line is that none of these behaviors fit into what Chazal say “The Kavod of your Chaver should be more dear than your own”. Your spouse should be your closet Chaver, so for sure, so upholding his/her Kavod should be the utmost priority in marriage. When you examine the types of behaviors I provided as examples of psychological abuse (above), they are the ultimate opposites of upholding the opposite’s Kavod. One thing to me is quite certain: that learning Torah alone, without rigorous Mussar reinforcement, will not in of itself prevent young men or women from falling into this trap, since there are many forms of Negios (ulterior needs or motives) that can enable a person to act totally against the Torah’s moral code, while even thinking that he/she is doing a Mitzvah (i.e thinking that it his/her “duty” to speak harshly to his/her spouse for whatever crazy reason he/she may dream up; See Reb Chatzkel Levenstain ZT”L in Sefer Ohr Yechezkel who explains this idea much better than I can, with regard to the death of Rebbi Akiva’s talmidim “for they did not afford Kavod one to another”). Reb Chatzkel explains that the only antidote from falling into this trap is to learn Mussar assiduously.
My question that I hope someone can shed light on is: What makes a person act abusively (or even near-abusively) to their spouse? It is not just an academic question – the answer to this question may provide the solution in reengineering our way of Chinuch of pre-marital youngsters so that they safely guard themselves against acting in such a manner. Is it because one spouse is insecure, so putting down the other raises his/her own image, R”L? – I don’t buy this since I always had low self-esteem and never would dream of acting abusively to my spouse. So I can’t figure it out. One thing I know for sure is that somehow the abusive people (very often) somehow restrain these tendencies until after the Chasunah (even act super nice before the Chasunah), so the abused spouses are totally taken for a loop, not having had any idea before the Chasunah that this would happen (if they had some warning before, maybe they could have saved themselves, unless they were blinded as well). I would love to hear people’s input on this – mostly so that the Mosdos of Chinuch (and parents) could help youngsters work on preventing themselves from becoming abusers or abused.
To clarify: examples of emotional spousal abuse are:
1) Being verbally degraded repeatedly, i.e. one spouse makes the other feel that their self-worth is devalued by saying they are not worthy. A husband can be repeatedly told that the spiritual weaknesses of the children are all his fault, that he does nothing for their Chinuch. Most damaging is when the spouse is verbally degraded in front of family, especially their own children, since it causes a devaluation of the abused parent in the eyes of the children and totally distorts the sanctity of husband-wife relationship in the children’s eyes. Children very much want to see that their parents are valued and when one parent does the very opposite to the other, it is very destructive to the children’s image of their family home as their sanctum.
2) By constantly refusing to show recognition or acknowledgement for the good things the other does and even worse by blaming the other person for everything that goes wrong, even when the blamer is totally at fault for the very things he/she blames the other for. I know one example where one spouse blamed the other for their astronomical credit card debt despite the fact that the “blamer” was the only one to use the credit cards, but blamed the entire debt on the other because the “blamee” ordered the credit card from the bank! The blamer can be so blind that he/she will accuse the other for not doing a desired Tovah when in reality the “blamee” person did the very Tovah most devotedly every day.
3) This hurts me very much to say, since it may be viewed as an attack on women or being insensitive to their suffering, which is the farthest from my mind: Women who refuse to go to the Mikvah for even short and sometimes long periods of time, assuming that they did not have dispensation from their Rov, are acting emotionally abusively toward their husband since they are engaging Halacha as a weapon. Nothing is more damaging to the happiness and self-worth of a husband than when his wife says “you are not good enough for me to go to the Mikvah for”. I know that the vast majority of Frum women would not dream of doing this, but it happens in some marriages. (There may be cases where a women has a dispensation from her Rov not to go to the Mikvah, in which case she is likely in a very sad and painful situation – and we are excluding these cases from our discussion since this is an entirely different circumstance).
Spousal emotional abuse is very hard to identify since often each spouse sees themselves as the emotional abused, even when he/she does 99% of the abusive behavior. For this reason many people are dismissive towared the plight of the truly emotional abused spouse. Spouses who are truly emotionally abused derserve our greatest support since words can sometimes hurt more than physical blows (both are totally unacceptable), especially since people tend to acuse the abused party for engaging in a “pity party”.February 16, 2011 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm in reply to: Predicting success of marriages and Kesher with a Rov #741684
aries2756: Thank you very much for your Eitzah and concern – much appereciated! Unfortunately the Rov is no longer in this world, but I went to his Kever in the presence of a Minyan to ask for his Mechilah. I would be able to get closure if other people learn from this story to base their marriage on Emunas Chachomim (as well as other important Midos and Deios)…February 16, 2011 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm in reply to: Predicting success of marriages and Kesher with a Rov #741682
aries2756: Thank you very much for your words of consolation. Returning full circle to the topic of Emunas Chachomin with regard to Shidduchim, I maintain that, had I listened to this Gadol, in the Zechus of passing this difficult Nisayon, it would be impossible that any harm could have come to me, so I humbly disagree with you on that item. Hagaon Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L said with regard to another great Posek (of whom Reb Moshe ZT”L said “I don’t come up to his ankles”!) that it would be impossible that any harm could have happened to an Agunah he allowed to remarry (i.e. it was IMPOSSIBLE that if Hashem guided this Posek to permit the Agunah to remarry, that the original husband would still be alive). Similarly, it would have been impossible that had I listened to this Gadol, that the ill-fated marriage would still have come to be. Emunas Chachomim, in my opinion, is the one of the most essential keys to success in Yiddishe marriages.February 16, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am in reply to: Predicting success of marriages and Kesher with a Rov #741680
aries2756: Thank you for your feedback. The unique thing that this Gadol did in my case was set up a litmus test for my “ex-Kallah” to see if she could live up to the standard you hailed DESPITE her background (which lacked the modeling you described as critical). I know that the litmus test WOULD have worked if only I had trusted in his advice (without the Rov even meeting the party in question). But I failed to heed his advice and alas, what will become of the memories – are they to be scattered as the dust and debris?(from Abie Rottenberg’s song).February 15, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm in reply to: Predicting success of marriages and Kesher with a Rov #741677
I am not certain if this story goes to heart of the thread, but my story is a very beneficial Limud to all out there to see how, if I had abnegated my desires and narrow-mindedness, in favor of accepting the strong Eitzah of a senior Rov (a world acclaimed Gadol B’Yisroel), it WOULD have saved me from a disastrous marriage. Instead I made Teirutzim (excuses) why I did not have to accept his Eitzah (which admittedly was difficult to follow), and I wound up with more than a decade of marital pain, ending up with me being tossed out of the house and a Get. It comes down to Emunas Chachomim which unfortunately I was weak in and I failed the Nisayon; now I have several children who are “Lebbideke Yesomim” and I am to blame. My ex-spouse came from a home weak in Yiddishkeit which nominally kept Kosher. Although my then Kallah was far more “Frum” than the parents, she ate in their house. The Rov I went to, when I was a Chosson, strongly advised me that as a test of my Kallah’s ability to separate herself from the Hashkofas Zaros (Hashkafos foriegn to Torah-true Yiddishkeit) of her parents, I was to stipulate prior to marriage that we could not eat in the in-law’s house and not go there on Shabbos (although he advised to visit them often on Sundays). The Rov said that if my then-Kallah would not accept these conditions, I should break the shidduch. When I left the Rov’s house, he saw I was wavering, so he called out to me “Chazak V’Emutz” (be strong and courageous). I was not strong or courageous and instead I found some Halachic Heter to eat at the in-law’s house and spend Shabbos with them. I will spare the readers my sad story, but all that the Gadol had feared came true; had I followed his advice – I am totally certain that the marriage, which turned out to be a very bad match, would never have come to be and instead I would have been able to find a marriage partner much closer to this Rov’s ideal of Yiddishkeit. Instead the marriage was disatrous and ended up in divorce (despite herculean efforts on my part to save the marriage for years). My all the readers take this story to heart and have the courage to listen to Gadolim and be certain that their spouse-to-be is on the same page (i.e. share the same strong Emunas Chachomim) prior to marriage.