Thursday, November 20, 2008


I may answer your comments directly, or I may as in this case write a post just to answer. I may even wait to answer a particular query because I am trying to give an order to this posts, a natural progression towards the final goal which is marriage for our children (or for ourselves, as the case may be).

Naturally being a woman I retain the right to interrupt the flow and answer out of sequence sometimes:)). Keep your comments coming.

Here is an answer to Rosie's comment in

"FFBs and BT Matches"

Rosie wrote: So we admit that at the end of the day, marriages between people of different backgrounds do occur and those couples do have to adjust.

Of course couples with different backgrounds marry each other! It happens all the time! Someone from England marries and American, and they have more to adjust than what is the meaning of “boot” (an item of clothing- America - or the trunk of a car- England-). Australians marry Israelis and French marry Russians. All couples need adjustments. They may both be from the same neighborhood but they are still two separate people who have to learn how to file down the edges and fit together hand in glove.That is the giving and compromising im marriage! How many good marriages are there where the two participants are not constantly adjusting their wishes and wants for the other? The best marriages being of course those where both wish and want the same thing in big issues as well as minor ones.

R: Maybe we should also teach children that what they had in mind might not come their way.

There is no maybe to the fact that we must teach children that they cannot wait for all the items on their wish list to be fulfilled. Compromise is the name of the game. Besides some of those items on the wish list may actually be against this good marriage and should not be fulfilled!

A little bit like if we daven with whole heart to win the lottery, but such a win might be a calamity for us instead of a good thing.Research on lottery winners finds that for many lottery winners, the reality is more like a nightmare. "In our culture, there is a widely held belief that money solves problems. People think if they had more money, their troubles would be over. When a family receives sudden money, they frequently learn that money can cause as many problems as it solves," says a financial adviser.

Sometimes we do not get what we daven for because it is not good for us. Similarly sometimes our soulmate only has 3 or 4 out of 7 items on our list. S/he is still our soulmate and the best person to help us fulfill our tikun in this world.

Part of the problem with so many shidduchim these days is that there isn't enough flexibility. In the me generation it takes longer and it takes maturity to turn the "M" of me into a "W" of we.

R: it is not simply a desire to seek a common background but a desire to social climb and the BTs become low on the ladder.

All manner of reasons are considered "less desirable" and "low on the ladder".

Some BT families are so integrated in the community they live in that no one thinks of them as BTs.
As usual the distance between FFB families and BT families is caused by the different points of view and externals. And we all know that where there are differences there is suspicion and objections. We as jews should know this better than anyone else. Because we refuse to conform to the worlds mores and modes we are looked on with suspicion and dislike.
Because of their upbringing , BTs may have differing ways to do things (within Halacha) that sound a discordant note to people who do things like they were done in the shtetel in Russia or like it was done in Berlin, or in Galizia etc. Therefore those BT families that conform more to the methods of things done in Europe instead of Main Street, America may fit in better and not have the problems others do. (Entirely my own thought, and I am simplifying.)

Other reasons why a shidduch is rejected out of hand could be:

Shidduchim where the boy or girl had a wobble in their growing up years are looked at askance. No one is happy with the explanations that they saw the other side and rejected it, therefore they must be stronger than others who did not encounter that test. Yet, these are solid boys and girls who will make great husbands or wives.

What about the boys who went to the army? There are more all the time. Some went in frum and came out frum so why do we put them on a lower rung?

Or people who have a less than illustrious background. It does not mean that they are not just as good or better than someone with name recognition.

Many families get rejected for spurious reasons. And it happens at every level of our society. It is not just the FFBs who are "social climbers" everyone is in one way or another. Families who have yichus may want money and families with money may want yichus etc.

Because we are at the time of Ikvesa DiMeshicha, as Rashi explains the end of Exile, avodas Hashem is harder than ever. Shidduchim are harder than ever.

It is not the methods we use to bring together couples, methods that have worked for a long time under many and varied circumstances, that are wrong. The methods are correct, it is our imput, our expectations and sense of entitlement that does not allow the method to work.

Just because we try to hammer a nail with our foot does not mean the hammer is useless! It means the hammer is useless because we are using a limb that should never be used for this purpose. Use your hand and the hammer will work!

Have the right hashkofos, look for the right things in a shidduch, look behind just the externals and matches will come about.