Monday, November 18, 2013

Beyond off the Derech

     Everyone always talks about those who radically fall off the derech. While there is always quite a bit to discuss about them  there are others who fall off the path more quietly. Some people start to lose their bearings while looking for their soul mate. They try every means of meeting their mate but still nothing seems to result in marriage. Slowly they become lax about shabbos. Suddenly they go from contemplating dating secular Jews to contemplating dating gentiles. Being an observant Jew is not a task meant to be performed alone. Sometimes there are those who become overwhelmed by the loneliness of being single and shomer shabbat. I myself can get overwhelmed but being an observant Jew is too much a part of me for me to abandon it. I have friends who are not so strong . This post is not about tooting my own horn. It is hard for me to give others chizuk when I understand very well what they are having difficulty with. In a way a lot of the outreach that is going on needs to be directed at singles because they are at great danger of being lost .Some kiruv organizations often ban frum singles from their programming but they are missing the point. These singles need kiruv even if they are "just" going to these events for the singles aspect. They could do a lot worse than finding someone less frum to marry.
       It is so frustrating to be single and religious especially as a woman. At thirty you feel like and old maid. Divorced men think you are selfish because you don't have children even though the only reason you don't have any is because you are single. In the secular world many say they don't want to marry unless they want kids (and even then they may not marry). In the religious world no one wants to marry a woman unless they think she can have x amount of children. I have friends who are starting to think that since they may be too old to have kids that they don't care if they marry someone frum or even Jewish. I am not condoning their thoughts but I can understand why their thoughts are going there.
       Perhaps the reason I have remained steadfast is that though I think that having children is for marriage I also believe that having children is not the only reason to get married. Getting married is about the two people building a life together, spending holidays together, growing together as people and spiritually. Its not that children should not be a part of this, its just that if it isn't it does not mean someone should not marry. Being alone for life is not a better choice. Giving up who one is spiritually should not be an option either.


FrumGeek said...

Its such a huge jump, for someone frum to contemplate marrying a goy. I'm honestly shocked. And for something as silly as not having children, to spurn your own people? So you only considered yourself part of the tribe for you unborn children? I think there maybe something wrong with your friends far more than you seem to realize.

frum single female said...

FG- I have to agree with you

Rick Rotman said...

I feel for you and your friends. Hashem challenges us each greatly in our own unique way--ultimately to bring out the best in us and our tikkun. It's very tough when you are going through it though. Please have strength and emunah to stick to your truth and principles and always pray for what you desire. Hashem should bless you soon. At 30, you are still plenty young--don't worry. I know women who have given birth to beautiful and strong healthy children in their late 30's and early 40's. Hang in there :)

woodrow said...

I am single and a bit older (50 actually) and we'll meaning secular or gentile friends occasionally ask me whether I should be more flexible and start dating gentiles.

Speaking as someone who doesn't have plenty of time, I agree you have plenty.