Redirecting Ourselves

No matter how much we try, no matter how much we protect and insulate ourselves, the outside atmosphere seeps in. And this assimilation by attrition affects all areas of our lives, including shidduchim.

Our children, incited by the media, have grown up with certain expectations — both realistic and reasonable, and unrealistic and unreasonable. As time goes by, it becomes harder and harder to tease them apart.

These expectations then become formalized into wish lists, then hardened into non-negotiable preconditions and, eventually, truths held to be self-evident.

Add to that the quantification of Torah learning — and the score becoming a status symbol with a price tag. …

Too many of the questions people ask have nothing to do with the realities of building a bayis ne’eman. And too much is based on what the prospective chassan or kallah “deserves.” I cringe every time I hear that expression. Who decides who deserves what? Do our children deserve to stay alone?

What can be done about it? I wish I knew. But I do know that we need to dust off our moral compass and redirect ourselves.

There is no underestimating the value of friends. Choni Hamaagel said it best: “Either friends or death.” But friends (and especially family) are not enough to help us set goals and find the right path toward those goals. We need to ask trusted chachamim for guidance. And not just collect opinions and brachos, but follow their guidance.

In the parlance of the age, maybe we should chill out and be more open. Most of all, we need to come to the realization that the Ribbono shel Olam also has something to do with it. Accept that and let Him get involved.

A grandfather who’s been there