A People of Chessed?

To whoever cares in Klal Yisrael, I last wrote you around Rosh Hashanah/Sukkos time. And, sadly I have to pen you again to share my feelings on the same topic. I am still single. I still don’t have my own home. In fact, I haven’t had a date in months.

But my greatest heartbreak and worry now is Pesach looming ahead. I don’t have a place to go!

My anxiety is at an all-time high. I haven’t received one invitation. I try to tell myself it’s not because people don’t care, but because they all have their own families and likely no room. I — and other singles — am not on anyone’s radar now, as people are overwhelmed with what this time of year entails.

I can’t stay home again with all the marrieds piling in, expecting a vacation on my cheshbon. It’s too difficult to watch their growing families. The dynamics are complicated.

During the year I am positive and upbeat. I try hard to maintain my pride and composure. I work hard, I volunteer, I keep myself active and productive, but with Pesach coming, I feel helplessly depressed and at a loss to explain my existence. I wish there was a Pesach program for singles, but not one where we are lumped into a group sitting at a Seder alone. One where Rabbis or families would be assigned to sit with us to give us a boost, to make us feel normal and a part of Yom Tov.

Similarly, I wish I was invited by a caring family who truly wanted to have me.

I once gathered the courage to invite myself to someone. That person responded, “If you want to come, we can probably find a spot and put a mattress for you on the floor.” At age 36, I did not feel that to be dignified, and I politely declined. 

Should I put an ad in the paper looking for a Pesach invitation? That feels degrading. But it’s not only for me. I represent many friends, fellow older singles, roommates and colleagues.

We are all in a similar predicament. Yes, many of us can seemingly go home, but many of us cannot. Something has to change. In the ideal picture, the change would be all of us getting married and this problem would be solved by default.

But the reality is, we are experiencing a terrible machlah of singlehood. Many hundreds of us. And one glimmer of hope is feeling cared for by our fellow Jews.

I wrote similarly at Rosh Hashanah time, hoping that my words would pierce some hearts. I hoped my pleas would generate more Shabbos invitations. More awareness. More compassion.

The response has been minimal.

No blame. No anger. Just once again a gentle reminder to all those out there:

Think of us, remember us. Please don’t feel content sitting at your family Seder without guests — specifically older singles. 

You can’t imagine what it’s like to be single so many years and not have our own families and home. We desperately yearn to polish our own ke’arah. To revel in the joy of our children reciting Mah Nishtanah. We want to make our own heirloom Pesach recipes. And Chol Hamoed we want to finally enjoy, and not go to work just to kill time.

But right now, Pesach is a few weeks away. So — Please Invite us. Please extend us a genuine heart. 

May our suffering come to an end as Pesach heralds the Geulah Sheleimah.

Thank you for once again hearing my heartfelt cries.

A Dignified Daughter, NY