Thursday Links

Don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it… that’s what’s went through my head this Rosh Hashana during the well-wishing when I had to paste a smile on my face while listening to how this year I should find The One.

It’s not that I’m not interested.  I’d be very excited to find The One. But I get bored of always hearing about it, and always having it at the top of the list, above health, wealth, happiness and all that other good stuff. Just one Rosh Hashana I would like to hear someone say, “This year you should love every minute of it and only shed tears when you’re laughing so hard you can’t breath.”

Anyway, Frumanista had a moment like that, which inspired this little musing.

10 thoughts on “Thursday Links

  1. As many of your more recent posts hint at, there is much more to life than getting married. From a married man, being married only solves one issue in life: that of not being married. Besides, peru u’revu is only one out of 613… and marriage is another out of 613. That leaves 611 other themes to concentrate on as well! (Depending on which count you prefer).

    There are many other challenges, joys, tribulations, and celebrations to life that are all important. We don’t pray explicitly on Yamim Nora’im for a zivug for all those who need – our vision is much broader. Take a look at the tefilla of the kohen gadol when he left the kodesh hakodashim (as rendered by Menachem beirebi Machir in the ashkenazi seder ha’avodah) and what we actually ask for on a national level: nowhere does he mention shidduchim!! (Though, to be complete, he did ask that no woman should miscarry…)

    If I had to pin the tactlessness of people on one idea, it is that people like me who mindlessly wish singles “im yirtzeh hashem by you” or “may this be the year” actually think that we are making their target feel better. But it’s probably a de’oraysa violation of ona’as devarim… and we know the rule “safek de’oraysa lechumra”. That’s why I make a conscious effort to avoid it.

  2. Some single love to hear “Im yirzah Hashem by you” and appreciate the bracha. Hard to say it’s “probably a de’oraysa violation of ona’as devarim”; perhaps giving a bracha and leaving that out is more painful. I’d say it depends on the person.

  3. The I”HBY “issue” has been discussed extensively on this blog as well in various others, and yes, the overwhelming consensus is that it is unwelcome to most singles’ ears….Also, just to let you know that even if somebody doesn’t come right out and tell you they don’t mind it, it doesn’t mean they appreciate hearing it, Anonamom…. For myself, I don’t see that it is worthwhile to explain it to somebody who doesn’t get it/doesn’t want to get it, so I politely say “thank you” (I can’t bring myself to say amen) without really meaning it.

  4. I actually like the bracha (I’m single) and find it disgusting that 20-year-olds (or even 25- or 30-yeard olds) should take offense at a bracha that’s so traditional and that’s given with the best of intentions. If someone means to wish you well, say thank you and that’s it. Stop being such a jerk about it.

  5. David, would you say it to a couple dealing with infertility at a bris or baby kiddush?

    Nobody likes to be singled out in front of others. If you are one of the few older singles (though I’d be willing to bet you are under the age of 30) who don’t find it embarrassing or awkward to be told this in front of an audience, then kol hakavod, but realize that there are many people who are more sensitive then you.

  6. David: that’s exactly what I was told by a single who counts each “IY’H by you” as a bracha, and feels the more the better!

    Anonymous: Who is singling out anyone “in front of others”? I would like to think that brachos are giving privately, without the “audience” you mention. Also, infertility is a medical condition; being single is not. No medical or miraculous intervention is needed; how can you compare the two?

  7. You might assume that people would say such things privately, but that is rarely the case. For some reason, bracha sayers like to give their bracha in a loud, emphatic voice within earshot of curious bystanders. On the few occasions they don’t, they pull you aside so ostentatiously that anybody around knows what their purpose is. I really don’t know which method I detest more.

    Obviously, I am not comparing being single to dealing with intertility in the way you describe, only pointing out that when somebody is dealing with a situation that is obvious to all and in addition is something you have little control over, having it pointed out to you in a public place (especially in a situation where what you lack is more obvious than ever) can be embarrassing and makes it hard to maintain your self dignity. As it is, I KNOW people see me and feel pity; that’s not the image I project or want to feel about myself, but that’s the unfortunate reality of being a single woman in her mid 30’s in the frum world. Maybe it’s not something you can understand if you haven’t been in a similar situation.

  8. #8: Then is seems the problem is not with the bracha itself, but with the lack of tact. Certainly, if I were unemployed, I’d welcome a bracha for parnossa, but not “in a loud, emphatic voice within earshot of curious bystanders”. I’d imagine that most brachos given to an individual who is suffering in some way should be given privately.

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