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Family First Inbox: Issue 865

“Chava Glick is to be commended for her courage in taking us on her journey with infertility”

There’s a Place for Shidduch Résumés [Windows/ Issue 864]

Gitty Chopp dislikes the fact that résumés are used for shidduchim; she’d prefer sending out a book about her life. We’ve married off six sons, each of whom was presented with in excess of 400 résumés. While Ms. Chopp does her best to denigrate the process, I don’t think she gets it. Each résumé presented takes many hours to research — or no research at all. What do I mean? If Ms. Chopp is 4-foot-11 and ¾ and my son is 6-foot-1, he, and consequently, his mother who is doing the research, may not be interested in her “deep-seated passion for Torah” or “her dreams of being a fifth-grade teacher.” If my son is 22 and Ms. Chopp is 27, he may not be interested in the fact that she “runs two miles twice a week.” My wife and I have successfully redt 25 shidduchim, starting when we were both single. Our experience is that you can only match people on paper. Personalities and passions must wait for the date! I hope Ms. Chopp finds her zivug soon. Since she’s also a computer programmer, she must know how to delete the folder containing her shidduch résumé.

Dovid Green


Another Motherless Mother [Inbox / Issue 864]

I want to applaud the “motherless mother” who wrote the letter about having awareness that women out there don’t always have family support after birth, and the reality of how difficult it is to find a substitute for that.

As another “motherless mother,” I clearly remember after my very first birth wondering about normal things, and just needing a shoulder to cry on that my body was not the same as it had been before. Instead I was alone, dealing with the shame, wondering if I was normal and what was normal, and wondering how the stigma would follow me if I chose to see a therapist to discuss something that most women just casually ask their mothers after birth.

I don’t have the solution, but am just bringing more awareness that this is an issue, and that women should feel comfortable seeking the emotional support they need post-birth (yes, way before the emotional breakdown happens) without fearing that they will be seen as “less than.”

Anonymous Motherless Mother


Proceed with Caution [The Scenic Route / Issue 862]

Chava Glick is to be commended for her courage in taking us on her journey with infertility. Her writing somehow achieves that elusive balance: Light and easy reading, yet it conveys the raw pain with vulnerability.

Obviously, this is her journey, and each journey is unique. One thing really caught my attention, though. In chapter three, Chava describes how her husband’s uncle, “the uncle everyone wishes they had,” came over to them and expressed with meaning how he is pining for their nisayon to end. While Chava took great comfort in this gesture, I’m sure that many couples would be deeply humiliated at having someone approach them to talk about their private challenge.

There are some people who have an innate gift of making others feel better. Perhaps this uncle was one of those people. He also made a graceful exit after his “l’chayim,” circumventing any awkwardness that could follow.

But please, readers, proceed with caution. I say this as someone with a brother deep in the throes of infertility. After speaking to others who have successfully made it to the other side, the overall consensus is: Don’t initiate discussion with another person about their infertility. Find other, subtle ways to show you care without making them into a nebach case. Tell them what an amazing couple they are and how much everyone enjoys being around them, remember their birthdays, be understanding if they don’t show up to a family event or come late, but let them decide when to share how difficult it is.

A Sister Who’s Davening


My Pleasure [A Tribute to My Mother / Issue 862]

In your Succos issue, you had children writing about their mothers. Rebbetzin Malka David, who deserves an article written about her, too, wrote about her mother, Rebbetzin Kravitz, wife of the late Rosh Yeshivah of RJJ. I only knew Rebbetzin Kravitz when she was quite elderly. My family was privileged to live directly above her apartment on 48th street for over seven years. In that time, I had three little boys, and you can imagine the noise that makes overhead. When I moved out I went to her and apologized for not being sensitive enough and not controlling the noise level as I should have. This is what she answered me: “Az Yiddishe kinder loifen arim, if Jewish children run around, it’s my biggest pleasure.”

E. Reichman


Loving Comes First [Inbox / Issue 862]

I couldn’t help but respond to the letter from Z.C., who writes that “laid-back parenting can be called neglectful parenting.”

My first reaction was to laugh at the obviously (to me) sarcastic letter. But after rereading it, I was shocked. Do some not realize that there is a healthy balance between neglectful and laid-back parenting?

Yes, children require structure and routine. Bedtime and mealtime is of utmost importance. However, since kids will be kids, having flexibility when raising them is of equal importance. How many times should a parent remind (yell) at a child to eat at the table, stop jumping on the couch, etc… to keep those rules in place?

As parents, we need to choose our battles, and at times we require the “common sense” and knowledge of when to be flexible. Sometimes letting go of the “basic household rules” to create a more positive and loving atmosphere is more important. And in no way is that neglectful.



It’s Never Too Late [Musings / Issue 857]

In her Musings over the summer, Rikki Schultz was so apologetic she didn’t manage to write thank-you notes to her kids’ teachers. She ended off with the hope that she may yet get to her note-writing, long after the summer ended. Know this: It’s never too late! I wrote a thank-you note to my child’s first-grade teacher a full year later (as he was finishing second grade!) expressing my appreciation that she had taught him to read. She was so appreciative of that note, she called me as soon as she received it!

When you think about it, it can actually show more appreciation if a note is sent at a later time. If you still remember how someone helped you out, long afterward, expressing your continued appreciation is even more meaningful.

Penina Soffer


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 865)

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