“Just as the Israeli media wouldn’t dream of airing any content not somehow linked to the war, I hold Mishpacha to the same standards — and higher”
Mothers of Lone Soldiers, Unite [Know This / Issue 865]
Thank you for your coverage of the current situation in Israel. I enjoyed reading the articles written by and about Israeli moms of soldiers. I would like to bring awareness to your readership of a different kind of mom who is greatly affected by the current events in Israel.
I’m a mom of a lone soldier.
For those that don’t know, a lone soldier is a person who moves from a different country to Israel and voluntarily drafts into the army. My son was 19 years old when he decided to make aliyah and join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He had no friends and no family in Israel, and was not fluent in conversational Hebrew when he chose to make aliyah back in 2021. Over the course of the past two and a half years, my son has learned to speak Hebrew fluently and has been drafted into an army unit that is currently stationed outside of Gaza.
I’m not minimizing the anguish and worry of Israeli moms of soldiers by sharing my story, and I really hope my letter does not offend any Israeli moms of soldiers. However, I just want to compare the life of an Israeli soldier to a lone soldier. For example, when an Israeli soldier is given a 24-hour leave from his guard post or base during the war, he can go home to his family. He will be greeted with open arms by his mother, given a hot meal made with love, and will go back to base with clean laundry.
When my son got 24 hours off to leave his guard post last week, he headed to his lone soldier house where he was greeted by an empty house (everyone else was on duty), and he had to fend for himself with meals and laundry.
I’m not sharing this in order to complain or to garner pity. My son never complains and is so proud to be there. He is happily serving Hashem by guarding and protecting His people. He tells me this all the time. I’m so filled with pride over my son’s self-sacrifice that I feel like the luckiest mom in the world. In addition, I’m very lucky to be a part of a wonderful community that has showered my family and me with so much love and support during this scary time.
However, even with all my feelings of pride, I worry all the time, and I daven every day that Hashem will keep my son and all of the chayalim safe. I’m sure there are other moms of lone soldiers among your readership. In addition, you may know of a mom of a lone soldier in your neighborhood. I would love to be in touch with other moms of lone soldiers so that we may give each other chizuk during this anxiety-filled time. My email address is email@example.com.
Please be in touch any time,
More than a Piece of Paper [Inbox / Issue 865]
Gitty Chopp raised a good point about shidduch résumés showing just a sliver of who a single really is, and Dovid Green explained why they’re valuable in researching prospective shidduchim. I understand that the information on a shidduch résumé may be enough to turn down a shidduch due to basic incompatibility in age or height. But how unfortunate it would be if Mrs. Green discarded Gitty’s résumé (or put it at the bottom of her large pile) due to preconceived notions about computer programmers or girls from Gitty’s hometown, without knowing more about Gitty’s passions, interests, and kochos.
I’m not that old, but I remember a time before shidduch résumés, when shidduchim were redt by people talking about the young person in question. Shidduch résumés are here to stay, and they’re useful in providing the factual information needed to research a shidduch. But shidduchim should not be redt with résumés alone. Whether you are a shadchan or a lay person who is kind enough to make the effort to suggest a shidduch, please take the few extra minutes to make a call and describe the young woman’s wonderful qualities and why you think she’d be a worthy match for the young man.
Gitty and her friends are so much more than a piece of paper!
A Mother Whose Daughter’s Résumé Doesn’t Do Her Justice
Proves the Point [Inbox / Issue 865]
I’d like to respond to Dovid Green’s response to Gitty Chopp’s article about shidduch résumés. His point of not looking into a shidduch because of height differences, even real height differences, or other superficial issues, proves Miss Chopp’s point. For example, I have a five-foot daughter whose husband is over six feet. And they are b”H living happily ever after. I’m sure there are many such couples. And many where, gasp, the wife is older than the husband.
Thank you for opening the conversation,
A Mother in New York
The Rest of the Story [Inbox / Issue 865]
Thank you to Gitty Chopp for her well-written piece discussing shidduch résumés. Although the piece was written in a humorous way, there was a lot of truth to her words. We’re all aware of the reality that many mothers of boys are swamped with résumés (sometimes even 400 per boy). Yes, Dovid Green, who wrote an Inbox letter in response, is correct; there’s not really any way to change the current system. For better or for worse, the system is working. Baruch Hashem, there are many shidduchim being redt each week, and many simchahs in Klal Yisrael.
However, for those of us who haven’t yet experienced our yeshuah, shidduchim is a lonely and frustrating journey, with an ever-present demoralizing feeling that your whole self is being relegated to a piece of paper. A piece of paper that’s being tossed around from person to person, which no one can be bothered to take the time to look at. We’re so much more than a piece of paper.
And yet, there is no one to blame. It’s unfair to expect a mother of a boy to look at every single résumé that comes her way because that would quickly become a full-time job. We’re all human and trying our hardest, whether we’re the parents of a child in shidduchim, a single in shidduchim, or a shadchan trying to help as much as they can. However, every person deserves respect, even if they aren’t for your son. Although it’s irrational and usually not possible, sometimes I wish that the mothers who are seeing my résumé would just meet me for five minutes, and in that time they could find out way more than any research or résumé will tell them. I wish that everyone who read Gitty’s article would take five minutes to make a call for one single that they know. Even that can make a difference, and from the singles’ perspective, it makes us feel recognized and heard.
Ultimately, shidduchim are b’Yad Hashem, and the shidduch résumé is just one tool of hishtadlus.
So Much More than a Shidduch Résumé
So Disconnected [Watch Them Grow / Issue 865]
I wanted to convey my and my family’s deep disappointment in Family First’s issue 865. The decision to produce a magazine so disconnected from the current situation affecting Jews all over the world felt extremely disrespectful.
The situation we’re dealing with is and should occupy every aspect of our daily living. This isn’t comparable to Covid, for example, where you could choose to “disconnect” from the worrying news. This is directly linked to our very existence as Jews.
Just as the Israeli media wouldn’t dream of airing any content not somehow linked to the war, I hold Mishpacha to the same standards — and higher. All Jews, no matter where, should feel linked at their core. A frum Jewish magazine should reflect that.
Do you think, l’havdil, in the times of the Holocaust, Jewish magazines in Europe were publishing articles on child development? Are you trying to convey the message that the Jewish communities around the world have forgotten and moved on? This isn’t the way.
Forgive me for the somewhat harsh criticism, but this isn’t a trivial matter.
I’m sure I’m not the only reader raising this concern. Do better.
It’s not Plan B [The Scenic Route / Issue 865]
I especially enjoyed reading the diary serial, “The Scenic Route,” about Chava Glick’s struggle with infertility. Being a single girl in shidduchim, plenty of time people mean well and say how they wish I could be at the next stage, failing to realize that this is Hashem’s “plan A” for me, and I try my best to utilize my time in the best way possible, so that my life doesn’t feel like plan B, so to speak. I loved the way Chava Glick put it.
To quote her, “Hashem could have given me three babies in a row... He gave me a wait. And maybe that wait will last several more years, or maybe it won’t. I don’t know what His plan is. But I do know that my life isn’t Hashem’s ‘plan B.’ He’s given us these years intentionally, and I’d like to think that Betzalel and I are using them well. Giving me a brachah to ‘undo’ this stage of life with twins or triplets really soon makes me feel like you think my current stage of life is totally empty and meaningless… But think about it. Hashem wants something from us during these years. And if He values this time, then I’d like to value it as well, not just feel sad about it.”
Hashem has a plan for all of us, and where we are right now is our personalized “plan A,” so let’s all maximize it to the utmost!
A Single Fan of Yours
No Neat Bows [The Scenic Route / Issue 865]
I’d like to commend Chava Glick for ending her serial in such an upbeat and inspirational way while still in the midst of her infertility journey. She’s transmitting an empowering message of hope and resilience while simultaneously pursuing all the necessary hishtadlus for achieving her goal of building a family.
Too often, the heimish magazines feel a strong need to end off challenging personal journeys with a neatly tied bow. However, real life does not always play out that way. It’s of vital importance for any individual faced with challenging circumstances to create a beautiful and meaningful life for themselves.
May she merit besoros tovos in the very near future.
Great Glimpse [The Scenic Route / Issue 865]
Chava Glick did an excellent job providing readers with a glimpse of what those of us struggling through infertility go through on a daily basis. Our diagnosis sent us straight to IVF, and baruch Hashem, we’ve been blessed with a family. Reading the serial made me tear up at times and nod my head in agreement at other times. People who see my family would never know what we went through before getting to this point, but we don’t forget our journey even for a minute.
I, too, have been blessed with an “infertility friend” that Bonei Olam set me up with to help me feel less alone. She’s one of my closest friends, even though we come from different backgrounds and none of my other friends know about her.
One in six couples go through infertility. I appreciate you bringing to light the struggle, and I hope that other people will learn from it the way that they should be treating these couples. It’s not always possible to say the right thing, but hopefully it will give people pause and remind them to think before they speak.
May all those waiting for a yeshuah be blessed quickly and easily and may Hashem send the complete yeshuah to Klal Yisrael.
From Chaos to Chorus [My Strength and My Solace / Issue 864]
As someone who is always yearning to understand and relate to Tehillim more deeply, I found the “My Strength and My Solace” section particularly meaningful. The short essays were so personal and relatable. Aviva Orlian in particular echoed the heartfelt questions we all share among our “reeling.” She reminded me that we have, in Tehillim, permission to ask and in doing so, deepen our connection with Hashem through maintaining a dialogue and a relationship with Him. The precious words of Tehillim provide a path from the chaos around us and within us back to our Creator.
Thank you for the reminder that Tehillim is relevant and right here with us, always.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 867)
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