3 Adar 5766
I was wondering how involved a person must allow their parents to get when it comes to shidduchim. For example, my parents are not into me dating someone in chinuch unless he has a back up plan (meaning a degree in something other than Rabbanus). I, however, am open to dating people in chinuch. Sometimes I feel that my parents are “controlling” me too much. When it comes down to it, I know I have the choice to go out with anyone that I want, but should I listen to my parents anyway? I respect them so much and I know I don’t want to hurt them. Also they are looking out for my good and some of their points are valid (ie: financial issues of marrying someone in chinuch that they don’t think I could necessarily deal well with). What do you think?
Thank you so much!
Name and Seminary Withheld
Dear Jemsem Reader,
It seems like you have a good relationship with your parents and you realize that they have your best interests in mind. Of course, the issues come up when you may be heading in a different direction than they are. It would be hard for me to answer you specifically, because each family situation and dynamic is very different from the next. I think it would be a good idea to have a real open discussion with your parents about their thoughts and feelings on the subject. Find out why they are saying what they are saying, and discuss your views and plans. This will give you a fuller picture of what is going on. the next thing that you need to do is to go to a Rav. If possible he should be someone that knows you and your family. He will be able to better assess, what you should do and how you should proceed.
I know of many girls who have worked out a situation similar to this by going out with boys that infact do have some sort a degree, but who are planning on learning or doing chinuch or kiruv. There are many yeshivas today that offer a BTL [Bachelors of Talmudic Law] and with that the boys can do some sort of a program to get a masters. There are guys who have taken a program in Chicago called JELLY [don’t know what it stands for] who are able to get a masters in educational administration. So there are options for boys who are still very involved in learning and may want to go the avodas hakodesh route. This may be the answer for you and your parents, where both sides will be reasonably happy. Even these types of degrees can open up larger pay scales in the chinuch world, and may make that more of a viable option.
I hope this gives you a bit of direction in this important area. Parents are the pivot of our lives, and we must be so careful in our dealings with them that things should be done properly and with much Kavod.
With Warmest Wishes,