1 Menachem Av, 5763
I am beginning the dating process and the type of boy that I am looking for is very different than the view of my mother. I really want to live a Torah lifestyle and raise my children with the complete appreciation and love of Hashem and His Torah. I decided that the best derech for me to do that is to marry a boy who is going to learn for awhile [ as long as we can do it!]. This will make him and me more grounded to see the Emes and pave the correct path for our kids. My mother, however, is very focused on the boy not learning for a set time, but working, and when he has a ‘free moment’ he can open up a sefer. This is about a ‘180’ from what my aspirations are! She then told me that if this is what I wanted, I could not date [for tachlis] until I am finished with college, and could have a degree behind my name. I don’t want to create any machlokes with my mom, but I also don’t want to push off starting to date until I am 22! What should I do? Please advise!
Thanks so much for your time!
Michlala, Name withheld upon request
Dear Jemsem Reader,
The issue that you bring up is quite a sensitive one. What to do when our plans, life goals and ambitions clash with those of our parents whom we dearly love? You had a year or 2 of seminary, you feel that you have your head on straight and know the direction that you want to take in life, and that direction is in contrast to what your family has set out for you. There is no ‘one’ clear answer – every sitiuation has many variables involved within it that can be very complex and are quite individual. The positively best thing that you can do is to get the advice of a Rav. [Remember those end of the year seminary classes of how important this is!] Preferably someone who knows you and your family. Each circumstance will be handled differently, what is right for you may not be right for me. This Rav can advise you and [if the occasion calls for it] perhaps intervene some.
Aside from this, I can give you general advise. Perhaps you can sit down with your mom and discuss the situation. Be well thought out. Think of where her frustrations lie concerning these issues and know what you will answer her. If you need to, write out all the points that you want to make. Show her that you are mature and that you are thinking clearly. If money is part of the issue, try to figure out a gameplan of how it can work. While you are married you can go to school and also have a part time job etc. Don’t be defensive or put her on the defensive, this isn’t a war. This is coming from a parent who has raised and nurtured you and really does want the best for you as she sees it. Remember that. I personally know many situations that have really turned around. Where parents were entirely opposed to the idea of kollel [for any amount of time] and through speaking it out with them or getting other key people or Rabbanim involved the girls have been able to marry guys who are in learning for a while with the blessings of their families!
Of course it isn’t always entirely smooth or fairytalish, but ‘Adam L’amal Yulod’ – We gain and grow from the obstacles that Hashem places in front of us! Keep connecting to Hashem through your T’fillah, and all WILL BE tov. As long as you are ‘Haba LiTaheir [ing] you will be showered with Siyata Dishmaya.
With Warmest Wishes,