Shevat 5765 – I’m Back Home…Part 2

2 Shevat, 5765
I’m Back Home…Part 2

Dear Chana,

As the years go by and the influence of my year in Israel slowly wanes, I find myself stumbling into the same issues that I had before. Namely, getting caught up in the illusion of a non existing relationship with a particular boy. Sometimes. it is someone that I am ‘read’ to, or someone that I have known for many years. Recently, it has been someone that I am informally introduced to. I know that it is silly to think so much about someone that I don’t actually know much about, but I don’t know how not to do it. If I had just come back from seminary, I would have looked at this guy and thought, “Cute, but not for me, especially since he’s not really ‘finished growing’ yet or whatever.” But now having lost some of the things I gained in Israel, I think “Cute, and so what if he does A, B, and C? Am I so good anymore? I also do A, B, and C too…” Even though I know that I shouldn’t.

So I have 2 questions:1] How do I get the illusions to go away? 2] Should I be judgemental about something that a guy does that I think is not ok for him to do, but I do the same [ for example – listening to certain music and watching certain movies].

Thank you!

Name and Seminary Withheld


Dear JemSem Reader,

I think that it is wonderful that you can pinpoint the issues that are at hand and that you want to do something about them. Living in illusion is obviously not a healthy thing, but I feel it is something that girls can get swept up in from time to time. Think back in highschool when you had a ‘crush’ on that boy, and one day he actually had a conversation with you for a whopping 2 minutes! You probably obsessed about that episode for at least the next month if not longer! So even though it happens, it is really very important that you get rooted back in reality. Perhaps you aren’t going out as often as you would like or aren’t getting ‘read’ the right kind of guys. Network. Speak to people and see if someone has a good idea for you. Ask your married friends to make their husbands think a little harder. Call other shadchanim. You never know who your shidduch is coming through, so get out there and make more of a hishtadlus. You need to do whatever it takes to create a dating environment that is truly fitting for you. The busier you are with the right and real things, the less time you will have to daydream and fantasize about those things that aren’t part of reality.

I will also add in that though being out of seminary is a challenge, it is not an excuse for losing key things that you gained there. You must continue to learn and surround yourself with the proper type of friends that are still growing. I know that living amongst secular socieity is quite difficult, but standing firm in your beliefs and actions is doable. So you must ask yourself “why is it that I now do A, B, and C? Why did I start, when I knew and made a decision that I did not want those things to be part of my life? Why is it ok for me now? Am I any less of a person? Am I any less of an Eved Hashem than I was? Doesn’t it matter just the same as then? I do know there is a better way!” We fall into mass justifications and rationalizations, but it isn’t fine. We must be michazeik ourselves, we owe it to our neshamas. After 120 years we certainly want something to show for the lives that we chose to live.

This leads me to your second question. The reason that you are judgemental with guys who are doing ‘whatever those things are’, is what’s called projection in pschology. You see the flaws in yourself and though you are doing those things, deep down you don’t feel quite right about it, so you project onto those guys – the negativity that you are truly feeling about yourself.

So my advice is to really have a frank talk with yourself about who you really want to be. What things are appropriate for you to be involved and what things aren’t. Fix and change yourself. Do a little sprucing up, you know spring cleaning, [I know it’s a bit early in the year for this, but it is still alright!] Then you can re- access what type of guy is really right for you, in terms of who you are and where you are headed in life.

Everything we go through in life is 100 % part of the process for our growth and is direct Hashgacha. We will choose to pass or fail, and how to go about it all. So if you can get yourself rooted again to that which is good and true, perhaps that will open the door for extra Siyata Dishmaya and you will be able to carry on with the next chapter of your life.

With Warm Wishes,