Shevat 5766 – Help I Messed Up!

15 Shevat 5766
Help I Messed Up!

Dear Chana,
I went to an all girls highschool and never spoke to boys during 9th 10th and 11th grade. In 12th grade I started to talk to this boy and we ended up going out for four months. He was a really “bad” boy. Everyone knows him, and most people dont have nice things to say about him. Now I am 20 and soon going to embark onto the shiduch world and I feel as if I’ve ruined my life. I know people will judge me about my former connection to him, even though we have nothing to do with each other anymore. And through most of highschool I was a really good kid and still consider myself to be a good frum girl. People tell me, if a guy is really your bashert he won’t care, but I feel like any guy who wouldn’t care, I wouldn’t want! I want a really frum guy, and chances are a really frum guy would care. I don’t think any of the guys who I consider good will even give me a chance. HELP!! I have really messed things up for myself!
Thank you so much for any advice you can give me, I’m really stressed out about this.

Name and seminary withheld


Dear JemSem Reader,

1st of all, relax! It seems that you are continuing to beat yourself up over something that happened a few years ago. From your letter it sounds like you have very much moved past this episode, and you are not that same person now. These things are of course serious, and shouldn’t just be kicked away with ease. Whatever aveiros went into the relationship are in need of T’shuvah, which is a deep, internal, and real process. If you have gone through the steps of T’shuvah, so in the truest of senses, you are really not the person who did those things anymore. Your Neshama is ‘remodeled’. So that takes care of the spiritual side of things.
What a gift and Bracha from Hashem! It’s incredible to contemplate His chesed to us!
If you are currently living a life that has the components of what your seminary year taught you, this will go very far in the shidduch world. Ok, it is a mistake that you made, but you certainly haven’t ruined your life! There are high caliber guys out there, that would look at you as you are now and be thrilled with who you are. Believe me, there are many guys who also have ‘been there and done that’, and today they are budding talmidei chachamim. So there are lots of people in a similar boat, who are now traveling a straight and beautiful path. The guy that is going to marry you, will be able to accept your past. You are jumping to conclusions concerning the idea that ‘good’ guys wouldn’t give you a chance.

Baila* came from a background that included serious relationships with quite a few boys. She came to seminary and stayed on for shana bet, and even for shana gimel. She became a positively phenomenol young woman. She built herself up, enhanced and refined her entire personhood. She started to be fixed up with guys that were really on quality levels of life. She began to date Shmueli* who had been learning in Eretz Yisroel for 5 years. He was really a chashuv boy. Some general questions of her past came up, but he decided that the amazing person in front of him now was what really mattered to him, and whatever that past was, it had nothing to do with the Baila* of today. He was clearly looking at the track that she was on right now, and he wanted to be with her on that train.

Also, you are assuming that every guy that you will be set up with will have heard about this. That is definitely not the case. Lots of times, now every iota of a persons’ background is gone over with a fine tooth comb. Even if it does come to light, what probably also will be said, is that this is very much not who you are, and not how you define yourself at all. These concepts go far.
Haba L’taheir M’sayin Oso. If youv’e worked on making the right choices in your life since then, and changed yourself, you’ll be zocheh to exactly the person who is right for you. You do your part and Hashem will take care of His. Let Him work it out for you, worrying isn’t going to help much here, but T’fillah certainly will!

It should be in the sha’a tova!

With Warmest Wishes,