Teves 5762 – Relating Past Transgressions in Shidduch Relationships

1 Teves 5762

Dear Chana,

Baruch Hashem, many of us have come a long way in our Ruchnius lives. We are Torah Jews who live by not only the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law of the law as well. For some people, myself included, we’ve had to learn the hard way about certain issues, in particular regarding the opposite sex. I know that for myself, when I was younger, I didn’t understand the meaning or the beauty behind the Halachos that prohibit relationships between boys and girls. I had a boyfriend, and we were not shomer negiah. This was a long time ago, and I feel that now I am truly a different person. I have done teshuvah and I have made peace with myself and with Hashem. However, now that I’m in the beginning stages of Shidduchim, I wonder if what I did in the past is going to manifest itself in my life today. I know that honesty in a relationship is key, but I’m wondering if there are certain things that you just don’t share. If questioned about past relationships is a person supposed to be blatantly honest, realizing that this honesty could be harmful, or is a person just supposed to disregard what has happened as past history?

Thanks for your help.

Name & seminary withheld upon request

I commend you on your Spiritual growth! It sounds like you have come very far in your journey! Your question is an important one, an issue that many young women have grappled with.

The answer is as follows. What you did in your earlier times is quite normal for teenagers and youth growing up in more modern circles to be doing. It is not abnormal or unexpected.(For better or worse – that is just the truth.) Something that is within the norm need not be told. If a shadchan were to ask you this question, (which they really shouldn’t ask) you must be careful with your answer. As you so beautifully put it, you are a different person now. By talking about it, you would be misrepresenting yourself and speaking Lashon Harah on yourself. It is not part of the You that you are presently. I would try hard not to have to answer such a question – but if you are pushed into it, you could say something like, ” It happened. It wasn’t a way of life for me, it was innocuous.”

As you said, you have done T’shuva and have made peace with yourself and Hashem. It is time to move on. You’ve put it in its rightful place and it is past, over and done with.

May you and all those who have acted similarly to increase their Ruchnius in this world be Zocheh to much much Siyata Dishmaya – because all of you can certainly be considered to be ‘Haba L’taheir’.

With warm wishes,
Chana