May 13, 2010
A Crime to be Chassidish?
Shidduchim SOS: All too often my parents are told that the bochur does not want to go out because I am "too chassidish." Saying Chitas is a crime?
Dear Mrs. Junik,
Maybe you can help me understand this oxymoron. I am a single chassidishe girl looking to get married. However, every so often, when an interesting suggestion is brought up, the shadchan comes back with the same answer: "He doesn't want to go out with her."
"Why?" my parents ask.
"Because he thinks she's too chassidish."
So, my question to you is - is it a crime to be chassidish? Is it a crime to still be saying chitas when you're older than 25? Is it a crime to attend farbrengens every so often? Is it a crime for a Lubavitcher girl to be connected to the Rebbe and try to follow in his ways?
I still have quite a few friends not married- and most of them because they are just ‘too chassidish', and unfortunately, some are less chassidish these days because, let's just say, ‘the boys market is not looking for chassidish."
So tell me, Mrs. Junik, what is with (some) bochurim these days and how do we ‘fix' this picture before it chas v'eshalom gets worse?
Mrs. Sara Junik's response:
The difficulty you find yourself in, and many others too I am sure, is a problem of definition. The word "chassidish" has somehow lost its original meaning. This is by no means a unique case; other words in the English language have suffered a like fate. Take the word "awful" which today is mostly used to mean "exceptionally bad or displeasing" but it used to mean " deserving of awe" (14th to 19th century usage). Another example is the word "sophisticated" its meaning is now "having worldly knowledge, refinement and savoir-faire" but it used to mean "corrupted" (17th century). Although the word chassidish is not an English word it has suffered a similar fate.
The actions and Yiras Shamayim once believed necessary to be considered chassidish have now been so diluted as to be unrecognizable. Our standards have lowered themselves so greatly that they cannot be considered standards. This of course is a different discussion for another time and place.
What matters to you is that when you describe yourself you should be specific in your description of yourself. Describe what you do, don't use a general label. Don't say you are chassidish but describe what makes you chassidish. Explain that you say Chitas every day, and attend farbrengens etc. Describe what you are looking for in a bocher, that he should not touch his beard, daven with a minyan, have a mashpia … whatever it is that is important to you.
I have personally seen how a girl whose profile says she is chassidish, wears pants "on occasion" and listens to goyshe music, others don't wear stockings, for example. If that what is considered chassidish today, then of course you are "too chassidish"!
If you detail what you are looking for, you will be offered something closer to what you want. If you describe yourself in more specific terms, the offers you will get will be closer to what you are looking for.
Obviously you have been redt to bochurim that were not interested in what you can offer. Make sure you get redt to the right person by describing yourself accurately and describing what you are looking for accurately. Do this in your profile, resume, talking to friends, shadchonim etc. Tell your parents too. Often, too often, parents don't look for the right match, because they have an unrealistic or a different view of what their children are or need. There are plenty of truly chassidishe bochrim out there and it is definitely not a crime to be chassidish, but it is a crime how the word is being used.
The Rebbe says one should look for a shidduch like one looks for a lost object. One would surely not describe a lost watch by just saying that it is a woman's watch. Rather one would say it is gold colored and has a gold face with small stones in the place of the numbers, it is from such and such a company and it has a scratched back.
In the same way be more specific about your level of frumkeit and what you expect of a future spouse.
May you find your zivug speedily and may we hear good news from all those who are looking.