You’ve been very entertaining the other morning. Or should I say, the application forms that you give out have had us entertained the other morning.
Our family WhatsApp group has had a great time tearing that application to pieces. Not literally of course, because that would be detrimental to my sister who is so painstakingly filling it out. But figuratively, you have been the bane of our laughter yesterday.
Smart phones may not be allowed in seminary, but right now I can assure you that at least 80% of high school girls carry one and they come in very useful. Instead of calling up her siblings individually on the phone, my sister posted a picture of the application form grid — the grid where every sibling must be listed along with their marital status, profession, place of birth and current address.
Yep, that’s right. The seminary would very much like to know if you have any divorces in the family. And it means the world to them how many are on Shlichus and how many are –dare I say it?– working in a business.
I had a classmate who had 14 children in her family. Looking back, I don’t quite understand how she didn’t come with a bandaged arm to school the following day.
As one by one the various family members of mine around the world read my sisters post in our group, the answers starting coming.
“Tell them I milk cows. Wait a second, can you tell them I’m unemployed? Will that mean they won’t accept you?”
“I’m a mother, but I guess that won’t sound sophisticated enough for them… even though it’s the hardest job ever!”
“On a serious note, just write down Ta’s profession. Chances are they wont come running after you…”
“I work for the New York sanitation department. But I’m thinking of becoming a fireman.”
It’s funny but it’s also honestly a little sad. While we were able to laugh, my sister has every intention of filling out each box in that grid to the best of her ability. My brothers suggestions of “Just don’t go!” don’t really appeal to her.
The peer-pressure of going to seminary has lessened somewhat in the past two or three years, as more seminaries closed down and the choices of college degrees or shlichus right away became more popular.
But for many girls, the thrill of going to seminary is still one that is not easily thrown away.
Seeing as this particular seminary rejected me and my sister too (yep, we were ‘rejects’ and somehow, 5 or 6 years on, we’re doing great!) I don’t hold much hope for her acceptance.
She’s a ‘good’ a girl as I was but seminary heads can sit down at their tables and decide that she just isn’t good enough and that someone else is even ‘better’.
What this all means, I have no idea. The heads meet the girls for a total of ten minutes, read about the professions of the family members, learn a little Lubavitch family genealogy (ah, so one married a Smith and one married a Jones? wow….) and then stamp either their signet of approval or rejection on the hopes of a young girl.
Is there no other way? Well, at least we all had a good laugh this morning I guess.