Thursday, 17 Nisan, 5784
  |  April 25, 2024

It’s Time to Change the Narrative on Being Single

From the COLlive inbox: "The real Shidduch Crisis is not the age at which people are getting married, but the belief that until one gets married, their life is even remotely less precious, valuable, worthy and purposeful than it would be if they were already married." Full Story

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Beautiful BUT
July 15, 2023 9:58 pm

Read how Chana describes her life
An embittered woman ..

While your words sound true .. reality is ..

And the Gemara says
Of who lives with out a wife ..lives with out etc etc

It’s not so simple
That life is perfect no matter what

Your referring to chana from tanach.. look deeper
Reply to  Beautiful BUT
July 15, 2023 11:29 pm

Chana , Shmuel’ mother, had a strong desire for a child.. but she was not embittered..
She owned her desire.. which was a godly desire.. as we see she gave her child to Hashem when he was only 3!

Here, I believe the author is making a point that we can live full godly lives.. even while owning our desires to get married.. or whatever else we desire…

Shmuel Aleph 1:8

וְכֵן יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה מִדֵּי עֲלֹתָהּ בְּבֵית יְהֹוָה כֵּן תַּכְעִסֶנָּה וַתִּבְכֶּה וְלֹא תֹאכַל׃

This happened year after year: Every time she went up to the House of the LORD, the other would taunt her, so that she wept and would not eat.

וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ אֶלְקָנָה אִישָׁהּ חַנָּה לָמֶה תִבְכִּי וְלָמֶה לֹא תֹאכְלִי וְלָמֶה יֵרַע לְבָבֵךְ הֲלוֹא אָנֹכִי טוֹב לָךְ מֵעֲשָׂרָה בָּנִים׃

Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why are you crying and why aren’t you eating? Why are you so sad? Am I not more devoted to you than ten sons?”

See below

You are totally incorrect

Read what it says about Chana

I think this is what needs to happen
Reply to  Beautiful BUT
July 15, 2023 11:47 pm

The most qualified, holiest rabbis alive today (in physical bodies) need to (together with) the hidden tzaddikim (in Israel or wherever they are) look at All the main databases of frum singles and use their ruach hakodesh to select matches, just by looking at the names or faces. Whoever does this though, has to be an authentic hidden tzaddik with genuine ruach hakodesh, and I don’t know who that is, but someone should make this happen. They should replace the matchmakers at all the other main databases with these hidden tzaddikim who have ruach hakodesh.

Ever heard
Reply to  I think this is what needs to happen
July 16, 2023 6:02 pm

Of the story of Shlomo HaMelech?!

Also, the hidden Tzadikkim aren’t eating for anonymous suggestions on col…

I don't think that story is applicable.
Reply to  Ever heard
July 16, 2023 9:43 pm

the way to solve the shidduch crisis is through ruach hakodesh. Maybe don’t use pictures then. If someone has ruach hakodesh names alone should work. Or female hidden tzaddikim.

Also, of course not, but someone may know someone who knows someone.

Reply to  Beautiful BUT
July 17, 2023 11:45 am

As they set out from their place above, each soul is male and female as one. Only as they descend to this world do they part, each to its own side. And then it is the One Above who unites them again. This is His exclusive domain, for He alone knows which soul belongs to which and how they must reunite.

– Zohar (Book I, 85b)

Love how you did try to conquer darkness with light
July 15, 2023 9:58 pm

That subconscious idea of till you didnt get married your life is not valuable. There are 2 points: from a G-dly Torah perspective. Hashem says till you didnt get married your life isnt complete. Second point: our community hides behind that and exaggerates that saying , you cant live being single you need to get married. Why? Because you are proving to them their “system” is wrong! If everyone gets married and obeys the system they wont be faced with they are doing wrong and the cause of it. There is a recent idea that singles are being put into… Read more »

July 15, 2023 10:08 pm

And to those who are married-remember when you weren’t? You, too, were once single and now you have a man in your life. Together with him please think of the singles in your life and send suggestions!

Think of the singles
Reply to  Beautiful
July 16, 2023 11:13 am

In addition, just think of the singles in your life in general. Be proactive about inviting them for meals, it’s so much more welcoming than people having to request to join your Shabbos table. Think of them for mishloach manos. Think of them if you’re planning a party (and not as a babysitter!). Being single in the frum community is often so rough when you’re constantly seeing “for couples only” and “for married men/women only.” However lonely one can imagine it is from the outside, it’s even more when you’re going through it. They are people. Treat them like people.

Reply to  Think of the singles
July 16, 2023 12:34 pm

Don’t just reach out when you need donations for your chabad house! And keep in mind the crown heights singles too-we’d love to be invited out as well

YES! Invite a few every Shabbos
Reply to  Think of the singles
July 16, 2023 6:21 pm

It is incredibly draining, especially for more reserved singles or those who don’t have local family, to have to find a place to eat for every Shabbos seudah. Please reach out to them and warmly invite them. Just extending an open invite isn’t really enough- pick up the phone and specifically call or message them, let them feel personally welcome!

The Real Shidduch Crisis
July 15, 2023 10:09 pm

The real shidduch crisis is people being too picky, not tall enough, not wealthy enough, doesn’t have the best yichus. This is all goyishe and anyone who waits too long because of these inyanim is at fault.

Not so accurate
Reply to  The Real Shidduch Crisis
July 16, 2023 2:14 am

There are many people who are not picky at all and just haven’t found someome that makes sense for them to build a life with 🙂

Reply to  The Real Shidduch Crisis
July 16, 2023 11:16 am

35 ppl and counting disagree with you. On what basis do you make this claim? Bc I’m not even getting suggestions from the shadchanim I meet with all the time…

Reply to  Hmm
July 16, 2023 2:16 pm

Liked and dislikes isn’t a good argument if people agree or disagree. There are many statistical variables that can give the like/dislike button faulty results. For example, if I click the like button with my phone and then my laptop then I give the comment two likes. That’s just one example of how faulty the likes and dislikes button is.

The same goes
Reply to  Lol...
July 16, 2023 6:04 pm

With the like button.
So what’s your argument exactly?

From someone who got married much “older”
July 15, 2023 10:31 pm

Thank you for sharing your light – couldn’t agree with this more – enjoy every moment of life and have full trust in Hashem that life is unfolding exactly the way it is meant to be

Beautifully written
Reply to  From someone who got married much “older”
July 18, 2023 1:41 am

Thank you for sharing the words I have felt. My path and being single has brought me closer to Hashem. I can’t question the creator, there is a reason beyond my understanding and I trust 100% it is good.

May you and all who seek their other half find them speedily and with clarity.

Amazing article!
July 15, 2023 10:57 pm

Wow, brilliant and so true!
Besuros Tovos for all!!

Kol Hakavod for posting with your real name
July 15, 2023 11:02 pm

Chana your truth shines through this writing, all the blessings.

thank you for your authentic vulnerable words!
July 15, 2023 11:04 pm

wow so brave of you, Chana, to share this in your name.
It makes your point so much stronger, that there really is nothing to be ashamed of… ever! cuz we are in Hashems loving hands at all times…!
I believe if we were all more authentic, vulnerable and speaking from our hearts, it would be easier to find our “matches”:)

In our society
July 15, 2023 11:19 pm

The problem is, when your to comfortable as a single guy/or girl, and then (whether it’s your parents or even yourself) get that phone call from the Shadchin it’s self, we have this and that and the other for YOU…….. Just talking from my own, it’s not a very comfortable thing. And you know what? Sometimes, It’s very hard to say NO!! There are 3 categories that I can think of. 1) Plain and simple NO. (Shadchonim be mindful)……. 2) YES! Baby, it’s for me. And 3) someone out there is just pushing to do this. Answer to number three… Read more »

Woah, thanks!
July 16, 2023 12:01 am

Definitely words to live by!
Thanks for putting the unspoken feelings into words.

July 16, 2023 12:44 am

I disagree with much of this. Being single is not shameful. No one sees it that way. Ppl who are single are lonely, that’s just the fact. Yes there is so much that can be accomplished being single no one argues that. But IT IS lonely. That’s the fact. You always need to find someone to go with. You don’t have a commuted partner. Your biological clock is ticking if you are a woman and many actually want to have kids and want to have a commuted partner and want to feel loved and all the other physical and emotional… Read more »

Reply to  Imho
July 16, 2023 2:07 am

Being single is looked at as shameful?
How many times do you hear the sentence …
“Wow she’s a such a nice and pretty girl …I wonder why she isn’t married??”
As of there was something wrong with her …

Reply to  Imho
July 16, 2023 10:24 am

We’re obviously trying! But there’s only so much we can do (especially in a chassidic community) so me may as well enjoy the ride too

you know what is also a crisis?
Reply to  Imho
July 16, 2023 10:36 am

the intermarriage crisis
among the tinok shinoshba jews of today’s society
do everything you can do to prevent it!

Single not lonely
Reply to  Imho
July 17, 2023 2:07 am

I am 28 years old and single and I am not lonely. But the reason is because I have had to work hard to get there, with no help from the community. I would rather hang out with the friendship group I have built over years, than attend a community event. At a community event I am treated like a child, or ignored in favour of my married friends or siblings. It’s things like this that make singles feel lonely. Why go if I’m going to be made invisible anyway? If it’s hard to be single in the community then… Read more »

Wow wow wow!
July 16, 2023 1:02 am

Wow! Amazing amazing article! Well written, to the point, obviously knows her stuff, directed towards singles, but easily applicable at all stages in one’s life, Wow!
Thank You!

Imho continued 2
July 16, 2023 1:20 am

To “Love how you did try to conquer darkness with light”
You argot it! 🎯

The reason we needed this to be said
July 16, 2023 2:13 am

All these comments of people disagreeing is just emphasizing the importance of this Article being
Posted. I hope that all the people who commented those things and completely missed the point , are able to open their hearts, reread , take it to heart and then HOPEFULLY can learn to love their life…bc Loving life is loving Hashem

Amazing article

July 16, 2023 2:15 am

The world is always better when people are brave enough to stand up and say things like this.

Thank you for this article

Couldn’t agree more

Kol Hakovod!
July 16, 2023 2:35 am

People say I will start living when XYZ happens. It’s important to live now. Fully.

Thank you for sharing this message.

Beautiful article
July 16, 2023 2:53 am

This article is written and expressed so clearly and beautifully!! Yasher Koach for sharing this!! So many people have to realize the truth of the matter! Hashem loves you, Hashem is orchestrating your life as perfect as it is supposed to be for your individual Neshama! Sadness and worry are antithetical to Chassidus and no matter what situation one finds themselves in, they should know they are never alone! Hashem is with you! The Rebbe is davening and beseeching Hashem on your behalf! Our job is to serve Hashem with Simcha! This reminds me of the story of the two… Read more »

July 16, 2023 2:54 am

Every word expressed was so amazing and inspirational!! I truly believe all those singles have special neshamos and we will see soon when Moshaich comes how special they are!

True bravery
July 16, 2023 3:00 am

This article is one of those breath of fresh airs. I absolutely love how you tied in your main point and made it applicable to everyone . We all have what to feel hashem is not apart of- thank you for reminding me the avodah is hard but true.
No more labels . Single.. married.. children… just Jews trying to reach their personal and ultimate geulah

Beautiful. But missing a paragraph or two...
July 16, 2023 3:35 am

So, I read this. And then I read it again. And it’s amazing. Well written, clear, structured, researched, full of wisdom and kindness, and extremely heartfelt. And yet, I struggle to find the knock on the “shidduch crisis”. Chana, you are 1000000% correct; people need to start (or for hopefully some, continue) living in a way that sees the reality of Hashem being THE existence, and not just something that happens in shul or yomim tovim. The revealed good and the not yet revealed good. The clear directions and the fuzzy bleak spiderwebs of opportunity. The married life, the not… Read more »

So well written!
Reply to  Beautiful. But missing a paragraph or two...
July 16, 2023 12:05 pm

Couldn’t agree more. Needing to do all we can in the area of Shidduchim is not antithetical to knowing that every moment not married is completely one with hashem. It’s one and the same

Imho again
July 16, 2023 5:01 am

It seems you are trying to make it as though we need to accept being single? It’s seems you are trying to normalize the idea? And to say that the deep human desire to be married is not “normal”? We don’t feel shame, we feel deep pain and loneliness. It’s normal. It would be weird if we didn’t. Mayb you are confusing shame with loneliness? It feels lonely to go places when so many have a spouse and someone who is “theirs” and you don’t. It may even feel shameful if you wish because it’s like you feel alone and… Read more »

Reply to  Imho again
July 16, 2023 12:36 pm

You seem to have all the answers. Please tell us singles what to do to get married

hashem should bless you to feel his love for you
Reply to  Imho again
July 16, 2023 3:28 pm

Seems like you’re saying that as long as we’re single, Hashem wants us to feel pain and loneliness. I like to chose to believe that Hashem wants me to feel connection and love- no matter what stage I am in. I hope that you can open your eyes and Heart to all the love and connection that Hashem is sending your way. Hashem loves us….To say that at any point in life the “norm” would be to feel sad or lonely is so the opposite of that. You’re surrounded by love and connection Hashem loves you I hope you can… Read more »

Born Bread Ch'er
July 16, 2023 6:58 am

Meaningful life does only begin at marriage. That is the way Gd said we were made to be. Why is that perspective any less Gdly then the one you suggest that we should settle that Gd wants us to marry later? Seems like hypocrisy. The pain is there and deep because your soul knows that it is not yet complete. Having everyone say its OK will not make it better. We need to think and rethink how to get our singles married not make them comfortable staying single. The fact that a single wants to ignore the pain with an… Read more »

Reply to  Born Bread Ch'er
July 16, 2023 11:46 am

Your value does not increase because you are a married person. Getting comfortable being single is definitely an issue but being miserable and marrying someone who is not compatible out of desperation is just as problematic. The fact is that there are many older singles for different reasons and there’s no reason to shame them

You completely missed the point
Reply to  Born Bread Ch'er
July 16, 2023 1:23 pm

I don’t see anything in the article about singles “settling for marrying later” or “being comfortable staying single.” Nor do I see her advocating “an aspirin” unless that’s how you view Emunah and Bitachon—which would be your own problem. And meaningful life begins…at birth!

Actually, you’ve more than missed the point; you’ve warped it through the prism of your smug attitude. This writer is teaching us a valuable and timely lesson and Chaval that you’re too closed-minded to see it.

A blessed wife, mother and grandmother

Wow…so sad that this outlook is an option for ppl
Reply to  Born Bread Ch'er
July 16, 2023 3:32 pm

Meaningful life begins the moment soul enters body.

CH Family
July 16, 2023 7:58 am

So well thought out, so well expressed! I think this op-ed should get the widest possible distribution. Thank you for this!

July 16, 2023 8:13 am

Wow Chana!! The beautifully and delicately delivered bombshells in this article! You just revolutionized my perspective on waiting. You’re absolutely right on about the absolute possibility of the desire to get married and the being confident with your unmarried present existing simultaneously! The harmony between the 2 is essential, and I believe being able to come into a marriage from that state of peace and love is SO VALUABLE!!!
Thank you for all of the Geula light you just brought into the world!
Never stop ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

(Moshiach now!)

Thank you!!
July 16, 2023 8:31 am

This article needs to be pushed up to the top of collive home page!!

Brave and true
July 16, 2023 9:01 am

Thank you for sharing something so deep & vulnerable. It really hits home. I think people who do not yet have children will strongly relate to the pressure and shame that you mention is so present in our family oriented community.
People feel how you view them. If you view them as being exactly where they’re meant to be right now, perfect and valuable, whether married or not, with children or not, I promise you they will feel that from you and feel whole in your presence.

Beautiful Article!
July 16, 2023 10:05 am

I am very pleased.
Thank you for sharing your light and describing so eloquently your point.
It’s a good point for everyone!
Everyone reading this should focus on the point, and not find reasons to not believe, because that is defeating the purpose.
Thank you so much for sharing!

Leave the shidduch crisis alone
July 16, 2023 10:19 am

This is a beautiful article. It hits the nail on the head of one of the biggest issues we have in yiddishkeit (especially within Chabad) nowadays. And I also agree, that with the mindset shift that was so eloquently described here, singles (or people going through whatever) will be happier and more calm, and thus more date-able. However, to just minimize the “shidduch crisis” to the way singles are viewed is not correct, and in fact, kind of insensitive. I’m a 26 year old single, and I pride myself on trying to live my life while going through this process.… Read more »

Sorry to hear that this has been your experience
Reply to  Leave the shidduch crisis alone
July 16, 2023 2:47 pm

But I can assure you, I get the exact same treatment from certain Shadchanim, regardless of the fact that I have gezhe yichus and grew up on Shlichus. Lineage is not the reason for your hardships.

Thank you!
July 16, 2023 10:31 am

Thank you for sharing this, your message is so important. I agree, we should all be living with a full consciousness that wherever we are in life, Hashem has put us there with a divine mission in mind, something to elevate and make holy. Tapping into this is beautiful and empowering. I find that the community also treats marriage as the “finish line”.. once someone is married, they have made it in life.. Of course we should celebrate the great miracle of a marriage with a full heart. But what is even more worth celebrating? 20 years down the line… Read more »

Reply to  Thank you!
July 16, 2023 12:19 pm

Love this! Coming from a divorced woman I agree 100%. Getting married is half the issue. The emphasis should be placed on staying married!

Excellent Excellent Article
July 16, 2023 11:26 am

So well expressed! Kol Hakavod Chana !

July 16, 2023 1:00 pm

does anyone else think there should be no money involved in shidduchim, like paying matchmakers, and paying for the websites… the motives need to be pure for such a holy endeavor.

Reply to  question
July 16, 2023 4:39 pm

This is the least of our problems

Reply to  question
July 17, 2023 3:53 pm

Everyone needs money to support themselves. If they are not spending time with shidduchim they are working. They are amazing for spending so much time when most of their time is not paid for.

July 16, 2023 1:34 pm

This article is so validating and true

A truly vital message!
July 16, 2023 2:12 pm

“Our community has a widespread and often subconscious belief that true and valuable life begins the moment a person gets married…that until one gets married, their life is [somehow] less precious, valuable, worthy and purposeful than it would be if they were already married.” I am guilty of this attitude. I didn’t actually realize it until now, reading your words! This is embarrassing, but also instructive. I am equally guilty of “idolizing marriage as the thing that [gives] worth, purpose, and true life.” I shamefacedly admit to looking with pity at my former students and other fine people who happen… Read more »

Bnos Tlofchad
July 16, 2023 2:25 pm

Agree 100 %
Bnos Tzlofchad great example , they accomplished a change for generations and then they happily married good husbands

Absolutely love
July 16, 2023 3:09 pm

Beautifully written and well thought out. Couldn’t agree more.

The hardest avoda
July 16, 2023 3:30 pm

The most difficult avoda is to truly believe that everything HASHEM does is good. When we take these ideas to heart, we start to truly believe that and are doing the hardest avoda there is.
Thank you for this reminder.

Great article
July 16, 2023 3:34 pm

Love this chana! So true

Beautiful Chana!!
July 19, 2023 7:56 am

Thank you for sharing your these kind and wise words!

We Are Here!
July 23, 2023 4:41 pm

Even though I’m not in the stage single, and singles can think that we just don’t get it (and maybe we don’t), I always think of all my single friends, relatives, acquaintances, co-workers, and I really care. I daven, I try to be sensitive and normal at the same time, and even send a suggestion or two. People who find themselves in this situation, know that even if we aren’t experiencing your pain the same way we do, we love you, are davening for you, believe in you and are cheering you on. May Hashem take away all types of… Read more »