The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Train Wreck Approaching

I read three articles over the weekend that got me off my "Nothing to Say" mood.

Two were from this week's Mishpacha Magazine and one was from Hamodia's magazine.

The first article was about the devastation that the weak dollar is having on Chareidi society in Israel. In fact, it is not the dollar that is wreaking havoc on Israeli Chareidi society, it is the Chareidi model itself that is wreaking havoc and the weak dollar that is exacerbating this already broken model.

How is the dollar wreaking havoc? All of the mosdos that are not self sustaining and must shnorr of the US Jewish community are facing huge shortfalls because the same amount of dollars that used to get them over the hump are now falling 20% short. All of the people who used to come to the States to collect for their children's weddings are now finding it 20% harder to pay for these weddings. All of the thousands of American avreiching who are living off their parents dime are finding it 20% more diffciult to live on their dollar allowance.

It seems not to have occurred to the author that if Chareidim in Israel actually worked for a living, they might not have to be prisoners to the value of the American dollar. If the Kollelim had 80% fewer avreiching, we might not be having this discussion.

The second Mishpacha article described the lengths to which people go to hide any mental pathology or chronic illness in their families lest the velt get wind of it. A number of frum psychologists described how potential patients ask whether there are any signs on their offices that would suggest that they are mental health professionals. Many sufferers of Crohn's disease apparently live in pain and denial lest their shidduch chances get destroyed. Credit to Mishpacha for highlighting this issue but, gevalt!

The third article, in Hamodia, was the true story of a teacher at Touro in Brooklyn who gave the appearance of being a non-Jew, even going by the name Ms. Cruz. It turns out that the author finds out that "Ms. Cruz" had been the valedictorian of her Bais Yaakov but, because she was a foter child, she was redt shidduchim to the biggest rejects and told to be grateful for that. The killer came at the end. When the student was trying to suggest that it wasn't so bad, Ms. Cruz asked her, "Would your brother marry a foster child?" She knew the answer and couldn't respond.

The article is followed by an interview with a very holy woman (whom I've met) whose family has fostered and married off 5 children over the years. This example was somewhat disengenuous because this woman comes from a Modern Orthodox, not Chareidi, environment. There is a lso a sidebar interview with David Mandel of Ohel in which he acknowledges the problem but suggests that the problem has gotten better more recently.

This last story, of course, hit home because of TT. It is hard to imagine that a young lady who will likely be a smart, funny, tall, thin, black-eyed beauty will have a hard time finding a shidduch. On the other hand, it's probably not a bad idea for me to keep making a very nice living since money seems to overcome many chisronos.



  • At 2:28 AM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said…

    Is it still Sinas Chinum when there's such a basis for the hatred?

  • At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hate the players, don't hate the game.

  • At 11:19 AM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said…

    I don't hate the game ... I hate the players who are worshipped for destroying it.

  • At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That last story mamash hit home. Whomever the TT blesses as her husband he'll certainly be getting a wife from a warm loving family who served as great models for her own family b'sha'ah tovah u'mutzlachat.Brad

  • At 7:36 PM, Anonymous kishnevi said…

    "Many sufferers of Crohn's disease apparently live in pain and denial lest their shidduch chances get destroyed."

    I have Crohn's. I wouldn't want any person stupid enough to do that as a shidduch for any child of mine!

    And (a more general application from the Ms. Cruz story): it's dangerous to assume any person is not Jewish. I knew someone in college--blond hair, blue eyed, last name of Jones. He turned out to be Jewish. Highly assimilated, but Jewish.

  • At 8:06 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    so do I. Idiotic.

  • At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At least TT has the advantage of being born Jewish.

    Even in the MO world I think my adopted and converted children will have big problems.

    Somehow I don't think this discrimination is what the Ribono Shel Olam has in mind.


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