Sometimes I write an article that garners much feedback, and sometimes I write one that garners no feedback. It happens; I don’t get too emotional about those. But, recently published in another newspaper was a letter and my response. What I didn’t include in that periodical was that the letter changed my life – literally. I’ll republish the letter, but I’ll add more details to my response for my own readers (wink wink):

Silent Agreement Not To Share?

By Goldy Krantz

I’ve recently written about social media. In keeping with the technological age we seem to be in (yet I’m hopeful ink and paper will gain popularity like in the good ole days), I will continue along with that theme. Many times, I find what to write about by browsing through social media. I would see a “trending” topic or post, and I would write my opinion/reaction to it. This time, the topic found me. A friend of mine took a screenshot of what appeared in a Facebook group she is a member of and sent it to me and another friend in our small yet entertaining WhatsApp chat. I will not mention which Facebook group this article or the screenshot is from in order to protect the group, the poster, and my friend.

In a nutshell: A woman posted that her daughter went on a date and the fellow acted very inappropriately. I will not go into detail, as this is a family newspaper, but use your imagination. The mother of the girl posted exactly who this fellow is, his age, where he lives, his occupation, and what her daughter reported happened on the date. The mother went on to post that when she contacted other shadchanim (especially the one that redt the shidduch) and rabbanim about this incident, they didn’t seem surprised because they are “aware” of this fellow and his antics. The mother found it appalling that shadchanim and rabbanim know when someone has a history of acting inappropriately and are still redting them to unsuspecting people. The mother went on to say that since she posted the original post (I guess a few days earlier), she received several communications from other women whom this fellow dated in the past and learned that he has a history of this. One woman wrote that she had dated him a year ago, another wrote that she had gone out three years ago.

I remember writing about this topic a few years ago, but I see it must be revisited as nothing has changed. When I was in my late 20s, I had a similar experience with someone I dated one time. I wrote about him in the last chapter of my book (for all of you who still have my book, you can look it up). Being the type of person I am, I shook off the date and what transpired, but I told my friends so they would be aware and not to accept a date from him. One friend advised me to write to a shadchan who contributes to a newspaper offering dating advice, asking if I should alert shadchanim about this “boy.” I write “boy” because his actions were that of an immature teenage boy. I figured it couldn’t hurt, so I briefly wrote what had happened on our date and asked what to do. The columnist was of no help and quoted from the Shulchan Aruch and other places. I ended up doing nothing.

A couple of years later, my alma mater high school hosted an event called “Meet the Shadchan.” It was geared towards older, mature graduates who had not yet found their bashert. It was a wonderful event and there were about two dozen or so shadchanim. Each had a sign on his or her table as to what type of shidduchim they specialized in, so you knew who to speak with and who wouldn’t be able to help you. I spoke with several shadchanim that day. Without mentioning the name of the shadchan, one suggested the particular fellow that I warned my friends about. Being the person that I am and try to be, I thanked him for his suggestion, told him that we had already gone out and I didn’t want to revisit him to date. He pressed me for a reason “because he’s a great guy from a wonderful family.” I finally got fed up with the shadchan pushing this one fellow on me. I told him that there was absolutely no way I was going to date him again and if he didn’t have another name for me, I would stop wasting my time and move on to another shadchan.

The shadchan looked defeated and asked how long ago was it that I went out with the fellow. I told him it was a couple of years earlier. What happened next shocked me. The shadchan slammed his hand on the desk and said, “I told him to stop doing this!” I had never mentioned or alluded to why I didn’t want to date him again, I just kept refusing. But this man seemed to have known exactly why I refused to date him a second time.

I’ve always said that having differences of opinions about topics is good for a relationship. Too many times I have heard that a couple stopped dating “because he/she thought ______. I mean isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard.” No. Breaking up with them over that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard – or one of the top ten. I know someone who told me years ago that she couldn’t go out any more with the “guy” she had been dating because he pronounced the “l” sound in the word “almonds.” Excuse me. What? You stopped dating someone because of how he pronounced a word? And I suppose you pronounce everything perfectly? I still can’t believe that the girl stuck by her reasoning and still does to this day!

Maybe because of what is going on in today’s world – and no, I won’t get into a discussion about it because that is not why I write this column – people’s social media accounts affect their lives. What I am referring to here is that a picture or comment that they post on one of their accounts (platforms) may cost them jobs and/or friendships. From the very beginning of opening a Facebook account, I was warned about posting. “Who knows who’s going to see it and what will happen?” I thought that was crazy, but just pay attention to the news and you’ll see how right that is.

A month or so ago, I published a letter from “Annie,” who wanted to be left alone by people who were calling and annoying her, urging her to begin dating again after the demise of her marriage. Annie wanted to tell everyone to leave her alone and she will date when she is good and ready to do so, on her own schedule. The responses received to that article really overwhelmed me. I guess Annie’s letter has inspired others, and I have received requests from people in different types of situations asking me to publish their letters, their requests to the frum community. Many of the situations in the letters, I thought, were inappropriate for the Queens Jewish Link, but then I read an email that made me think. As I read the letter, I was able to think of a friend of my husband’s in the exact situation, and it is one that I feel needs to be spoken about and addressed. So here I publish a letter from Avi. Go ahead, Avi, have at it. Say your piece. I hope people are listening.

The following letter is from a friend of a single young woman. The woman wants to help her single friend but doesn’t know how, because, in her opinion (and in others’), it’s her friend’s personality that will chase off the young men she will date. How can you tell someone that her personality is off-putting or annoying? In instances such as these, I feel that you can do your best; but unless the person admits that there may be an issue, there isn’t much you can do. Only arguments and rifts in friendships can result in telling a friend that he/she doesn’t have any social etiquette and comes across way too strong. Like it or not, in these types of situations, you have to be the parent letting the child fall while learning to ride a two-wheeler. They need to figure things out for themselves, and the hard way may be the only way for them to do it. But then again, the single friend doesn’t think that her personality or anything else about her needs tweaking. Don’t worry, dear friends: She too will stand under the chupah one day, b’ezras Hashem, with a chasan who may be just like her, or who accepts her for whom and what she is. I think that it is wonderful that the friend wants to help, but sometimes you just must let it go.