01 Dec DATING AND RELATIONSHIP ADVICE
Dear Rabbi and Shira,
Hi, I read your column every week. It prompts much conversation over the Shabbos table. I’m a regular Flatbush/Midwood guy who is into the Sifrei Chassidus. It started when I was a teenager. I’m a fan of Rav Moshe Weinberger’s shiurim, and the Story of Your Life by Rabbi Klein. I find it adds so much meaning to everything I’m doing whether I’m going to work, when learning Gemara, or davening. Here’s my problem. I’ve been set up with some wonderful girls, who went to great seminaries, but they don’t understand what I’m talking about, what excites me in Yiddishkeit. I tell them I love chassidus, and they think I want someone who wears seamed stockings or only speaks in yiddish. I don’t want to move to Williamsburg, I simply want the Ribono Shel Olam to be part of my family. What should I do?
–Spiritual on Avenue S
What a great thing that Chassidus excites you and means so much to you! It’s great to be having this conversation. I remember Rav Weinberger telling a story about Reb Shmuel, a older Polisher Jew who learned in an afternoon Kollel with him for teachers in Queens. He would learn Meor Einaim the last half hour of seder on Thursday afternoon. His satisfaction was audible, as he would exclaim “Oh! Ah’!” expressing his joy and excitement over his learning throughout the half hour. One week, one of the Yeshivishe Rebbeim there gave him a copy of Lev Eliyahu by Rav Elya Lopian. Within five minutes, the same chorus of “Ohs! And Ahs!” filled the room. Reb Shmuel declared “This Reb Elya, couldn’t have been a Litvak, he must have been an undercover Chasidic spy!” It doesn’t matter the “brand” of spirituality, what matters is the heart.
So long as your Kallah knows that Chassidus is something special to you, and gives your Yiddishkeit energy, we don’t think it should be a problem at all. As long as she’s not a forceful opponent to chassidus, and most importantly,she is a Chasida of the Ribono shel Olam, it can work out. Many of the women who attended seminary will have a common vocabulary to that of Chassidus, even if they don’t know all the lingo, there’s still an emphasis on avodas Hashem and a relationship with Hashem in a lot of women’s seminaries.
Especially if learning Chassidus makes you a more present spouse and father, it will make a kiddush Hashem all around.
We hope you find a special Kallah, with whom you will make a home, with Hashem filling it.
Rabbi and Shira Boshanck