Single and Suffering? Holiday Advice

Hello Hagit. I am a 30 year old woman, and the holidays are too difficult for me to bear! I experience Loneliness, coping with the family's questions, pitying looks, and a terrible feeling of not belonging.  If you add the feeling of personal failure into the mix we get a perfect recipe for unhappiness. I really want to get married, meanwhile it didn’t happen, so I have to again deal with the tremendous distress of these tedious holiday family gatherings. How will I cope with these hard feelings during the holiday?

My dear love, there is no doubt that you conveyed your hard feelings in a very precise way. I am sure that the things you face often lead you to feeling suffocated and depressed.

I won’t try to enter your heart and see what’s going on inside it, for only you can know how great and painful your suffering is. But one thing is clear and simple to me – the Lord truly loves you like an only daughter and He works in the most precise way to help you realize your purpose in the eternal scheme of things.

We must remember that we came to the world ‘at the end of the movie’, and we think we know how the plot is going to unfold, but that’s not the case. The soul reaches the world to correct something, and though the trials, tribulations and obstacles that life presents us are hard, we certainly don’t want to miss fulfilling our goal.

The main goal of a Jew in this world is to reveal G-d’s infinite light. This light is present in every stage and detail of your life. You reveal the great power that exists within you and you work with these strengths to elevate your soul and life.

One of the most difficult tests for a woman is waiting, and this fact is taught by our Matriarchs, the mothers of our nation, each in their own way.

Hava was our mother:  She wanted to merit lofty heights in serving G-d. Therefore she was tempted by the words of the serpent, “And you will be like G-d.” She only sought holiness and spiritual elevation and she was confused to believe that she would reach it by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For this sin we pay until the end of time.

Our matriarch Sarah: When the evil inclination shows her the picture of her only son Isaac getting slaughtered, she shouts a great scream and immediately falls and dies. If only she had waited a little longer, she would have found out her son was safe and sound.

Our matriarch Rachel: Rachel knew with holy clairvoyance that she would have sons. But she cried: “Give me sons, and if not – I am dead!”

Our matriarch Leah longed so much to be alone with her husband: “and she gave birth to a son, and said, 'This time my man will go with me.” She acquires what Rachel his beloved wife couldn’t; to be buried and rest forever near Jacob in the Cave of the Patriarchs.

There are endless examples, but it is clear and simple that when a woman is waiting, her mind understands many things that the heart can’t accept. The heart seeks a home, a warm corner, a good relationship, children, and in fact a desire to exit the soul’s bitter exile.

But how can we hasten the redemption anyway? Here are a few ways:

1. The power of prayer – When a Jew feels the pain of the exile, the Divine presence dwells with him and shares in his sorrow and wants to save him. To be saved you must cry out to God from the bottom of your heart. The Almighty desires his beloved children’s prayers, as it is written: “She who sits in the gardens, friends are listening to your voice; let me hear it.”

2. Seek professional counseling that will allow you to examine reality in the clearest possible way. You may have unknown internal barriers and saboteurs that prevent you from finding your match. After all, “A prisoner does not release himself from prison.”

3. Seek guided emotional and personal empowerment which will help you connect and love yourself unconditionally! If you learn to accept yourself with love in your present situation what others think or say won’t matter. And it's entirely possible; I know from experience!

4. Our sages teach us that when a man fights against his pain and troubles they intensify whereas a person who accepts it with love sweetens the judgment and gets a big embrace his Loving Father in heaven. For even what he thinks is evil is actually perfectly good, as the verse says: “As a man punishes his son, the Lord your God punishes you.”

5. We must sincerely ask God to help us understand the message that this experience is teaching us. Therefore, we ask Him to help and show us the insights, conclusions and lessons that we must take from every stage of our lives. Then we can realize our true potential which in your case is to establish a Jewish home.

In conclusion, we must remember: Living in the present and extracting its hidden treasures is as important as worrying about the future. We can use the words of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov who says that “waiting is a gift which enables you to receive insight”! Most importantly, there is no despair in the world at all…

May it be G-d’s will for you to receive great salvation along with the rest of the young single adults of Israel, and may your soul match immediately appear on your doorstep so that together you will establish a faithful home in Israel with love, brotherhood and peace!
Happy and Kosher Passover.


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