Nov 8, 2009

To be a Yiddishe Mama (part 3)

6-The woman said that she has bitachon. How about if Bubby suggested that she and her husband learn Shaar Ha’Bitachon in Chovos Ha’Levavos together or that he learn it and other Bitachon-related material on his own or with a chavrusa. It’s available in English, Yiddish, Hebrew on tape, online by so many writers and speakers. County Yossi is a publication for frum people and I expect to read guidance that sounds like it’s coming from a frum person and not out of a secular publication.

7-At the very least, Bubby should have presented a balanced choice of options rather than urge the woman to go to work without even knowing all the details of her life. The woman made it clear that she wants to be home with her children and yet Bubby did nothing to validate this normal, G-d given feeling and commend her for her devotion in a day and age when so many mothers put themselves before their children; she undermined it instead.

8-Where is the suggestion that the couple go to their rav to present their views. The rav could have been the one to tell the husband that he has no right to browbeat her into leaving home and working. In the Eishes Chayil of Mishlei it doesn’t say that she left her children at the babysitter, that her children were raised by Juanita, and that her children got a glimpse of her in the morning as they were rushed out to their daycare center and school (sick or not) and in the evening when she came in exhausted and uptight and couldn’t wait to get them into bed.

The rav could have been the one to tell him that his bitachon is sorely lacking and that, as the Chovos Ha’Levavos explains, your hishtadlus (efforts) have nothing to do with the outcome. Hashem designates what you will earn on Rosh Hashana and you have to make some effort in a job that appeals to you and that you are suited for, but the job is not what brings in the money. Hashem sends the money.

A rav could have helped them examine their lifestyle and see what could be trimmed from their budget so he’s not a nervous wreck and she doesn’t have to abandon her children and home. Is the husband willing to cut things out or is the truth of the matter that he wants his wife to support their upper middle class habits that are unbefitting for a man of his income? A rav could tell the husband how to cherish a wife who wants to raise their children and to consider himself a rich man “who is happy with his lot.”

Tragically, we have a generation today of lebedige yesomim (living orphans), children with parents who are barely being raised by their parents. This is wreaking havoc on our families and the repercussions extend far into the future.

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