Mar 27, 2016


In a letter to the editor of Ami magazine, someone writes as follows:

"There are many other instances where people try to protect family members by acting in secrecy, with the result that their loved ones feel tremendously betrayed.  This happens very often when the siblings of childless couples do not tell them when they are expecting a child in order to 'protect' them.  These couples discover the information from outsiders and feel betrayed that they weren't told."

A number of things bother me about this paragraph.

One, of the three definitions in Merriam Webster, the one definition that remotely fits here is: to hurt (someone who trusts you, such as a friend or relative) by not giving help or by doing something morally wrong.  Not providing pregnancy information is not a betrayal.

Two, if those who feel hurt that they were not informed know that the reason they were not informed was to protect them, it would seem that they should feel grateful to those who care about them.

Third, if childless couples feel hurt when not informed about impending simchas, that should happen only once.  After that one time, they should make it clear that they would love to be informed of pregnancies so in case anyone wants to keep that information from them for their benefit, they will know that this is not what the childless couple wants.

Can we (frum society) get a grip?
Can we quit being hyper-sensitive and thinking people are betraying us when they mean well?
Can we let people know our likes and dislikes so they can please us, rather than "mortally wound" us with their well-meaning decisions?

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