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The Emuna Crisis    

The Emuna Crisis

People think there is a "singles crisis" but really, there is a holiness crisis, based on an even more foundational emuna crisis...


Part 2 of a Dating with Emuna
The story I related in the first part of this series (last week) was only the first of many interactions I had with many such people, who I thank Hashem I didn’t listen to. It is exactly this kind of thinking that exemplifies today’s “shidduch crisis,” which is really a misnomer. The crisis is really a kedushah (holiness) crisis, which is part of a larger emuna crisis.
The emuna crisis is that people lack the emuna that Hashem created them with one, unique, personal soulmate, and in order to find that person, they need only to strengthen their emuna and do whatever personal effort is appropriate for their current level of emuna – and no more.


Instead of trusting Hashem and focusing on the real goal of a marriage partner with whom you can truly build a happy, Torah home, people get worried about finding a suitable life partner, and then start trusting in shadchanim and other flesh and blood means, forgetting that they are simply a vehicle through which Hashem works. People are then pressured to change themselves in order to make themselves more marketable on the shidduch meat market, and increase their odds of getting married.


Each area in which emuna is lacking gets compounded, and the result is an entire system which is almost completely devoid of emuna, and focused instead on “b’derech hateva” – the natural way. As if nature had anything to do with getting married! The Gemara itself specifically states that every single marriage is a miracle similar to the Splitting of the Sea!


Furthermore, shadchanim and other well-intentioned people who really want you to get married forget that the goal isn’t just marriage – but a happy, successful marriage. They often pressure singles into dating others who are not really appropriate for them, for all sorts of reasons that don't at all play into the reality that Hashem is in charge of the shiddiuch process, and no one needs to be pressured into dating, or marrying for that matter, someone who isn't really appropriate because of "lack of options," "this is the best you can expect," or any other lie.
This emuna crisis is compounded even more by the kedushah crisis. Sadly, many men fail to guard their eyes, thinking that guarding their eyes is only required of tzaddikim (righteous people). Unfortunately, this leads many of them to focus more on the physical aspects of a prospective wife, as opposed to her penimius - all the “inside” character traits, her holiness, etc. which is really what makes a marriage. If men would guard their eyes properly, they wouldn’t be dating based on looks – they would be dating based on holiness, because their eyes and therefore their lives would be steeped in true holiness. Now, in response to the physical orientation of the men, intense pressure is then exerted on women (as exemplified in the extreme by a recent article published by the Jewish Press which has caused quite a hub-bub in the Jewish world, and was the impetus for me to finally get all these thoughts down in print) to change themselves, both physically and otherwise, in order to increase their chances at marriage.


This results in women lowering their standards of tzniut (modesty) in order to attract a potential mate, both in terms of their physical tzniut (which might include dressing in an alluring and “stylish” way, makeup, etc. - even if the skirt is technically long enough) and inner modest character traits, which are part and parcel of true modesty. The end result is that men are sought after commodities, while women have to be constantly on the prowl. This is the exact and polar opposite of the proper roles of men and women: Men are supposed to court women, not the other way around! The scariest part is that all of this has become so part and parcel of “frum” culture that no one even recognizes how crass, and flat out anti-Jewish, all this is in the first place!
This entire sordid situation begs the question: So how does a person who wants to maintain their emuna and personal holiness manage to ever find a shidduch? I myself struggled with the same question, as I fought to maintain some shred of dignity through a process which is utterly degrading at times. The answer is simple, yet profound: Hashem will send you the right person, if only you cling to emuna and personal holiness! Yes, those same things that might seem like stumbling blocks are exactly the things that will bring you to your true goal. This is all a very difficult test in emuna, but if you choose to date with emuna, you will reap the rewards in this world, and the next.
I know that for you right now, you have to have emuna in what I just explained. I also had to believe with all my heart, and I am the first to admit that it was incredibly difficult to do! But for me, today - everything that was emuna then, is reality now. Today, Baruch Hashem, I'm now married to a wonderful, holy man – who was a much better shidduch than the ones any shadchan redt me.
Therefore, as someone who dated and then divorced, and then with Hashem’s mercy married happily, I want to share with you the three rules of dating with emuna, which enabled me to successfully wind my way through the maze. Everything I am going to explain, I learned the really hard and painful way, which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  I also have to thank the Melitzer Rebbetzin, as well as a few others who helped me with dating and research, because everything I share with you now, I learned from them.
These are the three rules of dating with emuna: 

Hashem is your shadchan.

Guard your personal holiness.

Be yourself.

G-d willing, in the rest of the series, we will explain each of these principles in depth.
To be continued




Rachel Avrahami grew up in Los Angeles, CA, USA in a far off valley where she was one of only a handful of Jews in a public high school of thousands. She found Hashem in the urban jungle of university. Rachel was privileged to read one of the first copies of The Garden of Emuna in English, and the rest, as they say, is history. She made Aliyah and immediately began working at Breslev Israel. 

Rachel is now the Editor of Breslev Israel's English website. She welcomes questions and comments to her email: rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il.





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