Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oy America

A posting on another blog about the sad existence that many younger brothers and sisters have when parents are busy with older siblings who are in shidduchim reminded me of a story my mother often told us as children.

A family in Europe was preparing to emigrate to the United States. The mother was super busy in trying to pack things up and decide what to take and what to leave behind. Her children came to her and said: "Mamma, mir vellen mit epis spielen." (We want to play with something.) The mother answered: "Vest shoin spielen in America." (You'll play when we get to America.)

A little later the children again came to her: "Mamma, mir villen geyin shluffin." (We want to go to sleep.) The harried mother answered: "Vest shoin shluffin in America." (You'll sleep in America.)

So it went with all the children's requests. Finally the crestfallen little children came to their mother and said: "Mamma, mir zenen hingerick." (We're hungry!) And the mother, busy with a million details of the move, distractedly said: "Vest shoin essen in America!" (You'll eat in America.)

My mother used this story to teach us about balance in our lives, balance between today and tomorrow, between what we need to do now and what we need to do for the future. Certainly when it comes to shidduchim, every one in a family needs to realize that it is not only the sibling going out who is affected by the "matzav" in the house. Singles looking to get married need to look at the affect of this on their siblings, and siblings need to see that some attention needs to be paid to the older child. And parents need to play a finely honed balancing game among all their children.

Somewhere, somehow, our job is to find the "shvil zahav," the "golden mean." Otherwise my mother's story is going to end with "Vest shoin leiben in America." (You'll first live in America.)

3 comments:

nowaynever said...

When you go through the craziness of the shidduch scene with a bunch of your brothers and sisters who are older then you it takes away from the excitement when you finally get into the parshah. You feel like you've already been there so many times that you just want to get married and avoid it all.

I love my sibs but I could have used a little less of all the craziness in the house. There was just plain no time for my parents to sit down and talk with me about important things like what I was going to major in in college or what my feelings were on things.

SuperRaizy said...

It's really unfortunate thst going out on Shidduch dates often causes such "craziness" in the house. The anxiety is ridiculous. I think that families need to calm down and realize that most boys and girls do find their bashert at some point-some a little earlier, some a little later. There's no need to stress out the whole family about it.

Shana said...

We were all looking forward to my brother's getting into shidduchim. We thought it would be fun. Boy did we learn. I'm happy I was in sem for most of it because even a little of the tumult was too much. Now my second brother is in it. Wonder if I could leave for sem for the second time?