Dear Baila,

I have written to you a few times before. I am compelled to write again in regard to the Dating Forum. Bravo! Absolutely the correct responses on every issue and overall.

letters to the editor

Not to be too glib about it, but we in the Orthodox Jewish community (and that includes the entire range from “very modern,” as the phrase goes, to yeshivish and chassidish) have a difficult balancing act. In secular society, adults meet, marry, and decide where and how to live and build their lives and families largely on their own without any significant parental involvement, except, perhaps, for visits once or twice a year. Our children marry at relatively young ages, often while still financially and even emotionally dependent on their parents, and close lifetime connections with families are the expected norm in all but the most unusual circumstances. The benefits may outweigh the detriments (although I do not believe that’s always the case, so the pressure to conform needs a safety valve, which is a separate subject), but in order to create the best circumstances for that to be true, it is incumbent upon children to take responsibility for their own lives and choices as soon and as thoroughly as possible and upon parents not to overstep the bounds of the minimum necessary involvement into the realm of control or manipulation.

Just so that you know where I’m coming from, and as full disclosure, all but one of my children are married. Some met their wives in college and got married afterwards, while others were introduced by friends after college. All have been financially self-sufficient starting with their first jobs in the fall after their college graduations.


Editor’s Note:

Though the Five Towns Jewish Times prefers not featuring unsigned letters, we understand that some topics are particularly sensitive. To that end, we require that we know who the letter writer is. Then we will decide if the letter writer’s request for anonymity is acceptable to our editors. We welcome your comments and submissions at


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