May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Kol Ditzrich Yeisei V’yiphsach: The Open Invitation

The opening paragraph of Maggid begins with an invitation to all those who are in need, to come join our seder. For those who have ever been told to “call whenever you need a meal,” this line of the Haggadah brings up a lot of emotion.

About a year and a half ago, Rabbi David Bashevkin on The 18Forty Podcast featured the topic of Romance and Commitment and highlighted the singles’ story. He interviewed Channah Cohen about the Shidduch Crisis and later highlighted the topic again in Listener Questions. One of the takeaways for me was the focus on loneliness and needing to make Shabbos plans every week.

As an older single this is extremely triggering. While I am lucky to have loving parents who are happy to have me home each week, I yearn so much to be with those my age. Unfortunately, there is a barrier, as they are married and I am not. Why is this so? I’m really not sure. The Teaneck apartments community is situated in a way that it should allow for invitations all over town, due to its central location, however this does not seem to be happening. Time and time again I am told I can “call when I need a meal,” but this puts me in an extremely vulnerable position.

You may think it selfish of me to expect an invitation, however the Torah implores us many times to take care of the widow, orphan and convert, to look out for those who may be forgotten. And yet there continues to be a forgotten group within our community. Baruch Hashem our community has made strides, with ads in the newspaper and organizations that support these forgotten groups, but we need to do more.

All I am asking is for those who are married to try a little harder, to invite one person. When you are getting together with friends from camp or high school, realize that there are others who were there with you who are not yet married who may appreciate an invite as well. Just because they don’t live in your building doesn’t mean they wouldn’t walk over on a nice Shabbos day.

We feel stuck; while you are buying houses, we are still living in our parents’ homes. While you are picking shuls and communities, we are still going to the ones in which we grew up. Allow us to be a part of the club, because even though we may not have spouses and children to bring along, we still want stimulating conversations with our peers. I understand that it may be easier for you to extend the open invitation, but, for a moment, please consider the sensitivity that Hashem asks of us when caring for those less fortunate. We did not choose this life path and by not inviting us we feel alienated even more.

Between Pesach and Shavuos, as we aim to work on our respect for others and relationships bein adam l’chaveiro, I ask that you extend one invitation to someone who is not yet married. You may be surprised at the impact it makes and perhaps through this we may merit l’shana habah b’arah d’Yisrael.

Name Withheld Upon Request

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