Monday, January 15, 2007

The Chosen and Choices

Life as a Chassidic Jew is without doubt full of challenging restrictions. However, there are some very positive aspects to its lifestyle. To name one, openness to the unexpected. It creates for its people to a world of choices. As long as you abide to its rules, your future is yours to map. Go, do, live just as you want.Thus, the journey of my life has been full of unpredictable twists and turns. It’s been an adventure of ups and downs; the experiences all shaped by the choices I made. Here is my condensed dramatic autobiography:


The Unexpected

As a seventeen year old, three years into attending an all-girls high school, I decided not to pursue a college education. I was young and hot-headed, and on impulse, dropped out from my studies and picked up an employment offer at a fellow chasid’s modest business.

Work had little excitement for a young secretary like me, but relying on the income as I looked ahead at my lavish dreams, I touched-typed away. I made my way through the streets of Williamsburg ever morning, and I returned at five o’clock precisely. My days each resembled the next. I checked in each day for minimum wage and then used a fraction of that income to shop for designer European wear; as fine and modest clothing is the absolute product of my own taste. The rest of the gold-backed paycheck was stashed away for big times to come.

On one particularly foggy day, as I was walking home in my clockwork route, absent mindedly watching my feet upset the brown puddles lying lazily between sidewalk cracks, I made a detour in my usual route. I stopped by an aunt’s house per my mother’s request.

It was that very day, that very visit, that spontaneously changed my life. It threw my world of predictability into a disarray and hung a thick veil of mystery over my future. After that sudden detour, my trips to work would no longer be the same. There in my aunt's house, as I was sitting at her dinette, the doorbell rang. At the threshold stood a middle-age couple, behind them their son, a handsome young gentleman. His demeanor and attitude had me from the first minute. He looked down, shook with anxiety, and hardly acknowledged me. It was that moment that I knew I had found my soulmate.

In a spiral of unexpected events, what is a story in its own, the next seven months were consumed by an incredible romance. Despite my young age, our love developed something so much more, for instance, into a sparkling diamond ring, and soon I stood at the tall mirrors in Brodey’s Bridal shop, trying white dresses. I watched my own reflection, a glorified angel in endless tulle, and mulled over the irony. Me, married, hardly twenty.

I was looking over to the girl standing next to me, envying her better dress, when I realized I’d known her from school. What a coincidence, I gasped, amazed to see another one of us getting hitched.

“Oh, yeah” she said to me, while the seamstress fondled her shoulders. “We’re not the only ones.”

Much to my surprise, I found many other classmates bubbling between the racks. Some were donning tiaras, some trying on ridiculous off-color ill-fitted gowns, and others crying in their mother’s arms with anticipation.

What are the odds?!

Ironically, my fellow friends were all also locating in Brooklyn, NY, of all places. They too were marrying young chassidic scholars. They too held down secretarial jobs at small business owners. They too were absolutely in love.

They too, were making choices.

My eyes almost fell out of the sockets. What. The. Hell. Are. The. Odds??

Time went by, and I lost touch again. My husband and I decided to start a family immediately after the nuptials. Nine months hence, the baby was about to join us. We arrived to the hospital in the middle of the night, gasping for breath.

“The baby is coming” I stuttered, “cu-cu-coming, right this now!!”

The nurse looked up, nose high in air, and pointed her pencil to a chair. “Take a seat, ma’am.”

Dragging our bags to the waiting area, I nodded to the other much-overdue patients. I realized that many of them were women my age, and I’d gone to school with them. Only it was now that they sat back, drained of every ounce of strengths, as they stared into the ceiling like nothing mattered anymore.

“You all?” I gawked. “Having babies??”

“What then you think I’m doing here, like THIS?” an old friend looked at me, obviously ready to pop more with anger than with child.

I fell onto a bench and wondered about this wonderful life, a life so full of choices.

I WANT EPIDURAL!

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shpitzle: Thank you for answering, I'll wait for u to write them.

Reading this one, I wonder, going to college doesn't even cross a chasidishe girls mind, It's not an option. What happend to you that you even considerd going or not going on to higher education?

Anonymous said...

Shpitzle: sorry, that last anonymous post was from me Frumcouple@yahoo.com

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Alright, I knew I shouldn't experiment with sarcasm.

Lesson learned.

I never planned to go for a higher education, in case you thought that's even possible.

nuch a chosid said...

yeah... right... sure.... you fell in love and married the love of your life, and your father didn't kill you or himself

who is going to belive you anwyay

Chananiah Yom Tov Lipa said...

That handsome young gentleman must have been visiting in between semesters from SUNY/UTA Monroe Campus, where he was pursuing his Masters in Aramaic Literature...
And I'm sure that while you were at the bridal shop he was busy perusing geflochtene aturehs deciding how many inches to get...

Baal Habos said...

Shiptzle, nice story. I'm not sure what the underlying theme is though (because of the title). It sounds to me like you're happy with your life but disturbed at the similarity to other people. Well such is life in a closed cookie cutter society such as ours.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Nuch - Pun intended!

Okay, I should have known better... Can't a gal be sarcastic?

Guess my point got stuck somewhere between my head and my keyboard!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Chanya Yom Tov - Atta boy! lol!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

BHB - I am, and while I am happy with my life, I am deeply disturbed by the lack of choice it presents us with. Cookie cutter indeed.

JewishBiFemme said...

Girl, You act as if life is over or dreams in our chosen world does not exist.... DEAD WRONG LADY!

The moment I married I started living.Before that I thought getting hitched means suicide in our world...I was wrong cause having a soul mate, a child is a big enough purpose in life like we were taught from day one. Don't get me wrong. All the extras some in our world have I.E. career, education is a bonus despite the fact they are labeled different, gutsy, shiksa's.

Yes, we all graduate high school, work, get hitched, and then the little babies come poppin...But those little angels you give birth to get older and so do you..Who says we cant start a career or go back to school at 40? Most my friends did go to some sorta college like design, therapy,makeup,hair etc..I have heard of a chasidisha female lawyer....

You want to go thru 5 years of medical school? Single? The clock is ticking all you are left with is your books..OK who am I kidding I wouldn't mind LOL!!!!

So you got hitched at 17? That aint even legal (Oh I forgot with Torah you never ask questions) Got devirginized on your wedding night. What do you know a baby!!! Musta been hard on Yoelish..It aint to sexy getting sick the first nine months of marriage while pregnant I assume? Thank G-d I got to know my husband 8 months before all that...

Are you telling me those who dare take birth control, get an education, career, business or dare to dream about love, money, power,fame are UNCHOSEN?

Listen, Life in our world aint that bad..We sure are not of the lower class. We are way ahead from felker who don't have a G. E. D. at the age of 30, Have a dozen kids with many daddy's, All the drugs on weekends etc. while we have a beautiul tradition to keep...Be proud and stop kvetching..Or shall I say keep dreaming!!!

I think a lot of my friends are content just because their dreams of sex, rock & roll, or going to college at night (when the frum worlds asleep) while hubby babysits. Just bring out all the skeletons from the closet you will be surprised how different all our lives are in reality..Only from oiven un it looks like we all do the same thing as if programmed by aliens..

See you are already different you take drugs! Give up the epidural just hold on tight to the nurse and screammmmm....

Every time I comment they seem to get longer ::)

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

JBF - Every time you comment I get a bigger laugh!!! KFG! (Kohllering For Gelechter)!!!

JewishBiFemme said...

HUH? Vuz hub eich gezugt yetzed funny? Oh well glad I make you smile.....

I sure hope to g-d we aint related..WE are so in trouble LMAO!!!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

JBF - I agree with most of your comment, and it's very well said. But you ask:

Are you telling me those who dare take birth control, get an education, career, business or dare to dream about love, money, power,fame are UNCHOSEN?

If they do so publicly, yes.

Anonymous said...

Shpitzle: Girl friend, let me tell you, If you really want to pursue a degree, it can be done even while having little kids at home etc, and even a CHASIDISHE veibel. Your earning capability will triple, and above all, Simchas Hachayim will follow!
frumcouple@yahoo.com

Frumcouple said...

Test

JewishBiFemme said...

If they do so publicly, yes.

Then I am not surprised why MANY Rebel...Its hard enough living a true chasidish life let alone be freakin judged. By who you may ask? By those who are two faced who do it all under the table things even worse then those mentioned above!

AHH!!! Do not get me started!!!
So I make you laugh and you get my rebellious,frustrating side outta me! Its all good....

It's All Good Now said...

You want epidural from life? You want epidural so that you can tolerate all those choices?

Baal Habos said...

AH, True, it's a little better, but not much, for non Chassidish men. after all, how many Frum Marine biologists do you know.

On the flip side, it's sort of comforting to know that for most of us, what's really important, Family, is taken care of.

kasamba said...

Shpitz, you are something else!

The way you write, it's hard for me to believe you didn't have higher education!

Do you think there's any way you could find fulfilment as a chassidish woman?

Semgirl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Y.Y. said...

sad but you have more choices than u think

Anonymous said...

Great post! It took me a while, but I finally got your drift! How true, the choices that we make...

Then again, if I wouldn't make my 10-yr-old daughter go to school, she would never choose to go. Thank God she has wise parents making choices for her.

Maybe having somebody make those really important choices for us is not such a bad thing afer all.

Ex said...

Worst of it, the upbringing of NO CHOICE, makes you say NO to the CHOICEs you do have later on.

No fun intended...

Anonymous said...

Why isn't it? Isn't bechirah a most basic right? Nay, right. That's not even it. It's part and parcel with being human and having a neshomoh. Are we animals, that our path in life is bound by our birth to one specific species?

If you think you are incapable of making those "really important decisions" that only shows how misled you are that, as an adult, you lack the proper judgement and maturity to do so.

Veibelech still need their mothers to wipe their butts, and yingeleit know nothing about the world, and so the vicious cycle goes on.

Comparing the choices of a 10-year-old to that of an adult? Sheesh.

megapixel said...

I feel for you, you feel that you had no choice in you life decisions. But if you think about it- isnt this what you would have chosen, anyway, cuz you know its right deep down? Devoting your life to your family and having a family while you are still young enough to do it and your energy level is high?

chav said...

You write so well...

(And while we're on the subject, you can capitalize on that talent. What about a club for 6th to 8th grade girls on creative writing?)

I couldn't help but notice that, despite the fact that we are "worlds" apart (me living in Lakewood), I still think that the "choices" afforded to you in Williamsburg are the same we in mainstream Boro Park "got to make", albeit with slight twists.

And regarding the present, aren't we all just mothers training ur own children to do what we did all over again?

Okay, maybe in their own way, in their own style, but... yeah, I sure hope my daughter will be wheeling her own carriage down Clifton Ave. in the (not soooo far) future... but hopefully, she'll be doing it with an educated brain and not just because she "had" to.

Hoezentragerin said...

Shpiz,
I'm on a crusade in search for that elusive child. Can anybody help me?
All of us are living our lives for the sake of our children.

Our parents scraped and saved to marry us off, right? We got married, and now do the same. We have children and try to do what's right (or accepted as such) so that they too can do fine sheduchim, and shtel oif a yiddish shtib. These kids in turn will live the life, "for their children". The question begs; where is that child? Where is that child we have all sacrificed so much for?

Chaya said...

Shpitz, if you had to do it all over again...and this time you got to make your own choices....what would you do differently?
Would you put off marriage and children while you go to school and establish a career?
Look at the world around us. Do you really think others who choose the way they live their lives are happier or more fulfilled?
Me? I'm happy to have had some choices made for me, because I don't know that I would have been smart enough to make the right choices at 18.
GREAT writing, as usual! I like the sarcasm. And those who don't get it immediately figure it out eventually. Don't let that stop you. Your writing is far from cookie-cutter....Keep it that way!

Chananiah Yom Tov Lipa said...

Another very thought provoking post.

"Walking home on one particularly foggy day, watching my feet upset the brown puddles lying lazily between sidewalk cracks, I made a detour in my usual route and stopped by an aunt’s house per my mother’s request."
You sound like a Chassidish Harlequin Novel... ;)

The issue you raise is a frustrating one. Many of us grapple with that tension between our independence vs. fitting in to the community. Sometimes it seems like there are 2 types of Chassidim: the Robots, and the thinkers who deal with this issue. With some luck you _can_ strike a balance that satisfies our family/community but also brings the pleasure that we are paving our own path in life.
I don't believe that whoever wrote the "Shilchan Urech of Chassides/Satmer" were sadists, they have our best intentions for oilum hazeh and oilum habu in mind, as annoying as it is at times. And you can see the menichas haneifesh on the faces of eltere yidden who have lived an entire life of this, according the deirech of inzere heilige elteren.

Shpitz, Ich halt az daan blog is ingenious. Does Hubby realize that his Shpitzle ain't no ordinary Shpitzle? I'll bet he had no clue you weren't the standard issue p'tcha poppin' yiddene.

Baal Devarim said...

Shpitzle:
"this wonderful life, a life so full of choices."

Too many choices. We need some new restrictions.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Frumcouple Test completed. You can now come out of your cloak of anonymity…

JBF Not many rebel from the way I see things. Many however live there life being dragged by the current. It’s not healthy.

IA GN What do you do when you have pain but can’t do anything about it ;^) …

BHB It is quiet surprising to learn how limited the frum too are. Call me Stupid. I didn’t know.
But while you’re right that family is taken care of, a wonderful byproduct of this life, I recently started to learn that God comes first and then follows family. This priority list dose NOT take care of family as well as it seems from the surface.

Kasamba Thanksa Loadsa, but I’m not kidding myself. My educational horizon is written all over my blog.
I do think I can find fulfillment as a Chassidic woman, or at least I’d whine less, if I can loss some restrictions. Talk to my mister please! (You’ll need to know CPR)

Semgirl I wasn’t sure if it was alright that I publish your comment due to the specific info… :?) (note advanced usage of keyboardfaces…)

YY “sad but you have more choices than u think” Like, for example ________?

Anon Anon – Anon after you has said it very well but I will just add this: There is a misconception in the Stepford World that you should rather not make any choices, neither right nor wrong, than ever goof at all. We have such an enormous fear of faltering, of going the wrong way, that we don’t trust ourselves to go anywhere at all. The better person we become is the result of the mistakes we’ve made.
“We’re human”. That’s our name…

Ex Well said!

Mexapixel I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the lovely family I have, all the children of Choiceless, but I feel that good luck is a large factor. I do not feel comfortable setting my children up for such a life, picking them a mate and having them have children every other year from the 20. It’s a template life that might fit some, but does not fit all.
Why does our world have to be so perfect? Why can’t someone choose to be single longer, have less children, end a marriage when necessary, etc?

Chav Okay, girls. Creative writing session begins now. (what do I do now???)
I can’t believe I just passed on this offer with a snap. Used to be a day that teaching was the dream of my being…
And it seems, despite the fact that you want all the sweet things in life for your daughter, that you’re leaving some space for her to have a say in it. There’s a substantial difference between us and her then!

Hoezentragerin One thing I know for sure, I’m not that child! Yes, it does seem like an endless cycle, each generation sacrifing itself for the next. What a world!

Chaya It’s not always about happiness. It’s about being a person in your own right. There are many people I know that would go back and NOT do it all over again.

Not to hunk my own horn (sarcasm alert! Sarcasm alert!) but this post was published a little raw. Now c’mon folks. Say something nice. I’m begging not-so-subtly.

Ch”YL Zull Inz Bayshteyn “…Harlequin Novel” It’s not nice to make fun of other people in front of them ;)!
As for the big question – how my husband adjusts to an odd duckling he married, I’ll just say he had no idea he’ll be through so many Tylenol bottles in one lifetime..

BD . Alright, you knew this is coming. What does it say?

Chananiah Yom Tov Lipa said...

S'iz shver tzizaan a yeed, ober s'iz noch shverer tzizaan a yeedene.
The Litvish have fewer choices in some ways. I know many guys that would/should go out to work, both single and married. But they can't either because of Shiddichim or because it's a shanda, it doesn't "pass" and their family will disown them or look at them as a lowly peon baalabus. And how many livishe girls are not really interested in raising 12 kids, plus being a housewife, while pregnant/nursing, while bringing in an income. One of the maales of Chassidim is that you can be a baalabus or even a (baala)bus-driver and still be a ganz finer yeed, and there _are_ choices in that realm. And women are not expected to bear the weight of all the household responsibilities (minus learning).

Frumcouple said...

Shpitzle: How naïve were you at age of 17?
Did u already know about the birds and the bees?
I know that I’ve asked u this B4, u said that were are afraid to answer, b/c it may reveal your identity. I don’t think that it would.

It's All Good Now said...

Shpitzle, to put it bluntly, I bitch and moan and rant and rave and blow. Oy bin eech git at blowing. I reinvented the genre of blowers (NO!! not BLOW JOBS) just plain good old fashioned blowing. And then there's the pain that requires a proactive reaction in order to erase it or replace it with something else. M'get zeech an aytzah.

Leapa said...

Shpitz, your stuff gets better and better the more I mull it over.

Our society can use an epidural!

Pantslady, the Kotzker already said it ("Ich vart auf der richtiger kind")

Shpitz, I think we need to know going in if this is rip roaring side splittin Red Skelton parody, or ever-so-subtle. Then we'll know whether you were so unconventional as to think of college (which perhaps you should consider).

You have to learn to wink going in! (You can delete the previous paragraph if you want to)

the only way i know said...

Hmmm
don't know the answer to that one.. except to fulfill yourself in as many ways as possible..
just as so many of us are doing who are restricted by one thing or another..whether it be level of religion, finances, limited education and more...
I think there is alot to be gained even in restrictive circumstances (which I can relate to, btw.. being that the community in which I live is very much like Williamsburg).. but one has to make an effort to reach out and stretch the limits to the utmost. Know how far you can reach and go for it.
Good Luck

Shtreimel said...

Damn, you're good.

Too bad that you had to kill it by explaining it. 'Twas a nachas to read--every word.

Won't compliment again, lest some get the wrong idea that I'm drooling...

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Shpitzle, as always a literary masterpiece. I especially appreciate the human aspect of it.

Tichel said...

Shpitzle, you forgot to mention the class reunion at the kimpeturim heim.

Also A Chussid said...

Your posts are deliciously refreshing…

Onto the topic at hand.

From reading your blog and other chasidishe blogs (perhaps that same classmate you met in the maternity ward is one of the blogs you link to, who knows?) one can only reckon that we do indeed have choices. Maybe it’s the epidural that did it…

ex said...

Shpitz,

its Shovevim!!!!! NU!!!!!

Baal Devarim said...

Shpitzle:
"What does it say?"

Oh well, I was hoping for someone else to do the honors. I guess you chose not to take that class on "foreign" languages as well.

Like your post, it's a superb work of biting sarcasm. (I am astounded that some didn't get the point of your post, by the way. When I read it, the caustic sarcasm practically dripped off the screen and almost melted my keyboard.)

Anyway, here is what is says, in essence (very difficult to get the full effect of the original Hebrew in English):

It starts with a polemic against the new group calling themselves "scientists," whose single goal is to destroy our emunah. Therefore, we need to let everyone know that if we see olam k'minhago noheg (the world works in its natural way), it is only a minhag shtus. Furthermore, chukos ha'tevah (natural laws) are chukos ha'goy, and we shouldn't concern ourselves with it.

This leads to many practical halachic considerations. A few examples:

As the Shvus Yankev shows, it is quite clear from chazal that the world is flat, not spherical like a ball. All who fly airplanes around the world and rely on the scientists against chazal need to take drastic measures while in the airplane and pray for a yeshuah from the terrible sakanah they are in due to this error.

Time zones are also against the gemara that says that all the (difference in) the settled world is only one hour. Therefore it is advised that anyone in Jerusalem who calls (but not on a colored screen cell phone ch"v) Williamsburg in the early hours of the morning (Israel time) should never accept the excuse that the person is still sleeping due to the time difference, but should urge them to get up.

Nobody should use any balls with a circumference more than exactly three times its diameter, as is mentioned in Eruvin and in tosfos there that this calculation is EXACT. We are much disturbed to hear that there are those who claim that measurement shows pi to be more than three. Woe to the eyes that see this. Though we can answer this by saying that they had different circles and also that nishtaneh hatevah of circles, still the pious should refrain from using anything circular so as not to give an excuse to the scoffers.

Lastly, we implore all teachers to refrain from teaching children how to count to more than forty nine, and certainly refrain from teaching them other secular knowledge like addition and subtraction, since we know that aveiroh goreres aveiroh and this will lead to teaching them the multiplication table R"L and who knows what else.

Signed.
(There's a final quip about m'tzitzah b'peh that I'll leave for others to translate.)

Anonymous said...

CYL, you're a heck of a dude. Thank you for your clear and level-headed insights. Since childrearing and housekeeping are considered "natural" (instinctual) for a woman, most chassidim think that men have it much harder. After all, they bring parnassah. But IMO, being a chassidishe woman, being so limited and disempowered in choices, the fear of being ostracized at slight signs of rebellion, having to be squeezed so tightly into the role of mother to many and housekeeper to husband almost regardless of her brains and talent, makes it much harder and more draining on chassidishe women.

Anonymous said...

Men have it easier then women. It is easy to have a 9-5 job then come home and be served. Women have a 24 hour job that is highly under appreciated. Nobody serves us we have to take care of ourselves.

shlomohamelech said...

I just hope to see your second-generation of shpitzle.blogspot complain about her choices. It will probabley be just a copy of this one. It will be a reffresher, though.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

CYL – Frankly, I don’t understand how this is allowed in Lakewood. A woman his not supposed to earn the income, human-wise and Torah-wise.



Frumcouple – Some other time.



IA GN – Lol! I Blog!



Leapa – Thanks for comin’ by again. I know it seems like I’m complaining to no end, but while the fundamental issue bothers me, I don’t need many choices really for many fancy things in life like college. I’m a lazy turtle anyway.



The Only way – Well, there, there’s just one way, hu? Nice advice, and I guess having a blog says I’m doing that already.



Shtreimel – Oish, do I have to explain now why I explained myself? I was born like this, don’t blame me.



Anon – Exactly. Unfortunately, or rather, fortunately, many end up finding sanctity in the duties of housekeeping. You know how the saying goes, pain = gain….



IFT – shkoyach!



Tichel – Well, the story goes on, and on. There’s a whole lifetime of coincidences.



AAC – I knew if children come out of epidural there must be more where that came from! Ch-o-i-c-e-s! Aha!!



Ex – Want to do a guest drusha?



BD – I get the schar for making you learn this whole blatt mussar on my blog. Phew, I’m like, a rebbetzin now…

Oh, it’s too good. You do know however that these restrictions are not new. Damn, I think we ran out of restrictions.



Anon – Some women don’t take the 24 hour job with both hands. Despite the teachings you’ve had to the contrary, I’d like to advise you that you can buy dinner twice a week. Or eat the chullent from shabbos Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Nobody but the women alone took it upon themselves to turn mothering into this impossible charade.



King Sal – Oh good lord! Was my mother here?!!

Hey, don’t act as if I’m yelling fire in a crowded theater. You know full well what I’m talking about. Everyone is affected by the lack of choice on one level or another. The extent we should be able to make choices is another topic of discussion. Many restrictions in our lives have nothing to do with our religion.

Semgirl said...

Wow, Shpitz you are so incredibly naive.Not only is it allowed in Lakewood, its strongly encouraged to the point that you cant find a Shidduch if you aren't aggressively looking for that. After marriage many couples, find that after a year or two they cant manage and the husb nebach has to go to work. But for a single girl to advocate against supporting her husband in the beginning she is basically ostracized..

Chananiah Yom Tov Lipa said...

Watch out SemGirl, no messin' with Shpitz! She will zap you with her Sarcasm gun, or worse, the dreaded Double-Entendre bomb!!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Semgirl -I know of it. My husband was also in kollel for a few years. That's how I contracted feminisilitos. It's a condition that can result of being being pregnant, mothering, housecleaning and earning a living at the same time.

Chanya, Chanaya... You are one dude indeed.
(what'd double entendre?)

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Fifty!! (huff, puff, huff, puff! I can't believe I made it to the finish line!)

cafe_28 said...

Shpitzle, absolutely wonderful post, and exactly my thoughts!! I related to every single word you wrote.

I am very disturbed by the mentality we live in. Why is it that because I was born in Williamsburg, I have to fit the mold that is Williamsburg. Why can't we choose our own lives??

The issue I have the biggest problem with is the kids. I see no reason why birth control should not be given to a woman who knows that she can't handle a child a year after her wedding??? All they accomplish is the mother resenting the child and her situation, when she could've pushed off that pregnancy for another few months, and given birth happily?!

I will never, ever understand the people who refuse, or are not allowed by their husband/parents/dayanim/rabbanim to take birth control. I absolutely don't think that G-d wants us to have so many kids.

How the hell does an average woman, not one blessed with extraordinary patience and capabilities, raise so many and care for so many kids?? The usual answer is that they simply don't, and that's why you see so many not disciplined kids around these days. (Even if the rabbis wanna blame it on 'the doros fallen')

We live in a retarded society, and I think that all the fanatic 'lawmakers' will one day burn in hell. This is not what Judaism is about!!

Skeleton said...

Cafe28-I see no reason why birth control should not be given to a woman who knows that she can't handle a child a year after her wedding???

Can you see a reason why it should? Keep it halachic, please. And provide sources.

Chananiah Yom Tov Lipa said...

I have heard that there are poskim that allow birth control during first year of marriage, and after a child. A smart Dayan/Poisek will know how to balance the mitzvah of Piryeh V'Rivyeh, etc. with maintaining the mother's sanity. It shouldn't be one of those "one psak fits all" kind of things. What good is having many kids if the mom is on the brink of a mental collapse?
(Especially since today's birth control is different that it was in the amulike tzaaten, kik araan in die poskim, ayen yoiser shom, וד״ל)

Skeleton said...

Allowing use of birth control after a child is more common, but few right-wing poskim (chassidish or yeshivish) will allow it otherwise, although it is commonly allowed (or rather, strongly encouraged) in MO circles for shanah rishonah.

R' Hershel Schachter authored this http://www.jofa.org/pdf/Batch%201/0054.pdf. He is right-wing MO, yet discourages birth control as a blanket thing if the couple has no children yet.

CYL, contraception amuhl was not that different from today. We are not talking about chet onan (coitus interrruptus) which is forbidden m'doraisa. Oral contraceptives (kos shel ikrim) and barrier methods (a moch) are mentioned in the gemara as two types of contraceptives that were allowed and used.

IMO, it's rishus or fanaticism that won't give a heter to a woman with child(ren), but as much as I'd like it, from an emotional point of view, for birth control to be used by newlyweds, I can't see it happening with any of our poskim.

Lakewood Venter said...

Great post once again!!!

Leapa said...

If you're such a laze, why do you write?

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

I was tied up and didn't get around to comment on the birth control subject. I guess there's much to discuss there...

Leapa, good questions. I am very afraid of boredome. One day soon it'll probably come and bore me out of writing...

nuch a chosid said...

(Cafe28-I see no reason why birth control should not be given to a woman who knows that she can't handle a child a year after her wedding???)

who says it can't be given??
butwho says she can't handle?

see, that's the point.

A Ruv will listen carefully to you and will approve the use of (certain) birth control in cases where he finds it necessary, there is clear halocha on this, and many many are taking birth control by a ruv's advise.

actually a ruv with the proper expiriance, will even offer it and advise you to take a break, without u asking him, in cases when he'll see that this is what needs to be done,

But still not every one who just thinks i need a break, because why not is ok and approved according to halocha.

ad yet plenty of the most frum people do take birth control without the advice of a ruv too.

Skeleton said...

Nuch-a-chusid - Except for very exception circumstances, no chassidishe or litvishe rav will allow a couple to use birth control before having any children, just because they don't want to.