Sunday, January 14, 2007

Self-Centered Much?

Last week, a woman wrote a letter to the Yated comparing her son who had been rejected from multiple Yeshivos to a child who had been diagnosed with cancer, R"L.

The woman complained that when a child is diagnosed, people offer to help in any which way possible, they daven, they try to talk to people, whatever it was. And when her son wasn't accepted into any Yeshiva, she was did not receive the same treatment.

I don't mean to minimize the first woman's problems...well, actually I do. When I read her letter, I thought, "GET A GRIP, WOMAN!" There was an episode of Seinfeld where some guy pretended to have cancer. I think that was completely inappropriate and uncalled for. As was this woman's comparison of something so fleeting, something that might be resolved with some inconvenience and hardship, to something life-threatening.

I've already discussed the whole accepting boys into Yeshivos already, and I don't care to revisit it. But if anyone sees the connection between that woman's problem, and a woman whose child is ill, please enlighten me.

A woman wrote a letter this past week in response to the woman who complained about her son not getting into Yeshiva. My eyes welled up with tears as she graphically described the hardship that she and her family endure daily with the child who is ill. This woman doesn't know if she will be able to see her son alive tomorrow. Her very own precious child is weak, in pain, and there is nothing she can do about it. She can daven, she can talk to doctors, whatever. But what it comes down to is, no begging, no money, nothing, can guarantee her son's longevity. She recommended this woman volunteer at a hospital for just a few hours to see what real pain is, and to thank G-d every day for her son's health.

Similary, a few months ago, a single young woman in her early twenties compared her plight to a woman who was unable to conceive a child.

What is with these people? I mean, we all have Nisyonos. We all go through hard times. But they are different. Why would anyone try to compare theirs with someone else's?

I was on the phone with a friend one day, and we were venting about shidduchim and the usual. She spotted an individual. I thought the phone went dead. "Oh, my Gosh, Michelle. I feel SOOOO stupid," she said after a minute. She described the scene, which is painful to describe, and I blushed. I felt "SOOOO stupid," too.

I'm not saying that those who are healthy have no right to complain about their challenges in life.Everyone has a right to vent, and to be frustrated at "minor inconveniences" in life. I just think that people should leave illness out of the picture when describing emotional plight. If the kid can't get into Yeshiva, that is nothing, and I mean nothing, like dealing with a child who is ill!!

I wish this woman a Refuah Shelema for her son, and I applaud her for her strength and Bitachon, and for her strong words, which hopefully made the first woman feel, well, at least a little bit stupid.

May we all be Zocheh to good health for us and all of our children, and a yeshua from all of our Tzaros, B'mHeira BeYameinu. (Amen.)

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26 Comments:

At 1/14/2007 3:44 PM, Blogger Independent Frum Thinker said...

It may be true that one person’s plight may be worse than someone else’s. But that should never absolve us of our duty to help anyone. Even if in our eyes it may seem trivial, to the person experiencing it, it is so much more.

 
At 1/14/2007 5:42 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

good point. I just feel that people shouldn't compare their nisyonot to those that are completely unrelated to theirs.

 
At 1/14/2007 8:11 PM, Blogger SaraK said...

I agree, Michelle. I think it's a real chutzpah for someone to compare nisyonot. Every person's challenges are tailor made for him/her. G-d doesn't hand out nisyonot for everyone to compare. Deal with the hand you are dealt.

 
At 1/14/2007 9:03 PM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

wow thats terrible..so sad for poele going thru real harships to have to see the insensitivity of others..

 
At 1/14/2007 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm cynical about yeshivas, so to me at least not being accepted into a yeshiva isn't a big deal at all. In fact I have to wonder if the mother was concerned more about her own feelings than about the boy's welfare.

There had to be a reason the boy wasn't accepted at any yeshiva. Maybe he isn't cut out for it. Maybe there's something else. So this could be a blessing in disguise.

Ichabod Chrain (formerly Another Anon)

 
At 1/15/2007 7:17 AM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

rename your blog to weekly yated review

 
At 1/16/2007 5:01 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

You are very right with what you said but its all relative to that person at that time. Without health there is nothing. Health comes first and the pain of an ill child in inconceivable to most of us until we experience it. The pain I felt when my mother passed was a pain I did not know existed. Now, when someone tells me their loved one passed, I immediately cry my eyes out, knowing and relating to such pain. Thats why I say it is relative to the situation. Actually..thank goodness, the mother of the boy who didn't get into a particular yeshiva should say..Thank goodness if this is the worst of our problems!

 
At 1/16/2007 4:33 PM, Anonymous rosie said...

I haven't read the letter. However, I understand from you writing that the woman wasn't saying that her problem was as severe as having an ill child. Rather, the vast differences in people helping out and caring.
Just keep in mind that when a frum teenage boy/girl is not accepted to a school it is a big deal. But most people don't seem to care. Then you have all these wonderful frum adults lamenting the at risk kids problems etc...
Your blog has become whiny, why don't you write about something else for a change?
And please respond with something more intellectual than 'you don't have to read'.

 
At 1/16/2007 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't understand Y.Y's point or last part of Rosie's comment. Anyway, your blog's not whiny. You're complaining about what others put in print. That's legitimate.

Ichabod Chrain

 
At 1/17/2007 10:21 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Chrain--Thanks :-)

 
At 1/17/2007 12:08 PM, Blogger nuch a chosid said...

To copmare the 2 is ridicilous, and she obioisly has no idea what the 2'nd one is hashem yerachem.

but..

The letter writer has a point,

There is a certain weekness in our hearts to people in despair.

we would all be ready to help the poor widow with her family of 12, but when the widow actually has a husband, hmmm.... we woudnt rally care so much

or would we?

 
At 1/17/2007 2:03 PM, Anonymous megapixel said...

I have noticed that there are some causes that become "popular", ex. Bonei Olam. Chai Lifeline. these kinds of problems tug at people's heartstrings. If a kid doesnt get into yeshiva, people a- dont want to discuss it, it's embarrassing you want to hide the fact from your friends. b- maybe they figure there was a reason the kid didnt get accepted, its the kid's fault. In any case, the worse the tzara the more sympathy you get the more offers of help you get etc.

 
At 1/17/2007 2:29 PM, Anonymous sima rivlin said...

omg just last week my friend came into school with this article her sister in law wrote in response to the cancer/yeshiva comparison and she sed it might be published this week. so it really was! id ask u if the author was named shevie but maybe she withdrew her name anyway this is really funny i gotta go tell liza!

 
At 1/19/2007 8:11 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Michelle, this is without your most meaningful and heartfelt post I ever read on your blog.. Couldnt agree with you more.

 
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