Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Frum Expectancies

One thing that always bothered me in the right-wing community is the fact that there are certain expectancies that come along with different milestones in life. Daughter getting married? You better be ready to fork up the $$ for a Chassan Shas. Getting married yourself? You better be ready to buy your fiance his Talis and his gold watch. Going to visit your son/daughter during their year in Israel? You better be willing to take all of his/her friends out for a meal.

I have no problem if a father-in-law wants to give his son-to-be a shas; or if a Kallah wants to buy her Chassan a Talis or watch; or if parents want to take people out to eat in Israel - that's all fine and great with me. The problem becomes that these things turn into expectancies to the point where people can view these things just as much a part of their rights as the First Amendment. These are not entitlements - they are privileges. Often in-laws/Kallahs/parents feel pressure to get these things from the expectant other party and may spend money that they may not want to spend, or money that just isn't there - all so that they can live up to that which is expected of them in their right-wing communities. To that I say: BOOOO!

End rant.

8 Comments:

Anonymous peninah said...

I agree with you 100%. I remember once someone talking to my mother told her that even before the wedding (which was a lot of money in itself) around $30K in jewelry/shas/watches/pearls/machzor/shabbos candles, et c. was exchanged between chosson and kallah/s family. You better believe that in most cases the chosson and kallah are not paying for these things. The worst is that so many parents can't afford these "extras" but know that their child (usually daughter) is so lucky to be getting married in this hard time of shidduchim that they'll happily go into debt to fulfill these "requirements". Ridiculous.

1:29 PM, December 27, 2006

 
Blogger AlanLaz said...

Amen.

A friend of mine told me that his Rosh Yeshiva forbade parents taking anyone else but their child out to eat because parents were coming and spending upwards of $500 because they were "expected to."

1:32 PM, December 27, 2006

 
Blogger nyfunnyman said...

interesting observation- but mind you this practice is pervasive, although not as much, in MO circles as well. but i agree with you in principle that this is rediculous.

if you think this situation is bad- in israel it is 10x worse for a number of reasons (there, boys who never did the army have not such a great chance of actually supporting themselves). fathers in law to be must buy there son in laws and daughter an apartment!!! i remember after i came back from israel there was a collection for one of our rabbeim so he could marry off his daughter. now i always thought this rebbe did ok for himself- he had a nice 4 bedroom apt. in har nof, seemed to dress pretty decently etc. when i found out he had to pay over $100,000 for an apt for his son- needless to say i was shocked

3:25 PM, December 27, 2006

 
Blogger BubbyT said...

I remember sitting with a bunch of teachers in school discussing this topic when another teacher and I (bubbies already) said: "we'd better go back to the yichud room and get our pearls, machzorim, etc!!" I don't think it was as prevalant in the past (30-40 years ago) as now. I do remember then it was the bedroom set that parents, inlaws bought, but again, it was not expected.

I remember my father was thrilled to get my hubby a shas, but that was more because he was finally getting a "son" after 2 daughters rather then it being expected (and truthfully, my hubby would much rather use his extensive artscroll set he bought, mesechta by mesechta, than the vilna set my father bought him!!)

3:50 PM, December 27, 2006

 
Blogger SaraK said...

I definitely agree. But parents have to take a stand. When my Mom came to visit me in Israel, she took a few of my friends out for ice cream, not dinner. The yichud room gifts are a special pet peeve of mine. I really don't see the point.

7:32 PM, December 27, 2006

 
Anonymous walletlaz said...

I feel a bit lighter these days.

10:42 AM, December 28, 2006

 
Blogger fashionista said...

Your comments made me so happy! I completely agree with you!

11:45 AM, December 28, 2006

 
Anonymous Greg said...

I was going to get you the traditional bottle of scotch on the birth of your first child, but I guess I wont do that now...

Seriously, what did PegLaz hit you up for? ;)

1:42 PM, December 28, 2006

 

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