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Author Topic: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
Avigail

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Post Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 10:20 AM

So I was thinking again about marrying Donny 😉 How it seems like a lot of girls ideal would be a worker who takes his learning very seriously. But then feigy123 says that there is no such thing.
So I was thinking what about looking into marrying a Baal Teshuva? Yup you heard me right. See a Baal Teshuvah took his yidishkeit so seriously that he abandoned his whole lifestyle for Yidishkeit! Baalei Teshuvah in general also have a good education so even if they decide to learn for a few years as soon as the going gets tough they could easily get a job.
My Sister actually dated a Bal Teshuva for a loong time and that's exactly what it was like.
Of course they aren't going to be so much a "go with the flow" type of guys, they will likely be very much their own type of person, but for some people that's just what they are looking for.
What do you all think?

rosepetal5

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 10:45 AM

I think first of all we shouldn't make any generalizations, especially when it comes to Baalei Teshuva. People come to be frum in so many different ways, at different stages of life. So there's no way to say that a Baalei Teshuva has a good education, or that they'll be "their own type of person."

personally, I see no problem in dating a Baalei Teshuva. It's likely they'll have very different experiences, and maybe more life experience, and I like that. As long as they're dedicated to being a Frum Jew, it doesn't really matter where they came from - at least to me.

That said, I honestly don't know how many Baalei Teshuva sit and learn. It can be hard to do that if they are new to the Hebrew language and system of learning in Yeshivos.

Bracha

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 10:49 AM

I once heard that the reason Rachel wanted to marry Rabbi Akiva and not somebody else who was already a Talmid Chocham was because she wanted the Zchus of makinf somebody from a nobody to a somebody.

patcha

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 10:58 AM

communicating in marriage is challenging enough without davka starting with someone from a different background than you.

Bracha: Something bothers me about that reason. So she thought her husband was a nobody when she married him?! I can't accept that.

rosepetal5

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 11:12 AM

I also take issue with that reason for marrying Rabbi Akiva. One should never go into a marriage expecting to change their spouse.
I thought one of the reasons she married him because she saw his inherent greatness.
To say she specifically wanted Zchus for changing a person makes her sound sort of self involved. I don't think it makes much sense.

Bracha

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 11:45 AM

Quote from patcha on May 31, 2013, 10:58 AM
Bracha: Something bothers me about that reason. So she thought her husband was a nobody when she married him?! I can't accept that.

Well she know he had potential. I think that's part of the story that she saw his good midos. But she wanted somebody who would have been a nobody w/o her.

One should never go into a marriage expecting to change their spouse.
She only married him on condition that he would go to yeshiva so she really changed him before she got married. Know what I mean?

rosepetal5

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 11:49 AM

I don't know, it still doesn't sound right. "She wanted someone who would have been a nobody without her"?????
That's sounds more abusive than anything else.
I think we may be missing some pertinent information.
But even so, Rabbi Akiva was on a level that we can't really comprehend. What about now? What about the Baalei Teshuvas of our world?

in the gap

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 1:23 PM

Quote from rosepetal5 on May 31, 2013, 11:49 AM
I don't know, it still doesn't sound right. "She wanted someone who would have been a nobody without her"?????
That's sounds more abusive than anything else.
I think we may be missing some pertinent information.
But even so, Rabbi Akiva was on a level that we can't really comprehend. What about now? What about the Baalei Teshuvas of our world?

I think that what it means is that when weighing if it would be a good option she factored in the fact that she would get a huge zechus for marrying him. Not necessarily that she wanted to change him, but that she realised that he was going to change and if it would take place while she was married to him then she would get some of the zechus. She wasn't looking to change him, only to be there when he changed.
In terms of baalei teshuva nowadays, i think it really depends on what you are looking for. If they are completely removed from the experiences of their past then it is probably fine, however, most of them still do things that most FFBs won't do like watching movies, etc. Also, a huge factor is how long ago/how old they were when they became Frum. There is a huge difference there, and if it was a awhole family or just the one boy.

rosepetal5

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 1:59 PM


In terms of baalei teshuva nowadays, i think it really depends on what you are looking for. If they are completely removed from the experiences of their past then it is probably fine, however, most of them still do things that most FFBs won't do like watching movies, etc. Also, a huge factor is how long ago/how old they were when they became Frum. There is a huge difference there, and if it was a awhole family or just the one boy.

On the contrary, there are many FFBs who watch movies. Maybe not in the extremely Yeshivish world, but there are many, many Frum people who watch movies.

I also don't think being removed from their past experiences is a good thing. As long as they are committed to serving Hashem and keeping the Torah, they shouldn't give up their past experiences, rather learn from them.

Do you know a lot of Baalei Teshuva?

feigy123

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 2:15 PM

What do you think rachel would have done if rabi akiva had gone to yeshiva for a year and then come back as still an am haaretz and said it was too hard and he hated it and couldn't do it.

patcha

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 2:44 PM

This interpretation of Rachel and Rabi Akiva always bothered me. I'm going to want my husband to enjoy being at home and not leave me for 24 years to live alone in poverty and to be made fun of by the neighbors. I never understood teachers making this an ideal.
Maybe I am just not on a high enough spiritual level, but think about it Bracha - would you really be happy with such an arrangement?

rosepetal5

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 2:54 PM

Patcha, I agree that this is a very unusual arrangement. I really think that we just can't understand it, on the the level that any of us are on.
I also agree that something about this just doesn't sit right, which makes me think we're missing some crucial information.

feigy123

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 3:04 PM

Quote from patcha on May 31, 2013, 2:44 PM
This interpretation of Rachel and Rabi Akiva always bothered me. I'm going to want my husband to enjoy being at home and not leave me for 24 years to live alone in poverty and to be made fun of by the neighbors. I never understood teachers making this an ideal.
Maybe I am just not on a high enough spiritual level, but think about it Bracha - would you really be happy with such an arrangement?

lol, good point.

Rachel and rabi akiva clearly had a very strange relationship. That was the neighbor's point.

I wonder if the fact that they were involved in this joint venture allowed them to feel an emotional closeness even though they didn't see one another for 24 years. Who knows.

basmelech

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 3:07 PM

Quote from Bracha on May 31, 2013, 10:49 AM
I once heard that the reason Rachel wanted to marry Rabbi Akiva and not somebody else who was already a Talmid Chocham was because she wanted the Zchus of makinf somebody from a nobody to a somebody.

I would like to point out something since people are confused as to what you were trying to say Bracha. Rachel wanted to marry Rabbi Akiva because she saw the potential in him and felt that she could be the one that could bring it out in him. She realized that he was someone special and that nobody else realized the same. She was a tzadeikes and was willing to give up a lot to help him become special. She gave up money, her family and a young scholarly husband for a poor shepherd. I dont think she did all that for a zechus for herself, but rather it was completely leshem shamayim. Hope I clarified this a bit. 🙂

And another similar example its the same with Rus. She gave up being a princess with all the benefits that come along with it. She wanted to be there for Naomi. And part of her reward in this world is Dovid hamelech and iy"H very soon Moshiach!!

These two special woman did what they did not for their own benefit but 100% leshem shamayim! They were therefore zoche to have a 1)husband who is a tzaddik 2) Dovid hamelech and Moshiach
😀

rosepetal5

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 3:10 PM

Basmelech, that makes a lot more sense!

basmelech

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 3:27 PM

Im so happy to hear that! 🙂 When we do things leshem shamayim from an emotionally healthy place, to the best of our ability, we are zoche to receive H-shem's special gifts, which are the best most bountiful gifts possible!! 😀

rosepetal5

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 3:43 PM

Okay, so now that we've cleared that up, what about the original question?

Quote from Avigail on May 31, 2013, 10:20 AM
So I was thinking again about marrying Donny 😉 How it seems like a lot of girls ideal would be a worker who takes his learning very seriously. But then feigy123 says that there is no such thing.
So I was thinking what about looking into marrying a Baal Teshuva? Yup you heard me right. See a Baal Teshuvah took his yidishkeit so seriously that he abandoned his whole lifestyle for Yidishkeit! Baalei Teshuvah in general also have a good education so even if they decide to learn for a few years as soon as the going gets tough they could easily get a job.
My Sister actually dated a Bal Teshuva for a loong time and that's exactly what it was like.
Of course they aren't going to be so much a "go with the flow" type of guys, they will likely be very much their own type of person, but for some people that's just what they are looking for.
What do you all think?

feigy123

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: May 31, 2013, 3:54 PM

I think a baal teshuva can be a Donny.

But of course then there are other things you need to deal with such as the background difference and the effect that will have on your relationship.

hannahr

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: June 13, 2013, 1:54 PM

I know a baal teshuva who I would marry in thirty seconds if he asked me :). Neither of us are dating yet though and as awesome as he is, I don't think we're really compatible.
He's a total Donny (without the abusive, here's-a-necklace-now-give-it-back aspects), happens to be. But I know a number of baalei teshuva who are totally not. You can't group anybody in a box, but I feel like baalei teshuva most of all. Did he become frum on his own or with his family? How old was he? Where did he live? What kind of lifestyle did he have before? All of these things shape who you are, the same way that for you, what community you live in and which high school (and seminary) you went to makes a difference in who you are.
For instance, my Russian baal teshuva who became frum on his own as a little kid from a tiny village somewhere is different from an American baal teshuva whose whole family left their hippie commune to become frum when he was 18. (Idunno... are there even any hippie communes around anymore?)
You don't want to make generalizations about religiosity based on whether they're BT or FFB. I've known baalei teshuva who keep a lot of stuff from before they were frum (movies, etc) and I know a lot of baalei teshuva who go to the totally opposite extreme to become Mister Yeshivish. (This is for sure the case for girls, too, but that's not really the point of this discussion.)
IMHO, to reject a shidduch JUST BECAUSE the guy's a BT is potentially cheating yourself out of something amazing.

patcha

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Post Re: Dating a Baal Teshuvah
on: June 13, 2013, 2:29 PM

Quote from hannahr on June 13, 2013, 1:54 PM
I know a baal teshuva who I would marry in thirty seconds if he asked me :). Neither of us are dating yet though and as awesome as he is, I don't think we're really compatible.
He's a total Donny (without the abusive, here's-a-necklace-now-give-it-back aspects), happens to be. But I know a number of baalei teshuva who are totally not. You can't group anybody in a box, but I feel like baalei teshuva most of all. Did he become frum on his own or with his family? How old was he? Where did he live? What kind of lifestyle did he have before? All of these things shape who you are, the same way that for you, what community you live in and which high school (and seminary) you went to makes a difference in who you are.
For instance, my Russian baal teshuva who became frum on his own as a little kid from a tiny village somewhere is different from an American baal teshuva whose whole family left their hippie commune to become frum when he was 18. (Idunno... are there even any hippie communes around anymore?)
You don't want to make generalizations about religiosity based on whether they're BT or FFB. I've known baalei teshuva who keep a lot of stuff from before they were frum (movies, etc) and I know a lot of baalei teshuva who go to the totally opposite extreme to become Mister Yeshivish. (This is for sure the case for girls, too, but that's not really the point of this discussion.)
IMHO, to reject a shidduch JUST BECAUSE the guy's a BT is potentially cheating yourself out of something amazing.

Mention it to your mother. You should definitely make sure to date him at some point. 🙂

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