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Author Topic: Peer Pressure
Avigail

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Post Peer Pressure
on: March 11, 2013, 9:24 AM

I was recently speaking to a friend and was very bothered. It seemed like she wanted to marry a boy who was learning ONLY so that she fit into a certain type! It seemed like her whole list was based on what other people were looking for and not truthfully on who she was and what she needed. Isn't this ridiculous? I was so bothered by this cuz I think you see this pretty often - girls can't even explain why learning is something they want and they don't even seem the type! Isn't this nuts?!

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Lea

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 11, 2013, 10:34 AM

Your shock is understandable, but your friend is not remotely unique. When my sister was dating, 20 years ago, a neighbor said, "Well, only the good boys are in Lakewood."

That line is still going strong. Along with "A husband learning for the first year or two of marriage sets a tone." Then all she needs is a couple of classmates who are doing the same thing and she holds herself to their standards, not her own.

What really bugs me about the term "peer pressure," is that there is this image that someone is holding a gun to her head. No one is; she is holding the gun to her own head. Other people DO NOT CARE about someone else's choices to the point that they would even comment if she dated working or college guys.

So I concur: It is nuts. Because at such a young age she is sacrificing her life for a facade. Probably back in elementary school she did the same thing. And it doesn't end when she marries; then it affects her children, as she makes choices based on what "everyone else" is doing. Then when her children marry, here they go again—all about what others want.

She has chosen not to know herself very well, but to base her identity on what she things others do. If possible, try to get her to express her own opinions. As for the "type"? It exists only in her head.

atararox

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 11, 2013, 8:51 PM

yes unforstunately this is very true. the other part of the problem is that boys ALSO care very much what everyone else is saying, so they stay in yeshiva just to have a good name, even if they are truly bored to death in yeshiva and dreaming of a career and making money etc. so what your left with is - a bunch of shallow girls who want a learning boy so they can fit in, and a bunch of "yeshiva boys" who are hanging around a dorm during the week so they can fit it, and those people get matched up and everyones happy. they can go to work 2 months after the wedding. as long as hes "in yeshiva" and she got a "learning boy" so it all works out! its really not a prob at all..... 😉 😉 😉

bygirl

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 12, 2013, 1:00 AM

you know what? i think it's true that there are many girls who want learning boys for the wrong reasons. but lemaysah, it's whats "done" - whether for the right reasons or not - and these girls are gonna end up with learning guys. and you know what? there ARE real reasons out there of why girls should marry learning boys. so once they'll do it anyway, the girls may as well not stay shallow and they should actually understand and appreciate what it means that someone is learning torah. and that's what seminary is for. i think that if a girl comes home from seminary and still does not know why she wants to marry a learning boy, it's a problem. basically, my point is that once were marrying these guys, we may as well not remain shallow and we may as well realize the beauty behind it so we can actually appreciate what the guys are doing and add some depth to our lives.
i guess this is rlly theoretical, cuz lemaysah girls do come bk from sem still shallow, but it's a shame, cuz once theyre gonna do it, they may as well know why!

feigy123

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 12, 2013, 9:00 AM

This is a good reason for boys to insist on a lot of support, to weed out the girls who aren't really interested in learning and won't be interested in being moser nefesh for it down the road.

😀 😮

life123

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 12, 2013, 9:30 AM

Boys getting support has nothing to do with supporting, dedicated girls. In fact, it can be totally the opposite - parents may want to support for the image or even because they are Torah supporters, and have a daughter who really wants a wealthy home and will force her husband out of kollel anyway. The bottom line is that you can't see how dedicated either of a couple is until it isn't easy anymore... You can't even believe what people say because they may not even understand themselves.

thinkingBY-
girl

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 12, 2013, 2:06 PM

Quote from bygirl on March 12, 2013, 1:00 AM
you know what? i think it's true that there are many girls who want learning boys for the wrong reasons. but lemaysah, it's whats "done" - whether for the right reasons or not - and these girls are gonna end up with learning guys. and you know what? there ARE real reasons out there of why girls should marry learning boys. so once they'll do it anyway, the girls may as well not stay shallow and they should actually understand and appreciate what it means that someone is learning torah. and that's what seminary is for. i think that if a girl comes home from seminary and still does not know why she wants to marry a learning boy, it's a problem. basically, my point is that once were marrying these guys, we may as well not remain shallow and we may as well realize the beauty behind it so we can actually appreciate what the guys are doing and add some depth to our lives.
i guess this is rlly theoretical, cuz lemaysah girls do come bk from sem still shallow, but it's a shame, cuz once theyre gonna do it, they may as well know why!

I don't think it's about being shallow and not appreciating a guy's learning. If a girl wants to marry a learning guy for the wrong reasons she can very well "corrupt" this guy who goes into this marriage with the purest of intentions. She wants to marry a learning guy but she also wants him to stay up late and hang out, watch movies with her, etc., and at some point she'll decide she wants him to go out to work though he may still be growing in his learning and not ready for that.

While it's a beautiful thing that girls want their husbands to learn, we need to be realistic. We need to ask ourselves some hard questions and try to be honest with ourselves. If a girl mostly wants a guy who is learning because it's "in style," she'd be very much better off marrying a working guy. There are many good frum guys who aren't in the beis medrash 10 hours a day.

If someone is unable to support the lifestyle that comes along with marrying a learning guy, then don't! There's no shame in that. It's more important to be honest with yourself and support a guy's one hour a day versus conning yourself into thinking that you can support his full-time schedule. It's about more than just him not bringing home a paycheck. There is a lot of other lifestyle changes associated with marrying a learning guy.

basyisroel

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 12, 2013, 6:24 PM

What are some other lifestyle changes besides for the money issue?

thinkingBY-
girl

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 12, 2013, 7:37 PM

It's just a really different focus. You can't expect a guy who is learning to hang out with you all hours of the night when he has to get up early for davening and seder. He won't necessarily be around as much because he will spend most of his time in yeshiva. It will not be in his best interest for you to take him places or do things with him that will distract him from being able to learn properly. You need to really be able to appreciate what he is doing and not assume that he has it easy sitting in the BM all day while you're working a full-time job and taking care of the household. A lot of the responsibilities will be left up to you to take care of. You need to be able to really understand what he's doing to be able to support it.

bygirl

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 12, 2013, 8:50 PM

agreed. i don't hear the contradiction.

Smile91

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 12, 2013, 9:18 PM

Quote from thinkingBYgirl on March 12, 2013, 7:37 PM
It's just a really different focus. You can't expect a guy who is learning to hang out with you all hours of the night when he has to get up early for davening and seder. He won't necessarily be around as much because he will spend most of his time in yeshiva. It will not be in his best interest for you to take him places or do things with him that will distract him from being able to learn properly. You need to really be able to appreciate what he is doing and not assume that he has it easy sitting in the BM all day while you're working a full-time job and taking care of the household. A lot of the responsibilities will be left up to you to take care of. You need to be able to really understand what he's doing to be able to support it.

All this is true, but it's the same with a working guy-he can't always be around bec. of his job, and won't always have the time to sit and talk to you. He may have projects at work that keep him out late or occupy his time at home. Whatever your husband does, you have to respect it, and appreciate what he is doing for you and the klal-whether he is working or sitting in bais medresh all day.

thinkingBY-
girl

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 12, 2013, 11:38 PM

Yup, true point Smile91. My point though, it's the worst when a girl wants a learning guy as a status symbol and then totally wrecks his learning for her personal satisfaction.

It's different with a guy who is working. So he's tired at work, or he can't get images of movies he watched last night with his wife out of his mind while he's trying to work, or his wife is bugging him about something but not necessarily life-changing...at least he's not too tired to make it to davening/seder where a different type of concentration is necessary, at least he's not trying to learn with distracting images stuck in his mind (much harder to learn then work with these mental images), at least his wife is not nagging him to leave learning where he is growing tremendously just so he can support and understand her lifestyle.

And bygirl, no contradiction actually. Just pointing out that it goes further than just being shallow and not appreciating what your husband (who is learning) is doing.

As a side point, I'd like to think that the girls who don't want a learning guy for the right reasons don't marry the really serious learning guys. (Hopefully anyway...if they're both being honest and get to know each other well enough when they're dating, because why would you want to marry someone that you can't appreciate??)

iThink

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 13, 2013, 1:34 PM

[b]Quote from thinkingBYgirl on March 12, 2013, 11:38 PM[/b
It's different with a guy who is working. So he's tired at work, or he can't get images of movies he watched last night with his wife out of his mind while he's trying to work, or his wife is bugging him about something but not necessarily life-changing...at least he's not too tired to make it to davening/seder where a different type of concentration is necessary, at least he's not trying to learn with distracting images stuck in his mind (much harder to learn then work with these mental images), at least his wife is not nagging him to leave learning where he is growing tremendously just so he can support and understand her lifestyle.

You're right that if a guy is tired at work because his wife wanted to watch a movie the night before (or hang out late or whatever) it's not as bad as walking into kollel a walking zombie. But he, too, is gonna be to tired the next morning at davening and he's gonna have a super tough time reaching his learning quota for the day. So the working guy's wife has to appreciate this as well.

As for the distractions: His ruchniyus should be a priority whether he spends ten hours a day with a gemara or two. Of course it's much harder to learn than work with these mental images. But he has a chiyuv to daven and learn as well - and both of these deserve his 100% concentration. Why set lower standards for the working guy's spirituality?

thinkingBY-
girl

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 13, 2013, 3:40 PM

You're right, there shouldn't be lower standards. Ideally everyone should get the amount of sleep they need to function optimally, as well as not engage in behavior that distracts them from doing their avodas Hashem to the best of their ability, no matter what path they have chosen for themselves. Reality is though that we're human and we live in a world where hevel's glamour beckons us. We find legitimate uses for things that have the potential to estrange us from Hashem and our purpose in this world.

I was just trying to make a distinction between someone who is at the moment (if he is really learning properly) in a way closer to G-d, less distracted by the glitz and glamour of gashmiyus, thinks like someone who is amul in Torah all day and therefore has a clearer understanding and appreciation of what this world is about. He's involved in something beautiful, don't distract him.

On the other hand, the working guy could be a good frum Jew who is a growing individual, is a ben Torah, has tremendous yiraas shamayim, yada yada yada; however, he already has left the bubble of being completely steeped in Torah. You shouldn't distract him, but he is already distracted. You won't be the one being poretz the geder.

Did I explain it clearly enough?

feigy123

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 13, 2013, 5:04 PM

Quote from thinkingBYgirl on March 12, 2013, 11:38 PM

It's different with a guy who is working. So he's tired at work, or he can't get images of movies he watched last night with his wife out of his mind while he's trying to work...at least he's not too tired to make it to davening/seder where a different type of concentration is necessary, at least he's not trying to learn with distracting images stuck in his mind (much harder to learn then work with these mental images).

I'm sorry, but I'm going to call you out on that. There is no reason to think the above distinction is true for any job which requires mental focus. Perhaps you are referring to jobs which are mainly rote, but for example, there is no likely distinction between the focus needed to learn and the focus needed to be a lawyer.

iThink

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 13, 2013, 7:10 PM

thinkingBYgirl:

Thank you for responding. I’m assuming you’re referring to the super sheltered kollel guy who lives and breathes only Torah with nearly no interest in gashmiyus. Because realistically speaking, most guys in kollel, despite their love and commitment to their learning are still quite in touch with and distracted by the glitz and glamour outside of the BM. What you said is true for the minority that you describe.

I am, however, surprised at your statement “(if he is really learning properly) in a way closer to G-d….thinks like someone who is amul in Torah all day…has a clearer understanding and appreciation of what this world is about.” I feel like you are making an awful lot of assumptions about both the learner and worker’s connection to God or understanding about life and this world with no basis. You can say that someone who has completely immersed themselves in Torah has fewer distractions. But how can anyone judge a person’s connection to God, no matter what their occupation is!?

One more thing: Regarding the working guy, you said “You shouldn’t distract him, but he is already distracted.” How is that not lowering standards?? I’m not denying the distractions he has, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not offended by the fact that you seem to put the worker in a spiritual second class. The workers ruchniyus is NO LESS SACRED! His personal avodas hashem is also beautiful and precious and just as important to Hashem. How can his wife justify being lenient with him, just because she won’t necessarily be a poretz geder?

Please help me understand what you mean by this. I refuse to believe that you judge so much and think so little of such a large part of Klal Yisroel!

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girl

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 13, 2013, 7:20 PM

Quote from feigy123 on March 13, 2013, 5:04 PM

Quote from thinkingBYgirl on March 12, 2013, 11:38 PM

It's different with a guy who is working. So he's tired at work, or he can't get images of movies he watched last night with his wife out of his mind while he's trying to work...at least he's not too tired to make it to davening/seder where a different type of concentration is necessary, at least he's not trying to learn with distracting images stuck in his mind (much harder to learn then work with these mental images).

I'm sorry, but I'm going to call you out on that. There is no reason to think the above distinction is true for any job which requires mental focus. Perhaps you are referring to jobs which are mainly rote, but for example, there is no likely distinction between the focus needed to learn and the focus needed to be a lawyer.

See my later explanation. I did not mean mere focus, because you're right, you do need focus even if you're working a job and not learning. It's a different type of distraction.

thinkingBY-
girl

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 13, 2013, 7:53 PM

Thanks iThink for your rebuttal and giving me a chance to clarify; I wasn't sure if I was clear enough, hence the question at the end of my comment. Ch"vsh that I'm judging anyone's d'veikus or avodas Hashem. I did not mean any of it in any way to put anyone down. No one's avodas Hashem is worth less than anyone else's and it's not everyone's tafkid to sit in the BM all day. Everyone has their own special tachlis, and each person's is just as important as the others'. The "earner" is not worse than the "learner," they just approach their avodas Hashem different.

Yes, I am talking about a minority that has been exposed to very little outside the four walls of the BM and the lifestyle that comes with that. I'm talking about people who make it their business to do their ultimate best to never see preitzus, do their best to not listen to lashon hara, eat only the best of the best hechsherim (and probably never eat out for that reason among others), learn so many hours a day that they think in and dream learning, etc.

While no one (especially not I, nor was I attempting to) can ever ever judge someone's yiraas shamayim or connection to Hashem, this isn't about the value of the connection, it's about the reality of it. Someone who is doing this right (and I keep saying that because just because someone is sitting in the BM all day doesn't mean he's learning nor does it mean even if he is learning all day that he conducts himself like a ben Torah outside the BM) is inherently more focused, just via the nature of what he is amul in. It goes beyond this, but the Torah was written by G-d, and you get to know someone by reading what they've written. You make something your life's work, you end up thinking and breathing it. You cannot deny that if someone learns Hashem's will the entire day that his life has more focus. For example, this is why we ask a rav when we have a sheila. He is steeped in Torah, thus he is able to give an eitza coming from that vantage point.

No one can be lenient with regard to anyone's ruchniyus, but (as an example) is there not a difference in watching a movie with someone who has seen several movies in his lifetime versus someone who probably would never watch the movie if you didn't ask him to (and mostly what he has been exposed to is but the pages of his gemera)? I guess it's really never okay, but it's not you putting him there, he has already put himself in that place (for better or for worse).

Is this clearer or should I explain further?

bygirl

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 13, 2013, 9:00 PM

this is rlly a side pt of this discussion, but there's something that keeps coming up thats bothering me. In a bunch of these posts, the concept of couples watching movies together has come up. I'm pretty surprised. is it rlly considered normal for frum, "yeshivish" couples to watch movies?
i would like to think that frum homes are purer than that!

iThink

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 14, 2013, 12:26 AM

thinkingBYgirl: Thank you for taking the time to respond. I do see what you mean now. I didn't realize that you had this level of Torah immersion in mind when writing that original post. Thanks again for clearing that up 🙂

(I apologize if I came across a bit harsh in my previous post. It's just that this topic is something I care about very very much so I tend to get a little excited...)

iThink

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Post Re: Peer Pressure
on: March 14, 2013, 12:33 AM

bygirl:

It's a lot more common than you'd expect, but I'm not comfortable saying that it's "considered normal" because there are some (maybe even many) who don't. You've got lots of company in either case.

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