Oh get a life!


I was recently at a Shabbat table with another guest. One who had come over from Israel to raise money. For herself. She just married off a child, had another to marry off, a single mom etc…. Life is tough for everyone. (if you are really broke how can you be wearing a $2,000 custom sheitel??)


From the outset this woman made me uncomfortable. I am not the type to wash my dirty linen in public, as most of you know from reading the blog. There is a lot I do not talk about here, and a lot that in real life I only share with those nearest and dearest. What really put me off was her giving me her sales pitch on Shabbat, in my friend’s warm and inviting kitchen, before the meal and in between courses.


She heaped brachot on me for my children and my marriage etc. Very nice. But at every opportunity (except when actually sitting at the dining table) she told me more and more of her sad story. How hard life has been for her. How Hashem sent her such tzoros (troubles). Cue the violins! She even asked if she could come over Motzei Shabbat (sat nite) to see me – i.e. hit me up for a donation. (I could maybe spare a nickel!).


Look, I don’t want to come off as being insensitive, but there is no one that I know in this world who hasn’t had tzaar in their life. It’s how you deal with it and learn from it that counts in my book. It’s not a contest –“my life has been worse than yours. My issues and sorrows are ten times worse than your petty tzoros.”


I have been through a lot in my life, most of it not chronicled here. Why have I not shared it all? Because it’s in the past. I have learned the lessons I needed to learn from the experiences. I have dealt with the emotional baggage and I have moved on, a better person. I don’t expect anyone to pick up the tab for me because I have had a hard life. If we all did that, this economy would be in a worse state than it already is.


I firmly believe that God sends us these challenges to do just that – challenge us. See how we stay true and firm in our faith. It’s easier to say that after the fact, sure, but when going through hard times, we must remember God has his reasons. I felt like telling this woman that I live apart from my beloved husband, that we don’t know when we will be together for good, I felt like unburdening my own soul to her – just so that she would know I am not trouble free, but if I did that then I would be descending to her level. Show me yours and I will show you mine. That is not who I am.


I know that asking people for money is a very difficult thing. There have been times in my life that I have had to do it and it made me feel very small and embarrassed. I am sure she has it tough. But swallow your sob stories woman, get over your sad life, and do what you can to make it better. Yourself. Don’t look to others to improve your life. Only you can do that, with a better attitude.


Until she accepts responsibility for putting her life in order, she will always be a victim of her circumstances. Victims give the power and control to the nasty things that happened. When these events can no longer cause you pain, you are no longer a victim. But you have to make a concerted effort to work past the pain, which is not easy. But what would you rather? Being a victim all your life, or one free of the hold of the past?


I know it sounds like I am being judgemental, perhaps I am, maybe it’s because I have worked so hard to overcome so many obstacles, that I don’t understand why someone else cannot or will not. This woman will for sure call me. I will tell her point blank that I have no money to give her. I will wish her hatzlacha and move on.


Maybe I wouldn’t be so negative toward her if she hadn’t started her pitch on me on Shabbat. I felt that was just so tacky. I didn’t allow it to spoil the good time with friends, but it still rankles within me.

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  1. Amen, sister! I’m right there with you on all this.

  2. treppenwitz says:

    “I know that asking people for money is a very difficult thing. ”

    No, actually for some people it is very very easy. And some people are very very good at asking for money. So good, in fact, that they can’t imagine getting money the traditional way (i.e. earning it).

    What is hard (and they know this) is saying no. She sounds like she is one of those. I’ve had a few of experiences like you described, and each time I came away feeling like I’d been conned (which, in a sense, I had). They feel no shame in asking… knowing full well that it is shame that will make others cave in and give their hard-earned money to them.


  3. hadassahsabo says:

    She did try calling me yesterday – thank G-d i knew where she was staying and that i have call display. I would have no choice but to say no – and i would rather not have to deal with the guilt i am sure she would pour on. Maybe that makes me a coward, but right now I couldnt care less.

  4. Z! says:

    Amazing! You would think that she would be a little less self involved and realize that EVERYONE has needs and maybe the person she is looking at needs even more than she.
    Also, coming from your shared background, you’d think she’d recognize that you are not that far from her.(although you are now remarried, money is always tight!)
    BUT, she lives in Eretz Yisroel, right? Where people seem to live on air anyway. She comes over here ans sees the poor as rich.
    If she is not a con, then why not give a small donation, unless all your meiser money is promised elsewhere.
    The truth is that tzedakah always comes back to you three fold. So give. It might help you in the long run.

  5. hadassahsabo says:

    apparently she is somewhat of a con. her story used to be different. she has updated it. she is well known in these parts – since i posted this several people have filled me in her.

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