Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Loneliness" or The "Being Invited" Holiday Pressure


Especially before Pessach and Rosh Hashana, the holiday pressure reaches its peak. When saying this, I am only referring to ISRAEL, simply as I don’t know about other places in the world. 

In the secular world, neighbours, friends and even the press give people a feeling of doing something for the Pessach Seder as well as for the first night of Rosh Hashana. Then, according your ebvironment, you need a family in order to be invited. If not, so, at least, go away. Either travel abroad or stay at an Israeli hotel. Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the suicide rate is much higher on those two days because lonely people feel their painful situation. 

I was talking to someone the day before yesterday but cannot remember how we got to the subject. Anyway, he suddenly said: “Do you see all those people here ? Over there, the family with the three kids. They are all people no one wanted for the holiday. This is why they are here in Tel Aviv”. 

Right away I knew that the person saying this was 100% correct. It is very sad but realistic. 

Let’s say you are a new immigrant without a family in Israel; where are you going to spend the Pessach Seder or the first night on Rosh Hashana ? No one is inviting you and you end up thinking about spending the high holidays alone at home while everyone else is sitting together with his family ? But, let me tell you, it doesn’t only concern new immigrants but many many Israelis too. No matter if singles or families. 

I have always had the attitude of “arranging something on my own” but others are desperate for sitting with a family. I, on the other hand, like being alone sometimes and I am not desperate for sitting with other people. In particular, Yeshiva students are looking for places with friends or families. I have been through all this and what I found out where two things: First of all, many families don’t really want guests when a Yeshiva is calling up and asking whether they can send some students over. In fact, a former friend of mine told me, that she went to a family with another two or three Yeshiva girls and the family showed its dislike. They had just agreed taking the girls as a kind of Mitzvah but nothing more. 

The second thing I learnt is that from a certain age, you are expected either to have your own family or make arrangements on your own. In your own home. I a kind of did it this Rosh Hashana and it was the best celebration I have ever had. No pressure with finding a place but just a small celebration with a very few people. All arranged due to our own efforts. Neither depending on anyone nor sitting with strangers I don’t really know. 

My personal opinion is that constantly sitting with other people shows your dependency on others. Instead of taking your own initiative, you are running after others and, many times, you don’t even realize that you are going on their nerves. 

Live your own life and arrange your own holiday celebrations ! No matter how much or less money you have but don’t depend on others and try pleasing them because you are so desperate. If you are desperate, then you are lonely, without self - esteem and this is very sad.


  1. I think this is why for some people they will find communal events for pesach to attend.

    This is why for some they turn to the local Chabad house for meal invites.

    Some people will stay with family. I'm sure there are many who would be more than happy to host. Maybe some are unable due to financial constraints.

  2. B"H

    It is not about "hosting" but finding a goal for the person himself. One doesn't have to invite people in order to spend a regular Shabbat or even Shavuot.

    And the Seder can be spend with a few friends and not always with Chabad.

  3. B"H

    Of course if people don't have any family they might find a few people who will agree to host them. Or they may decide to be the host and invite people over.

    Maybe this is how seeyouonshabbat came about.

    But for some people the local Chabad house may be the only option they have.

    I'm sure there will always be a family that would be more than happy to host so long as they have notice.

    That and so they know if the guest has any food allergies or doesn't eat certain foods. This is why I always cook more food than is needed.

  4. B"H

    Always looking for a host means having nothing else in life. My point was organizing something on one's own and not always running to other places.