Faithless Rabbi; my wife won't let me retire;
I'm in relationship limbo
By Wendy Belzberg
Q: I have been dreaming of retirement for the past several years, but my wife is against it. She says it's because she's worried I will be bored. I know it's because she's worried I will get underfoot. The house has been her domain for years, and I think she views me as a potential trespasser.
Ready to retire
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- Q: I have been dreaming of retirement for the past several years, but my wife is against it. She says it's because she's worried I will be bored. I know it's because she's worried I will get underfoot. The house has been her domain for years, and I think she views me as a potential trespasser.
Ready to retire
A: If you are old enough to consider retiring, aren't you a little old to be told by your wife what you can and cannot do?
There is much more to life than getting up and going to a day job. Sadly, however, many people never discover what precisely that might be and never manage to look beyond their professional titles. Is it possible your wife knows something about you that you are not willing to admit to yourself? If not, you should do exactly as you please. If she finds you are getting underfoot, perhaps she should go out and get a day job.
Q: A rabbinic colleague confessed to me that he never really prays. He mouths his prayers, but he does not believe that there is a higher being out there listening. I told him to keep on praying. Am I encouraging him to be a hypocrite?
A: I'm less worried about him than I am about his congregation. If he is a non-practicing rabbi, I think your advice is solid. Perhaps what he is experiencing is a momentary lack of faith. Your friend would not be the first or the last to doubt the existence of G-d (many of the doubters are much greater men than he is). Your colleague persevered through a rigorous rabbinical training; he must have had some kind of faith at one time. By encouraging him to continue to pray, you are encouraging him to rekindle that faith. There is nothing hypocritical about his candor or your approach.
If he is a pulpit rabbi, on the other hand, I suggest a deeper conversation. I wonder, would your colleague be qualified to counsel a congregant who came to him with the same dilemma?
Q: I'm in relationship limbo. More specifically, I am separated and in the middle of a divorce. Obviously, I don't have or want a relationship with my ex (it's not final yet, but I hate to call her my wife). So I'd like to have one with someone else, but all the Jewish women my age (I'm in my early 30s) seem interested only in commitment-type guys. Which I am, of course just not right now! I don't blame them for avoiding me, but I'm still quite lonely. Is there a way to find someone who is interested in just hanging out, or am I doomed (until the divorce is final, which could be a year or more) to remain...
Wild and crazy guy or just wild and crazy?
A: I wish you were the only person in your situation. The good news, or the bad news, is that you are not. There must be many women out there in the same boat. Also, while I applaud your interest in women your own age (many men tend to date much younger women the second time around), there is nothing wrong with dating younger for a while until you are ready to settle down again. A younger woman is unlikely to place the same pressure on you as one whose biological clock is ringing loudly.
If you really can't seem to find anyone through the regular channels blind dates, events, volunteer and charity work you could always place an ad in a newspaper or magazine clearly stating your specifications of the moment. After all, you wrote to me, didn't
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