Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


Adult "Children" Who Will Not Grow Up


Among our Jewish brethren we find many who have great expectations of their spouses.  Women want doctors, lawyers and wealthy businessmen.  The men want cooks, lovers, working, beautiful wives who stand by them and take care of them.  Parents are utilized as giving , protecting, and caring.  They should have no needs of their own and stand ready to “pitch in” regardless of their station, their monetary status, their personal needs.  The female's parents are considered the “good” ones, whereas the male's folks are to be used, to be ignored, to ask no questions, considered useless, unless of course they are able to contribute money and other necessities or luxuries.  They are denounced and berated or ignored.  There is never a thought that if it were not for the in-laws there would be no husbands for the scheming “ladies.”

Women have now reached equality with men and it is time that they become equals in their behavior as well.  The wise female treats her husband’s parents with the same respect that she expects her parents to be treated.  She will never get the love that she is not giving.  The ruse that she has in mind will not work and her “beloved” man will not think too highly of her when the proverbial “push” comes to “shove.”  There is an old saying which is befitting here:  “Wie du hinein rufst in den Wald so es dir entgegen schalt.” As you call into the forest, that is how your echo comes back to you.    This is something that so many “princesses” forget as their venomous attitude is practiced.

Bad and unconscionable behavior occurs among all folk, regardless of their religious beliefs.  Jewish men frequently marry gentiles, believing that the wives  therefore will be more grateful, more helpful, more sexual ,and meet all of their needs with love, devotion, faithfulness,  and appreciation. Rational thinking does not warrant such beliefs, nor does it turn wishful thoughts into realities. Because of the erroneous beliefs described, our Jewish population is minute and we have become an almost invisible minority compared to the population in the United States and the world. Intermarriages are common among the younger generation of today. 

Hopefully Jewish women, like all women in this, our twenty-first century, will make their wishes and ambitions come true as the result of their own efforts and  doings.   What was a masculine profession is now a people profession.  Female students of medical and dental schools now have a slight majority over their male counterparts. 

It is a fact that couples of the same or similar interests, mores, beliefs and religion get along better and are happier than those who are different. They understand each other better, can empathize with their mate to a much greater extent than those who are of a different, foreign religion, of different backgrounds, and of a foreign race, language, or outlook.

Naomi, in the Book of Ruth, is a biblical example of a daughter-in-law who was respectful, loving, and caring to her old mother-in-law.  Even though the daughter-in-law was a widow, she helped the older woman “bechol levovcho, ufchol nafschecho, ufchol meodecho.” (with her heart, soul and hands).

As Jews, we are unfortunately self haters.  We have taken on the prejudices and lies which have been  attributed to us and with which they have painted us.  We must remember to support one another in thought and deed, and remember how good and beautiful it is when we remember that we will survive only if we respect one another, our heritage, our beliefs. Let us remember:  “Hine Ma Tov Umanaiyim Shevet Achim Gam Yachad.”


 Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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