Do You Ever Get The BT Yom Tov Blues?

As a BT, I often get depressed around the yomim tovim. It seems that everyone else has immediate and extended family to share the holidays with. It’s even harder when you are single and don’t even have a spouse. Shavuous is particularly hard since I stay up to learn and come home to an empty quiet apartment. Anybody else get these “blues”?

– Daniel

10 comments on “Do You Ever Get The BT Yom Tov Blues?

  1. Daniel,
    Yom Tov can be very challenging for BTs. The one tried and true solution that I am aware of is to do chesed for others. It does wonders for dispelling feelings of lonliness.

    Hatzlacha Raba

  2. Are you saying it is better to stay home alone because you are waiting to get married? Or are too depressed to go out for a meal? I think that it is good for a BT to go out for meals, your beshairt might be sitting at the table next to you (this has happened so many times). Plus your host may think of a guy or girl just perfect for you.

    Hatzlocha rabba to you.

  3. BE”H
    Bas Yisroel and Ilana-Davita:
    How does being invited at other people’s family replaces having a family of your own? Isn’t there a way to convince the frum world that also BTs might deserve a family? Maybe it’s impossible, but I’d rather fail while trying, than accepting that my neighbours’ is the only family I will ever have. And sorry, the story about Hashem being always with you is very sweet but it does not replace a family. You should have both, Hashem AND a family.

  4. I was waiting for someone to give Zach some chizzuk. It must be very hard for you. Why don’t you go to Ohr Samaech in Jerusalem for Shavuous, I am sure you will enjoy the shiurim and the walk to the kotel at night to daven in the morning right there. It will be your best shavuous yet!

    Rabbi Akiva became frum at a late age, and sat with the kiddies learning alef bais, but look what he became! You can do this as well, just don’t give up. Remember, G-d is always on our side, always with us. Hatzlocha Rabba!

  5. For me shavout is one of the hardest. I am a BT with no Yeshiva background of any sort, and very limited Hebrew. And as I currently live on a smallish Yishuv there is really not much for me. The Shiurim are in Hebrew and WAY over my head. And most of the other anglos are just as Uneducated as I am.

    TO get an idea of what It feels like imagine a lecture on Quantum Physics in Japanese, or something of that sort.

  6. Shalom, my yes and I’ve been in the same shul for over ten years. Yes, I’m friendly, but they are all younger or married. During the week I do volunteer work and I’m a Chaplain at our local hospital-I stay busy, yet those in my family who keep the Feasts are to far. We do come together for Pessach etc. Most of the time now I light the Shabbat candles alone, therefore my heart goes out to all who find themselves alone. I too come into an empty home. Now I will pray for those that must be content tell Hasham blessed be His name, gives them a spouse. Have a good yom tov

  7. If you attend the same shul and talk to people, they should start to get to know you. In the end you’re bound to get invited to a few homes.
    If this does not happen, consider switching to another synagogue.

  8. Daniel,

    I would add that (depending where you live), try to make plans to maybe attend shiurim on Shavuos night with friends (either single or married) and then plan to go back to your place, sleep, and get together again for lunch.
    Being single and a BT is often hard during the Yom Tovim, however, having a flexible schedule for learning is an overlooked plus.

  9. Now here is something I really relate to! Well, it is good you are thinking about shavuos, but instead of being depressed, let it galvanize you into action. Either by getting yourself invited for meals, or how about inviting over a fellow BT. If you can afford it, maybe Gateways has something for shavuos, you will come away very inspired from the shiurim. And by the way, don’t kid yourself. Many of my FFB friends have told me that they also don’t have close family to share holidays with. Finally, always remember you are never alone, Hashem is always with you! This is what I tell myself when I get the pre yom tov depression. lots of luck, and good yom tov!!!

  10. Daniel-I would suggest that you try to spend Yom Tov, especially Shavuous, in a community or at a Shabbaton/retreat, where you might meet someone who would be interested in a possible shidduch. IMO,going to shiurim and learning on Leil Shavuous is wonderful, but coming home to an empty apartment without any immediate family cannot be spiritually fulfulling under any reasonable definition of that term.

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