Below is a recent Letter to the Editor from the Yated. Apparently this one comes on the heels of others written by wives, likewise complaining of support coming "with strings attached". (I have not seen the other letters and so cannot speak to the extent of the "strings" being employed; there may very well have been legitimate points. However, it still speaks to a state of mind.)
QUIZZED BY THE SHVERSome thoughts:
Why do I have to feel like I am being farhered every time I go to my shver’s house in Brooklyn? I understand that he gives us money each month and we appreciate that very much. But does that mean that I have to be subject to questions about what I’m learning and pressured to say vertlach on the parsha every time we visit? My in-laws are very nice people. They shower my wife, 5 children and me with gifts, they bought us a car, among other things, and graciously give us a monthly check to keep us afloat. Is that the reason that my father-in-law feels compelled to quiz me every time I come to his house?
I mentioned this issue to a friend of mine who said that he experiences the same exact thing. This friend encouraged me to write this letter to the Yated. Actually, he’s pushed me for months to write something, but I never got around to it. Perhaps there is a father-in-law out there who can explain it to us. Why do you have to bombard us with your questions on our limudim and with your vertlach on this inyan or that inyan? It is not that we aren’t interested. It is just that we somehow are made to feel that we have to constantly be ready for our next “exam” when we meet you. (This is surely not as bad as a different friend’s shver who actually makes him fax a shtickel Torah to him once a month. This friend lives in Yerushalayim, while his father-in-law lives in New York.) There are other issues about in-laws that my friend wanted me to share, but for now I think this one will suffice.
C. R. & M. F.
--Nice. I'm not sure what C.R. stands for, but can make a pretty good guess as to what M.F. represents.
--Imagine how put out they would feel if they knew (or actually believed) that a percentage of their Schar Limud (Merit for Learning) was going to that very same Father-in-Law.
--One wonders how slow these young men, who for goodness sake just want to be left alone, would be to question the business acumen of said Fathers-in-Law if the dollars coming their way lessened.
--"It is not that we aren’t interested."; the ironclad rule in sports is that as soon as somebody says "it's not about the money", you can be 100% sure of one thing...it's about the money. Do with that what you will.
As for answers, here are two:
To quote that great orator, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson...Know your role and shut your damn mouth.
In the words of Livia "Grandma" Soprano...Oh, poor you!