Friday, October 19, 2007

Dangerous Message - Aish HaTorah: Date From Hell - By Vicki Polin

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Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik / Lori Palatnik / Vicki Polin

Dangerous Message - Aish HaTorah: Date From Hell
© (2007) Vicki Polin, MA, NCC, LCPC, ATR-BC
Download pdf

Click here to watch the video: Date From Hell

A few weeks ago a rabbi sent the following link out to his mailing list promoting an online video, "Date From Hell", which is produced by Aish HaTorah. I have to admit that I was appalled at the message that was being promoted by Rebbetzin Lori Palatnik.

The short film revolved around the fact that everyone has an opinion and how important it is to keep your opinion to yourself or that you need to be extremely careful before offering it.

Palatnik went on to say that: "You need to know the difference between fact and opinion". She goes on telling the story about a young male Baal Teshuva, who was learning with her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik.

As time progressed Rabbi Palatnik felt the man had "put his playboy lifestyle behind him." He wanted to know if Lori's knew any "girls" that she could fix him up with. Rabbi Palatnik said "the man wanted to get married."

Lori came up with a "great girl." After the date the woman called Lori and said "that was the date from hell." Later, Rabbi Palatnik asks Lori to fix the man up with another "girl." Once again after the second date the woman calls Lori saying "that was the date from hell." The same exact words as the first woman. Rabbi Palatnik once again requested that his wife fix the man up with a third woman -- this time Lori refused.

What is missing from the film is the reason why both women stated that "this was the date from hell." Was it because the man dressed funny or had a strange odor? Did the two women dating they think he was boring, rude, impolite, not gentlemanly enough, self-centered? Or could it be he was sexually inappropriate or had to do with some other issue regarding their safety? Without knowing this key information we cannot determine if dating this man was dangerous.

"Six months later the man got engaged to another great girl," stated Rebbetzin Palatnik. The woman was someone known to Lori. She continued by saying, "if this new woman was very lucky she never called her to find out about the man, because if she did -- she would have warned her to stay away."

Lori continued, "To this day the couple is happily married." She saw this as a life lesson and said "You can destroy things before they are started by giving your opinion...One woman's date from hell is somebody else's prince charming...You can stop things before they start by giving your opinion. You can destroy things once they are started by giving your opinion. Think before you speak. Keep your opinions to yourself"

There is some vital information missing from the Lori Palatnik film. She never let her viewers know why the two women called their experience with the man "the date from hell."

When I sent the video “Date From Hell” out to a few observant mental health professionals and survivors they made the following comments:

  • It appears that the fear is really about 'lashon hara.'
  • When two people had a terrible experience on a date with the same person the shadchan should be responsible enough to find out WHAT WAS WRONG before deciding to set up the man or woman again. The reality is that sometimes there is a serious problem. The person could be abusive towards women, for example. The clip gives the message that marriage is the priority above all else....Who cares what the issues are as long as they get married.
  • Getting people married seems to be the ONLY goal in life....what happens after... Who cares?
  • This is THE VIDEO FROM HELL. Another move toward the Taliban.
There are two very important books that everyone should read concerning dating in the orthodox world. They are “The Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures.” Urim Publishshing Co., and also another one that will come out next year: “Every Pot Has A Cover: A Proven Method for Finding and Enhancing Relationships. University Press of America.

Click here to watch the video: Date From Hell


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with this comment "Another move toward the Taliban."

Here's Lori's e-mail address. I think everyone should be writing her and also Aish. They should remove this video at once!

October 19, 2007 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This video is extremely scary. I mean, I just don't understand how she make her point.

And I don't understand why she isn't concerned for these women who she sets up...

This kind of thinking is one of the reasons why I stepped away from the observant lifestyle.

October 19, 2007 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would take the following message from Lori's video (which I haven't seen), based on Vicki's article: the human mind is such that we see what we believe based on our thinking. We have the capacity to create our experience of life. Other people's negaqtive thinking (aobut someone else) can contaminate our thought. We are clearer without it. As the 12-step programs say, "letting someone live rent free in your head" is a sure way to build up a story about them; a story based entirely on ideas you've generated based on a phrase someone used. I know nothing about this man, his wife, his dates. But the story shows that people can be happy regardless of what someone else thinks about him. Therefore, Lori's point to avoid lashon hara is well taken (if that was the point; again, I didn't see the video, but this is what I can glean from the discussion). esther

October 19, 2007 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Puzzeled said...

I read the comments from Anonymous 10:49 Am and got scared.

As we all know in the orthodox world people are often afraid and feel shame to say that their husband is abusive. How do we know that this isn't the case in the story that Lori describes as the happily married couple?

Remember looks can be deceiving. So many women who marry into abusive relationships -- come from abusive families. Could this be the reason why it seemed to the outside world that the man two women said was the date from hell, was another woman's prince charming? Did the woman marry a man like her own father? I mean if she indeed came from an abusive family?

There's many sides to this story that are not discussed in the video. We need to look deeper into the story that is missing. Why did the two women say that dating the man -- was the "date from hell"?

October 19, 2007 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lori Palatnik,

If you read this can you tell us the details of why two women said dating the man once was "a date from hell"? If you don't know the answer can you find out and let us all know?

October 19, 2007 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Jewish Cults said...

According to Rick Ross Aish HaTorah is considered a cult.

October 19, 2007 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who Aish is: But... Her message is well put…
I watched the Video, her message is not about dates or shiduchim or the Shadchen (Matchmaker). Her message is THINK BEFORE YOU TALK. GET THE FACTS BEFORE you make allegations.
What she is saying is, the girl who ended up marrying the boy, was lucky that she didn’t ask for Lori’s opinion. Since Lori had all the FACTS to justify discouraging her from going out with him.
The lesson is: When NOT SURE of facts, keep it to yourself until verified.
So, in my opinion... I don't see this as a "Dangerous Message"

October 26, 2007 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To October 26, 2007 1:01 PM

The problem is that Lori didn't think before she spoke. She didn't give all the information. If you not frum and just looking at the film for the first time she sounds like an idiot. Her comments are teaching people not to voice their opinions. I think keeping silent about things makes people depressed. I find saying what's on my mind to be extremely empowering.

I'm sorry you don't feel the same. This whole thing about loshon hara is a bunch of crap. I think those who are pushing the whole issue speak it more then the general public.

I find those who obey and don't speak what's on their mind to end up having a higher rate of depression and other forms of mental illness.

October 29, 2007 9:08 AM  

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