I have noticed that my sister is asked by the rabbi if she would like to move into a Jewish community to find a husband, but never me. I am 32 and have never been married. I did, however, have a son when I was lost and just 17 years old. I realize my son is viewed as a mamzer, but is that why I am not asked if I would like to marry? I do not want to be alone forever but I am a devout Jewish woman today so that limits who I can marry. Is my past just too much for Jewish men to get over?
Shalom, Your short letter contained many points. I will do my best to respond. 1. A child born out of marriage is not a mamzer according to halachah unless born from an incestuous relationship. We can assume your first child is not a mamzer, 2. In any case, We firmly believe that responsibility for our past does not mean we are somehow cursed by our shortcomings. The mistake of a 17 year old does not have to cloud her entire life. It may make it more difficult to find a mate, but certainly not impossible. Your main responsibility is to build a healthy, happy life for yourself that someone will wish to share. 3. I do not clearly understand what was asked of your sister that wasn't asked of you. You have to right to choose a Jewish community if that will improve your quality of (spiritual) life and help you find a mate. If you are talking about a particular community that requires an invitation you can ask the Rabbi if he thinks it is appropriate for you. 4, It may be that personal conseling will be of great benefit to you. If your self esteem is low, you may gain a lot from talking to a friend, counselor or Rabbi.Speak to an older woman who is involved (not necessarily professionally) in matchmaking. Enjoy life by finding activities ( music, lectures, Torah shiurim, whatever) that you enjoy. Praying really helps, both in trusting Hashem and in building yourself. 5. I am sure that you will find the right one and bless you in your quest.