Contact Us

Is there a Spiritual role for a Childless, Single Middle-Aged Woman?

Is there a Spiritual role for a Childless, Single Middle-Aged Woman?



As a childless, single, middle-aged, totally non-observant woman, am I considered a failure as a Jew? Is there any other spiritual role for a woman other than wife, mother or religious virgin? Will I end my life as a genetic dud?


Someone once said that birth is G‑d's way of showing you that you matter. Of course you are not a failure! Every person has his or her own mission and role of what he/she is meant to accomplish in this world.

The Baal Shem Tov explained that a person can live in this world for seventy or eighty years for the sole purpose of doing a good deed for his fellow. So powerful is every positive act that we do. Every good deed and every mitzvah that you do has infinite value for all eternity.

You ask what is the spiritual role for a woman other than wife or mother. The answer is that she has the same spiritual role that every person has here in this world—to develop and strengthen our relationship with G‑d by making our world a better place, a "home" for G‑d, a place where He can feel comfortable. This is the purpose, role and mission for every one of us.

How we go about doing so is as individualized as our faces. None of us is a carbon copy of each other and we each have our own unique talents and contributions to make to this world. This is true whether we are man or woman, married or single, have children or are childless, are young or old, disabled or abled. It makes no difference. We all are here to contribute!

Have you considered what contributions you would like to make to those around you? What are your special talents that you can use to increase goodness in our world? How have you strengthened your connection to G‑d today?

See here for some more food for thought on this topic.

Chana Weisberg is the editor of She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
Gavriel Columbus April 19, 2016

Single Middle-aged male ....... Chana, thank you for your wonderful article. Being a jew of color I expected from early on to be single. However, it has allowed me to be active and to contribute a lot. After overcoming the awkwardness of knowing I would be hard pressed to find a jewish spouse I have learned to host my own Shabbat and Yom tov gatherings most people don't mind that there isn't a "lady" in the house, however I feel I do just fine.
Now that I am older it's easier to not focus on marriage and just focus on what I can so how I can contribute and give. This is truly rewarding in it's own right.
Thank you again Chana! Reply

jeff bawden limoges, france May 26, 2009

single middle aged it looks like us singles have got to appreciate the love we give freely without conditions,i notice children change people to selfish except in exceptional circumstances,so yes its lonely yet with social life and family life almost finished we have to make the best of individual strength Reply

Anonymous Nampa, Idaho March 30, 2008

It's not too late So, if you can, have children! For the middle aged girls, its not too late! Women are having children into their 60s. My non-Jewish wife and I have two grown children who barely think they are even half Jewish. I am Bal TShuvah after 45 what. I'll live and die as a Jew but my Jewish lineage ends with me after 4000 years? It stinks and I'm very sad. I'm sorry for not marrying a Jew and raising Jewish children (at least 8) but what now? I encourage any Jewish women who can...go get a man and have children. Reply

Estel Tel Aviv, Israel March 28, 2008

Childless, single middle-aged woman... Dear Chana, thanks. This is already a very good contribution. I have read your correspondence and it helped me a lot to understand what I need to accomplish in this world.
Sorry for my English, I am a french living in Tel Aviv and English is not my mother tongue. Just keep on helping other people being better Jews. It is a huge contribution! Reply

Rachel Garber Phila, PA USA March 27, 2008

I can relate I am not totally single, I was widowed almost 29 years ago when my beloved husband took his own life. I am a convert of 40 years, and after my husband died, I decided I wanted to have a formal Jewish education. I attended Gratz College, and received a degree in Jewish Studies in '85. I have become more observant over the years, although not a Hasid. For several years after my husband died, I spent holidays with his family, or going to friends homes. Around 1986 I began inviting other singles, a friend who had recently converted to Judaism, and then other people, college students, couples in interfaith marriages with no where to spend the holidays, and recently senior citizens, who's family were deceased. Some guests I've kept in touch with over the years, others I've seen only once or twice, but it has been a rewarding experience to hostess so many people over the years. And despite the lack of husband and children, I do really look forward to the 25 hrs of Shabbat, no tv, no phone. a lovely day, just for me. It would be nice to have someone to share my life with, but I try to make the best of the life that G-d has ordained for me. Reply

Anonymous March 27, 2008

Childless, single middle-aged woman... Dear Chana, Your response deeply touched me. It was all at once beautiful, sensitive, eloquent, wise and simple. Reply

Related Topics