Last week I shared with you my experience speaking at a Shabbaton for Orthodox divorced Jews that was uplifting and inspiring.
Since the Shabbaton I’ve received e-mails from some of the participants, including the following:
Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis,
When I heard about the Shabbos program for frum divorced people, I was unsure whether to attend. What was the point? Would it help me? Would it bring some healing to my shattered heart? It’s traumatic enough to go through a divorce but it’s something else again to have your children snatched from your arms.
I married with high expectations. We were in love. We would build a true Jewish home and raise children committed to Torah. Very quickly my hopes and dreams were smashed. The love we shared quickly turned into animosity.
A woman whose husband has money and good connections has no chance for a fair divorce. He has money. You don’t. He has connections. You don’t. You only have bitter tears that no one is interested in seeing. So there you are standing alone without direction or even an ounce of hope.
I went through misery and torture before I received my get. My ex despises me and is bent on destroying me. He has done everything to torture me. He used his money and powerful connections to take my children from me and turn them against me.
I always had the most beautiful relationship with my children. We were a family. But my ex took me to court and accused me of the most horrible things. I volunteered to take polygraph tests and passed them with flying colors but it was all to no avail.
I speak for the single moms and dads out there whose children have been taken from them by malevolent spouses. Shame on those fathers and mothers who are so selfish that they don’t care about the permanent emotional scars they are inflicting on their children. Their purpose is only that their former spouse should have no contact with them.
How can they be so cruel? Where is their yiras shamayim? How can you teach children to hate their moms or dads? What sort of role models are these parents to their offspring?
Divorce is a bitter enough pill for children to swallow, but when they are taught to hate their mother or father it destroys them and their future generations as well. Don’t these parents think about the day they’ll have to face Hashem?
Sometimes I feel like I’m crying in the wilderness and there is no one to listen. No one wants to get involved. As I said, my ex is powerful and wealthy so everyone turned their backs on me.
How did we sink so low? There are mommies and daddies in our frum communities who haven’t seen their children in years. Who will have the strength to stand up and say, “This cannot continue”? Something must be done.
Rebbetzin, I went to the Shabbaton with all these horrible thoughts. I can’t escape from them. I never thought I could find solace or comfort, but I did find blessings at the Shabbaton, and it was largely because of you.
Thank you for the chizuk you gave all of us. You are truly an angel of Hashem. It was wonderful spending Shabbos with you. I watched you dance. I watched you smile. I watched you embrace each and every one of us. I saw the love you have for us and for Hashem.
You’re right when you say Hashem has all the answers. I will continue to pray. I believe everything that has happened to me and to my children will somehow, with Hashem’s help, come out right in the end. I will aim to live my life as you advised.Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
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