web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:
Chronicles-logo

Dear Rachel,

Lately it seems that in every other family there is a so-called black sheep who is either whispered about or completely disregarded and omitted from conversations at the dinner table, as well as from family functions. Sometimes it’s an estranged sibling, an aunt or uncle, or even cousins who haven’t spoken to one another in years due to a slight or a remark taken out of context.

I’m not talking about family members drifting apart because of years of physical distance between them and rare opportunities to get together — though this is no excuse nowadays when there are plenty of communication modes available to choose from. The cause of many of these breakups seems to stem from hostilities created by insensitive comments or criticisms directed at (sometimes over-sensitive) kin, and family disputes of all kinds, involving issues of either a personal or business nature.

As a baby boomer, I can’t recall so many splintered families in our communities when we were younger. Was I just not aware of them? Was it always like this? Or has the stress of the modern world gotten to us? One thing seems certain: with instant communication literally at their fingertips, young people are bound to experience difficulty in working things out face-to-face.

Not a good thing…

Dear Not,

Never a good thing. And, no doubt, the cut and dried shorthand form of messaging has its drawbacks. For instance, should a warranted apology be forthcoming, the recipient would have a hard time assessing the sincerity of an electronically conveyed mea culpa and may, in addition, have too much time to dwell on whether to accept it or to continue harboring a grudge — whereas in person, one instant of warm feelings can lead to a permanent truce.

Have “black sheep” become more prevalent in families today? Possibly, though machlokes (contention) is not new. With more of us baruch Hashem inhabiting the earth, there is bound to be more of such instances. And of course, since news and gossip travel at a much greater speed today than they once did, we are more in the know — not necessarily in a good way. (This is partly why the laws of lashon hora have been so widely promoted over the last several years.)

And that’s the good thing to have emerged with the times. With predicaments arising to the fore, we are made to deal with them. If we’re lucky (and wise), we learn just by observing others. A fascinating story that has just recently come to light is a perfect example, and its powerful message happens to be relevant to your concern.

A short time ago, a man in Israel dreamed of his late father who came to him to let him know that he (the son) would be summoned shortly to a Heavenly tribunal to testify against someone coming up for judgment. In the dream, the father told his son that his teacher had once, long ago, embarrassed him in the classroom, and since the son had never forgiven him for this humiliation, his testimony would now be required.

The son asked his father whether he would then be allowed to return to earth, but his father didn’t answer him. Shaken over this dream, the son approached Rav Chaim Kanievsky, who annulled the dream. But this didn’t do anything to alleviate the man’s fear and apprehension, and so Rav Kanievsky assembled three witnesses for a beis din ruling. It was decided that the man who had the dream must try to locate his ex-teacher to grant him mechila (forgiveness).

After some tedious searching, this teacher was found to be in the hospital’s intensive care unit, gravely ill. The man went to the hospital, where he was informed that only family members were permitted to visit the very sick patient. This being Israel and the doctor frum, the man explained his dilemma to the doctor — who led him to the patient’s son sitting outside his father’s room.

Upon hearing the story, the son agreed to allow the visitor to try to communicate with his ailing father, now attached to a respirator. The man who had come to forgive his teacher was taken aback by the elder man’s condition (he hardly looked to be among the living) but sat down next to the bed and introduced himself.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Aerial view of Yemenite Village of HaShiloach, Old City of Jerusalem and Mt. of Olives.
Jews to Double Presence in Old Yemenite Village of Shiloach, Silwan
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-141/2012/06/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: