web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 11/25/10

By:

Chronicles-logo

Share Button

Dear Readers,

In last week’s column, a devoted daughter wrote of the emotional turmoil she endures in caring for her elderly mother. Very frustrated made it clear that she has no misgivings about doing all she can, in every way, to make her mother’s life as comfortable as possible. The writer is blessed with having her family’s backing and cooperation as well, and, in fact, her mother has been on an extended stay in their home now for several months while recuperating from surgery.

The difficulties experienced by this daughter stem from her mom’s negative attitude; the elder woman is distrustful of everything and everyone and is especially critical of her son-in-law whom she derides under her breath at every turn.

In addition, she has the annoying habit of meddling into the family’s affairs – such as when she finds fault with shidduchim for her granddaughters and thinks nothing of inappropriately interrogating their shidduch dates.

As an only child and hence sole caretaker of her widowed mom, Very frustrated has shouldered this awesome responsibility ever since her father passed away (years ago, before she got married). At this time she fears that the dam may soon burst and that her thus-far-forbearing husband will “reach his breaking point.”

Basically, she is interested in knowing where her obligations lie, both in a religious and moral sense, to a parent “who has made me completely miserable my entire life.”

Dear Frustrated,

A reply to your letter would hardly be worthy of print if it failed to sing your praises: Kudos to you for being a devoted and dutiful daughter to your mother!

Lest we forget, kibbud av v’eim is a divine commandment. What’s more, Hashem considers honoring a mother and father in the same league as honoring Him. Essentially, we have no choice in the matter.

But how far must we take this obligation? To what lengths must one go to honor a parent? The Talmud states it clearly and leaves no room for doubt: To the extent that no matter how uncomfortable or embarrassed a child is made to feel by his/her parent, the child must not show any distress or anger towards that parent.

Getting back to your own personal situation you indicate that you have always been there for your mother, and that it’s never been easy. But now she sorely tests your endurance, as you are hurting badly not only for yourself but for your loved ones who are at the mercy of your mother’s acrimony.

On the positive side, you can count yourself fortunate in many ways. For one, it is apparent that you have a mature and understanding man for a spouse, one who knows not to take your mother’s barbs personally and who conducts himself with dignity under trying circumstances. In all probability, he recognizes and appreciates the importance of the role you undertake and roots for you in your noble cause. (For the record, one is obligated to honor and respect one’s in-laws as well as one’s parents.)

Then there are your children (good kids, you say) who reap the benefit of viewing up close the selfless manner in which you dedicate yourself to your mother’s needs – a valuable lesson they will take with them for life.

Whereas honoring a parent in ideal conditions is certainly meritorious, consider how much greater is the merit for one who performs the commandment under grueling circumstances. Besides, where does it state that carrying out the mitzvah is supposed to come easy? And are you aware that each individual act (of your kibbud eim) counts as a separate mitzvah? That knowledge by itself should help you sustain chizuk in fulfilling your lofty goal.

By the time you read this, your mother may be back in her own home and may even have agreed to have outside help. It is perfectly acceptable to have someone reliable assist or relieve you so that you can catch your breath and recharge your batteries. Both you and your mother can benefit from such an arrangement.

You may even go so far as to suggest an assisted living facility (which may be just what your mom can use at this stage in her life), but be mindful of your approach – for you are not permitted to communicate to your mother that she is a burden, nor are you allowed to make her feel pressured to go. The option should be hers alone.

Last but not least: It surely does not escape any member of your family that your mother is an almanah, a widow – who is rendered vulnerable and fragile by her tremendous loss and whose feelings we are divinely warned to be extra-heedful of.

­In merit of your unwavering commitment to the mitzvah of kibbud eim, may you and your husband be rewarded with loads of nachas from your own children. Hatzlacha!

* * * * *

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, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215. 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.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 11/25/10”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-298/2010/11/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: