Dear Dr. Yael:
My father, a”h, passed away in 1988. He had given me a beautiful silver atarah to be used for my Shabbos tallis. After he was nifter this atarah took on additional meaning, as it was a special memento from my father. I faithfully wore my tallis, with the atarah, every Shabbos and Yom Tov.
In 2000 I had the atarah repaired (I brought the tallis with the atarah to the Judaica store). Soon after, I received a call from the store informing me that the atarah and tallis had been lost. While the store manager was kind enough to replace the tallis and atarah, I was very saddened by the loss of my father’s special gift.
Eleven years later our daughter-in-law gave birth to a baby boy, who was named for my father. Approximately one week after the bris, my friend asked if I was missing an atarah. Puzzled, I answered in the affirmative. I told him that my father’s gift – an atarah – had been lost more than a decade earlier.
My friend told me about a phone call from an acquaintance who owned a silver repair shop in Brooklyn. While cleaning up after his store’s recent flood, the owner found an atarah on the floor behind a shelf. It had an ID tag on it; my last name and the town where I live was written it. Since the store owner knew my friend lived in the same town, he immediately called him to find out whether he knew me. Upon hearing that he did, the owner sent him the atarah – all shiny and new – to be returned to me. I was reunited with my father’s precious gift.
How ironic that my father’s gift was returned to me almost immediately after his great-grandson was named for him. It was as if my father was looking down from heaven and upon seeing that his great-grandson would carry his name, it was time for the atarah to be returned.
I am sure that Jewish Press readers will find your beautiful story to be inspiring. Miracles take place daily, so thank you for sharing yours. Hatzlachah!
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The July 25 issue of The Magazine featured a letter from reader Harold Marks on the topic of Competition in Marriage. Here is my response to his letter:
Mr. Marks, thank you for your letter. I was especially impressed with your eloquent analysis that “people should certainly not invite extra competition. But a husband and wife have to be fools not to understand that competition is always close by. Until both spouses work much harder on their marriage, the divorce rate will unfortunately continue to rise.” Your letter contains many key points.
Women and men often become too comfortable in their marriages and, as a result, neglect to dress well and take care of themselves – all for the benefit of the most important people in their lives, their spouses. Women and men must have greater awareness of these realities, considering that especially in summertime, they come across member of both genders inappropriately dressed. This puts many married people in challenging situations.
In fact, in my basically frum private practice that includes chassidic and charedi couples, I find that chassidic men often have a hard time dealing with their yetzer hara when they see well-groomed chassidic women who present a much nicer appearance than their own wives. For instance, many of these men compare their wives’ sheitels, hats and overall dress with those of other women. For their part, many women compare their husbands to their friends’ husbands. The competition, therefore, sometimes hits closer to home than we realize.Dr. Yael Respler
About the Author: Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at www.jewishpress.com and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at www.dryaelrespler.com.
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