web analytics
September 15, 2014 / 20 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



A Writer’s Sensitivity

Respler-101813

Dear Dr Yael:

I wish to comment on your October 4 column, “Desperate To Reconnect.” Brokenhearted and Devastated wrote that her son, with whom she and her husband had been close, became estranged from them after marrying a convert with no family involvement (his wife later left him). The parents feared that he had “some emotional or psychological problems” as a result of his marital experience.

In your reply, you “question why his rebbeim would suggest such a shidduch, considering the pair’s cultural differences and the fact that this match appears to have had severe detrimental effects on your son’s mental health.”

Converting to Judaism through an Orthodox rabbi is an excruciatingly difficult process, not for the faint of heart. It’s a very lonely road and nothing short of a true commitment to Torah can provide the resilience, bravery and fortitude to go through this process. Although some converts are indeed blessed with supportive, understanding families, many aren’t as lucky. And the isolation is part of the many sacrifices made to be closer to Hashem.

So please don’t jump to conclusions. If this man, for example, has schizophrenia (which we don’t know) and was showing signs of it in yeshiva, the rebbeim could have thought that introducing him to a nice, committed, religious convert would be best for him. It probably was not best for her, but many people unfortunately make the mistake of believing that just because someone is a convert, he or she deserves a lesser shidduch. And forgive me for saying that the tone of your letter indicates that you appear to support that notion.

I remind you that the Torah admonishes us countless times to love the convert. Being condescending and treating people like they are less than the rest of us is not a form of love. Dr. Yael, please pause for a moment and think more about this matter. You judged the poor lady simply because she is a convert – without having any knowledge about what the conversion process entails.

Please forgive me if this letter offends you in any way; that is certainly not my intention. It’s just that as a mother and very proud convert for many years, I feel that your position on this issue is a bit offensive to people like me. Thanks for reading my letter and I hope that my thoughts are helpful to you. I wish you all the very best.

                                                                                                           Anonymous  

Dear Anonymous:

I reread my response and cannot find a negative reference about gerim; perhaps you interpreted “cultural differences” as that negative statement.  However, the woman did come from a different culture and a different country, which can sometimes cause problems in a marriage.  In any event, “It is to the Ger, the Yasom and the Almana” to whom we must demonstrate extreme sensitivity and I hurt you.  Please forgive me.  There were other ambiguities in my response which I now realize may have been upsetting.

Regardless, I printed this letter “Desperate to Reconnect” regarding parents who are being cut off by their son, who they love.  This man married a gyoret, but from the letter it appears that her issue was that she had no relationship with her own family.  Many converts maintain a warm relationship with their family and respect them as well, though you are correct that not all have that opportunity.

This couple choose to shun the husband’s parents, who seemed to want to have a loving relationship with them.  In my opinion, that is the issue, not that the former wife was a gyoret; parents being rejected by their child is unfortunately a situation that many families are dealing with today.

I thank you for taking the time to send this letter.  As a therapist and a writer it is my hope that my words will be taken in a positive manner; I appreciate your bringing what seemed like an insensitivity to my attention.

As to the original letter, while we cannot know what caused this particular family’s estrangement, I do think its clear how painful it is for the parents.  If anyone has any ideas as to how these parents can help an adult child, who does not want to have a relationship with them, please e-mail me.

About the Author:


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 “A Writer’s Sensitivity”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Section of the Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial, just one of several Jewish sites and institutions struck by anti-Semitic vandalism in 2014.
Swastikas Again in Series of Philadelphia Attacks of Anti-Semitism
Latest Sections Stories
Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

Schonfeld-logo1

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

Teens-091214-Octopus

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

The new group will also deliver kosher food to Jewish residents in non-kosher facilities, as well as to kosher facilities where the food is not up to par.

The Honey Bee workshop delighted the children and all others who attended the event.

Many former baseball players who left us with happy memories also passed away in the past year.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-091214

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

Respler-090514

I recently met a wonderful woman who writes poetry. With her permission, I am sharing a poem she wrote about time.

What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

There could be no Jewish-themed books and, as such, the lack of knowledge these boys displayed in regards to many of the topics we read about was clear.

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.

A prominent shadchan recently articulated a dilemma she’s facing.

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/a-writers-sensitivity/2013/10/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: