web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 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.



A Writer’s Sensitivity

Respler-101813

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “A Writer’s Sensitivity”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
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.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-041814

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.

Respler-041114

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

By employing this new countermove, the scenario will likely change.

I bring the results of this study to demonstrate that although in a frum world we should rise above the gashmius, unfortunately, we still live in a secular world in which we are affected by that gashmius.

It is a shame that when one sincerely wishes to help another person, he or she often must avoid telling the truth.

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for your amazing letter. I wish you hatzlachah in your new marriage, and may your letter bring more sensitivity to others regarding this issue.

JetBlue flew an empty aircraft from Boston to JFK to assist us. The care and concern of the flight attendants was amazing. They were astounded by our group, so much so that at the end of the flight, the captain related for all to hear that he was truly impressed by the care that the HASC counselors provided for the special-needs campers – all of whom have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. We did our best to demonstrate a true kiddush Hashem.

I had a great figure and dressed well, but the only thing wrong with me was that I had a very long nose with a huge bump.

    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/marriage-relationships/a-writers-sensitivity/2013/10/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: