web analytics
April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


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.

Hatzlocha!

About the Author: Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887.


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.

Current Top Story
Car - A-Tor
Updated: Three Injured in Jerusalem Terror Attack, Ambulances and Mayor’s Car also Attacked
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

South-Florida-logo

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

South-Florida-logo

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-041715

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

Respler-040315

How can you expect people who go through such gehenom to even know how to give warmth and love?

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

I believe that Hashem will only bring Moshiach when we finally achieve achdus.

I love my husband dearly and I do everything to make him happy.

Men and women have different roles to play in marriages and as parents.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

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: