web analytics
November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Demanding Family Equity

Respler-011813

Dear Dr. Yael:

Your recent column on “The Wrongs Of Onas Devarim” (Dear Dr. Yael, 12-28-2012) was, for me, the worst column ever. Here’s why:

I am the fifth of six children. I have two older, married sisters with whom I am very close. One of my two older brothers is married; the other is engaged. Then comes me (I am 16), followed by my 12-year-old sister.

As we are chassidish, my siblings married at young ages. Thus, my oldest sister (who is pregnant) is about 24 and has three young children, and my 22-year-old sister has two children. My married brother has one child, while my 18-year-old engaged brother is learning in Israel for a year before returning home to get married.

Now on to the relationship between my younger sister and me. Despite being healthy, smart and very capable, she is so spoiled – my parents do not expect her to do anything. For years, my siblings and I have felt that my parents treat her differently.

A few weeks ago, following our Friday night Shabbos seudah, my mother read aloud your onas devarim column about the girl who is upset about having to do everything because her younger sister calls herself a “schlep.” In the letter she says that her sister – when she wants to go out with her friends – is able to wash the dishes in 10 minutes and get dressed quickly. Other times, every job she is given seems to take her forever to do.

I was very upset by your answer. In the letter from Frustrated and Overwhelmed, the writer never said that she called her sister a schlep; rather, that her sister called herself a schlep. You then talk about her sister’s self-esteem and the issue of onas devarim, somewhat blaming the older sister. To me, however, it was the younger sister who was acting manipulatively, using a “nebach me, the schlep” strategy to get out of doing her work. While your great columns are always on target, this time you missed the point.

My parents loved the column, but my siblings and I were furious. Here’s why:

As my younger sister does whatever it takes not to work, my parents do not assign her any jobs. But I had many jobs when I was 12, including babysitting for her.

The following story will help you understand why I feel our parents spoil my sister: When my brothers were younger, they decided to research the ketones hapasim that Yosef got from Yaakov. We would then figure out a way to sew one for my younger sister for Purim. My older sisters were going to help us.

When my parents heard this, they accused us (including my brothers-in-law and sister-in-law) of always ganging up on our poor younger sister. (We haven’t relayed this story to my brother’s kallah, as we do not want to scare her away.)

I am sick over your column. It has worsened my situation.

Please reread the writer’s letter. Everything the younger sister does is to manipulate things to her advantage. This was not a case of onas devarim, just a spoiled little sister – like my sister – trying to get away with doing nothing around the house. However, in my situation, everyone sees that my parents are to blame for my sister’s behavior – except my parents!

I think the reason they spoil her is because she was born premature and spent a month in the NICU before coming home. My older siblings share this view. But now she is, Baruch Hashem, strong and healthy with many friends. She is a great student (better than me) who writes and speaks well, and is great at sports. In short, she is able to do everything if she is given a chance and makes an effort. For example, if she wants to bake a cake for her friend or for our bubbie, she makes sure it looks professional.

At home though, she is required to do nothing, and sits like a queen while I do all the work. As a “joke” all my siblings say that I am Cinderella. My older sisters feel bad for me and invite me over for Shabbos, telling my mother that they need my help. Then, when I get there, they treat me like a queen, e.g. letting me sleep late, preparing a good bed with the best covers, etc. They even prepare my favorite dishes, as if I was some special princess coming to visit. (My sister-in-law has also done this for 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 “Demanding Family Equity”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.
Arab Pathologist Singing New Tune: Murder (By Jews) Not Suicide
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-111414

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

Respler-110714

When one marries someone with children, all family members must accept them.

My mother-in-law is totally devoted to her daughters and their children. Her sons’ children on the other hand are treated like second-class citizens.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

I went to camp for many years. We cleaned our own bunks and did not have air conditioning.

“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/demanding-family-equity/2013/01/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: