web analytics
August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Desperate To Reconnect With Their Son

Respler-100413

Dear Dr. Yael:

Unfortunately, for the last several years our beloved son (we will call him Shmuel) has become estranged from us. This occurred immediately after his wedding in Israel.

Before he got married, we were all very close. We had no concerns regarding his emotional state, and he was a professional success. Regrettably that all changed several years ago when our 25-year-old son married a foreign-born woman (we will call her Chana) who had converted to Judaism and had no family involvement. This shidduch was arranged through a rabbi/teacher who knew both of them. Everything seemed to be fine except for the aforementioned issue of Chana having no family connections.

We, with our other children’s help, tried to welcome Chana into our family as a daughter. But Shmuel and Chana made every effort to keep us at a distance, cutting ties with all of us, including Shmuel’s grandmother. Despite contacting his rebbeim, our rabbi, his friends, and anyone else we could think of, no one seemed able to help us. Many told us that they just need their space and independence. Sadly, this was inaccurate.

They eventually left Israel and settled in a city far away from us here in the United States. We did not know where they lived until our son brought litigation against us to prevent us from continuing to find them. The lawsuit was thrown out of court, but at that point we could not see or speak to him. He also legally changed his name.

We did, however, find out where he worked. So we called him there, blocked our number, and were able to hear his voice without having a conversation with him. We also knew, with the help of connections, that he was not involved with the Orthodox community. Additionally, our youngest child sent Shmuel a letter to his workplace over a year ago to inform him of his upcoming marriage. This overture was rebuffed, with Shmuel writing back that he does not want anything to do with us and that we should not contact him – even regarding deaths in the family.

Less than a month ago, our close relatives vacationed in the city where Shmuel lives and bumped into him in a shul there. Upon seeing them Shmuel began leaving shul but stayed, as he was the 10th man for the minyan. He left shul immediately after the davening. Prior to that, when the shul’s rebbetzin told him that our relatives said that they are part of his family, he denied it.

Moreover, his long hair and beard, reactions, and facial expressions indicate that he has some emotional or psychological problems. Some good news, though: our son returned to the shul the following week. And we are now in contact with the shul’s rabbi and rebbetzin, unbeknownst to him, offering to help him anonymously in any possible way.

For their part, the rabbi and rebbetzin have helped Shmuel find a small apartment near their shul and have had him over for Shabbos seudos. They’ve informed us that Shmuel only works part-time and that his wife left him and no longer lives in that city.

Friends in the psychiatric field have told us that there is nothing we can do to force our son to accept our help. We acknowledge that if we try to contact him directly right now, he would react negatively to our gesture and, as a result, we might lose the connection we’ve recently made. We are also aware that since he is an adult and has not hurt himself or others, we cannot forcibly become his legal guardians. Further, we know that we cannot force him to take medicine even though this could possibly help him.

Our son-in-law suggested that we have someone from Shmuel’s past – a friend or rabbi – find a way to run into him, establishing contact. The person would make an effort to coax him back into our family. We understand that this would take time. While our psychiatrist friends both said that, in their views, this would not work, a friend who is a behavioral counselor was more optimistic. But the counselor suggests that we not implement this idea right now because Shmuel recently saw our close relatives (as we described earlier).

About the Author: Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Respler will be on 102.1 FM at 10:00 pm Sunday evenings after Country Yossi.


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 “Desperate To Reconnect With Their Son”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Cong. Albio Sires (D-NJ-8)
Third Democrat Breaks with Obama on Iran Nuclear Deal
Latest Sections Stories

We studied his seforim together, we listened to famous cantorial masters and we spoke of his illustrious yichus, his pedigree, dating back to the famous commentator, Rashi.

Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

Jews who were considered, but not ultimately selected, include Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, Anne Frank, and Barbra Streisand.

Personally I wish that I had a mother like my wife.

What’s the difference between the first and second ten-year-old?

What makes this diary so historically significant is that it is not just the private memoir of Dr. Seidman. Rather, it is a reflection of the suffering of Klal Yisrael at that time.

Rabbi Lau is a world class speaker. When he relates stories, even concentration camp stories, the audience is mesmerized. As we would soon discover, he is in the movie as well.

Each essay, some adapted from lectures Furst prepared for live audiences, begins with several basic questions around a key topic.

For the last several years, four Jewish schools in the Baltimore Jewish community have been expelling students who have not received their vaccinations.

“We can’t wait for session II to begin” said camp director Mrs. Judy Neufeld.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler

Why should any girl deserve to end up with a guy who can’t even think straight?

Women don’t often realize they are being abused, especially if the abuse is emotional rather than physical.

My children encouraged me to date and even set me up with a very special man.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

When they all try to speak at once, I will ask them to stop and speak one at a time.

In America one has to either be very rich or impoverished to receive care – the middle class seems to get taken advantage of.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/desperate-to-reconnect-with-their-son/2013/10/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: