web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



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:


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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Children run into a shelter during a Code Red siren warning of incoming rockets fired from Gaza in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.
IDF Retaliates for Ashkelon’s Morning Rocket Fire
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-072514

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

Schonfeld-logo1

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Schild-Edwin

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Certainly today’s communication via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and the like, including the ubiquitous Whatsapp, has reduced the need to talk with people and communicate at length.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-072514

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

Respler-071814

My teachers like me and they tell my parents that I am a great girl with good middos.

Some yeshivish couples do not believe in going out with other couples, but that does not mean that the women cannot have social lives.

In my experience, modern schools tend to be more open-minded toward other flavors of Judaism.

I was called to the principal’s office and shown a picture my daughter had drawn.

“Where was this guy when I was dating?”

We must be honest about whether this shidduch “crisis” is self-made, and how much of it is really a crisis at all.

Being a teacher requires more than just knowing the material.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: