web analytics
December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Opening Up About The Holocaust

Respler-013114

Dear Dr. Respler:

Regarding your January 17 column, “Passing On One’s Holocaust Experiences,” I wish to offer some comforting words to the grandmother whose father is sharing his wartime experiences with his 11-year-old great-grandson (the letter writer’s grandson).

I am also a child of survivors, one whose mother still has a clear mind. Although she is physically healthy, she is very depressed. All my life she never shared any details of the atrocities she endured during the war. I think if she shared her pain, she would unburden herself. I agree with you that the letter writer needs to redirect the audience for her father’s horror stories, but it sounds like her father is still enjoying his life and relating to his family. Conversely, my mother has always been a quiet, sad person.

Baruch Hashem, our amazing father had a positive outlook and dealt with his issues differently. I feel very bad for my mother; as no one wants to be around her, she is very lonely. She has no friends, and even her few contemporaries who went through what she endured are different than my mother. While I may be reading between the lines, it seems from the letter that this woman’s father is not depressed. Thus, she should be grateful that he still wants to be a part of the lives of his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and you. That being said, I reiterate my agreement that this woman must help her father find another medium to express his painful memories.  An 11-year-old child should not be put in the position of having to deal with these issues.

I wish my mother would talk about her pain. In fact, I showed the woman’s letter to my mother thinking it would start a conversation between us. But all she said was that she did not want to discuss the column and that the great-grandfather should keep his feelings to himself. I said to her, “Mommy, it is better to talk about your feelings. Maybe if you would talk about your past, you would not be so sad all the time.” She just became quiet and said that she is who she is and that she could not change at her age. I even raised the idea of a support group (I had one lined up for her), but she said that she just wants to bury the past and that I should never again bring up this issue.

Even though I don’t know the woman who wrote the letter, I just want to convey to her my hope that she look at the positive side of this situation. She should be grateful that her father is at least talking about his past and that he appears to be taking an active part in his daughter’s and her family’s life. For this she should be happy.

Silence is not always golden. Expressing feelings helps people move on and enjoy their lives. I think Hitler, yimach shemo, did not only kill six million Jews, but also killed my mother’s spirit and denied me the ability to have a normal mother. Thank you for listening, Dr. Respler, and keep up your great work.

A Child of Survivors
 

Dear Child of Survivors:

Thank you for your letter. In life we must always try to find the positive in every situation.

I hope this woman reads your letter and sees another angle to her situation. With respect to your mother, she appears to be clinically depressed. It seems as if she took all the anger she accrued during the war and turned it inward. This might be the cause of her depression. I think you should recommend to your mother that she receive professional help.

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.

2 Responses to “Opening Up About The Holocaust”

  1. As a Holocaust survivor myself I can relate to this problem, to talk or not to talk.
    I resolved my problem with seeking psychiatric help for many years since I suffered with PTS. I was fortunate to become a professional artist where I can express myself freely. I have quite few friends many very young people who regularly visit me. It is the most serene part of my life right now at 89 years of age.
    Shalom
    Holocaust survivor

  2. Margaretha Tierney says:

    Dear people who still suffer. Take your hurts to G-d. Tell Him all you have suffered and still suffer and give them to Him. It is too big for you to continue carrying. It might not seem like He takes them, but once you have actually done it, refuse to listen to the thoughts that come about them — just say, 'They don't belong to me any more. G-d has taken them from me.' Then purposely do something to take your mind from them. Every time they come to mind, direct your attention elsewhere while acknowledging that they do not belong to you any more. Say these words out loud. After a while the 'enemy' will leave you alone. Direct your attention to the goodness of our G-d and ask Him to give you His joy. Nehemiah 8 verse 10.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
funny rocket joke
Israel Retaliates: Hits Terror Tunnel Cement Factory
Latest Sections Stories
Games-121914

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

South-Florida-logo

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-logo-NEW

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

Respler-logo-NEW

Isn’t there anyone making a simcha who understands that loud music can cause hearing loss?

My mother thinks of herself as a superior person, has very little feelings for other people, and probably suffers from a deep lack of self-esteem.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

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.

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?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/opening-up-about-the-holocaust/2014/01/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: