web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Speaking Appropriately

Respler-062113

Dear Dr. Yael:

I admired your very appropriate reply to Anonymous about being careful what you say to others (Nishmah Vena’aseh: Think Before Speaking – 6-7).

I painfully lost a son more than 15 years ago due to a drug overdose.

We are a chassidish family. My son got into the wrong crowd, and some of his friends (both girls and boys) also died from drug overdoses. Others, though, were fortunate to get help and are now frum and married with families. But many of the married friends have serious medical problems, e.g. heart conditions, due to the quantity of their drug consumption as teenagers.

When I read your column, I recalled how painful it was to sit shiva for this child. Not only did he destroy our family in so many ways, he also stole many things from us in order to pay for his drug addiction. Unfortunately, he was introduced to drugs by an older “frum” chassidish man who destroyed so many children just to make a buck.

Nevertheless, he was my child and I loved him. The pain of sitting shiva for a child that I loved was compounded by the insensitive remarks that people made to my husband and me during the shiva period. Some told us that we should have gotten him better professional help.

What were these people thinking? Do they have any idea how many professionals we sought help from? Do they know how much money we spent in our quest to save him? Did they ever think that he was simply unreachable? I am not blaming the professionals, for some tried very hard to help him. But a drug addiction is an awful, poisonous disease. It is all too often virtually impossible to beat.

I will never forget the people who supposedly came to comfort us while we were sitting shiva, but who in fact did the exact opposite.

How could these people judge us when they were never faced with such nisyonos in their lives? The hurtful remarks still sting my heart. I still ponder this question: What were they thinking when they criticized us during the most vulnerable period in our lives?

Baruch Hashem, the rest of our children turned out amazing. We have several married children and beautiful grandchildren. Some are great bnei Torah, and the world views us in a different light today. But we will never forget the child that left us far too soon – and far too tragically.

I cheered as I read your answer. I hope that people will listen to your important message – if they have nothing positive or helpful to say – say nothing and just listen! It is the best advice one can follow.

You are halachically correct when you point out that a visitor should not initiate a conversation with an aveil sitting shiva. Instead, the person sitting shiva should commence the conversation if he or she wishes. And if the aveil does not want to talk, the visitor should just sit there and attempt to express comfort by silently exhibiting care. The visitor should always remember that no advice is required or appropriate in such a situation – since it is too late for any advice to be helpful.

While it is now many years later, our pain will never be healed. Yes, both time and the nachas we have certainly helped, but a family never forgets their child, a child they tried to raise in a Toradik manner.

Dr. Yael, thank you for your amazing column that appears in my favorite newspaper. May Hashem guide your efforts to help klal Yisrael. To use your signature ending, hatzlachah to you and your daughter, Dr. Orit.

A Fan

Dear Fan:

Thank you for your words of chizuk and beautiful message. You certainly appear to be a very positive person, and the fact that you raised such a beautiful family is proof enough that your children have wonderful parents.

Unfortunately, I know people who lost children to the drug epidemic, and your story sounds the same as theirs. Any human being who can destroy the lives of so many innocent children by selling drugs due to his financial greed is beyond horrible.

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 “Speaking Appropriately”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein
My Encounter with Rav Lichtenstein
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

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

Twenties-041715-Hat

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

Teens-Twenties-logo

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.

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

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/speaking-appropriately/2013/06/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: