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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
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The Anguish And Heartache Caused By Bullying



After receiving the above reply from Dr. Respler, Anonymous sent the following response: 

Dear Dr. Yael:

Thank you so much for your response. What makes this situation all the more tragic is that it is so unnecessary. My original letter was about my older son. My younger son attended, straight through high school, a non-sectarian school for children with special needs. The foreign-born principal had a zero tolerance policy for bullying. This policy was 100 percent effective, although many of the students were from parenting and behavior environments unlike ours.

It is heartwarming to note that you don’t have to be Jewish to have ruach hakodesh!


Dear Dr. Yael,

About a year ago I sent you a letter taking exception to advice you had given to women who had written in complaining about their husband’s behaviors (Magazine 12-17-2010).  In my letter, which you were kind enough to print, I wrote that you were too respectful of these awful men and that your advice to their wives wasn’t strong enough.

Now, I am delighted to write to tell you how much I enjoyed your response to the woman who wrote how pained she was by her mother-in-law who ignores her and her children (Magazine 10-28-2011).  How, I wondered, could a mother-in-law possibly do that?  Even if she’s distant with the daughter-in-law, how can she be distant with a baby?

You handled the matter perfectly, and I’m sure the writer will take your advice.

(A joke:  Perhaps the mother-in-law doesn’t have the energy to be close to all of her grandchildren and daughters-in-law.  What the young woman needs, therefore, is a shvigger with vigor.)


Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for your letter.   I appreciate your taking the time to write a positive response to my advice.  Generally people will write to me only when they disagree with something I have said, but not so often when they agree with my perspective.

In regards to the aforementioned family situation, I think daughter-in-law was more hurt by the perception that her mother-in-law treats her own daughters with more warmth and love.  However, this type of situation very often goes both ways.  Friends who have been Bubbys longer than I have tell me that their daughters children adore them while their son’s children tend to make them feel like second class citizens.   In those situations it would seem it was the daughters-in-law who were not showing warmth and love.  I would love to hear reactions from readers – from Bubbys, daughters and daughters-in-laws.



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.

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