web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘No Love’

The Torah Never Intended a Get to Be a Weapon

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Jewish law mandates that either spouse can request a get but only the husband can grant one. This technicality in the Jewish divorce process has led to nefarious manipulations by husbands who wish to gain the upper hand in divorce settlements or permanently punish and control their wives.

Such a flagrant imbalance of power enables a get-threat shakedown. Women, some with many children, are faced with impossible demands, forced to yield homes, assets, even custody; coerced into accepting drastic reductions in spousal and child support payments; driven to rely on welfare and social services to survive. Unless women relinquish their rights, the get is often withheld. This deliberate flaying of Jewish law is clearly contrary to its designed intent.

Rabbis who should be reining these men in, enjoining them from using bullying and coercive threats of withholding the get, frequently act as active or passive agents facilitating the husbands’ outrageous demands in bet din. Even well intentioned rabbis encourage women to yield so they can obtain their freedom. The system is tragically out of balance in the diaspora – the number of agunot is on the rise and the abuse of the system by recalcitrant husbands has become common practice.

Many women receive ransom calls, usually through emissaries of the husband, the indirect intimidation stance of cowards. My husband’s rabbi, privy to details of the abuse I’d endured, had no qualms about requesting $250, 000 for the get – and that was twenty years ago. Several years ago my father-in-law said it would take $500, 000 just to coax his son to the negotiation table, and that offer was contingent on my taking out an ad in a major paper begging his forgiveness for all the horrible things I had done to him.

Yes, I got custody of our child; yes, he got supervised visitation. That’s what happens when you can’t control your rages or stick to the mandates of the court – but that’s not his fault, its mine. He remains the martyred, offended party.

A get was never intended to be used as a weapon or a bargaining chip. All custodial and monetary issues are resolvable, either through arbitration, settlement, psak in bet din, or court mandate.

Can you imagine being deprived, in the prime of life, of conjugal relations, intimacy, and a home life for years and years? The beauty of two people living in harmony works when a couple creates a loving, cooperative, respectful life together. However, when marriages don’t work, the family home can become acrimonious and the marriage unsustainable. The Torah made provisos for such cases. Yet many judge a woman’s choice to exit a bad marriage. They feel she should weather the worst, go for more marital therapy, stay for the sanctity of marriage and the sake of the children… What naiveté to think a marriage has to be happy!

Sometimes marriages just need to end. It’s a fact of life. Common causes are financial strife, deceit, infidelity, or couples who’ve grown universes apart, their differences irreconcilable. There are those who endure extreme physical and emotional abuse. Most are women, afraid to leave; many, in fact, stay longer than they should, their bruises not always visible to outsiders.

Children deserve a stable, nurturing, uncontentious environment, not a hostile battleground etched onto their indelible consciousness, shaping their future relationships. Some couples erroneously think that conceiving another child together will somehow mend the family. It only builds the casualty count. When a marriage is dead, there is a moral imperative to facilitate a divorce and to establish the proper separation mechanisms for the two parties.

To date, there is very little recourse for women in my position. Whatever funds we’ve managed to squirrel away are spent with astounding diminution on litigation in bet din, civil court, or both. My husband joined a cadre of recalcitrants, expert in strategic prolonged pro se litigation, advocating “father’s rights” but unable to stay the course of court-appointed forensics or adhere to court-ordered visitation schedules. My life savings went quickly down the rabbit hole during years of bet din and court procedures. Many husbands cleverly hide assets and women are stuck raising children alone, juggling job, motherhood and household with limited assistance, bereft of funds, struggling and vulnerable.

Mind Your Manners: Raising A Respectful And Considerate Child

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Have you ever noticed that when four year olds play baseball every member of the team runs to field the ball? Do you pay attention to the fact that toddlers are eager to help with clean up regardless of whether they made the mess? And that three year olds want to push the button on the elevator for every person who walks in? Or that children of all ages enjoy handing money to the cashier at the grocery store?

All of these examples are instances in which children naturally wish to help those around them – whether in a sports game or a mundane activity. Lawrence Shapiro, the author of How to Raise a Child with a High EQ: A Parents’ Guide to Emotional Intelligence, explains, “Kindness and consideration are part of your child’s genetic coding, but if these traits are not nourished, they disappear.”

The question for parents is how to nurture these “helping” traits in order to continue to raise your child’s emotional intelligence. In other words, how do you raise a mentsch?

 

Balance: The Key To Mentschlichkeit I recently heard Dr. David Pelcovitz speak about how we can raise our children to be mentschen. He touched on the idea of creating an environment of love and limits. What does he mean by love and limits? This is something that I see in my practice on a daily basis.

Love, in this case, is exactly what it sounds like. Most parents have unconditional love for their children. They provide them with food, shelter, enrichment, and attention (just to mention a few!). Knowing that a parent loves them unconditionally is an important part of self-esteem building for children. The parents become “home base,” a safe haven in which they know they will always be accepted.

All children need rules and routines to govern their lives. Some limits include bedtimes, junk food regulations, and no playing until after homework. Each house has different rules and guidelines.

These help impose order and schedule into children’s lives. They help them understand the world around them through specific limitation. These limits also help prepare children for the idea that there are other considerations in the world besides their own.

All Love, No Limits But what happens when children are brought up in a home with unconditional love and no limits? Often, these children will not have the safeguards in place to teach them that they are not the center of the universe. They will grow up believing that the rules do not apply to them. After all, in many cases, they have never heard the word “no” in the home.

In the end, children who grow up with no limits will often end up selfish and egocentric. As opposed to healthy self-esteem, these children will grow up with inflated senses of self. Ultimately, when faced with a negative response, children brought up without limits will be unsure how to function.

All Limits, No Love On the flip side, a home that emphasizes limits, but does not have space for unconditional love creates a different set of problems. These children might have trouble building their self-esteem because they do not have a secure space to start from. While they are used to hearing the word “no” when they make extravagant requests, they do not feel comfortable in their own skin.

Eventually, with too many limits and not a lot of love, children may become angry and rebel. Without a strong connection to the family unit, these children may not feel that there is a reason to follow their parents’ directions.

Weighing the Scales With the right combination of love and limits, children can grow and develop ethical and moral character. That combination is perhaps the most important element in raising a mentsch. However, if you are looking for specific hands on ways to instill menschlichkeit, take a look at some of the following suggestions:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/mind-your-manners-raising-a-respectful-and-considerate-child/2011/11/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: