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May 3, 2016 / 25 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Yael’

Dear Dr. Yael

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Dear Dr. Respler:

I am a middle-aged woman who until recently was of average weight and reasonably attractive. Then I went through menopause and gained about 50 lbs. I am trying to lose the weight, but it is very difficult for me. I have a good marriage, we are well-off and have a beautiful family. Two of our children are happily married and we have several grandchildren. I am a very successful professional and make a good salary.

And yet, I don’t understand people. Whenever I go to a simcha or even when I go shopping, I bump into women who ask, “What happened to you? Why did you get so fat? I have a great diet that can help you!”

I am mortified, Dr. Respler. Do they think that I am stupid? I know that I got fat and I know what I have to do. All they do is hurt my feelings and make me want to hide.   Baruch Hashem, the people I work with never say anything to me.

I love your column and I thought you might be able to help here as well.

Please, Dr. Respler, tell people to mind their own business. If someone has a medical issue or a weight issue, believe me she is trying to deal with it. I have a friend who has tremors in her hands due to a medical condition and she is going crazy from everyone’s “helpful advice” and nosy questions. Trust me, my friend consults with the best physicians and does everything possible to ameliorate her situation.

Are people trying to be helpful or do they want to make us feel inadequate? I have always been perceived as a strong, happy and successful person and I am beginning to feel that others enjoy making me feel vulnerable. I look forward to your response and welcome any advice you can give me.

A Fan


Dear Fan,

Honestly, there are many reasons why people say painful things to others. There are people who feel inadequate and make themselves feel better by putting others down. Although the things these people say are painful, the recipients of these comments should remember where it is coming from and try to ignore them.

Other individuals say painful things because they do not think before they speak. I know that there are those who mean well and truly want to help others; however, offending a person is not helpful and could be damaging.

I heard a wonderful piece of advice: “Do not complain and do not explain!” In reality, people do not enjoy hearing others complain and will try to avoid those who do. At the same time, we do not owe anyone explanations about what we do in our lives or about the problems or challenges we face. Thus, your weight gain is not anyone’s business and you do not owe other people an explanation, just as your friend does not owe anyone an explanation for her tremors.

Please, dear readers, be sensitive to others and think before you speak!

Don’t ask people if they are pregnant; they will tell you when they want you to know.

Certainly, do not tell people they have gained weight – they know; please have some seichel! Even with your own children and in-law children, you need to be aware of what you are saying and try not to be critical. I know many parents feel that if they do not say things to their children, then who will? Nevertheless, would you want to be close to a parent who always points out your faults? Think ten times before insulting/criticizing your children and then, if you really feel you need to intervene, say your piece in a loving and positive manner.

Dr. Yael Respler

Yale Chaplain Blames Anti-Semitism on Israel

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Discontent is brewing in New Haven after Rev. Bruce M. Shipman, an Episcopal chaplain at Yale, wrote a letter to The New York Times implying that Israel’s actions encourage anti-Semitism.

On Aug. 20, Deborah E. Lipstadt, an author and Jewish history professor at Emory University, published an editorial in the New York Times entitled “Why Jews Are Worried,” detailing a rise in European anti-Semitic incidents.

Shipman responded by tying rising anti-Semitism to “the carnage in Gaza over the last five years” – and encouraging “Israel’s patrons abroad” to push the Israeli government for peace as a means to stop similar attacks.

On Twitter, Lipstadt called Shipman’s response “beneath contempt” and accused him of victim-blaming.

Rabbi Leah Cohen, executive director of Yale’s Slifka Center for Jewish Life, strongly condemned Shipman’s sentiments: “We are adamantly against any justifications of anti-Semitism and hatred of any kind,” she wrote.

Shipman issued an apology Friday in the student newspaper, stating that “Nothing done in Israel or Palestine justifies the disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in Europe or elsewhere,” but reiterating his belief in the “correlation between the uptick in anti-Semitic violence in the world and the events taking place in Israel/Palestine and Gaza.”


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/yale-chaplain-blames-anti-semitism-on-israel/2014/08/30/

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