Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

My mother passed away eighteen years ago and my father two years before her, leaving me an orphan at age sixteen, with two younger siblings to care for. When I was eighteen, I married a young man, an orphan like myself, who seemed to be a fine and caring ben Torah.  We set up house and my younger siblings came to live with us. That became a problem when we began having our own children as we didn’t have that much space. My siblings soon went off to Eretz Yisrael, which calmed the tension between my husband and I.


Over the past few years, I have noticed many changes in my husband.  My husband changed jobs a lot, and each time that happened he moved further away from the shiur-going, temimisdika young man who never missed a minyan. He slowly became someone I don’t know. He no longer keeps Shabbos or kashrus.

Mrs. Bluth, I have three sons and two daughters who go to yeshivos, and while I do my best to hide their fathers transformation, finding explanations for his not going to shul, I’m sure the older ones are beginning to notice.  The one saving grace is that he travels a lot for his business.

The saddest think is that I still love him and don’t want to divorce him. I daven every day that Hashem should heal his neshama. My best friend, in whom I have confided in order to keep my sanity and to get some sort of perspective, has strongly encouraged me to leave him. She says that my boys might soon follow in their father’s footsteps, as being able to through off the restrictions that come with being frum are very enticing.

I am so troubled and afraid of doing something or doing nothing, that I have closed myself off from everyone. I don’t how to answer the questions my children will ask. Please help me find a path between the light of Torah and the absence of it that coexists in my house.

Torn and lost in Queens


Dear Friend,

You are neither torn or lost; you live with a person who is torn and lost. What you are is a person who is seeking to find ways to keep your children on the derech as they become more aware of their father having fallen off. You are the keeper of the flame of Yiddishkeit, as are all Jewish wives and mothers and you already know what it is you need to do.  The road on which your answers lie is a rocky, uphill one, filled with obstacles and setbacks, but it is a road that will, hopefully, bring your family together and help your husband find his way back.

Love is a strong motivator, a miraculous tool and a healing weapon – use it wisely.  You say you love your husband and divorce is not an option, so you’ve already signed up for the ride.  I admire you for your truthfulness, courage and love of spouse and children. While it may not be so for your husband, Hashem Yisborach resides in your heart and will help you succeed.

Do not isolate yourself, you have no need to hide – in fact, the opposite is true.  Walk with your head held high, go to shul with your children on Shabbos, even if your husband does not join you, attend simchas and gatherings because you are  alive and should be a part of life in every respect.  Don’t forget, as much as your children may see your husband’s regression, they are also watching you. The persona you display – strong, loving, patient and filled with hope – will be absorbed by them and with Hashem’s help they will choose to follow your example.  No one but Hashem can know how long it will take for your husband to “come home,” but the will to see this through lies in yours hand. Let your faith be your walking stick on this journey.


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