Photo Credit: Jewish Press

May you see much joy and nachas from your family in the coming days.






Dear Mrs. Bluth,

I have written to you before, but have not acted on your good counsel. Unfortunately, things have gotten to a point where my entire family is being ripped to pieces and I cannot manage on own any more. My children and I are in therapy but my husband refuses to go as he says everything that is wrong is my fault.

We live in an affluent and religious community and every shul has a kiddush club, where the men hang out in between Shacharis and Mussaf on Shabbos – and drink.  In most shuls this is where it starts and ends, even though its still a poor example for the children who witness their fathers getting drunk (one man got so drunk he went home without his three-year-old son, who was found wandering the streets alone) with the approval of the shul elders.

The shul we attend goes a step further. Some of the men bring drug-laced brownies (baked by their wives) to compliment the whiskey. I found out about these brownies when the child of another shul member asked if the brownie I offered him was the kind with the “green leaves” in it or plain.

I began noticing changes in my husband’s behavior soon after he joined this “club” and though I have begged him to daven in another shul, he refuses. Please tell me what to do – I feel like I have last chance to keep my family together.

Can’t see through the smoke in L.A.


Dear Friend,

I do, indeed, recall your letter of some years ago and what I’m about to tell you is the same thing I told you back then. 

First and foremost, you have to make the rabbi of your congregation aware of what is going on in his house of worship!  If he is unaware of the goings on, however, onlikely, will force him to make changes and forbid what is taking place in his shul.  No Rabbi worth his salt will endanger his congregation and his parnassa by taking the chance that the authorities will discover illegal activities. If that does not work, then I would advise you to go to the authorities and leave it to them to clean house. 

To those of you who are aghast at my suggestion and will start singing the mesira song, I say, look what this has done to a family!  It has destroyed the sanctity of the home, disrupted sholom bayis and confused and derailed the children to the point where outside help and intervention is necessary.  There is no inyan of mesira here, it’s more about sakanas nefashos

Kiddush clubs should be done away with. Shul is not a “club” and no rabbi or rav should turn a blind eye to a practice that may well encourage children to partake of liquor and whiskey as part of the davening ritual.

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