Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

My heartache is not one you will come across often. As Torah observent and G-d-fearing Jews one would surely view this as unconscionable and impossible and totally against everything the Torah teaches us about loving each other, respecting and revering one’s parents without exception. I have reached a point in my life where I can no longer tolerate what my family is doing and need to find a way to resolve and heal us.


My mother has not spoken to her father or mother or, for that matter, any of her siblings since my sheva brochos. My father, not wishing to incur my mother’s wrath, has nothing to do with my mother’s family. We’re talking about three years back, and it is getting progressively worse as the weeks go by. My older two sisters, who were once very close to our grandparents were put under so much pressure by my mother to have nothing to do with my grandparents or our three aunts and their families, made a simple choice, opting to have nothing to do with our irrational mother and father instead. This too for the last three years.

Bar mitzvahs, yomim tovim, graduations and other simchas, when families gather to share in nachas and partake in each others joy, take upon themselves an air of melancholy as each occasion is marred by noticeable absences. I have managed to sit on the razor’s edge these last few years by trying to walk the middle road while watching my family, people I love, destroy themselves and each other over some absurd reason no one remembers anymore.

News, happy or sad is kept from me because I call and visit my elderly grandparents as well as my parents, so I am considered a tolerated but reviled traitor by both my parents and my sisters. My sisters, once my closest friends, regard me with contempt for speaking to and having respect for my mother, while my mother barely speaks to me because I have a relationship with her parents!

I just recently found out I’m expecting triplets and will soon be on bed rest, if I want to carry to term. It is more important to me than ever before to bring my family together when b’shaah tovah our turn to celebrate arrives. How can I make this happen while flat on my back, when I wasn’t successful in the upright position. Please send me a miracle!!!


Dear Friend,

First, a three-fold wish, albeit prematurely, upon the impending arrivals at the right time, in good health and spirit with a united family in tow to share this marvelous simcha with you and your husband. I think this may be the puzzle piece that may actually be the miracle that HaKodosh Boruch Hu has sent to help you unite your family. Since every birth comes with a cute, delicious red-faced and squealing little human, your family, upon hearing the wonderful news of three such amazing little beings coming via the efforts of their wonderful , caring granddaughter/daughter/sister who has only two hand to hold three babies… Are you seeing the picture I’m pointing to?

Not to belittle the scope of your problem, that arguments and ultimatums of a splintered and fractured family for so many years must have been and continues to be a great heartache. However, I truly believe this is about to come to a happy close now that you have the answer to your prayers. Hashem doesn’t sleep. He hears your heart and when the time is right, He sends the yeshuos you ask for. You are indeed a very loving, caring and deserving young woman, to have conducted yourself in such a beautiful manner in spite of what others, who are in the wrong, expect of you.

That is why you will be three times blessed and with that, heal your family as well.

Call all the members of this mad circus and bring them together, saying you will need all the help only loving family can provide. I think you will be happy to see how many hands… and hearts, become available! Only my very best wishes, and let us know when the joys arrive!


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Thane Rosenbaum is a novelist, essayist, and Distinguished Fellow at NYU School of Law where he directs the Forum on Law, Culture & Society. He is the author, most recently, of "How Sweet It Is!"