Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

I am so lost these days. I find it difficult to function. I am usually a rational, sensitive and dependable human being, but of late, I have turned into someone even I don’t recognize. You may be surprised to note that I am a married man aged 45, I have a wonderful wife, a sound and happy marriage and that I have five terrific children, the oldest 19 and the youngest eight. What will surprise you even more, perhaps, is that I hold a relatively high and responsible position in a company known the world wide. And I am lost. In a matter of 55 days, I have become the antithesis of the man I once was and, no matter how hard I try, I cannot regroup to the being I was. I need your help.


Ever since the horrors that befell our brothers and sisters in Israel, and as more and more of the detriment that false news and burgeoning antisemitism evolves to worsen the lot of Jews throughout the world, I have disintegrated into a fearful, cowering and unsure individual, unable to move through the terror of each new day. I am not a particularly religious man, however, I always took pride in my Jewish heritage. My children all had Hebrew tutelage, bar and bat mitzvahs and we observe Shabbat and most religious holidays. However, my faith has been sorely tested and I cannot grasp why G-d allows this to happen to us in every generation. I cannot face my children and honestly answer their questions on that score when I, myself, cannot answer my own questions and cannot approach my rabbi or anyone else because I am also on the board of directors of my temple, lest it become known that my faith is being tested. So here I am, turning to you, as I am a loyal reader of your column and feel as though I know you personally through your close and caring words each week.

Please help me find focus and an anchor to hold on to, because I feel like I’m drowning spiritually and factually. If at all possible, perhaps I could even speak with you for deeper understanding and to mend my ever-weakening spiritual lifeline. Thank you for listening and taking the time to address my plight.


Dear Friend,

Thank you for the trust you have placed with me in regard to your fears and inner turmoil regarding faith and sanity in today’s world. I will try my best to put to rest some of the fear and unrest that has invaded your heart and mind, the rest, I’m afraid, is really not in my jurisdiction or realm of expertise, however, I will offer you resources to which to turn should you be so inclined.

Let me begin by assuring you that you are one of many who have written in with similar issues about their struggle with today’s catastrophic upheaval of humanity, or the lack thereof. It is precisely such times that test our faith and belief and it is exactly the time we must call up our deep reserve or trust in Hashem without understanding why such catastrophe has befallen us and what seems to indicate to some, the abandonment of our Heavenly Father. I’m quite sure these same doubts and fears have plagued Jews throughout our history, those most recently having survived the Holocaust, and all the way back through the Pogroms, Inquisitions and Slavery our people have experienced and events we commemorate every year so as not to forget that those that propagated the Evil upon us no longer exist… but we do. This is a telling sign that HaKadosh Baruch Hu has never and will never abandon His children But, just as any human father must sometimes look away and punish a consistently wayward child, so must He. But He weeps with His children as He sees them suffer the penalty of their errors.

The curse of human failure is that we always repeat our mistakes when their is a lull and times are good. We forget why and by who’s generosity and blessings we experience peace, tranquility and an abundance of wealth and sustenance. We become complacent and forget to whom we owe thanks and loyalty. We let down our moral obligations and our commandments to be different from all other people of the world and to whom we bow our heads and are beholden for all our blessings. When we forget this and choose to be as all others, lusting after electronic advances, abundance of luxuries and fealty to any and all the debauchery in the world… then we lose our way because we forget who we are and to whom we owe our loyalty, love and gratitude. Human nature is to easily forget these things.

Generation Holocaust is almost ancient history and the few survivors that remain have little influence or impact on the three generations that have followed that atrocity, generations that have not experienced hunger, torture and near annihilation. Generations that grew up in the cocoon of peace, abundant prosperity and luxury. Generations that slowly forgot who they are, what they are and for whom these blessings came into the world. We forgot. And when we forget, we make allowances for ourselves that we are not allowed to entertain assimilation, cutting corners on our religious obligations by adopting lifestyles unintended for us, lusting after things and making excuses for why we should and can have them, when in fact, we become something other than the children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, who devotedly and steadfastly believed in Hashem without question, and to whom Hashem bestowed Eretz Yisrael, on the premise that we do not veer away from being His light onto the world and bringing honor to His Holy Name through our actions.

Ask yourself this question… ‘is our faith today as strong as that of our forefather Avraham, who stood ready to sacrifice his beloved son Yitzchak without hesitation, because Hashem commanded him?’ Could we, would we, be able to say the same of ourselves in today’s world? I’m afraid we have failed more than one test of faith during these years of peace and plenty, on the contrary, we have failed and fallen to the lowest levels in the eyes of our Av She’bashamayim, and therefore, our Heavenly Father looks away and weeps as we weep for the onslaught of our failures.

Dear friend, take heart, Hashem has never and will never abandon His children, so long as we beg His forgiveness and return to Him. This time is soon upon us. Chanukah is a time of miracles and hope. I have enclosed to you the name of several organizations who will help you in your quest to revive your faith and your joy in being a proud, practicing and observant Jew. Never forget who you are, where you came from and what your destiny is. Never forget your lineage, you are a by-product of three sainted forefathers and four holy mothers, and a blessed child of HaKadosh Baruch Hu who will never forsake you. Am Yisrael Chai.


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