Dear Dr. Yael,
I was surprised by your answer last week where the Rav advised you to tell the çouple to break off ties with their friend who was not frum anymore. You seem very narrow-minded. A married couple should be strong enough to be friends with a non-frum couple and be mekarev them. I totally disagree with your answer and think that the Rav you consulted was not able to see the bigger picture.
Unfortunately this organization that the couple was involved with has created divorce and damage in our community. You may think a couple is strong and should do kiruv on this other couple who isn’t frum anymore, but being exposed to all sorts of ideas that are antithetical to halacha can be very dangerous and difficult. Additionally, this isn’t typical kiruv where the couple wants to learn more about yiddishkeit. This couple will likely disparage yiddishkeit as they left it behind and are now part of an organization which doesn’t promote being frum.
This generation has a lot of nisyonos, which has made them a weaker generation in some areas. Additionally, this organization is very powerful, which was part of why this psak was given. I spoke to another Rav as well to get another perspective. I spoke to Rabbi Shea Hershkowitz, who feels that couples today must seek daas Torah on an individual basis since every case of this nature brings different factors. While some couples may be strong to mekarev a friend off the derech, others may not be. Thank you for your response and may you always be strong enough to help others in need!
Dear Dr. Yael,
I am going through a very difficult time right now and I am having a hard time coping. I try hard to push myself out of bed each morning and do what’s needed, but it is very hard for me to get out of bed in the morning and I’d rather just crawl under the covers and cry myself back to sleep. I know I need help, but I don’t know where to start.
My heart goes out to you and I am so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time. It sounds like you may need professional help to guide you and assist you in getting out of this sadness. Please reach out to me if I can be of assistance in helping you find the right therapist for you. In the meantime, I will try to share with you some ideas to help you.
Right now you are going through a very difficult time-period and you are in a lot of pain, but in order to crawl out of this sadness it is important to focus on all of the good things you have in life, no matter how small they seem. Make a list of all of the good things in your life (including your personal gifts like, “I am smart, beautiful, etc.”). Since I don’t know what you’re going through right now, I cannot be more specific but for example, even if you’re going through a difficult time in your marriage, you may be able to say, “I have special children.” If you’re struggling to have children, you may be able to say, “ I have a husband who loves me and parents who love me.” This will help you refocus your brain to focus on all of the positive in your life, which will help you deal with this difficult challenge.
If you’re thinking that having gratitude is hard when you’re dealing with so much, you’re absolutely correct! However, burying your head in sadness will not help make your life better. You will just continue to suffer without trying to change your mindset. So, even though focusing on all of the good in your life is hard when you’re feeling so sad, it will help you climb out of this sadness.
It is also very important to take care of yourself. Make an effort to eat healthy and get enough sleep. Exercising is also a great way to help increase endorphins. Even if the last thing you want to do is exercise, try to push yourself to do it because it will help you feel better. It is also important to do things you enjoy. Do at least one thing a week that you enjoy to help boost your mood.
I hope these ideas help you begin to emerge from this sadness and please seek professional help if you are not getting better. Hatzlocha in this very difficult time-period!