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Dear Dr. Yael,

I live in a neighborhood where everyone builds into each other’s property lines and land is at a premium.


I am very frustrated since my neighbors built into my property line and another neighbor is in the process of building into my friend’s property line. Since we are all frum, everyone knows we will not call the building department since this is “maasering” and we don’t report fellow Jews to the government. However, we are so upset about this. Please help us.



Dear Frustrated,

I understand your dilemma, and in fact people do take advantage of the fact that frum people do not tell the government on other Jews. You need to ask a shaila about what to do in this situation. Perhaps, you should try to have a meeting with your neighbors and take them to an honest Bais Din, but this cannot be done without consulting your own Rav first as I am not a Rav. Unfortunately, when property is at a premium people forget how to treat others. Hashem does not judge us by how much land we own, rather Hashem judges us by how we treat our neighbors, and how we treat other people. In fact, the way we treat others is of monumental importance. Hatzlocha in dealing with this challenging situation.



Dear Dr. Yael,

I was dealing with anxiety and depression and I was on medication. I just wanted to share with your readers that I was able to get off the medication (under my psychiatrist’s care) with therapy and exercise. I am swimming regularly now, as well as walking with a walking partner and my moods are so much better. The exercise helps me so much. I am so much happier!

A Fan


Dear A Fan,

Thank you so much for your letter. It is very impressive that you were able to wean yourself off of your medication with a psychiatrist (doing so without a psychiatrist can be dangerous and is not recommended).

Exercise raises your endorphin levels, which is like natural medication. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that lower your perception of pain. Endorphins also bring about positive feelings in the body, comparable to what taking morphine would do. I’m sure many people have heard of a “runner’s high,” which is the feeling that follows a run or workout and it is often described as “euphoric.” Having these positive feelings can lead to a more positive and energizing outlook on life. Swimming is especially good for helping you get rid of depressed and/or anxious feelings. Many studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have a positive boost in their mood, lower rates of depression and anxiety, a reduction in overall stress, more self-esteem, and improved sleep.

Additionally, research has shown that exercise is an effective, but often underused treatment, for mild to moderate depression. Exercising outside can help boost levels of vitamin D and your mood, so walking outside is a great idea! Strong social support has also been found to be an important tool for individuals who are fighting depression. Joining a group exercise class or exercising with a friend (as you mentioned you do!) can be very beneficial. In doing so, you will benefit from the physical activity and emotional comfort, which are both key when battling depression.

Hatzlocha on your journey and know that being on medication is not a weakness! With Hashem’s help, you should continue to be successful!


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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to [email protected]. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at