Thursday, January 30, 2014

A barbed tongue

I honestly don't understand people.  Especially people who are supposed to know certain things and then practice something else.  My example is that in Judaism, lashon horah (basically the evil tongue or gossip) is to be avoided at all costs.  The issues with it are immense.  

Do you know if what you are saying is true?  Are you seeing the whole situation?  Do you personally KNOW what you're saying to be true?  Will what you say lead another to have a view of the individual that is hurtful or incorrect? 

Basically, just don't do it and if you hear it....don't spread it and take it with a grain of salt.  Definitely don't judge someone based on gossip.

Our sages say that lashon horah kills.  And I have found that to be very real and very true.  The lashon horah I have experienced hasn't killed my body but it has destroyed my soul, my neshama, my reason to live.

I had an ugly separation from my husband in Israel.  Things were assumed by him that weren't true and that I always denied.  Things were told to me by authorities in charge of our autistic son that threatened my custody of him and I had to take action.  So there was a lot going on and a lot of reasons why we divorced.  I am not saying I made good choices but I AM saying that what he later said about me wasn't true.  What kills me to this day is that everyone he told chose to believe it.  Simply because once I had my get (religious divorce) I put it behind me and didn't discuss it out of propriety, I was viewed as guilty and in this case, I was presumed guilty of having had an affair - which wasn't true.

When he came back to the US he specifically made sure to tell everyone we knew including friends in the two synagogues we had belonged to.

I was placed in house without heat or water (my toilet was a bag and animal bedding litter).  He took my son and then told me because of my actions I couldn't see him or talk to him.  This was March so I lived in a bedroom with a space heater and an electric kettle.  I ate hot dogs and crackers when I could get them.  No one called.  My "best" friend finally allowed me to come to her house for a shower once my dad had given me a junker to run around in.

I planned my suicide, became severely depressed, anxious, started having panic attacks and couldn't leave the house.  I was afraid of seeing someone I knew.  I was also deathly afraid of having a seizure with no one around.  I'd had two grand mal seizures in Israel so it was a real fear.

This is how lashon horah kills and destroys.  

I talked to the rabbi at my former synagogue and was told that because of postings made by me on Facebook and, I assume, the gossip my ex spread, I was not welcome back.  Oh sure I could show up but he thought ugly things might be said to me.  I am still incredibly fragile and I knew this would do me in.  It did me in anyway.  Suddenly I wanted to curl up in my bed and stay there forever.  I didn't want to face the world ever again.  I thought I was better off dead.  I thought I couldn't be Jewish because no community would have me based on this gossip.

And that, in a nutshell, is why gossip or lashon horah is devastating.  You don't know for sure what you're hearing second hand is true.  You don't know what may or may not have happened.  You may even have witnessed something but you don't know the whole story.  I admit I was wrong and made very bad choices.  But does this mean I deserve to be vilified for my entire life?  Denied my heritage and a community of which to be part?

The people at this particular synagogue should be aware of this.  It's a central tenet of Judaism.  Always give the benefit of the doubt.  And no one can be condemned without three eyewitnesses.  There's a lot involved.

And the biggest wrong?  Why wouldn't this rabbi, at the very least, remind his congregation of all of this before He relayed this to me - before I was demeaned, blacklisted and made to feel less than human and better off dead?


  1. You are loved! Do not ever forget this.
    You were forgiven even before you were born.
    You were entrusted with a special angel named Evan.
    It is a measure of how much you are loved in heaven.
    All you experienced as a child was in preparation for this honor.
    Do not lose faith or belief.

  2. What he said was harsh and so wrong. I have always been taught that you can't judge anyone. And even if you knew for sure that something is true you still can't judge them because noone is perfect. We are to love others, that's all. I'm sorry you are being treated this way. It's so unfair. I hope you find a group of people who will treat you as special as you are.

  3. Wow I haven't read this blog in a while. I'm just going to throw this out there: This whole post is lashon horah. You should not be repeating what your Rabbi said or what your ex did or said. How can you talk about lashon horah and then go ahead and gossip away? Are you not held to the same standard of behavior that you expect from others? You acknowledge poor choices, how do you know that you didn't push these people away all on your own? I find it hard to believe that one person's gossip could cause an entire congregation to shun you. I agree that no one can judge you or really understand your situation but, you clearly did something that made these people very uncomfortable and they are not obligated to welcome you back with open arms.

  4. Rachel, you're right and I am glad you said this. There is no one but me who is responsible for my sorry excuse of a life, my failure as a mother, wife and human and what has happened to me. Despite my pathetic attempts to try to make myself "feel better" the reality is that in ever can because I can never feel better about this nor should I. Don't think I am wallowing in ir even seeking attention by saying this - I'm not. I am past that. I ruined my life plain and simple. I probably am ruining my sons life by having him with me and exposing him to the bad reputation I will always have. I don't deserve forgiveness, compassion, or pity...I did this and I accept the yoke I have been given. I cannot make it better or repair it because I deserve it. I am simply a corpse being punished to live this nightmare every day of my life until either Gd has mercy in me and kills me or I say the hell with it and do it myself. Could the punishment for suicide be any greater than my life now? I think not. I have a plan and believe me, when the pain becomes unbearable (and we are almost there), I plan to complete it. Chat would Gd care anyway. He doesn't want me after all this anymore than u want myself. I started this blog and this topic to get support and honesty. Thank you for helping me have both. While it may sound facetious, it isn't. It's the sad truth if what I did to myself and what I need to do to finally have peace with it because the way things are, I never can. I am a bad Jew and that devastates me. In that vein, what is there to live for.

  5. You're reading into my comment things that I did not say. G-d is always there. G-d always forgives. Humans, not so much. The past is the past, you don't get a do over. But, G-d gives you the best thing ever. Another day to do good. Another day to get it right. Another day to learn something new about yourself and the world. It is one of his most precious gifts.


I am fragile - please be kind or just say nothing. I thank you very much.