I have not been able to write. I have been feeling very down and hopeless about my situation. Knowing that my husbands family refuse to acknowledge the truth. They are a Yeshivish family, well known in the community as frum erlich and respected. Many people turn to them for help and advice and even money. Yet they stand by silently and watch while their brother- son, plots and plans to destroy his own family.
It boggles the mind; How is this true to the Torah?
I have so many questions and alas no answers.
Boruch Hashem I am feeling better, and I am looking ahead towards the future.
If his siblings refuse to believe that this man has abused his wife financially, sexually, verbally and emotionally, then there is nothing anyone can do- i lose more and more respect for this family day by day.
Every day that goes by, and every time the Rosh Yeshivah shows up in court in defense of his brother, my respect diminishes.
Soon it will be gone. and with it my belief in the Yeshivah world.
Picture the following; A frum Shabbos table; A reign of terror.
The table is set with fine dishes and silverware. There are pink roses resting in a crystal vase casting small pinpoints of light across the white table cloth.
The father sits at the head of the table, and his wife and small children sit quietly in their chairs. Red grape juice sparkles in its bottle, and the silver kois rests beside it.
The children and the wife sit silently, afraid to make a sound. They are smart, they have learned not to make noise or talk at the holy Shabbos table.
The husband looks around and smirks. The family is in his control- exactly the way he needs it to be.
All of a sudden one of the smaller children begins to fidget and touches his sister, and a squabble ensues. The wife gets nervous and tries to break up the fight. She glances at her husband and sees his eyes go dark and his face turn red. She panics, "Please please dont shout at them, they are little kids, they cant sit still for so long!"
But its too late. His anger is aroused and he yells "Be quiet! the next person who makes a sound, can get out of here!
His voice is loud and the kids eyes grow big, and are shocked into silence.
He stands up to make Kiddush, and with a wave of his hand he motions everyone to rise.
One child doesnt get up.
Maybe hes tired or lazy, who knows?
The husband puts down the Kois filled with grape juice, and shouts at his son: "You had better stand up this minute, otherwise I will "frask" you so hard, your head will go flying!"
The wife says nothing; she knows from experience that protecting her child will only make him yell louder.
We havent even made Kiddush yet and there is already a scene, and someone is getting hurt.
The father is shouting now, at everyone.
Suddenly he is remembering all the misdeeds of every child from the whole week.
Soon two children are crying silently, one child has been banished to her room, and the other is hiding under the table. The rest sit like statues not daring to move.
The wife sheds tears behind her eyes and inside her heart.
The father is full of rage, his face is contorted in anger, the words which pour out of his mouth are meant to hurt and humiliate.
And the Shabbos angels have escaped long ago.
I need not say more.
You get the picture.
The rest of the meal continues in this vein, from being forced to keep their finger on the place through every last zemiros in the benscher, to being severly punished for saying something at the holy shabbos table which is not connected to Torah.
Needless to say, our family dreaded Shabbos and it's Seudos.
I felt so helpless.
Unable to protect my children from this madman.
And I could not protect them because I couldnt protect myself.
For me the Shabbos meals were only the beginning.
Later in the privacy of our bedroom he would berate and humiliate me, saying terrible things about my role as a wife and mother.
He told me how worthless I was, and how every one of our children would go off the derech because I was such a terrible mother, He told me that it was my fault that they would not keep quiet at the table, and it was my fault that they didnt put their finger on the place, and it was my lack of parenting that caused the drink to spill, the fighting and bickering and the total lack of disrespect because one of them had given him a bad look.
I could do no right in his eyes.
I was all wrong.
I dressed wrong.
I talked wrong.
I read wrong.
I listened wrong.
I was a bad person and I was raising children who were going to become shiksers and Reshoim.
I write the above, and I thank Hashem that our Shabbos meals no longer resemble this story.
Now we enjoy each others company.
We DO NOT sing Zemiros, but we do sing, because we love singing.
We sing anything any of us wants to sing. From Matisyahu to silly nursery rhymes.
We tell jokes and funny stories.
We talk about what happened in school that week and sometimes the older kids discuss politics.
If someone gets bored or restless, they get up and sit on the couch until they are ready to come back.
Sometimes we will discuss the Parsha, and most often we don't.
Most of the time there is no fighting, but sometimes there is, but it blows over quite quickly.
Shabbos meals are fun for us now.
I am the mother and I make Kiddush and cut the Challah.
No one thinks its funny.
We are happy, and we are together and we are not being abused.
We dont care if there is no father to make Kiddush.
Because there is a mother who loves and cares and cherishes her children for what they have in their hearts, and not because their finger is on the place or because their skirt is just the right length.
We are learning to be happy.
And we are learning well.