| Double Take |

Breaking Point

I could see why Leeba hadn’t been too hopeful about this half of Yom Tov being relaxing

Baruch: If you want me to come for Yom Tov, things have to be comfortable for my wife
Nechi: Can’t you be flexible and understanding so we can have some family time together?



“Are we almost there yet?” Racheli whined.

I looked at my watch again, even though I knew it couldn’t have changed much since the last time I checked it. One hour and 14 minutes into the flight.

“Not quite,” I said.

My four-year-old pouted.

Leeba leaned across the aisle. “Why don’t you go to sleep on Tatty, sweetie? It’s already late and we’re only going to land in the morning.”

Racheli wiggled in her seat, nearly knocking her drink flying. “I’m not tired.”

Leeba met my eye. “Only 11 hours to go, huh?”

I gave a dutiful laugh. Every time we fly back for Yom Tov, I insist that it’s the last time, and then the next one comes around and we find ourselves up in the air again. The price of living so far away from family.

Yoni was sleeping in Leeba’s arms. She freed up one hand to rummage in one of our bags, among the collection we had schlepped onto the plane, searching for something to occupy the girls.

“Oh! Here we go.” She withdrew two little books and a colossal pack of stickers. “If you’re not tired, Gila and Racheli, you can do stickers, but quietly, okay? Because everyone else is going to sleep.”

I passed the stickers to the girls, who promptly started squabbling over the little notebooks, which, to my male eye, were exactly the same.

“They’ll work it out,” Leeba said, with a shrug. She closed her eyes briefly.

“Tired?” I asked her.

“Who, me? Nah,” she said, laughing, but I knew she was exhausted; the packing, the cleaning up for the family subletting our apartment, the trip to and through the airport with three little kids in tow. And with a baby on the way, she’s altogether been working too hard.

“At least you’ll get to relax over Yom Tov, be the guest for a change,” I said.

I expected Leeba to smile, but instead she looked away, wincing a little. “I hope so,” she said.


landed in a haze of exhaustion. The kids were awake and alert, having slept during the flight, but since they managed to take turns sleeping, leaving us at least one bouncing little one to occupy throughout, Leeba and I barely managed to close our eyes.

We stumbled through passport control and baggage claim, had a minor panic when one suitcase didn’t show up at first, only to have it roll out at the very end of the parade. Whew.

Leeba made a quick bathroom stop with the kids, trying to freshen them up, but by the time we arrived at my parents’ house, we looked like we’d been on the move for around 20 hours.

“Finally!” my mother greeted us with a laugh, pulling the little girls in for a hug. “We’ve been so excited for you to come! Come have a drink, something to eat…”

I waved Leeba inside and went to manhandle the suitcases into the entryway. From the kitchen, I could hear my mother plying Leeba and the kids with drinks and cake.

“Traveled light, huh?”

I looked up to see my sister Temima coming down the stairs. She offered a half-smile.

“Hey, good to see you too, how’s everything?” I asked.

Temima’s the next sibling after me in age, just two years younger than I am, but she’s been through a lot. Depression as a teen, anxiety, that sort of thing. She isn’t married, and she can be… sensitive, I guess is the word. I hoped things would be okay over Yom Tov.

“Yeah, good,” she told me vaguely.

I heaved the last suitcase in line with the others and blew out a sigh of relief. Crazy how heavy some clothing and shoes could be. Time to get a coffee.

“You’re leaving the cases and stuff there?” Temima asked.

I quirked an eyebrow. “Uh, yes. While I grab a coffee and something to eat. We’ll bring them upstairs later… that a problem?”

“Well, it’s just that it’s a tripping hazard, and it kinda blocks the front door, and people could hurt themselves,” Temima said. “If you want, I could help you put it all upstairs now. It won’t take us long.”

Was she for real?

I mean, Temima’s always been a bit… overly careful about health and safety, I guess I could say. Especially during the last couple of visits. I figured it was because of her job as a nurse, she was probably just more focused on these things. But come on, couldn’t she leave a few suitcases for half an hour?

“We’ll get to them soon,” I promised her.

Temima looked upset. “It’s really a hazard, it blocks the hallway,” she protested. “And the kids… they could trip over all those bags and hit their heads, chas v’shalom…”

My mother came out of the kitchen just then, and I was relieved; she’d know how to calm Temima down. We’d just traveled for close to 24 hours, I needed to sit down for a few minutes.

“Baruch, come eat something, you must be starving! Oh, hi, Temima, want something to eat?”

Temima ignored the question. “Ma, the suitcases, they’re all over the hallway and I don’t think it’s safe. Can we move them into the guest room before something happens?”

My mother looked from Temima, to me. I waited for her to say something, tell Temima that we just arrived, to give us a few minutes to unwind, but she didn’t say anything.

“I’ll move them in a few minutes,” I said again. “I’m just going to take a drink and see if Leeba and the kids are okay…”

“Ma,” Temima’s voice rose.

My mother looked torn. “Baruch…” she said. “Would you mind — I know you’ve just arrived — but maybe, take a drink and let’s do the suitcases together, quickly?”

“I’ll help,” Temima said, eagerly.

I blinked. What on earth was this all about?

My mother motioned me closer. “Temima’s having a hard time right now, she’s really struggling with this anxiety, I don’t want to upset her,” she said in a low voice. “So if it’s possible…”

I was bone-tired, two of the kids were crying, and from behind Ma, Leeba was sending me urgent eye-messages.

But we were guests here, and it sounded like this was really important to Temima — and my mother.

“I’ll be five minutes,” I told Leeba, and mustered up some flagging energy to schlep the cases again.

Of course, I told my mother not to help — she shouldn’t have to carry our cases up a flight of stairs — but I didn’t stop Temima from lugging alongside me. Truth be told, I was annoyed — we’d just arrived, what was the whole big deal about?

When I finally got to sit down, Yoni’s crying had progressed to a full-blown tantrum, and Leeba looked like she wasn’t far from tears herself.

“Leeba, why don’t you go take a nap?” my mother offered, looking concerned. “I’m here cooking anyway, I can keep an eye on the kids. They’ll be fine when I show them the toys. Come here, Yoni, Bubby has something special for you.”

My mother is really great with the kids. They swarmed over to her, and Leeba looked impossibly relieved.

Temima, who had followed me back downstairs, made a face. “Ma, you said you’re cooking, how are you going to manage to watch the kids at the same time?”

My mother put on a calming voice that I was beginning to recognize. “Temima, it’s fine. They’ll play, I’ll check on them, we’ll be listening. Gila and Racheli are big girls, they can tell me if they need something.”

Temima’s eyes widened. “But it’s not safe, Ma! Yoni’s what, two years old? What if he falls over or something? What if he puts something in his mouth? The girls are too young to be careful around him.”

I’d gone along with her about the suitcases, but now she was interfering with Leeba getting to rest, that was a whole different story.

I’m around, I’ll take care of the kids,” I told Temima, firmly.

Leeba gave me a grateful look and made her way upstairs.

And I was left sitting in the playroom, struggling to keep my eyes open as my kids played, with my mother coming in and out every few minutes. Just to keep my sister happy.

I could see why Leeba hadn’t been too hopeful about this half of Yom Tov being relaxing.


wo jet-lagged days later, it was Yom Tov.

I left for shul while Leeba was lighting candles; the kids were playing quietly and enjoying their Yom Tov treats from Bubby, and everything seemed calm. I hoped Leeba would get to sit and rest up until I came home.

Apparently, I’d hoped in vain.

I came home to find my mother and Temima reading magazines in the living room. Leeba wasn’t sitting with them, though — I found her sitting on a plastic chair at the table in the playroom, looking upset. Gila and Racheli were playing happily with dolls and Yoni was eating a cookie, it looked perfectly calm.

“The kids were acting up?” I asked. Why else would she be sitting in here instead of relaxing on the couch with my mother and sister?

“No, the kids were fine,” Leeba said, her jaw tight. “But your sister seemed to think they weren’t. I literally didn’t have a second to sit and relax there, she was panicking that the kids have food and what if someone chokes. So first I brought them into the living room so we could keep an eye on them, but Temima was freaking out about the candles. So Ma asked me if I wouldn’t mind watching them in here, just while they’re eating.”

I felt anger rising inside me. Why did my sister have to put her issues onto other people — and why on earth was Ma going along with it?

“I can speak to my mother,” I began, but Leeba shook her head.

“It’s not Ma, she’s so nice about it, doesn’t tell me what to do or anything, just asks all sweetly and I feel bad to say no.”

“Well, Temima should watch them herself if she’s so nervous.”

Leeba shrugged. “I don’t think it’s worth it, she’s so uptight. The kids won’t be able to play normally.”

“Hmm,” I said.

Privately, I decided that next time I was around when Temima started one of her safety campaigns, I’d tell her to take care of whatever she wanted.


he opportunity wasn’t long in coming.

We were in the middle of the seudah the next day when the kids — full of challah and dips and not interested in the fish and salads — ran inside from the succah, back to their toys. It was great that they were entertained — my parents had invited my aunt and uncle for the seudah, and my uncle, who was director of development for a major kiruv organization, always had great stories to tell.

“So this guy, he literally set up a stall next to ours, and started promoting his ‘organization,’ ” Uncle Azi was saying. “And when our guy, Eli, went over to speak to him, ask him to take it down or move somewhere else — you know, he didn’t have permission from the campus authorities, he literally just set up shop right there, trying to attract the Jewish students — he started yelling at Eli, ‘I’m Jewish too, don’t you know about shevet achim gam yachad?’ 

“Oh, my goodness!” Ma said.

“Uh-huh.” My uncle was enjoying himself. “Never mind what the guy posted on his social media page that night, that was a mini-PR crisis for us, because he has a big following. But nisht oif Shabbos geredt, huh?”

“Baruch, Leeba?” A voice interrupted from the entrance to the succah. It was Temima, when had she left the table? “Your kids…” She gestured behind her. “They’re playing inside and there’s no one supervising, I think maybe someone should go. Yoni’s so little…”

Across from me, I saw Leeba’s face go tense. Instantly, the enjoyment of the seudah dissipated.

“I really think they’re fine, Temima,” I said, trying to keep my voice natural. “Gila and Racheli know how to call us if they need us. If Yoni cries, he’ll come out, or one of the girls will come…”

It was as if Temima didn’t hear me. “It’s not safe,” she insisted. “There are small toys around, choking hazards, and what if one of them goes upstairs or something and we don’t know? They could get anywhere.”

I noticed Ma watching me pleadingly. It looked like she wanted us, once again, to give up our own Yom Tov enjoyment to accommodate Temima. Well, this time I wasn’t giving in without a fight.

“Temima, I really think they’re okay, and we’ll check on them every so often, but if you’re worried, you’re welcome to keep an eye on them,” I said firmly.

“I will,” my sister flared back. She grabbed her plate and marched inside.

Ma opened her mouth to say something, and then abruptly closed it again.

“So, how about a song?” Uncle Azi asked, brightly.

“That’s a good idea,” Ta said, equally jovial.

We were on our second round of V’samachta when Temima came out again.

“They’re fighting,” she said.

“Who, the girls?” Leeba asked. “They do it all the time, they’re kids. They know how to figure it out. Gila usually figures out some ‘compromise’ that involves her getting her way and Racheli thinking she’s getting a turn tomorrow, which she’ll obviously forget at the time.”

My aunt laughed, but Temima didn’t. “I think you should come, Racheli was getting really upset right now, and Yoni fell over before and banged his head and I think he’s fine but I’m not sure, could it have been a concussion?”

“I’m sure he’s fine,” I started saying, but Ma interrupted.

“Baruch, maybe you or Leeba could go inside when the children are alone? We could take it in turns or something… just so that they aren’t unsupervised.”

I blinked. This was not my mother; she’s usually super-chilled, everyone’s okay, we’ll check on them in five minutes type. Temima’s stuff must really be getting to her.

“I’ll go,” Leeba said, half-heartedly. She pushed her chair back.

I jumped up. “No, no, I can do it…”

“You need to eat in the succah, I can stay inside till the meal’s done.” Her expression was dejected.

I watched her go, fuming inside. Why should my wife be banished from the meal because my sister had an overanxious imagination and was always fearing the worst?


’ve had enough.”

Even in a whisper, I could hear the vehemence in Leeba’s tone.

“Of what?” I asked, even though I knew.

“Of Temima’s… of this meshugas of watching the kids all the time, supervising them playing, not getting a second to sit down. It’s literally nonstop!”

In the dim glow of the Shabbos lamp, I could see tears starting to leak from her eyes. She swiped at them. “Ugh, and now my makeup is running. If there’s even any left.”

I felt terrible. She was so exhausted, she always worked so hard, and now even on Yom Tov she didn’t get to relax or take a break at all.

“Let me take care of it next time Temima asks us to do something,” I offered.

She gave a wan smile. “Thanks, and I know you do it when you can, but it’s like — all the time. When you’re in shul. During the meals. I can never go to rest when they’re happily playing, even when your mother’s around, because Temima’s too nervous that she isn’t in the same room as them. Even when I’m giving the kids supper, she’s hovering, telling me what I should and shouldn’t give them and that the pieces are too big or too small or whatever… I just can’t deal with it.”

Her voice rose a little, and Yoni — on a Pack ’n Play in our room — shifted in his sleep. We both went quiet for a minute until he settled again.

“I can speak to Temima,” I offered.

“I don’t think it’s gonna get us anywhere. And besides, it’s more about your mother. If she’d tell Temima to take it easy, it might work… but instead, she keeps siding with her. Asking us all nicely to accommodate and if we don’t mind…” Leeba sniffed. “I love your mother and all, and I don’t want to say no to her, but the way it’s going, I’m not getting a moment to breathe. And I can’t even take care of my kids without them hovering over me about how I’m doing it.”

“I’ll speak to her,” I promised.

Leeba shrugged. “If it’ll help. Otherwise… I want to say yes, be easygoing all the time, but I just can’t. And we can’t come back here for Yom Tov if it’s going to be like this again.”

“Maybe next time will be easier…” I said.

Leeba gave a humorless laugh. “With a baby? No, it’ll be even harder. Can you imagine how nervous Temima would be if I ever put the baby down? Remember last year, when Yoni was younger?”

I nodded even though I didn’t really. Temima’s always been a little nervous, especially about little kids, but now things were really hitting a peak.

“I’ll speak to Temima, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll speak to Ma,” I said. “And I’ll tell her…” I swallowed. “I’ll tell her we need something to change, if we’re going to come again for Yom Tov.”

If I could tell my mother one thing it would be: We love spending Yom Tov with you, and I know how much family means to you. But accommodating all the demands is just too draining for Leeba — and I have to be there for her.



It’s hard to say when it all started. Was it school, was it something else, was it just a personality thing? But my youngest daughter, Temima — she’s always been on the anxious side.

As a child, she had a lot of nightmares and fears. I remember sitting with her for hours to help her fall asleep, and we even did a round of play therapy to try help her.

Then there was something in fifth grade, some low-level bullying, which the class mostly outgrew by seventh or eighth grade, but for those few years, it was rough. We spoke to the teachers, to the parents of the bullies, tried to get her help, and eventually it did pass, but it left her… closed, sad.

High school was a breath of fresh air for us, new start, new friends. Temima seemed to flourish through ninth and tenth grades — and then something happened in eleventh, her homeroom teacher was a very strict personality, she was struggling a little academically — and she went through a time when she was very depressed and down.

Again, we looked into the options, reached out for help, and baruch Hashem, the depression passed, too. She made it through school, attended a local seminary, and then decided she wanted to go into nursing. She has a nurturing personality and has always been scientifically inclined, and we supported her all the way in her studies, happy she was going after a dream.

Nursing school was an intensive ride, but Temima made it through, and when she became licensed, it was a real milestone. She’d pushed through so much to achieve this, overcome so many struggles over the years. Yes, the rigorous licensing requirements and the study and tests had wreaked havoc on her nerves, but that was all in the range of normal, we figured.

Temima’s always had a hard time with tests, we’ll support her through it, my husband and I decided. And we did, and she made it — but then, recently, I started to wonder.

Was it really just stress over studying and tests? Or was this… anxiety, this challenge that kept coming to the fore at stressful times, indicative of something bigger, maybe something she needed real help with, like those times she’d struggled as a teen?


here were little incidents. Like the time when my older daughter, Dini, was feeding her 11-month-old some biscotti, and Temima panicked.

“Dini, Ma, stop, there’s honey in that recipe! He’s a baby, it’s dangerous!”

It wasn’t what she said — it was true, there was honey in the ingredients, and babies under one weren’t supposed to have honey — but it was the panic in her eyes, the high-pitched tone, the way she all but snatched the slice of biscotti from the baby’s fist.

The baby, of course, burst into wails, and Dini was frustrated. “Temima, he’s going to be one next week, and he’s already eaten from it, I really think we can let him finish the piece,” she said.

But Temima had tossed the half-eaten biscotti in the garbage can. “I’m a nurse, okay? I learned about this, you can’t take a risk with botulism, chas v’shalom…”

And she proceeded to watch baby Sholly intently for the rest of the day, hovering over him for any sign of impending doom.

That was when I decided to speak to her about going for help.


first, Temima balked. She’d been down this road before, therapists and psychiatrists and treatment, when she went through depression in her teens.

“I don’t feel like that now,” she protested. “Ma! You can see I’m fine, I’m working, I’m happy, it’s all good.”

But it wasn’t. Things kept cropping up — whether her insistence that we test and retest our smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, or constantly checking up on the grandchildren when we babysat them overnight, or fretting by the window when Dini’s older boys were playing a wild game of cops and robbers.

“They need to come inside, someone’s going to get hurt,” she kept saying.

In hindsight, we should have realized earlier, but at the time, each incident felt isolated, almost normal. People get tense, people get nervous, things happen.

Eventually, though, it seemed obvious to me that Temima really did need help beyond what we could give — and after several gentle conversations, Temima herself agreed to reach out for help with what I had privately diagnosed as mild anxiety.

The psychiatrist who saw her prescribed a low dose of anti-anxiety medication, and explained that therapeutic intervention was also necessary, to help her develop skills for handling situations that caused her anxiety.

We helped her find an expert in the field, a woman who came highly recommended by a referral organization, and I held my breath when Temima went to meet with her for the first time. Yes, she was an adult already, in her mid-twenties, no less, but she was still… Temima, our youngest, she’d been through a lot, she was sensitive, guarded.

Thankfully, Temima got along with Shelly. They met a few times, and as the medications kicked in too, I thought we were beginning to see some slow progress, but then Shelly took off several weeks for summer vacation, and then there were the Yamim Tovim, so the therapy work kind of stalled for a short while.

And it was right then that my son and daughter-in-law and their family arrived for Yom Tov.


hey arrived at a bad time.

Well, not really a bad time, it’s never a bad time to host them. But for Temima, their arrival came right after two nights of working full shifts at the hospital — she’d been switching shifts in preparation for taking off Yom Tov. Not only that, but a patient she’d gotten to know over the past several months had passed away during her shift. There was nothing she could’ve done, but it still hit hard.

When I came down in the morning, she was still up, nursing a hot tea, her gaze unfocused.

“Why don’t you get some sleep before everyone arrives?” I suggested.

She shrugged. “Nah, I can’t sleep. I think I’ll clean up a bit upstairs, you know, before they come.”

Clean up? The cleaning lady did the upstairs yesterday afternoon. I shrugged; Temima had her standards.


aruch’s family arrived in a flurry of noise and hugs. I sat Leeba down with a drink — poor thing, she looked exhausted — while Baruch brought in the suitcases.

“How was the flight?” I asked Leeba.

She gave a small smile. “It’s over, you know?”

She really looked like she needed a rest. I went out to find Baruch and offer him to watch the kids so he and Leeba could take a break.

“Baruch, come eat something, you must be starving,” I said, and then I noticed Temima on the staircase.

“Ma,” she called down to me. “The suitcases are all over… I don’t think it’s safe. Can we move them to the guest room before something happens?”

I glanced at Baruch. He looked frustrated; had I stepped out into the middle of a conversation?

“I’ll move them very soon,” he said.

Temima tensed up. I didn’t know what to do. She’d had a hard night, was functioning without much sleep, and her anxiety was a real struggle. I knew that Baruch and Leeba were exhausted, but surely they could understand, this was really hard for Temima.

“Baruch, would you mind, maybe, to just grab a drink and I’ll help you do the suitcases, quickly?” I asked him.

“I’ll help too,” Temima immediately offered.

Baruch looked taken aback.

“Temima’s really struggling just now,” I told him in an undertone, as we walked into the kitchen. “If it’s possible to sort of accommodate her for now… even if it doesn’t seem necessary…”

He shrugged and nodded, but I could see he didn’t really understand, even as he headed for the stairs with a suitcase dragging behind him.


here’s nothing like that moment right after candle-lighting. After the days of preparing and the Erev Yom Tov marathon, sitting down to survey the tidy house and glowing candles, with good smells wafting from the kitchen, felt so good. Mission accomplished.

Temima passed me a pile of magazines. “Here, Ma, enjoy.”

“Thanks.” I thumbed through them. Across from me, Leeba was enjoying one of the children’s magazines, and Temima herself had one of the special Yom Tov supplements open.

She wasn’t reading it, though. She kept looking up, anxiously, at the kids, who were playing on the floor near Leeba.

“No, Yoni, you need to sit down there, you’re the baby, okay?” Gila was saying. She pushed Yoni a little too hard, and he stumbled and fell over with a cry.

“Aww, Yoni, come to Mommy,” Leeba murmured, reaching out without looking up. Yoni toddled over for a kiss better, and then, fully recovered, set off to explore the room.

“Yoni, no! The candles!” Temima jumped up, lifting Yoni up and moving him back to where the girls were playing. “He was getting too near the candles. It’s so dangerous.”

“Temima,” I said. “The candles are high up, he can’t possibly reach them.”

“But he could climb on a chair. There’s a chair nearby.”

“But he wasn’t climbing on it,” Leeba said, looking up. “It’s fine, I’m watching them.”

“But it’s fire, it could take seconds for it to cause real danger,” Temima said. “I don’t think they should play in here when the candles are burning. No, Ma?”

Oh, no, now I had to take a side. I felt bad for my daughter-in-law, but then I noticed the way Temima was sitting, on the very edge of the couch, a bundle of nerves. She was struggling so much, and she was trying to work through it, but in the meantime, couldn’t we just try to make it easier for her?

“Maybe… maybe the children can play in the playroom?” I asked Leeba. “If you don’t mind…”

“I don’t,” Leeba said, tightly. “But they were playing there, and Temima asked me to watch them because they were eating. So they’re in here.”

“But here there are candles!” Temima said. Her voice rose a little.

“They’ll be fine,” Leeba said. “I’m watching them.”

Temima stood up. “I can’t, it’s not safe. Come, Gila, Racheli, let’s go to the playroom.”

I felt Leeba’s eyes on me, like she was wondering why I didn’t just tell Temima to leave her kids alone. But couldn’t she see that these were extenuating circumstances, that it wouldn’t help to just tell Temima that things were okay? That she had real anxiety, that the fears were deep and real to her, and that we as a family were just trying to support her through it?

I thought about saying something when Temima left with the girls, but she was back a moment later, agitated that someone was crying and that she didn’t think the kids’ nosh was safe for them.

I watched Leeba heave a deep sigh and stand up.

“I’m going to watch them while they eat. They’ll be fine.”


knew Baruch and Leeba weren’t happy, but I thought they understood. What was happening, and why it was necessary.

But apparently, they didn’t.

On Chol Hamoed morning, I was scrambling eggs at the stove when Temima came in, in tears.

“I just want your kids to be safe, okay?” she said over her shoulder. Her voice was a half-strangled cry.

“I know you do,” Baruch said, hurrying after her. “But you should know that they’re fine, Leeba and I know what’s dangerous or not for them, and you know — it’s hard for Leeba, she’s not in her own home, she feels a little…” He paused, looking for the right word. “Like, intimidated, like she’s being watched all the time, you know?”

“What, you want me to look away when your child might be in danger? When something bad could happen?”

“That’s not what I meant. But you can trust us, trust Leeba that she knows how to take care—”

“I don’t know, I can’t have this conversation right now,” Temima said, and she marched out of the room.

Baruch looked at me, helplessly. “Ma, isn’t there something you can do?”

I turned off the flame. “She’s having a hard time,” I said.

“I know, but she’s making— it’s too much for Leeba,” he said. “She never gets to sit down, she’s always being called to watch the kids, and they’re fine, they really are.”

“I know… but right now, this is where Temima’s holding,” I said, softly. “She’s working through it, you know. There are professionals involved, and hopefully as time goes on, things will improve, but it’s a process, and until we get there, can’t you try to just understand and accept her as she is now?”

“I can understand and accept her, but I can’t run my life around her. We can’t do that.” Baruch sounded resolute; Leeba must have been really upset.

“Look, I know it’s been tough, and I’ll try take care of the kids a little so that Leeba can rest,” I said. “But Temima’s part of the family. It’s really important that we try to be there for her and accommodate her needs while she’s going through this struggle.”

Baruch made a helpless gesture. “I wish we could, but it’s just too much for Leeba,” he said. “If nothing changes, she— we don’t think we’ll be able to come for Pesach.”

If I could tell Baruch one thing it would be: I know it’s hard to accommodate, but Temima’s struggles are real, and while she’s working on them, change doesn’t happen overnight. As a part of the family, can’t you join me to help make things easier for her — and let us still enjoy Yom Tov as a family? 


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 980)

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