Dear Rabbi Lazer,
Six months ago I wrote you about my husband's spiritual slide, that he shaved his beard and stopped putting on tefillin in the morning. We exchanged a few emails and you told me that I was being too zealous and too "frum", always nitpicking at small details rather than stressing joy and emuna. I must be honest that you really upset me, and my heart (really my Yetzer Hara, but I didn't know it at the time) told me that you're just some NaNach-BT-Breslever parading as a rabbi and spiritual guide. But, when my husband opened up divorce proceeding in the Beis Din, I got a wake-up call from above that I had better listen to you. Other rabbis here were telling me to get a divorce. They said that my husband would ruin our three boys spiritually, and that I'd be better off on my own. You said the opposite. Despite the way I insulted you, you answered with patience that I should stop criticizing him and stop yelling, and that I should pray for him at least an hour a day. I did, while doing my best to control my temper and to be attractive at home. Better to be a meshiggina Breslever than an arrogant single parent. (I can't believe how arrogant I was in thinking all the negative about you - please forgive me).
The patience paid off. After the Shalom-Bayit Shabbaton that you and Dr. Zev Ballen did here in LA this past October, my husband cancelled the divorce file. This has been the best Chanuka ever. And like you said in your lecture to women, I now give him nothing but positivity. It has paid off big time. He is doing all sorts of things to earn more love and respect, which he is thriving on. Not only is he back to davening with a minyan, but he now has a Gemara chavrusa between mincha and maariv every day. He is spending much more time with our boys too.
I don't know how many families Rabbi Arush and you have saved, but ours is one of them. I just want all your readers to know that Yiddishkeit with joy - and not zealotry - is the way to go. By the way, we hope that the Shalom Bayit Shabbaton will turn into an annual event here. Forever gateful, Miriam
I don't remember that you insulted me but of course I forgive you anyway. Thanks so very much for your letter. Happy Chanuka and blessings for another simcha in the family this year, LB