When we're faced with a problem that looks unsolvable, we should learn how our forefathers handled similar situations. Here's something very recent with a happy ending:
Dec. 25, 2015
Shalom Rabbi Brody.
It's Mrs. F. from NYC here. I have a question and any advice or guidance you can give me will be tremendously appreciated.
My oldest daughter Chavi is 7 years old (second grade). There is a girl in the class that she is constantly fighting with. They literally fight verbally and physically. This is going on for a few months already. The teachers tried implementing some positive reinforcements, but nothing helps. They are both tough kids and keep getting at each other's throats. Today the mother called me after school, and told me that my daughter shoved her daughter and made her fall down the steps (as a side note-my daughter came home crying that the other girl fought with her terribly today), and that something must be done; we must involve someone here. Now, it is true; my daughter - as precious and delicious as she is - is also a high-voltage child that could get aggressive when she plays or things don't go her way or highly anxious but only at home with her us and her brothers.
My question is as follows: aside from saying THANK YOU HASHEM FOR THIS WONDERFUL CHALLENGE, and asking Hashem for guidance when I (try) to my daily hour of personal prayer, am I supposed to do any form of hishtadlus (effort - LB) here like calling a professional and or take my daughter to get evaluated and maybe get approved for some sort of therapy they will provide? (in general, she plays nicely with other children- I have never seen her acting aggressively with the neighbors and we have plenty of girls all around. somehow this girl brings out the worst in her).
How do I deal with this other mother? Do I let her involve whomever she chooses and follow a plan she will come up with?
Thank you for always being here for us. Your encouragement and guidance with Hashem's help is what keeps us going!!! Mrs. F
B"H, Dec. 25, 2015
Dear Mrs. F,
Have a three-pronged plan like our forefather Jacob did before his historic confrontation with Esau - doron, tefilla, milchoma - he prepared to appease Esau with a gift, he prayed, and he prepared himself for war. The girls have already been having the war, so now you should pray to Hashem for peace and teach your daughter to do so also. As far as the gift goes, I suggest that you buy a nice gift for the other little girl, and you and your daughter go visit the girl and her mother and give them the gift - with Hashem's help, this will be a pleasant surprise for them that will surely make Shalom. My prayers for your success!
With blessings always, LB
Dec. 27, 2015
Rabbi Brody, I have no words to express my gratitude to you - your words gave us such clarity and peace. We bought a nice book for the other girl, my daughter met her and gave it over (she also added an adorable written card on her own). That other girl literally lit up! Now, the girls are begging for time to play together. Things are looking up. Thank you for your advice and for EVERYTHING! May Hashem bless you with good health and much nachas from your family until 120!! With much appreciation, Mrs. F
Avraham and Racheli have four children. He lives in the New York City area, learns in Kollel and manages with a part-time job and his wife's babysitting. He sees that America is a terrible influence on his children, even though they live in a religious neighborhood, but he's afraid that if he comes to Israel, he won't have an income and therefore won't be able to learn. He asks me whether he should make aliya or not. Here's my 6-minute answer, which hopefully dispels a lot of the myths that are going around: