Ask the Rabbi

  • Family and Society
  • Honoring Abusive Parents

Honor Thy Mother and Father


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

30 Nisan 5766
Though I’ve been told, even by Jews, that Jewish mothers don’t ever act this way, how does an adult child respond to a mother who only says things such as, "I want you to die!" "I hope you suffer 10 to 10 million times more than whatever you are suffering now!" and basically "displays" positive sentiments then withdraws all acknowledgement that one even exists. Some Jews have even told me that I must be evil and thus she behaves this way toward me--sorry, just don’t fit. Any non-assaultive response would be greatly appreciated. Thank YOU!
What you describe is not a sign that you "must be evil". Your problem is one not of halacha or of Torah but of interpersonal relations. You should consult with a friend or friends who know both you and your mother and if this is not sufficient, with a professional (perhaps a social worker) who deals with family problems.
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