A letter written by Debbie Wolf to Rebbetzin Hanna Tao after she returned to the United States at the end of her year of study in Israel, during a period of several months between the friendships she formed with Eli (who continued to correspond with her from Israel) and her return to Israel on Sukkot.
6 Elul 5732
In honor of Rebbetzin Tao,
I started you four or five letters before this letter, but either they became just letters full of pity for myself (something like that) or I decided I was exaggerating and why bother with you about all my little problems?
But now things are happening and I can not resist. I'm very excited and I do not want to cover the whole thing here with all my non-objective feelings, so I will try to write you only facts.
There are some things I understand now, and from them it is very difficult for me to know how to look and translate and respond to the matter. I mean it's like my eyes are not working clearly and in perfect order.
Here abroad, and especially in the environment of my home, it is almost impossible for me sometimes to even remember certain things. I try to get the idea out of my mind, I read books and talk to others (most of the time friends my age who attend seminars in New York), but it does not always help. It's hard for me to know how I can look at the matter clearly - how can I understand what's going on around me?
Eli writes that he is going to talk to you and your husband about our problems, but I have not yet received the letter if he went any further (and this is another serious problem, that a letter from one to another takes at least 8-9 days to reach another, and more than two weeks should pass until you get a response or answer In a particular letter). I hope by the time this letter reaches you, it will already speak to you and maybe we will understand better.
I (without a vow) will write you only facts (my purpose is also to arrange them in my head).
The fact that when I got home, I had all sorts of serious issues sometimes with my parents regarding kosher matters. They reacted very negatively at first, and I had a really very hard time explaining to them. Dad immediately realized, and even though he did not think he agreed, he slowly began to respect me a little and persuaded my mother to buy for me and for Toby (Eli's sister - and in the first, difficult conversations, she is not yet in my house) certain tools.
Toby and I talked to a rabbi, and since he was going to Eretz Israel for a month in the summer, we called another rabbi to help us with the kitchen. I thought the whole thing might take a week to sort out, at most, but the reality was not like that. The mother did not understand, and the matter went on and on for almost a month or more, and each day brought experience - an unpleasant period.
Another fact: my brother got married, and from the day I returned home, there were 11 guests in the house. I mean I did not have time to talk to my parents, there is always someone around, and it was a very exciting and annoying time for my mother and it was quite difficult to live at home.
And another fact: the parents heard from many sources all sorts of things about me and Eli, they do not know Eli, just remember what he was like when his family lived in Washington (and he did not have such a good name), so they did not look at the whole thing so positively from the beginning .
Another fact: the day after the wedding, Toby was very ill (she is now on her way to health) and required a lot of care, and my mother was very worried and cared for her all week (and we still had guests!).
And another fact: when I got home, I came back with the intention that I wanted to show my parents (God forbid I thought to teach them - only I will behave in their own way, and they will see for themselves) how I changed - how I strive to be quiet, modest, pious, etc. - and meticulous Beautiful face, but here I failed. Almost from the moment I entered my house - I can not explain why - I became angry, annoying, shouting. It hurts me a lot, because here I demand all sorts of things from my family, and they do a lot (hard for me to imagine) for my benefit at home, and I act not only without manners and respect, but so far from what I expected - even in waste and anger.
I hate myself sometimes and try to refrain from behaving like that, but it's like something goes in my mouth and eyes and I scream and cry. I had almost forgotten the quiet, modest figure I wanted to emulate — and the words "modest," "daughter of Israel," I had forgotten the terms. And it's my fault. I immediately went down.
No wonder my parents have the feeling that I do not like being at home, that I am uncomfortable naming her. It hurts them very much, this partition that they feel separates us. I really do not think there is a difference between us really, but when I behave the way I behave in anger, as if with disguise around me, in selfishness; When they treat me angrily and defensively again, then there is the separation.
Had we been able to behave in good measure to each other, then everything would have been fine and in harmony. Why did it happen like this? It hurts them and it hurts me, and it puts a lot of pressure on us.
Another fact: I get a letter from Eli every day and I write to him every day. Letters are a horrible and terrible means of communication - especially when it is so difficult to express everything in words, and at such a great distance, and in a time (so it seems to me) so long. It is very easy to translate letters not with the author's intention, and then there are problems and mistakes.
Eli writes in a very strong style, and everything he writes goes into me like a sword. At first, he was included in letters from sages' articles and small passages to help me here, but he also gave me a severe rebuke (that's how I felt) for being so weak, and he is very sad that I failed and that I was weak in kosher (but the opposite!), And it hurts him that I Deals only with idle things, and he is sure that I constantly fail in modesty - and then he wrote me all kinds of sages that compare the daughter of Israel as the daughter of a king, .....
, And how I am not the same girl he remembers, that I went down more than he can imagine, and I am material, and more.
Eli also writes praise, that he loves me and misses me and is waiting for me - and my head breaks - how to combine the two? What does he see in my letters? how is he? How can he judge? And is he God forbid right, how can that be?
I crossed my line - I just wanted to write facts, but it hurt me so much - I'm dying now, and I'm sure his intention was not God forbid to hurt me, he wanted to help me - so what happened to my eyes, to my mind, that I can not read a letter from him Without crying and feeling sick, especially when he gives me his "morals"?
And up close, all of his letters center on the grave, serious, horrible, and terrible sin that I go through every day, every moment, because I am outside the Land of Israel. He writes that I unload, and adultery with God because I live (there) at times when I can go to the Land of Israel and I do not go. But I do go - only it's impossible (so to speak) now for me.
I asked Rabbi, because Eli bothered me a lot, and he answered me that there is a matter of honoring father and mother here. It would destroy them if I told them I would return immediately like this (to Israel). And I am preparing, in other words, to return to Israel on Sukkot, in another five and a half weeks.
I'm not trying to justify myself - of course I also want with all my heart to go back there (even that I forgot a bit), and of course I also love him and miss him, maybe more than he describes - but the way he calls me names and tells me letter after letter about The abomination and filth I keep - and his style: that he's sure I'll wake up from my sleep and see, and come back, he has faith in me, and he will stop writing to me on August 13th because he's sure I'll be in the air on the way on August 20th. And he continues that he dreamed three dreams (strong) that I returned, so that is why he is waiting and so happy that I kept the words of the Torah, and I listened to him.
Things I do not know how to see, how to react. I am one hundred percent embarrassed and confused. He writes to me that there is no authority for everything I think and write, because I am outside the Land of Israel. And that may be true, but nonetheless, it's a bit disappointing.
Is he right that I have nothing to say? Everything I feel does not belong? It's like someone calls me "crazy" - so what can I answer?
And one last fact: today I received a letter - so far from Eli that I could not read it and sent it back to him.Her name he rebuked me for not being modest - a prostitute, a prostitute, a pervert, etc. And he guesses that this is his destiny in this world, to atone for all his iniquities until now, and because of me he will be closer to the net of the next world. I am his punishment for all his sins, and his experience in life is to endure me.
Rebbetzin Tao, my eyes are dark. I do not see right. I do not understand - and I have no idea what's going on. It's too far and complicated for me.
Here I wanted to write you a very short letter, and I just wanted to bring you facts without my interpretation, I probably could not at all, and at my length (as the response of the letter I just received, I am very excited), I did not bring a clear and so real picture of the situation here.
Maybe, if you have time, you can talk to Eli too to hear from him what's going on? I know that only my feelings are written here - it is very unfair, and the main thing is that you will receive from me and from me a complete and true picture. And maybe you have some advice to give me so that I do not forget things so quickly?
Thank you very much
post Scriptum. Please forgive me for all the mistakes and mistakes in my writing - I hope it was not too difficult to understand. I even forgot Hebrew!
I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me
R.H. Elul 5732 Jerusalem
I hope you are healthy and whole. Eli was here and told that you wrote that you felt a drop in you there, and that was to be expected.
Soon,with God's help, you will return to the land of life and you will feel that you live and revive your near and far surroundings.
I have no doubt that the air of the Land of Israel and the atmosphere of the revival of Israel, which you have already managed to absorb while you are here, give you the strength to endure, resist trials and return with new vigor towards your destiny and happiness, to be a partner in our great divine enterprise.
The rabbi writes in the chapters of Eretz Yisrael in the Book of Lights:
"The act of the Holy Spirit that is absorbed in the Land of Israel is frequent, even if it happens and the person went out into the land, by mistake or by some necessary grandfather. After all, the prophecy, when it has already occurred in the Land of Israel, does not cease even abroad.
There was a thing D. to Ezekiel in the land of the demons was, because it was already. The flu of the sanctuary, which began in the land of Israel, gathers all the sanctuaries of the sanctuary that are abroad in all the depths, and brings them closer with the power that attracts them.
All the more difficult to endure the air abroad, all the more to feel the impure spirit of an unclean earth, is a marker for a more internal absorption of the holiness of the Land of Israel, for supreme grace, which will not leave him who has been privileged to huddle in the throne of the Land of Life. Also in exile and the land of his migration.
The foreignness felt abroad is, after all, more connected to all the inner spiritual desire for the Land of Israel and its sanctity, the expectation to see it increase and the enactment of the sacred pattern of a land in which the eyes of God always, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, deepens. Of the remembrance of the land, in which all sweetness is connected, when it overcomes the soul, even singularly, it performs a springing action for the whole, for the tens of thousands of souls associated with it, and the trumpet sound of a rejected group awakens and many mercies increase, "And the light of salvation and redemption splits and spreads, when dawn spreads over the mountains."
Prepare happily on these days of desire for your return to a land that Gd wants.
See you soon in our country