Category Archives: wwyd?

WWYD from the Inbox: Wedding

Dear Hadassah,

I received an invitation to my friend’s daughter’s wedding in November. We’d have to travel to get there – but it’s doable. I’d like to go, but I know it’s going to be a crazy expensive wedding with all the bells and whistles, and the mother of the bride is doing it all on her own with no help from the bride’s father. (Divorced parents….) I know she cannot afford it, but is doing it anyway.

Do we go anyway because we’re invited and I know she’d like us there, or decline and send a nice gift?

What would you do?


Hmmm. Readers?


WWYD – Feelings vs Kashrut

A friend was recently visiting relatives who put out some yummies for kiddush Shabbat day. There were cheeses and chocolates, pastries and cakes – the table was groaning under the weight!

My friend happened to walk into the kitchen for a glass of water, and saw an empty package from one of the foods. She saw that the hechsher was Tablet K – a certification that she has been told is not trustworthy. (Full disclosure – in the HSM household we don’t hold by that hechsher).

She tried to call her husband into the kitchen, so that he should know that he should stop eating, but wasn’t sure how to go about it without drawing attention to the issue.

Everyone kind of gravitated toward the kitchen, having eaten their fill, and were clearing the table. She caught his eye, and surreptitiously showed him the package. It was one of those moments when everyone goes quiet at just the wrong moment. It was a very awkward silence.

What would you have done? Would you have just waited until later and spoken to your spouse in private, risking him eating something you don’t consider kosher? And then, how do  you go about dealing with the fact that now you are not sure that you can trust the kashrut in this house? What if you feel it’s just ignorance, and that this person does not know the hechsher isn’t widely accepted? Do you broach the subject?

What would you do?

WWYD – Text

So in the last couple of days I have received texts from a number that I do not recognize. The first one or two were just “Hi”. Today I got texted “Hey Baby” with a wink emoticon. I know it’s not the KoD. I have no clue who on earth this is.

I don’t want to engage this person in a back and forth – if I text back “who is this” then they know they have my attention. If I ignore it, the texts will keep on coming. I did look up the number on USA 411 and AnyWho and drew a blank.

What would you do? I can ignore it, it IS currently harmless….. but I don’t give out my cell number to anyone. If anything I give out my googlevoice – and these texts are to my cell # not the GV.


WWYD? Letter from a reader

I received this letter from a reader, and it struck a huge chord with me. I don’t know what my answer would be as I can relate with this issue. Please weigh in with your thoughts.

My friend’s daughter is thinking about becoming engaged to a divorced father several years her senior. Like me, she was divorced with one small child, a four year old. The divorced father has a contentious relationship with his ex-wife and three out of his four children are exhibiting abnormal behavior. They have sought my advice – should she continue the relationship or break it off? For once, I am at a loss. My inner voice says “No matter how much you love this man, his life will drag you down. It will exhaust and frustrate you. Outside sources will control your daily life. Your needs will take a back seat to theirs. It cannot be helped. You deserve more and so does your child.” But how can I say this when I did the opposite? Or is that the point exactly? Can you ask your readers what they would answer? Thanks

There are so many of us divorcees in the same boat – we want another chance for happiness, but if that happiness comes at a potential cost to us – is it worth it?

In many of even the most civil divorces there is often strife and disagreement. Add a tempestuous relationship with an ex spouse – it could be like opening one’s home to dynamite.

I have much to say on this matter, but for reasons that I am sure you will understand, I am keeping my opinion to myself. But we want to hear from you.

WWYD – Question from a Reader

So, you are playing with your kids in the park in an urban area. You look around you and see the scene depicted in the above picture. (This picture depicts the third floor of an apartment building).

What do you do? Do you yell up to the kids to get back inside? Do you gather up your own children and go hammer on the apartment door to see if there is an adult there and if said adult is aware that there are children dangerously hanging out of a window? Do you call Child Protective Services? Or do you just move on?

WWYD – non-Shomer Shabbat child at home

Remember this WWYD (child stealing) from last year? The same lady wrote to me to update me and to ask another question. Please give her the benefit of your wisdom.

Dear HSM,

Many months ago I wrote to you for advice about one of my children who had been taking food from her sibling’s private store and then denying everything. Your readers very kindly offered advice which more or less said the same thing – take her for therapy and to go myself.

I took the advice. We went to family therapy and she also had a few meetings alone with a different therapist. The diagnosis was depression but not enough to necessitate a visit to a psychiatrist. To cut things short, some weeks later we did take her to a psychiatrist who put her on Prozac, and a few days later she tried to commit suicide.

Seven months have passed. She is now 16. She has spent this time in a psychiatric hospital (wonderful place with dedicated staff), and will be leaving in a few weeks time.  She is very definite about not returning to her old school, and is planning on staying in a therapeutic youth village with every other weekend at home. At the moment she comes homes every Shabbat and here lies the problem. She is no longer shomer Shabbat but we came to a compromise in that she can do what she wants in her bedroom as long as she doesn’t do anything that affects the rest of the house. However, now that the days are long, she says she needs to be able to recharge her ipod on Shabbat afternoon in order to get through the day, and has been changing the Shabbat clock (time switch) in order to do so.

The psychologist treating her has turned to us to find a solution for her while at home on Shabbat. The matter isn’t critical – if she doesn’t use the ipod/internet she won’t try and commit suicide again, but it is a crutch she depends on. The options I have thought of are leaving the electricity on in the house all day, or letting her recharge her ipod in the kitchen where there is always electricity. Or helping her find other occupations (not what she wants). I would be interested in hearing your opinions.

And finally a word of advice. Don’t respect your child’s privacy too much like we did – read their diaries. If we had done that a year or two ago life would have been very different.

WWYD – Gym Peeping Tom

From a reader:

Hadassah!  At the kosher gym this morning I saw a VERY chassidic man (long payos, chassidish hat and coat) open the door a crack to peek at the women doing a women’s only Pilates classes. Most of these women are Orthodox and or Chassidic too. He just didn’t sneak a peak he stayed there watching them.  Some of the women, because it’s a women’s only class in a closed room with no windows, uncover their hair and wear tee shirts and clothes they would not allow a man to see them in ever. Which is why they go to the kosher gym!!!

What should I have done?

Sign me “Wanting to smack the Yoilie”….

OK, what would I have done? I would have walked over to the door and slammed it in his face. Hard. Or asked the instructor to have the man removed.

What would YOU have done?

Wednesday’s Wacky Signs

WWYD – gift from ex spouse

I received this email from a reader.

Dear Mama H,

I hope you can help me out. I recently celebrated a significant birthday and my ex husband sent me a sizable gift card to an online store. We have been divorced for a number of years and I have since remarried. Our children live with me, and their father constantly gives me a hard time about his duty to provide child support. No matter that it has been years and that I have obviously moved on, he still feels emotionally tied to me.

I just want him to support my children, not send me gifts. My new husband said I should spend the money on stuff for the children, but another friend said that keeping it sends the message that it is appropriate. She says I should send it back.

WWYD – please help me do the right thing!


Hi Rachel.

If we were talking about my own ex husband I am not sure what I would do. We have both moved on emotionally, remarried and are living our lives peaceably and are not fighting about anything. Our issues are dead and buried. Yet, still, on some level, such a gift from him would make me feel awkward. What is the message behind it?

I am not sure what I would do in your situation – I like the idea of spending it on the children BUT as your friend said, that doesn’t get the message across to your ex that this was inappropriate.

Let me open it up to my readership – WWYD in this situation, readers? Has this happened? How did it make you feel? What did you do?

WWYD – wrong crowd

So you find out that a friend has started hanging out with someone that you know is bad news. You know for a fact due to past experience with him / her that this person has the morals of an alley cat and that your friend will end up used and or hurt. Your friend is actually a principled person but cannot see the bad in their new association. You know that if you speak up you might lose the friendship, but sitting idly by while your friend puts him / herself at risk is something that feels alien to you.

WWYD? Speak up and risk the friendship? Stay quiet but take some distance? Warn your friend anonymously?