Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


Anti-Jewish Behavior:  "Brothers Who Don't Hold Hands"


“Hine Ma Tov Umanayim” (“See how good and beautiful when brothers hold hands”) is a heart warming song and when practiced it gives strength and happiness, a closeness for which we all yearn. When we read the Schema we are commanded to love Hashem bechol levovcho, bechhol nafschecho, bechol meodecho. Since we are all the proverbial “Children of G’d” we should love each other, especially the members of our family, with all of our heart, with all of our soul and with all of our might. Too often we forget to practice that which is healthy, good and beautiful.

Children Who Hate, by Fritz Redl, is a very insightful book. We can easily transpose these words into Families Who Hate. Instead of loving one another members of these families are jealous and unfeeling, except for much stored up anger which they spew in a number of ways. They may feel superior or wealthier than the hated one or may imagine they might have to contribute something, whether in time or money. They may abandon one member of their kin or another, finding fault without reason. This individual becomes the scapegoat for their unhappiness. Especially painful is it when it involves members of a Jewish family who shun a brother, a sister, their parent or even their own child. They “dredge up” some real or imaginary slight that occurred in the long ago. This can be seen in nursing facilities where old agers are abandoned and earmarked for punishment. I have seen a Jewish daughter who would not go to her mother's funeral, and a brother in the community who shunned his sister who yearned to be his friend. Among adult children, they may justify their actions by engaging in loshan horah with one another which they feel authenticates their grudges.

There are enough anti-Semites in this world without assisting them in our behavior to each other. We were known historically as a people who stood up for one another through all adversity. Let us make every effort to live up to this belief and assist each other come what may. Let us live up to the adage “Kol Yisroel Chaverim”, and that this includes every member of our family, be they near or far.


Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the co-author, with Dr. Gerhard Falk, of  Youth Culture and the Generation Gap.