The Four Questions of Domestic Abuse: My Dear Rabbi Zahavy Column in the Jewish Standard for April 2016

My Dear Rabbi Zahavy Column in the Jewish Standard for April 2016: 
The Four Questions of Domestic Abuse

Dear Rabbi Zahavy,

I am 11 years old. I have a younger brother and a sister. My parents fight with each other all the time. My father gets angry. He yells at my mother. When they start to fight, my brother and sister and me go into our room and close the door. We still can hear them fighting. I can tell that sometimes my father hits my mother. I am afraid. I don’t know what to do. Please tell me.

Scared in Bergen County

Dear Scared,

If this happens again, and you see or think that your father is hitting your mother, go to the phone and dial the police at 911. Tell the police your name, age, and address. Tell them your father is hitting your mother. If your parents have a gun in the house, tell the police. Answer their questions and do what they say you should do. They probably will say that you should go back to your room, close the door, and wait for the police to come to your house.

When the police arrive, they will ask you questions about what happened and why you called them. Tell them everything you remember and tell them how you feel. They will talk to your mother and your father. After they do that, if they feel that your father has calmed down and it is safe for you and your mom, they will leave.

If they think it is not safe, they may arrest your father and take him to the police station. You may feel bad about this. Try not to feel bad. It is for the best for your dad to learn that if he hits your mom, that means that he broke the law. And when a person does that, he can be put in jail.


Is Merrick Garland Jewish?

Yes, Merrick Garland is a Jew.

According to Popsugar, Garland is a 63-year-old current chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Born in Chicago to a Jewish mother and Protestant father, he was raised as a Jew and referenced his background in his nomination acceptance speech. He has a wife, Lynn, and two daughters, Jessica and Rebecca, who went to Yale.


My Dear Rabbi Zahavy column in The Jewish Standard for March 2016: Vengeful Prayers and Racist Purim Tunes

Dear Rabbi Zahavy,

I was informed by my manager at work that one of my coworkers complained to him that I berated some other coworkers in a meeting in a way that was offensive and has affected their morale negatively.

My associate never came to me to complain about it. I know that I did not do what he claims. I am angry to find out that one of my workmates went behind my back to my superior, apparently in an effort to harm my reputation, or perhaps to get me fired.

Is there a prayer I can recite to make this awful person disappear?

Persecuted and Angry At Work

Dear Persecuted,

First, are you sure that you are blameless? You might want to mull over your behavior before you engage in any actions on this matter, either in prayer or otherwise.

If you are confident that the charges are without merit, you still have a big problem that you must manage or resolve. And if the charges have merit, you have a greater need to take action to fix things up at work.

To answer your direct question, Yes, there are prayers to ask God to make those who slander you go away. In fact, you do not have to do much searching at all to find that kind of prayer.

The twelfth blessing in the Amidah, which an observant Jew recites three times every weekday, beseeches God, “And for slanderers let there be no hope, and let all wickedness perish as in a moment; let all your enemies be speedily cut off, and the dominion of arrogance do you uproot and crush, cast down and humble speedily in our days. Blessed are you, O Lord, who breaks the enemies and humbles the arrogant.”

It sounds to me like this blessing will serve your purpose — if you believe that a prayer to God is the way to solve this problem between you and another person at your place of employment.