Anything about JUDAISM
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D.W. Posted - 24 April 2007 13:35
I understand that hitting a parent is death for the child. I hit my father a few times and want to know how bad it was that I did. I also wished harm on him. He has died and I want to ask forgiveness. (I'm a girl by the way.) I didn't know at the time it was death.

What happened was he used to hit us a lot, mostly with his belt or a small rubber hose which he hung on the wall in the living room to scare us into being good. When I was younger I used to try to hide from him - under places I thought he couldn't fit under, but he'd reach his arm in and drag me out by the foot - or I'd try to hide in a locked room, but he'd bust down the door (or try to anyway). And how embarrassing it was when he chased my brother down the street with the belt in his hand, yelling!

Anyway, when I became a teenager I became very angry at him. One time when he swung the belt at me I managed to catch the end of it and pull it out of his hands. I hit him back with the belt before running away, even though I knew I'd pay the price for it later. Another time I threw something at him and hit him in the mouth, and to this day I feel so guilty because he was very upset and kept saying I could have knocked his tooth out. I didn't and don't think I could have with what I threw (something small). Of course he threw things at me and never gave my teeth a thought! And splashed drinks in my face, and dragged me around by the hair, whatever.

What I feel really guilty about is that I hated him and wished bad things on him even after he stopped hitting us and started talking nicer to us. How he stopped hitting us was that one time as I was running around trying to escape him, and I suddenly realized I don't have to "let" him hit me, my brother is bigger and stronger than him now! So I called my brother for help and he came running and grabbed my father by the shirt and yelled that if he ever hits me ever again he'll beat him and knock all his teeth out. And from that day on my father never hit me again ever! Anyway,even after he stopped hitting me and started even talking nicer, I still hated him and wished harm on him.

I feel guiltiest of all because even though he had a temper and was really mean to us sometimes, he loved us and would have died for us. In so many other ways he was a tzaddik, and really our neighbors thought of him as a tzaddik because he was so nice to them.

But I sometimes would sort of curse him - I would ask that Hashem should take him away but only if he would be in gan eden, he should never suffer. Why did I have to wish such a thing? Why didn't I just wish he would move to another country or something?

I wanted to ask this here because I'm afraid to ask anyone else. Everyone thinks I'm so good and nice and I don't want them to think bad of me. They would never dream I would wish death on someone, even though really I wished him gan eden, but still it's terrible! And after he already stopped hitting me, what was my excuse?

Anyway how do I make teshuva for these things? How do I ask his forgiveness if hes dead? He was not frum and was cremated by his will so there's no grave. (My mother is frum though.)

Please help me, I feel so guilty, because really he was such a good father and loved us so much, we were his whole life, we really were.

cheers! Posted - 24 April 2007 16:36
wow DW. you sure went through a terrible experience and what i'm about to tell you is probably the same thing you're gonna hear from a/o else who posts along w/ me... (ha, i know from experience)

first of all, i'm not sure if you're as sensitive in this area as i am, so i'll be careful. frumteeners who respond are gonna barrage you with encouragement to go get help. they're gonna tell you that at this point in your life the main focus has to be you and that yeah, one day down the line you probably should (if you can) do teshuva, but that's really not what you're up to right now. they're gonna tell you that keeping all this stuff in you is gonna make it even harder and that is certainly not the way to go about getting yourself closer to doing teshuva. so, although i'm gonna get a million and one nasty comments from a/o who has told this to me, you really do come first and you really should see if there's s/o you can feel ok talking to. it sounds from your post that maybe your older brother could help you. if your're mature and responsible enough to go to a therapist (i use that wording, cuz i know for myself, i'm neither mature or responsible...) that might be even more helpful, but that has to be a decision only you can make. (don't take a/o's forse too much to heart. a/o who posts here is only doing it cuz they care...)

as far as beyond that, of how you go about doing teshuva and if you have to, i'm really not sure. i know that's what you're really asking and what you really wanna know, so i'm sorry for answering in this long winded way and not even telling you the answer to that... if i knew i'd love to answer, but i really don't know.

all i can say DW is that i hope you get the answer you're looking for and that you be able to move past this tough childhood you've had. best of luck

D.W. Posted - 04 May 2007 2:29
Thanks cheers for your sympathetic reply. I appreciate what ur telling me about taking care of me first. But I'm also concerned about my responsibility in this and how to make up for what I did wrong. Was I so bad that nobody can tell me?
cheers! Posted - 04 May 2007 5:00
OMG! of course not!! i think e/o's probably just hesitant to reply cuz they really don't know!! on one hand, you did s/t that perhaps could be viewed as wrong, but on the other hand, you were in a very terrible situation...so i'd imagine that e/o else here (like me) is really very unsure of the answer...

did you ever discuss it with your brother? maybe he knows...

good luck!!

iTry Posted - 04 May 2007 5:00
dear d.w.,
i wish i knew the halachos to tell you to comfort you. i don't, but what i do know is that u seem to have completed much of the teshuvah process- you acknowledged what u did, you feel strong regret for it, and u won't do it again. those are the 3 steps that need to be taken in order to erase a chait, and to me, it sounds like you've done them.
it also sounds like yoou need to deal with what happened in your past. do you think you're ready? i understand that somewhere, deep inside, you feel a love for your father, but you experienced things no child (or adult for that matter) EVER should. is there a way for you to speak to a professional to help you sort out your feelings?
grafix Posted - 11 May 2007 6:17
D.W. - in NO WAY are you bad, or terrible, or any such thing.
You were in a terrible situation, and you did what most others would do in such a situation. In fact, I'd say you did BETTER than most others would.

Just because others outside the home thought he was wonderful, it doesn't mean he was. What matters is how he acted towards the family, and from your description, it doesn't sound too good, though of ourse, I'm only basing it on your description.

The fact that you're even worrying over what you thought about your father is unbelievable.

Whatever the case may be, you still can't curse your father. Though the failures of the parents in their duties is often related to the failures of the child, by no means does this exempt or excuse the child's neglect of his own responsibilities. The Torah decrees that where the parent neglects to teach his child, the child must teach himself and on his own seek to acquire the knowledge essential to a life in accordance with the Torah. (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, 245:1)

However, as your father is no longer alive and does not have a grave, I would suggest that you just plain pray to him for forgiveness. And ask from Hashem as well.

But PLEASE don't blame yourself...

neshama Posted - 11 May 2007 13:49
D.W. I just read your post and I can't even start to imagine myself in your shoes. What you hadda go through is beyond description or comprehension and I'm sure what u wrote was just a tiny drop in the bucket of what you really grew up with.
Two things I wanna tell you that can hopefully be m'chazek you a bit:
1- THIS IS NOT AT ALL YOUR FAULT. In no way did you do anything to deserve this- your father had his own problems and chose to act this way and he would've been abusive to any child of his, even if it wasn't you.
2- The only mitzvah we have that can be performed after death as well as during life is the mitzvah of KIBBUD AV V'EM. If you feel any guilt because during ure fathers life you werent able to respect him because he was doing such terrible things to you and you were so full of anger, you can still respect him now- it's never too late!! You can find things to do in his name, you can specifically make choices (as long as they're within the guidelines of the Torah) that you know he would've been happy about... There are many options. That might make you feel a LOT better.
One more thing, (k so there were 3 things...)Of course you can do t'shuva!! In Judaism we believe that true t'shuva means that you regret what you have done (or haven't done), you feel really bad about it, and you resolve to get better or improve someway- and you follow thru of course.
Just have in mind, tho that there's ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU for thinking those negative thoughts about your dad. It's natural and human for people to feel anger toward abusers no matter who the abuser is. You acted normally. If you feel you need to express yourself and fully recover from this, cheers is right- try to find a therapist. Your life and that of your future family shouldn't have to suffer any more that it has already.
Keep up the strength- you sound like an awesome girl!
wannabe Posted - 11 May 2007 21:37
D.W.,

Oysh. I was afraid you'd think that.

Let me explain.

I can't count the number of times I looked at your post. I must have seen it for the first time a month ago, and I've gone back to it so many times since.

And each time, I just didn't know what to say. You've gone through not normal pain. I can feel it coming through your words. I didn't know what I could say. I understand? I don't, I can't, not really. How could I understand what it is to go through such pain? Ouch, that hurts so much? Of course it does. Saying that just downplays how painful such a situation must be.

So I didn't say anything, and I felt bad about it, but I honestly did not know what to say.

You might have seen a few of the posts I've written about my parents. I never went into much detail, but basically, they're very critical and yell a lot and aren't very interested in me. I resent them, I'm upset at them, I don't treat them right. And I don't feel one speck of guilt about it. What can I say to someone who's gone through so much worse, far surpassed herself in her response, and wants to know what teshuva she should do?!?

What I'm trying to say is that I can't possibly say anything. You amaze me and awe me and inspire me. You're a living model of the idea that we CAN handle the tests we are given, and handle them well. So maybe you broke under the load once. You're still a role model, because you got right back up again, which is really all we're asked to do.

I really am not in a position to say this, but I think you've done your Teshuvah. You regret it. You admit it. And as for Kabalah al Ha'Asid - that's not possible in this situation, so I would think it no longer applies. Asking your father's forgiveness is also no longer possible, as you said.

Whatever you may have wished, you did not cause your father's death.

This is only my opinion, but I think that contrary to guilt, you should be feeling pride - in yourself.

Good Shabbos. :-)

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