Why I Can’t Publish Chapter 2

Chapter 2 introduces the abuser.

A very real person, still alive on this earth.

A Jewish person, in my community.

An evil person? I would say yes, but it’s not my place.  Maybe just ill.

For almost a year, I’ve been silent.  Waiting.  Waiting for police. Waiting for lawyers. Waiting for judges.  Waiting for Hashem.  Waiting for healing. Waiting for myself.

And all of a sudden on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, I broke my silence. Big time. Accidentally, I exploded without a plan, with a bang.  With a blog.  And a book. (I started it in the middle of The Fires and have quite a few chapters that now I’m dying for you to read, because I’m somehow not hiding anymore and that feels awesome!)

But I can’t publish them, because they contain The Abuser, a very real person, a very real Jew in my community.  And they contain My Ex, who is my ex, and also a real person, and a Jew in my community.

Jews aren’t supposed to talk negatively about other Jews.  Even if it’s true.  Maybe especially if it’s true.  These are the Laws of Loshon Hara, Evil Tongue.  Writing counts.

The rabbi says I am allowed to tell people that I believe The Abuser abused my son.  I said, “No, rabbi, but I know!” And he said, “You can say you strongly believe.”  I said, “I’ll take it.”  He also said that if the courts don’t handle this properly, it will be my obligation and his to make the community aware of a potential danger.  The rabbis he’s dealing with aren’t interested in a cover-up, he said.  And I believe him. (98%.)

Am I allowed to write a fictionalized expose’ about the whole thing?   I’m scared to ask the rabbi that one.  I will ask, don’t worry, but it’s going to take some gut summoning.

The Villains are watching.  That actually doesn’t scare me.  (Okay, maybe a little.  I won’t lie, I added an alarm system to my apartment months ago and an ear-killing alarm to my keychain that I crazily set off in the grocery store the other day and my boys set off so much that the battery will probably be dead by the time I actually need to use it, G-d forbid.)  The Villains are just cramping my style, with their villainry.  Serious possibilities, Rina, be serious.

I’m really angry that my voice still has to be quieted, changed, for the sake of my safety and my sons’ well-being.  I’m angry that you won’t ever read the real story.  I’m really angry that I can’t publish Chapter 2, because I’m still too close to it to change the details in any way that feels satisfying or real to me. (I actually hate writing fiction; true stories come from Hashem!)

My author friend said to write the whole story for myself, exactly how I want to, then with time, I’ll feel more distant and be able to change enough details to protect what needs to be protected.  So that’s my plan.  Which means you may be waiting a while.  But then again, Moshiach’s coming, we don’t have a ton of time and things are speeding up these days.  May be sooner than I think.

Until then, thanks for reading my blog posts.


mom on fire book cover