Letter: TLS, You’re Doing a Disservice

People mean well, and Klal Yisroel does great things, but in regards to the unfathomable tragedy that took place in Lakewood last week, trying to attribute it to mental health as a sole culprit, is a mistake. Promoting mental health is very very important and it’s to be done full scale, but a mental health issue is not what’s on the table over here, not at all – as per the professionals. This is something way above and beyond.

If you were to discuss what happened with any professional, they’ll all tell you the same thing, which is that they have absolutely no understanding and explanation as to what was going on with this woman that would give here the against nature capability to do what she did. They say that there’s no statistic for this in America because it simply doesn’t happen. This is what they all have said. Your research should prove it. I’m referring to the brass professionals in society.

Now, when promoting mental health awareness at such a time, you gotta be careful. Because, the very sentiment your website is giving is that what transpired can be explained within the mental health glasses, and by raising awareness etc., we are thereby kind of ridding ourselves from such a horrific thing taking place c’v in the future. Which is not the case. And that is exactly the issue. You’re now frightening up society and promoting a very worthy thing by kind of making this a concept by us which is explainable under some sort of umbrella.

Would seem very unsmart to me to have such a thing done.

Dealing with trauma is an אומנות, but creating more trauma and fright is certainly not the solution.

Hatzlocha!

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46 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, please note that there is in fact a statistic out there for infanticide. It’s 4%. Although we cannot be certain that this woman experienced postpartum psychosis, I think it’s important to acknowledge that postpartum psychosis is a very serious condition. The reason being is that symptoms can wax and wane and the symptoms can come on very quickly. A person can be okay one minute, and then next they are not. This is a very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. This diagnosis has a 4% risk of infanticide & suicide. There have tragically been many stories like this before- Lindsay Clancy, Andrea Yates, etc. It is crucial to acknowledge mental health in all of this.

    • You say there have been many cases, and to prove your point you mention 2 names, one of which happened 23 years. In a country of 330 Million people. This is an exceedingly rare occurrence. Pretending like this is common is untrue and damaging.

  2. The exact same story has happened to unfortunately many woman with psychosis. Bh we haven’t heard about it in our community but as soon as we saw the post without any details me and my colleagues knew what must have happened and it was confirmed. So unfortunately this does happen-in this way to woman who are very very sick. Dealing with psychosis and schizophrenia are entirely different than basic anxiety and depression but yes, they are under the same umbrella. Unfortunately she was very sick and and completely snapped which could not have been avoided and nobody saw it coming. May everyone struggling with any part of this terrible Illness find a yeshua very very soon.

  3. To the letter writer; respectfully, what would you have attributed to what occurred last week in Lakewood, if not a mental health issue?

  4. What you are saying is true. Mental health is a big spectrum including mild anxiety and depression as well people with extremely loose connections to reality.
    This is where the stigma of mental health comes from. 30 years ago, the stereotype was that crazy people go to shrinks. Fortunately, we have come to understand that anyone could benefit from improving mental health.
    Unfortunately, since they are all called mental health, they are still conflated. We hear that she had mental illness and freak out because everyone has someone close to them who suffers from ‘mental illness’. It is not the fault of Lakewood Scoop. People are feeling shocked and fearful.
    It is a praise on our community that we turn to introspection and action when tragedy strikes. As incredible as we are, we definitely could use more support and prevention. Let any positive actions that come from this be a zechus for the 2 precious neshamos.

  5. I don’t know any details about this case other than what was reported. It is true, properly treated people suffering from psychosis are not any more a risk factor than anyone else according to recent studies. However, every person is unique & a psychotic person with two very young children may need extra support to remain health.
    The above studies only apply when the person is getting the mental health care they need. If a psychotic person stops taking medication or therapy, they are highly at risk of a relapse.
    We don’t know what happened here but we can still learn from this. We should ensure that enough psychiatric care is available to all those suffering. We should also take mental illness seriously & follow the recommendations of the doctors, especially if the lives of children are dependent on us.

    It is absolutely possible for this to happen with a poorly treated psychotic person. Our jails are loaded with psychotic individuals who weren’t properly treated.

  6. 100% accurate. Just like we cannot blame this on high cholesterol, we cannot blame this solely on mental health (although it is a factor – but not the sole factor ) In fact, the vast majority of Professionals out there are baffled by this (I know this because I spoke with multiple top professionals who are keeping quite). They are saying that pyschosis and skitzofrenea themselves are not enough to explain this horrific act. I am aware of the cases you mentioned, however, if you look at the details of this case from the available sources, it doesn’t appear to match up as a “sudden episode of psychosis”.

    Sometimes we don’t have the answers. This should not be the impetus to raise mental awareness, just like the terrible tragedy of Leiby Kletzky was not used by therapists that want to promote mental health awareness (or themselves), even though one could have said at the time that mental health was a factor – but evil is evil – we can’t whitewash it.

    • The “evil” is your ignorant vile comment.
      Mental illness is real and can be tragic.
      Stop judging and have Rachmanus.
      And the bottom line…We need to mind our own business and remind ourselves of the fundamental principle and nechama…. הצור תמים פעלו.

      • I believe that there’s a misconception here about mental illness. There is a nature called evil, and even even a Jew unfortunately can have the nature. It’s just what hashem created. Every person that’s created is like an entire zoo. Our work is to make something out of ourselves something elevated and something special. No, we are not looking to justify everything, because we are just human and we absolutely do not know everything. But the point fingers to mental health as the easy way out for things, it just very ignorant. Fighting on this factor that Factor this alleged fact or whatever you wanna call it is totally counterproductively Will never get you anywhere because none of us really know anything here and the bottom line is that those that are in the field of mental health that means that’s accredited did not open their mouth and the fact that there’s a reason for that think again

    • Does anyone even remember what the shocking message DIRECTLY FROM HASHEM of the Leiby Kletzky Tragedy was?

      THE MESSAGE:
      During the month of june 2011-over the time of 2 weeks-3 tzaddikim, from 3 different corners of the world left to the Olam Haemes (true world) & they’re names were Harav Yitzchok Dov Koppelman ZT”L from Europe, Harav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz ZT”L from Eretz Yisroel & Harav Chaim Stein ZT”L from the U.S.A. When a tragedy like this strikes the world everyone is asking what is the message from Hashem?. The RAMCHAL in Sefer Derech Hashem quotes, when klal yisroel is in a state of Sinning R”L, suffering & pain may be imposed upon a tzaddik as an atonement for his entire generation. In doing so the Tzaddik is raised to a level of leadership in Gan eden. When THREE tzaddikim are niftar in a matter of two weeks, Hashem is already on the level of begging klal yisroel to just start תשובה & show a sign of remorse & repentance so that it does not need to continue Chas V’shalom on to a fourth tzaddik. Then These 3 Tzaddikim (above) were not enough. so this time Hashem sent a DIFFERENT KIND of tzaddik-a boy at the age of 8 R”L who has not sinned yet-to wake us all up to come to תשובה & STOP KEEP ON PUSHING IT OFF. This tragic event-of Leiby Kletzky- brought Achdus (unity) to klal yisroel but it was not enough to bring klal yisroel to confess & start doing תשובה so Hashem took 3 more tzaddikim away to the olam Haemes to wake us up to teshuva- Rabbi Dunner from England, The spinka rebbe of Yerushalyim at the early age of 79 & the next day the Baba Sali’s grandson Rav Elazar Abuchatzeirah was Stabbed to Death by another yid-just like Leiby Kletzky was killed by another yid & american yidden think Israel’s tragic wake-up calls don’t apply to them & the same with Israel not seeing American wake-up calls from Hashem- that makes 7 Tzaddikim niftar in a matter of 5 weeks. will this be enough or will it need to continue? that is up to all of us.

      May we all accept Hashems wake up call for serious teshuva and Achdus together as one loving nation so Hashem can send mashiach already bkarov

  7. I am just wondering if working in childcare is the best job for someone on medication for psychotic episodes. Perhaps a different job in a social setting would be better.

    • Leah’s point is extremely important. This was also pointed out a few times in comments on a previous letter on TLS. A person with such severe mental illness should not be left alone with defenseless children and should not be working with children.

  8. There are on average 500 arrests due to filicide in the US alone, each year. A basic google search will pull up multiple articles that were published in peer reviewed journals. Any therapist who claims otherwise needs to have their license reviewed.

  9. It is being reported in other outlets that she was disturbed by her thoughts a few days before this act, and stayed up all night praying. I think it is EXTREMELY important to know the details of what happened here. This was a public tragedy and the public has a right to know the details so that the stigma of “staying away” from people with mental health issues is not exacerbated. Did she stop taking her meds because she was doing well? Or maybe because her husband was away? Did she have a medication adjustment and there was no one around to monitor? The idea that it happened randomly and out of thr blue is scaring people with mental health issues as well as the general public to thr extreme. For the sake of the Tzibur these details must be disclosed.

    • The only reason this is a “public tragedy” is because the yentas think they have the “right ” to know.
      As if by knowing all the gory details they will have the precise scientific formula to protect themselves.
      Sorry. Doesn’t work that way.

      • No- it’s a public tragedy because it’s been reported in thr news, nothing is private here. The only thing that’s private is the reason- one that can keep so many from panicking that it could c’v happen to them or their loved ones. This is not yentish. Yentish talk comes from NOT knowing facts. We are talking about a serious illness here- and the ramifications of 2 innocent children being slaughtered are very far reaching in terms of the mental health of all of the frum world. Understanding the how and why is as far from yentish as can be. Comments like yours are what contribute to the tremendous stigma surrounding this illness.

      • I disagree with you. I’m not interested in any gory details. I’m interested in understanding how a frum mother lost her mind to the point of committing a double murder of her children. I don’t believe this was a sudden freak of nature with no rational explanation. I don’t need to know all the facts but at the very least I would like to know the following: Was she getting the proper psychiatric care & counselling or not? Were no warning signs given to those around her, considering that she has a long history of severe illness?
        Did anyone take achrayos for her health or was she just left to fend on her own getting married & having children?
        Why does this matter?
        We are a close knit community that relies on the trust of each other. Our sense of trust of each other has been harmed from this story, whether it makes sense or not. The sooner we get the basic facts of how this happened, the sooner our trust will be restored.

        • Perfectly said. The other news agencies that are reporting that charging documents say that the night before she was concerned by her thoughts and stayed up all night praying do offer a clue that not all was being monitored. Not knowing the reasons here is only contributing to the stigma surrounding mental illness. Possess by a dibuk?? Totally out of thr blue sky?? All very hard to believe and honestly while that may make thr family feel better, it makes the community more fearful

  10. I am deliberately not reading the hundreds of comments on the scoop yet I will say this. Many years ago a dear member of our community who was suffering (unbeknownst to us) and was very popular among the children and teens in the neighborhood as a simchadig person who played music and ran groups..the kids adored him and looked up to him. After the tragedy where he unfortunately took his life and we were all left feeling in shock, our Rav spoke to us and I will never forget what he said. He said that nobody should think this could have been avoided. The issues were being dealt with and no effort was spared. I do know from my own life experience that being under best care doesn’t mean that while meds are kicking in, the waiting period isn’t tough…or that trying one medication after another but having to wait to be weaned off the first one that didn’t work etc also leaves a lapse. I don’t know any of the details here I just want to voice that there is always a possibility that everything humanly possible based on the circumstances was being done at this moment and that this was meant to be. There are so many things that we could do to be preventative yet there are no guarantees. Even somebody that’s admitted to a psych ward can have bad results. Hashem yishmor vyirachem

    • I disagree with your premise. If you are saying that severely mentally ill individuals are by definition unstable, why was she allowed to be alone with her children. And if it’s only around the time of a medication adjustment etc, again, why was she not monitored.

  11. I don’t know which mental health professionals you have spoken to, but every Rov I have spoken to said that from what they heard, there was no warning over here. To drown children in a bathtub and watch them suffer to such a degree for the amount of time it takes is unfathomable. No Yiddish mother in their proper state of mind would be capable of doing such a thing. Clearly this woman was tragically taken over and was not in control. That is complete mental health.
    TLS is not doing a disservice. TLS has handled this more proffesionally than any other news network.
    This was a terrible Gezeirah, something that has not been seen since the Churban Bais Hamikdash when people would kill their children.
    Let’s not lose focus and let us all do Teshuvah and improve each of us on our own level.

  12. This letter is spot on. Tysm!! Every health professional I spoke to said the same. Psychosis and bpd doesn’t generally translate into violence. And almost never to this extreme. It’s almost as if a dibbuk got into her. In this case specifically she was an extremely incredible mother until what occurred Tuesday night r”l. There is no frame of reference within that this can be explained.
    And most importantly to all those that have family members that have mental illness. No they are not about to kill you. This is an anomaly and beyond the typical of anything witnessed since 2001.

  13. I am a professional hc provider and I respectfully disagree with what the letter write theorizes. This DOES happen although not with frequency. Ppl who are schizophrenic need VERY close monitoring. She should not have been a child care provider. We need to screen our babysitters and anyone who is in contact with our vulnerable children, period! Sorry if this means daycare businesses (which have proliferated at a ridiculous pace)may need to incur more costs for onboarding or may need to pay more to qualified candidates. Daycare is not only about making the owners rich, there’s a lot at stake, let’s not lose sight of our responsibility as parents/child care providers.
    Thank you tls for the pristine way you’ve addressed the tragedy. May Hashem send all of us besuros tovos, yeshuos vinechamos

    • There are people on psychotropic drugs working in special education school settings taking home students with special needs to help parents. Who takes responsibility and evaluates if it’s an ok situation?

  14. It may have been caused by mental health issues but what she did was pure evil. There is no way to whitewash the fact. Btw this whole bring awareness is freaking me out of anyone that has mental illness

    • You are an evil person. A action can be evil but the person can be possessed. I wholeheartedly concur that you being evil is evil. It’s here for all to see. But in this case specifically she has a history of being a pure person with nothing but goodness until the unfathomable action she committed out of nowhere.

      • Can you vouch that she was pure goodness even when entering a psychotic state? Nobody is judging her for her behavior but if she has a long history of psychosis, was any thing done to protect her children in case she loses her mind? Was she getting the care needed to lower the chance of her losing touch with reality? Is it really so strange for a psychotic person to do what she did? Why is this unfathomable? Who took achrayos for her & her children knowing that she could go off reality? Claiming that this is unfathomable is a way to avoid taking responsibility for what happened by claiming there was no possible way to predict this.

  15. Something like this happened in Kiryat Gat in April 2021. Probably not the same diagnosis, but everyone who him before said he was a normal well refined person who had no indication of being capable of doing such a thing. Once he got back to himself he was beyond himself. I know nothing of this subject (or any other subject for that matter), but to just assume that it was evil that caused this, when the data is available (unusual yes) is despicable.

    In my eyes this was a gzar din just like any other and there really was no bechirah here. The mother was and is still the mother and had just lost her two children to a monster. She deserves sympathy like any other mother who goes through a tragedy (unless it’s proven there were steps she could have realistically taken to avoid this).

    I don’t know this for sure, but it makes no sense to see this any other way for now, unless other details come up.

    It seems most people have thus same position, and have moved on from this and giving the privacy and sympathy anyone involved in a tragedy deserves.

  16. The individual in Kiryat Gat that killed his son was given drugs by a “alternative” unlicensed practitioner. If he would have been getting the right care it wouldn’t of happened. The stigma of mental illness leads people to seek non proven treatments leading to a disaster.

  17. If one person at the day care would have spoken up about her bizarre behavior . . And don’t say she wasn’t acting bizarre! Leave a woman like that alone in her home with children for 5 weeks ??!! There is culpability here, sorry if ppl don’t want to hear it

  18. IMHO in many cases, people that have Mental Illness are not being treated with the necessary treatments. IDK about this case, but in the Frum community having Mental Illness is still very Stigmatized, more than the Goyshe world. People that have Mental Illness can be treated with meds and even electric shock therapy. People hesitate to seek help, in the Frum community, due to Stigmation. Better to get treated than live with Mental Illness, especially when symptomatic!

  19. Can we know the names of the 2 little girls. Can we do something in their zchus, the type of things that are always done here in our town. Everyone was so effected by the news, I am sure the town can raise for a sefer Torah or something.

  20. Good psychiatric care is very expensive. Having two very young children is very stressful for most people outside of the Frum community.We all need to become more aware of those around us who need guidance and help.

  21. Attention all no it all clowns. Between 35% and 50% of homes have someone either in therapy or in desperate need of it. That’s not just Lakewood that’s all over the Frum world. Some have major issues, some minor. But this is no exaggeration. Most people have no idea how many are getting and in desperate need of help. That’s not a high number at all. Just think about all the alcoholics in every community. How many of them are not only in need of AAA, but are causing damage and issues for their spouse and children. Yes, in many cases the entire family finds themselves in therapy.

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