To Tell or Not to Tell // A daughter is torn about letting her mother know a family member is having surgery

Parenting With Slovie Jungreis Wolff

Crossroad signpost saying this way, that way, the other way concept for lost, confusion or decisions


 have a question that I would love to see answered in your magazine, because as many people I pose this question to, everyone has a different opinion. I’m wondering if there isn’t a right answer. 

Here goes:

My mother is warm and loving and cares deeply about her children. If anyone is going through anything, she will help in any way she can, and of course, she will daven and say Tehillim that everything should be resolved. 

Someone in my family is scheduled to have a procedure soon. I know my mother will soak her Tehillim, from the night before until the procedure is over. My mother knows about this procedure, and she’s davening immensely for it already. It’s not very risky, but it is pretty major and painful. I would love not to tell my mother when it is—just be vague about the date, say we’re not sure yet, etc., and then call her when it’s already over. I think she will be so grateful and relieved.

Although she will daven very hard if she knows it’s going on, and we really need her ehrliche tefillos, I feel like she will really be suffering knowing that someone in the family is going through something so huge. She will be up all night the night before, saying Tehillim and davening to Hashem for its success. It will be really hard on her emotionally. 

Some say: “How can you not tell your mother? Hashem wants her tefillos and her tefillos will help you immensely. Hashem wants us to cry out to him.” But on the other hand, won’t my kibud eim be just as important as I protect my mother from such emotional anguish? Isn’t that a huge zechus for us also? Am I not being selfish by telling her exactly when the procedure is, making her suffer, because I want her tefillos

I love my mother and want what’s best for her, and she loves me and wants what’s best for me.

To tell or not to tell? What’s the right thing to do?

I hope you can get this answered!

Thank you!

Daughter Who Wants to Do the Right Thing


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