Recap: Elchanan, the chassonm(groom), begins to explain his side of the story.
“I have another proof that we didn’t do anything deliberately. If we had known all along that it was mental illness, if I would have been under the regular care of a psychiatrist, we would have gone to him to get an injection already before the wedding, wouldn’t we? I promise you that nothing was done maliciously and with knowledge.”
Michal softened. She could tell it was the truth.
“Wait…” she said. “And how about what your mother said to me, “Someone who helps chatanim,” and then she took us to the psychiatrist?”
“That was really her mistake. But you need to understand her, too. Her eldest, beloved, successful son… and the word ‘psychiatrist’ is so frightening. I beg of you to do your ‘homework,’ and above all, I beg of you to forgive me.””
Michal’s heart went out to him. She immediately forgave him.
“No way,” Ima said now. “Mental illness is hereditary. Do you want your children to be like that, too?”
Michal didn’t know what to answer.
She didn’t want her children to be like that. Elchanan said that they don’t know of anyone else with such a condition in the family, but who knows. Aside from the other troubles, Michal felt herself in a moral dilemma.
Abbam (Father) was angry. “You’re not supposed to think about him; you’re supposed to think about you.”
“I’m thinking about me,” she said. “I’m thinking only about me. “Meanwhile I want to wait with it. I need to check out a few things.”
Abba gnashed his teeth so furiously that one tooth cracked in the corner.
“I recommend getting an immediate divorce, but we’ll go ask. We’ll consult with a rav.”
They managed to get an urgent appointment with Rav (Rabbi)X and went into him immediately – Michal and her father.
The Rov was kind and understanding. “First of all, I must point out that mental illness is an illness like all illnesses. Proper care can help the patient and his family very much. People with mental illness can be marvelous individuals whose company is very pleasurable.
“Hakadosh Baruch Hu (G-d) put you into this situation and it would seem that there are no guilty parties here. This is not a case where they knew there’s a distinct illness and they didn’t tell you. From this point, the choice is yours. The question is if you think you’ll be able to handle it. Take into account that, from Shamayim (Heaven), the ‘sacks’ of good and of bad will always be precisely meted out to you. A nisayon (test) avoided in one place is liable to appear in another place… You have to take all of the aspects into consideration, make a decision, and stick with it.”
“Why should such a good girl, without any defects, get into a ‘sickbed’?” Abba asked.
“To the same extent, the chatan could have been in a serious traffic accident and become paralyzed. What would you have said then? Would you have tossed him out?”
“It’s not the same thing,” Abba squirmed. “Here there is something that they knew.”
“Did he really know he had a mental illness and he didn’t say? I have a suggestion. Go to Ezer Mizion. There are professionals there who can guide you. They know a lot and they’ll have answers to all your questions.” To be continued