There is no good way to start a post about how far the velt can push you into darkness. How that darkness becomes so vast and dense that moving a hand to reach a phone to call for help seems like an ordeal far too arduous to make it worthwhile.
There is no good way to make sense of a 33 year old mother’s suicide.
It is senseless.
It was preventable.
Deb Tambor reached out to me a long time ago. We chatted on Facebook for a while, exchanging horror stories about our children’s alienation from us. My heart broke for her and for other non-custodial mothers I spoke to. I stopped chatting because I couldn’t bear to add to the grief I felt or take away my own energy fighting the battle I needed to fight.
It was my problem, too.
Ultra-Orthodox, Chassidish Judaism ripped away the children Deb Tambor carried in her body and raised from the moment they took their first breath. They taunted her, taught her children that she was less of a human because she dared question the tenets of a cult so evil they would rip a mother’s heart out to prove a point.
There are people, in New Square and beyond, who are feeling justified in their actions tonight. To those people, I pledge defiance. I pledge ferocity.
I pledge truth.
Deb Tambor was murdered.
She was pushed so far and abused so much that suicide was the only way to release herself from the exquisite pain of losing her children.
I am breaking for her children tonight, as I write with a lump in my throat and fuzzy eyes. Had it not been for the woman who took me in when I left the velt, I could be in Deb’s position. The rabbit-hole of depression when you cannot see your children but for an hour or two each month is deep, dark and physically crippling. You can even start here. If you need to speak to someone, reach out. Call anyone. Help exists. myderech at gmail.
To Deb’s partner, I wish peace. To Deb’s children, I wish release from the system that drove their mother to remove herself altogether from their lives. To the rabbonim and leaders, blood is on your hands.
May Deb Tambor’s memory be a point of cohesion for us, especially in the community off the derech.
Expose the evil posing as piety.
Strike it down for good.
Rest peacefully, Deb.