Why I am Not Writing More about the Sassoon Family Tragedy

Why I am Not Writing More about the Sassoon Family Tragedy

A few people have asked me why I’m not writing more about the Sassoon family tragedy. And I wanted to explain why.

I recently met a psychologist who is a world-renowned trauma expert. During our conversation, I asked him whether he might be able to treat more victims from the Nachlaot abuse case, and he told me that at the moment, he could not. He explained, “There is a lack of professionals specializing in this field, which means I am flooded with requests for help. But I also know that if I take on more than I can handle, and I start drowning myself, then I won’t be of any help to anybody. So I maintain strict limits on the amount of cases I take on.”

I am a very sensitive person. That means that on more occasions than I can recall, tragedies I have read about in the news have pulled me underwater for days, weeks, or (after reading about one particularly upsetting case) months.

Like Gayle Sassoon, I am a frum, English-speaking mother. Like Gayle Sassoon was until this past Shabbat, I am the mother of a large family. That means that this tragedy hits very, very close to home.

I have a lot of people depending on me to stay afloat. My husband, my kids, my dear JewishMOM.com readers. And to do that, like that psychologist, I have realized how important it is for me to place limits on what I read and write about so that I can keep my head above water.

On a personal level, I am davening for the family and am encouraging my readers to daven as well. I also sent a condolence note and encourage you to send condolence notes as well. But beyond that, I am seriously limiting the amount I read or write about this horrific tragedy.

It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that I care so much. And I know that nobody will benefit if this tragedy manages to pull me down with it.

Please continue to daven for Tsiporah bat Gila and Gila bat Frances. IY”H may we see great miracles for the Sassoon family and for the entire Jewish people this Nissan.


  1. Thank you for responding.
    May we hear besoros tovos

  2. tamar stone

    chana jenny,
    we do have to find the balance between hearing the news and being impacted by the news.
    it’s a natural human instinct to want to really know more about other people’s lives, especially when they are experiencing a major trauma. we can identify with them, and in wondering how we would react to the same situation, we often feel we have to know how they survive it. from their reactions, we can imagine how we would survive a similar trauma.

    you are right in reducing the flow of information. from this point on, focus on giving us good news updates. just as we all were similarly impacted by the tragedy of the accidental poisoning and death of the little Gross girls in Yerushalayim last year, we were all uplifted by the Torah Scroll Dedication in their memory and the birth of a new baby to the Gross family recently.

    A personal tragedy of any Jew is a personal tragedy for the entire Jewish family. Our Torah has given guidelines on how to grieve and how to grow from tragedy. The non-Jewish world focuses on the gory details — the gorier, the better– and our general society doesn’t seem to be psychologically or emotionally stronger because of it. Let us follow the guide of our Sages and respond to tragedy with words of sympathy and actions of love. by dedicating our mitzvos to the memory of the kedoshim, we create positive angels (malachim) who will watch over the Jewish people and speak in the merit of all of us.

  3. Besides the fact that writing about it does little to help anyone, unless it was a fund raising campaign. There is a certain amount of voyeurism that we get caught up in due to the negative focus of our news media. We need to reach out and be there for each other, appreciate the miracles in our lives, and daven that Hashem restore this world to peace and tranquility.

  4. I am a Christian mother of a large family. The world prays and mourns for this beautiful family. We continue to pray for all of them, esp. the mom, Gayle and daughter, Tsiporah. God’s peace.

  5. Chana,
    Thank you for your honesty and openness.

  6. Thank you Chana Jenny, you follow the modèle of Aharon Hacohen who Remained silent when he lost his sons; what can we say? So let´s prepare calmly and the more serenly possible for Pessah and may the holiday that celebrates our redemption from Egypt and from the evil world, may all the energy we put in Pessah bring rédemption to the Sassoon family and to all the people of israel and to the nations that support israel and may we see the full Redemption and the rebuilding of our holy Temple, amen!

  7. You are right. You are vulnerable. Protect yourself when possible.

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