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who we are
Lenefesh Tidreshenu was established 14 years ago by Rabbi Moshe Ferleiger to provide a listening ear and professional guidance for people in need of emotional support. This first-of-its type hotline, is currently staffed by over 100 professionally-trained responders.
What we do?
The hotline is available at all hours of the day and night, all days of the week besides Shabbos, and receives over 1000 calls a week. All calls are responded too immediately
All responders are Charedi and have undergone professional training in listening and responding with patience and discretion, understanding the underlying messages, and assisting callers who need to speak about subjects they cannot speak to anyone else about. Throughout the year there are training conferences for new recruits and seminars for the experienced staff members.
we helped to
In 2018 we saved 47,914 people (so far).
86 volunteers and callers on full volunteer work.
Are answered at the center every week in separate branches for men and women.
The center is active from the end of Shabbat until its entrance throughout the week.
The center exists and provides a solution to the entire Haredi community in a discreet and free manner.
To the responder who answered me on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 10:45 pm:
I am the last person to write this kind of letter, but I felt I had to let you know what this call meant to me.
I didn’t even truly realize that I had a real problem when I called you, but there was something nagging at me for so long that I had to pour out my heart to another person. And you were so smart, so understanding. You didn’t tell me anything; just opened my eyes to see the situation for myself.
Our marriage is not normal. I guess I always knew that but was too self-conscious about what that meant about me. My husband thinks I’m two years old – our relationship is more like a preschool teacher and toddler.
Your words, that I don’t need to live like that for even one day, were such a balm for my soul – I don’t think even you would realize just how much so. I deserve to be treated better. This isn’t normal. It’s okay to want better than that. Maybe it’s simple to you; to me it was life-changing.
You explained how changing the dynamic still would take time, but you also made the road so clear, the goal so reachable, that I hung up feeling like I will do whatever it takes to change our relationship and make it a happy, mature and beautiful one.
My husband is a good person; you accepted that. You didn’t judge him just as you didn’t judge me. It’s just the relationship that needs a change. And after our call, I feel so much more confident about my ability to do what it takes to make that change.
And if times are hard, I know I can always call you again.
Dear L’nefesh Tidreshenu;
You probably get a lot of letters from people whom you’ve helped with your advice. I received so much advice in my life, that one more bit of it was not going to help me. Somehow, your responder must have sensed that…
I had called her when I was at the end of my rope.
Six years ago, my sister died. It was not a natural death – she had committed suicide. And not only that, this had to do with me too. We really planned it all together. We were supposed to both go.
But I didn’t, and she did, and ever since then I’m seeing her accusing eyes in front of me at every hour of the day.
Don’t judge us – we come from a very dysfunctional home and both suffered a lot of abuse. So we decided to just end it all. Together.
One moment she was looking at me, and two minutes later she was gone.
I don’t even know what she is accusing me of at this point – not coming with her? Not preventing her from going? I feel like she’s telling me, “We were together; we were always together, so why did you suddenly turn your back?”
My life has been a nightmare since then. I keep seeing her eyes…
I told all this to the receptionist, crying and crying as if it all happened today. But maybe that’s what I needed most – someone to listen without gasping in shock, without hanging up the phone in disgust, without starting a lecture on emunah and the way to deal with things in life. Someone to just listen to me. She was quiet, but I could hear her support across the line, and it made me open up more. I told her about my suffering, every detail of my pain.
I hung up feeling like something major had just happened. I don’t know what the next years will be like but I know I’m feeling like a big part of my suffering has melted away somehow.
Thank you for being quiet, and just listening.
The one thing I know with certainty now is that life is bearable, and I definitely want to keep living.
I called at 1:30 am because I didn’t want anyone to hear and come running in to “help me.” Mommy died only three days ago, and all I heard since then was talk, talk, talk, talk. It’s like my family has to stuff Mommy into words every second for her to continue to exist.
I was exploding. I needed a quiet place to just mourn without turning it all into cheap words.
I told that to the responder and held my breath. But she complimented me on my self-awareness and asked me what I wanted her to do. I told her, “Just be quiet with me, okay? I want to cry, but I don’t want anyone to start answering me with words. Just please, let me cry, with no response.”
“You can cry, dear,” she said warmly. And I did. I cried for a full twenty minutes, and she said nothing. She just let me know she was still there with me.
It was the biggest gift anyone has ever given me.
I just got off the phone after talking to a representative (I don’t even know his name!) for half an hour, and decided to sit down and thank you in writing. I was so scared when I called you. It was already very late at night, and my parents were on the bus, coming back home from Yerushalayim. They were not answering their phones and I couldn’t fall asleep. I kept imagining the worst things. Just last week there was a terror attack not so far from here. I called you and the responder was so kind and understanding. We spoke about the fear, “took it apart,” as he said, spoke about how to deal with scary emotions. We also passed the time talking about other things until I calmed down and was able to hang up, just as I heard the key turning – my parents are home now. Thank you so much!
Dear L’nefesh Tidreshenu;
I don’t know the responder’s name, and I probably never will, but I wanted to personally thank her and your wonderful organization for the tremendous support you have given me. No, more than that – I am one of those cases in which you literally saved a life.
I have been a single mother for eight years now, struggling in ways people cannot imagine. I always carried on for my children’s sake but a few weeks ago, I just snapped. I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t even know what made me reach for the phone after being in bed for two weeks. I wanted to die.
But I called you, and I am eternally grateful that I did. I felt like I had to tell someone before I ended it all. The woman on the other line heard me out. She offered suggestions. Now, looking back, I see she was purposely prodding me into a more energetic argument – to get some life back into me. She played mental Ping-Pong with me for a while until I finally realized what was going on and apologized for wasting her time, since I was not really going to accept any advice at this point.
She told me, “I’m not really giving you advice. I am at a loss as to how to solve the situation too. But the difference between us is that you’re looking down while I am looking ahead. You are looking at your sorry situation now, and yes, it’s so impossibly hard, but I’m looking forward at the time just around the corner, when things will get better again.”
She saw that I was listening quietly, so she continued, “Winter nights are long and summer nights are short, but morning always comes in the end. Imagine yourself sitting on a bus. It’s traveling on and on, but it’s also making constant stops. In one of those stops, someone is waiting, and even though the bus is empty now, in another stop or two they will get on with you…”
She knew just what I needed to hear. I told her quietly, “I wanted to die, but now I’d rather wait for a better future.” And I hung up.
We may never speak again, but she had changed – no, saved – my life.
Dear L’nefesh Tidreshenu;
My son is twelve years old and has not been doing well emotionally. He was always introverted but now it’s become extreme. We can’t wake him up in the morning, we can’t hold a conversation with him. The neurologist said it’s not neurological.
At that point we knew there were no other options, but we just couldn’t do it. I called L’nefesh Tidreshenu. Half of me was hoping they will give me some easy, magical solution. The other half knew I just needed the support to take the jump.
The responder was nice but adamant. “Did you take him to a psychiatrist?”
I felt the lump in my throat. “I can’t do it. Seriously, I can’t. What about the stigma? And why does my child need to see the word ‘psychiatrist’ on the door? It will ruin him forever!”
Hashem helped me; the responder was not taken aback by my fear and immediately retorted (just what I needed then): “Is the current situation doing any better for him?”
He was right. I had never looked at it that way. We hung up agreeing that we will get him evaluated immediately.
My son has been on a new drug for three weeks now. I can’t say I accepted this fully. I am definitely still mourning the fact that we even need this. But there is no denying the changes that are slowly, finally, taking place. If we are getting our son back now –it is all thanks to you and to your firm, determined, but completely understanding and non-judgmental response at this most crucial time in our lives.
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