Get latest articles and videos with Jewish
inspiration and insights
Every Jew is irreplaceable.
How do we understand the deaths of Rabbi Akiva’s students?
Celebrating his bar mitzvah with his grandson, Harry Bibla attains the ultimate victory.
I took our Birthright group to Mt. Herzl, Israel’s national military cemetery. Little did we know what was awaiting us.
In this must-see video Shellie Grafstein tells the dramatic story of how her house went up in flames and all the miracles that saved their lives.
Britain's Government is proposing to change the way the BBC is run. It's about time.
I have a former best friend who’s now trying to take away my friends!
The student’s offensive remark was not only anti-Semitic, it violated the sanctity of all human beings.
Learning to live with less.
Mastering the art of receiving.
The power of listening, giving thanks and apologizing.
Prior to converting, I wanted to pick a Hebrew name that would reflect what I aspired to be.
4 keys to understanding the crisis facing singles and marriage today.
Because happy and healthy mothers make happy and healthy children.
What are we teaching our kids when parents are screaming and cursing during a soccer match?
My friend is stuck in an unhealthy relationship. Should I risk our friendship and say something?
How to use the challenges of being single to come closer to God.
And other clichés to avoid using with singles.
Appreciating the trailblazing scholarly work of Rabbi Yitzchak al-Fasi.
The significance, customs and mechanics of counting the Omer.
Unique in its universality, intensity, longevity and irrationality: What is the root of anti-Semitism?
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
Amazing discoveries that clearly show the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
Must-see sites for every visitor.
This Rosh Hashanah, make the connection. A stirring video to share with friends.
UNESCO’s bizarre criticism is completely divorced from reality.
Telltale signs someone is a religious Jew.
May is a month for Mothers, so in their honor, let’s look at a few Jewish mothers who helped build America.
What is the message of this short film?
A rocking 6-string salute to Israel.
Why you should celebrate Israel Independence Day.
A moving tribute to fallen Israeli soldiers.
December 25, 2013 2:37 PM
Hi Lori, I realize the point of your blog is to reiterate that change is possible. I am concerned that it is so much easier for the bully to stop than it is for the victim to heal or even just re define herself as a survivor that one could easily minimize what bulling really is - assault and abuse. Thank you for all your stufff!
December 24, 2013 9:01 PM
while empathy and patience may be in order, the bullying needs to be addressed and stopped immediately. The bullied child should not have to wait until the bully outgrows his.her ways.
December 24, 2013 6:41 PM
Lori (almost live) missed the mark
It is not enough that this woman went on to make a good life for herself while her victims are still suffering. She needs to do something to make their live better and to reverse the damage that she did. Tolerating bullying and mean girls by writing off their behavior as them being victims of some unknown trauma to which we are not aware of is a cop out and actually helps bullies and mean girls write off their own bad behavior as a reaction to their circumstances and not the absence of compassion it truly is. Lori, you need to read Martha Stout's book "The Sociopath Next Door" so you will know that 1 in every 25 people you meet has no guilt, shame, or remorse at their ill treatment of others and they prey upon people who are empathetic and compassionate. Those would be the bullies and the mean girls. What they need is to be socialized and receive consequences for their anti-social actions. Like others have commented, writing off the bullies bad behavior for any reason just continues their bad behavior.
December 24, 2013 5:43 PM
points to ponder
Wonderful video--important point. Two things I would like to add to the previous comments:1. It is not enough to 'feel sorry' and to 'make a good life for yourself' to the point that others would never know. I wonder if the 'mean girl' turned wonderful adult truly made amends with those she hurt, asked for their forgiveness. As she points out, the scars are much deeper and longer lasting. THAT, to me, shows real regret, courage, and an honest desire to right a wrong...not only to distance one's self from a previous identity.2. Getting caught up in labeling--bully, bystander, victim, etc.-- helps 'box' people--not to help them. It is far more important to identify what skill or resource the person is lacking: be it confidence, empathy, social skills, socially acceptable clothing/mannerisms, flexibility, courage, and help them develop that.
December 24, 2013 5:25 PM
Not always true...perhaps?
When I attended my 20th year class reunion, the guys that were the bullies were just the same. They hadn't changed. I decided never to go to another class reunion and haven't since. I am now 60.
December 24, 2013 4:45 PM
so what if she changed?
I was bullied by an older sibling for most of my childhood. My parents were overextended, in denial and ill equipped to deal with what was happening to me. The emotional scars continue to this day, and I am almost 50! I have always had low self esteem, hate the parts of my body that my sibling pointed out we're "ugly" and have trouble trusting others. My sibling has never taken responsibility or apologized for the past, which is understandable as her personality has not changed much. She is still mean spirited and venomous toward me. She has a successful career, a large social circle and no major self esteem issues. Meanwhile I continue searching for a way out of my self doubt and hatred.
December 23, 2013 2:42 PM
I agree 1000% with comments 1 & 2. Here in a nutshell is the reason why people bully. It is because they CAN!! Whether the bully is a child or an adult, that person is a bully because he/she has been allowed to get away with it. I'm glad that this woman turned her life around, but I agree she needs to do more to combat bullying. We need to put an end to bullying whenever and wherever we see it.
December 23, 2013 10:17 AM
What about the bullied? Have you spoken to some of them to see where they are now? How were their future lives affected?
While it is all well and good that this woman learned and grew from her egregious errors, you are still overlooking the bullied. While we should not write off the bully, we still need to better protect those who are being bullied. Too often, THEY are written off with people saying things such as "Boys will be boys," "Get over it,", etc. They are told to try to understand that sometimes the bully is actually in much inner turmoil Well, what about their turmoil...the turmoil of being bullied. If and when they do finally fight back, literally and figuratively, the bullied child is punished along with the bully, thus making the bullied child a victim once again. I have seen this time and time again. Think about it.....if an adult actually shoots another person in self defense, they get off b/c it was self-defense. In our schools, under ridiculous zero-tolerance laws, the bullied child, reacting in self-defense, also gets punished! Adults in society have more protection than our children! I once asked a District Attorney about this. He said that schools can have their own rules, but those rules would not necessarily hold up on a court of law. How ridiculous is that?!? As an example, and this happened, the bullied kid finally hits back the bully. Both kids are suspended from school clubs, outings, etc. Guess who had more to lose once again...the bullied kid! The bully was not involved in any clubs, etc, did not care about school, etc. The bullied kid was an involved honor student who lost more than his bully and also had a suspension on his record! If his parents had gone to court over this, they clearly would have won. When a similar thing happened to a friend's son, they clearly told the principal, "this kid hit my son, my son hit him back in defense." The principal knew not to suspend her son, or else. What he did instead, instead, was set up a "sting" operation and they caught this kid terrorizing other kids. I agree with Anonymous above.
December 23, 2013 2:47 AM
Lori, It is not enough for you to talk about how this woman has changed. She needs to come forward. She needs to speak about what she has done -- to do anti-bullying work in the schools. That would be true t'shuva. And it would be a very valuable addition to the dialogue.
December 25, 2013 1:43 AM
Dear Anonymous, I, too, thought that she should come forward so to speak..do teshuva. Then I heard Lori say she had. That is good. The Breslovers have an excellent CD on this called "Queen of the Class" I think. I think it would be nice if the woman could speak in classes regarding bullying from her own personal experience, IF she is so inclined and has the time. As far as any of us telling her how to do teshuva and how much, I think that is wrong. Thankfully Hashem knows what constitutes teshuva for each of us and thankfully H- is merciful in accepting our teshuva. As a suggestion, you have a great idea.
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.