Coping With Divorce: Rabbi Says ‘Choose a Path’

By Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling, Love Essentially columnist and author

This is an amazing, inspiring guest post by Rabbi Dr. Baruch HaLevi, who offers advice in coping with divorce based on his personal childhood story. I hope you get as much out of it as I did!



A Tale of Two Divorcees by Rabbi Dr. Baruch HaLevi


“This is the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. -Vicktor Frankl (holocaust survivor), “Man’s Search For Meaning”This quote has been the single most influential teaching of my life. And for me, and countless of others I have guided, it has literally been the difference between happiness or misery, life and death.


I grew up in a loving, and seemingly perfect, family. And then our world came crashing down. First, when I was fifteen years old, after years of battling depression, my paternal grandmother killed herself. Although this was obviously a tragedy what was even more tragic was the way my family handled it. We weren’t allowed to talk about it. In fact you we didn’t talk about any of what I now called “the Dark D’s” – depression, disease, divorce, death.… Each of us, in our own way suffered in silence, but none more than my dad. Slowly, in that dark silence he began to unravel, throwing away his business, his friendships and his marriage. And then, nearly two decades after my grandma killed herself, my dad followed in his mother’s footsteps and threw away his life.




To say this was horrific doesn’t begin to do it justice. My father was everything to me; he was my dad, my friend, and my role model. And if this were the only example I had in my life of how to deal with (or not deal with) the Dark D’s perhaps his footsteps would have become mine. However, I have been blessed to have had another example in my life – my mom. Whereas my father came undone, particularly after his divorce, my mother, on the contrary, came together. She picked herself up after my grandma’s suicide, reimagined her life after her divorce, and at every one of life’s turns, trials and tragedies went inwards with honest introspection, took responsibility for her part, took control of her feelings, and took the necessary actions to grow at each and every turn. Whereas my dad became a victim, my mother, became pro-active, she became powerful, she became truly free.

Of course my parent’s examples are extreme, but they are a stark reminder of the divergent paths we always face. Two people, facing such similar situations, can come out with entirely different realities – in this case one became reactive and the other proactive, one was enslaved and the other was liberated, one literally died and the other, on every level, woke up, found her voice and lived her life – and it all comes down to a choice.



My friends if you are contemplating divorce, in the midst of a divorce or within the aftermath of a divorce –

Do not deny the darkness; do not run from the darkness; and do not succumb to the darkness.
Rather, rise up, make a stand, make a choice.
Choose to acknowledge the darkness.
Choose to face the darkness.
Choose to work through the darkness.
Choose to be reborn within the darkness.
Choose to become what I call a “Spark Seeker” – someone who faces the Dark D’s committed to discovering, creating or making the darkness yield sparks of love, life and light.

coping with divorce

Rabbi Dr. Baruch HaLevi (“Rabbi B”) has guided thousands of people – Christians, Jews, spiritual seekers & secular atheists – through all of life’s opportunities, transitions and life cycle events, as well as challenges, traumas, and tragedies. Rabbi B is known for his compassionate, intuitive, motivational and inspirational counseling style and is now taking clients for Grief Guidance, Soul Coaching & Divorce Direction. You can learn more about Rabbi B at


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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

6 Responses to “Coping With Divorce: Rabbi Says ‘Choose a Path’”

  1. Dan Zammit

    An inspiring article and I like the mantra at the end. There is always light from the darkness. My parents divorced and I have a great step family now.

  2. Bev Walton

    What an awesome article – weighing up the cosmic scales? Even when armed with the knowledge of choosing to be bitter or better, it is still sad that so many choose the bitter route.

  3. Brayleigh Daye

    I am on the verge of getting a divorce. And it does feel like I’m planning a funeral because of the unanswered questions. But I do plan to find who Brayleigh really is after this.


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