web analytics
March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Crises In Faith – Two Letters (Part I)


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I was referred to speak with you by Rebbetzin _________________, wife of the late Rabbi ________________________ of ___________. The rabbi, zt’l, was my spiritual mentor and good friend, and prior to his unfortunate passing at a young age, I found solace and comfort in his wisdom and advice.

Since his passing however, our community has been without a rabbi, and I have had no one to turn to for advice on Jewish matters. Rebbetzin Jungreis, I have a question that has plagued me and is seriously hampering my religious growth. I do not feel capable of moving forward
and find myself slipping backwards because this question so much affects my belief in Hashem.

We are taught that Hashem is kind, loving, just and benevolent, and it is He who created the world and continues to play an active role. The book, ‘The Jewish Theory of Everything’ outlines this quite clearly and makes a clear and lucid argument for Hashem’s continuing role in the world. However, if HaShem is so kind, caring just, loving and benevolent, why does He allow children to suffer? Why are innocent helpless children abused, raped, left to starve to death, neglected, left to suffocate in locked cars, etc.”

You would think if Hashem was indeed involved in the world then he would take pains that innocent children do not suffer. I can grasp the concept that adults are capable of making choices between good and evil, but children are incapable of making that choice, nor should they be forced to suffer because some foolish adult chose evil over good.

I am beginning to believe that perhaps Hashem created the world and then turned around and walked away (figuratively speaking, of course). As a new mother, this question is on my mind constantly and I am concerned that it is starting to affect my entire belief system. I feel as if I am on a downward spiral and I would like to resolve this conflict so that I can raise my son as a good frum Jew with complete faith in Hashem.

I have read both ‘The Committed Life’ and ‘The Committed Marriage’ and found them both to be inspirational and applicable to my life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail and I look forward to your advice.

Letter # 2: ‘Where Do My Prayers Go?’

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I don’t know if you can help me. I really don’t know why I am writing, but I feel so full of pain and sorrow that I just feel that I have to share my thoughts with someone – and you, Rebbetzin, are the person who came to mind.

I have attended your classes at K.J. on Tuesday nights and also on Thursday nights on West End Avenue. I read your book – you touched and inspired me, but now I feel empty. My loneliness is unbearable. I am 44, never married, an only child of Holocaust survivors. I have no aunts or uncles. My parents’ families all perished in Auschwitz, so I’m truly alone. Five years ago, my father died, and now, my mother has been taken from me. In this entire world, I have no one. If I die tomorrow, no one will cry … no one will miss me, no one will even take note. Perhaps at my workplace, I’ll be missed, but they will quickly replace me, and in a few days, I’ll be forgotten.

All that I can handle – I guess that that’s my lot in life. I never married and never had the privilege of having children – and now it’s too late. Please don’t think that I am one of those feminists who intentionally refrained from marriage in order to focus on a career. That was not the case at all. I just didn’t have mazel…but it is what it is. I realize that I can’t turn the clock back, and I accept it, but what I cannot accept is the death of my mother. I always loved her deeply, but to tell the truth, for many years, we weren’t that close. She was a Holocaust survivor, and was overly-cautious and controlling, which I found very difficult to take. She wanted me to live at home until such time as I married, but we were always in conflict, so I felt it would be healthier for me to move out and take my own place, but unfortunately, that decision created an even greater rift between us.

Six months ago, she had a coronary followed by a stroke which left her totally incapacitated.. I realized then how precious she was to me and how deeply I loved her, so I closed up my apartment and moved back home. I prayed like never before that G-d give her years. I felt so close to her – we bonded in such a special way. For the first time, there was no tension between us. On days when she felt better, she would share stories of the Holocaust with me. In the past, she never spoke about her concentration camp experiences. Our relationship took on a new life.

My mother was never observant. Like many of her friends – other Holocaust survivors, she gave up on religion. But in those last few months of her life, her attitude changed. I would play your Torah tapes for her and she loved them. I even asked her if she would pray with me – something I had never seen her do. Amazingly, she agreed and she would repeat the prayers that I recited.

The doctors were satisfied with her progress, and I was really hoping that G-d had accepted our prayers and would perform a miracle, but then, He took her away. So I ask you, Rebbetzin, where did all those prayers go? What’s the point of praying? For the first time, we were close. I wanted so much to have more time with her, and it wasn’t given to me.

Since my mother died, I cannot pray and I haven’t attended any classes. I just can’t believe any more. I guess you’d call it a crisis in faith. Do you have any answers? Can you help me?

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Crises In Faith – Two Letters (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
One-third of polled Republicans see President Obama as the biggest imminent threat to the USA.
One-Third of GOP Voters See Obama Worse for US than Assad and Putin
Latest Judaism Stories
Bodenheim-032715

Our ability to teach is only successful if done by example.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Outside of the High Holidays, Pesach is probably the most celebrated biblical holiday for the majority of Jews.

Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

The-Shmuz

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Yachatz is not mentioned in the Gemara. What is the foundation for yachatz?

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

How was I going to get to Manhattan? No cabs were going, we didn’t have a car, and many people who did have cars had no gas.

Did you ever notice that immediately upon being granted our freedom from Egypt, the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the yoke of a new master – Hashem?

Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

You smuggled tefillin into the camp? How can they help? Every day men risked their lives to use them

Rambam: Eating blood’s forbidden because connected to idolatry;Ramban: We’re affected by what we eat

Rambam warns that a festival meal without taking care of the needy isn’t fulfilling simchat yom tov

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Amalek’s hate never dies; its descendants are eternal & omnipresent; Hashem is our only protection

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

I try to be observant, davening daily, but it hasn’t awakened my heart or my mind or changed my life

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

“Surely,” my family insisted, “there must be someone suitable for you. You can’t be so picky.”

Shouldn’t we Jews, having experienced the barbarism of many societies, speak support the NYPD?

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

When art and evil are intermingled, evil is elevated and made acceptable.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/crises-in-faith-two-letters/2003/09/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: