web analytics
March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Dust Off Your Windows (Part Two)

I distinctly remember that when the Nazis deported us in their deadly cattle cars, a woman from our city who had converted to Christianity loudly protested, “But I am not Jewish, I am not Jewish.” The Nazis just laughed in her face.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

I was on my way to speak when a woman stopped me and asked, “Aren’t you Rebbetzin Jungreis?” She then told me she had a complaint about something I’d written.

“We women have enough to do before Pesach with cleaning our houses, packing away the chametz, bringing out the Pesach dishes, and placing them in the proper cabinets,” she said. “And then just when we think we are finally done and the house is Pesachdik, you tell us to dust off the windows. Now I ask you, is that fair, Rebbetzin?”

I looked at her uncomprehendingly and tried to understand what on earth she was talking about. “Rebbetzin, don’t you remember what you wrote in your column last week?” she asked. I still didn’t get it.

“Rebbetzin, you told us, ‘Dust off your windows!’ That was even the title of the column! You wrote that we should clean the windows in order to see the purpose of our lives.”

Obviously the woman was joking, but behind every joke there is truth. Behind each of our Yom Tovim is a message, but we choose to ignore it. We could see those messages through our windows but we have no desire to look for them even as the dust continues to accumulate. We leave the windows as they are and congratulate ourselves on our committed lives.

While our Yom Tovim are wonderful, behind the joy there is always the message. But the dust has blinded our vision throughout the centuries. As the Haggadah states, In every generation they rise up to destroy us but Hashem saves us from their hands. But why should that be? Why should the nations of the world want to annihilate us in every generation? It just doesn’t make sense.

We have been loyal citizens of every country to which Hashem’s compass has directed us. We invariably build up the economy of those countries, helping to create wealth and prosperity. We become innovators of science and technology. We become pillars of culture. We discover life-saving medicines. We build hospitals and schools, museums and concert halls. We are valorous on the battlefield if and when allowed.

Yet eventually the tides turn against us. The Heavens become dark and our host countries come to despise us. Persecution and oppression become our daily fare until we are expelled and our blood is spilled. Hashem averts our complete destruction, but untold numbers of individual Jews are called on to make the ultimate sacrifice.

I am a survivor of Bergen Belsen and even in my most nightmarish moments I knew beyond any doubt that the Jewish people would live. Though I was a little girl, this knowledge had been embedded in my soul and engraved upon my heart by my saintly father and mother – and of course by our Torah.

So, yes, while I knew our Jewish people would once again see the sunshine, I did not know who (if anyone) from our family would survive. Of course, never in my wildest imagination could I have envisioned that six million – six million! – of our people would be slaughtered. How can we explain it all?

We Jews could easily blend in with the nations of the world. There’s nothing that would identify us and scream “That is a Jew.” The yarmulke, the tzitzis, the whole gear, can be discarded. The Jewish name can be changed or altogether dropped. In no time at all a Jew can renounce his faith and become any “John Doe” in any country and just disappear – which, unfortunately, has frequently been the case in our long and tragic history.

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.

One Response to “Dust Off Your Windows (Part Two)”

  1. And now in our generation a new Haman has arisen, Barak Obama. His henchman Kerry does most of his dirty work but we know that Obama is anti semitic and a friend to Muslims. With Islam creeping into the west and governments ignoring it (check out the weak government of Great Britain) I despair for the people who close their eyes and deny this.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of the English-language Al Arabiya
President Obama, Listen to Netanyahu on Iran
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

To the glee of all Israel haters it was Netanyahu who was accused of endangering US-Israel relations

Ki Tisa_lecture

Over and over, the text tells us about “keeping” Shabbat, about holiness, and a covenant – but why?

Aaron and  The Golden Calf by James Tissot

Aharon’s guilt with the golden calf is not clear-cut. What if Moshe were in his brother’s place?

Rabbi Sacks

The Sabbath is a full dress rehearsal for an ideal society that has not yet come to pass-but will

When Hashem told Moshe of the option to destroy the people and make him and his descendants into a great nation, Hashem was telling Moshe that it is up to him.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

An Auto Accident
‘All Agree That They Are Exempt’
(Kesubbos 35a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Why would the exemption of women from donating the half shekel exempt them from davening Musaf?

This concept should be very relevant to us as we, too, should be happy beyond description.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

One can drink up to the Talmud’s criterion to confuse Mordechai and Haman-but not beyond.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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.

In BB, he said “You, my children are the angels of Shabbos and the licht are your beautiful eyes.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/dust-off-your-windows-part-two/2014/04/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: