web analytics
March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Erev Yom HaKippurim Memories


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

This is a season when memories crowd my mind - so many memories that are bittersweet -bitter, because they are now only memories, and sweet, because just recalling them infuses me with strength. I rush to the cemetery – I pronounce a prayer, I spill out my heart, I wash the grave with my tears, and I depart with an ache in my soul. If only they could be here…. if only I could see their saintly faces and hear their wise gentle voices.

I cry for what was and is no more. I feel so badly for my grandchildren, who never knew Zeide, zt”l, and Mama, a”h, and the younger grandchildren who never knew my saintly husband, their loving Abba Zeide, zt”l. I am keenly aware that as many stories as I tell them, it can never be quite the same. How can I describe the tzidkus – the righteousness of my revered father, his pure chesed, his boundless love? He was a great Rebbe, but all who met him lovingly called him “Zeide” because they felt his enormous love, and it was that love that made him everyone’s Zeide. Without saying a word, Zeide always understood the burdens that weighed on every heart, and his brochos were like balm that healed the pain.

My mother, the rebbetzin, was adoringly referred to by everyone as Mama, because that’s what she was, a warm, caring mama who found room in her big heart for each and every person.

There were always dozens of people who were bereft of family who came to my parents for the seudahs - the meals before and after the fast. My mother had no household help, and she did not avail herself of ready-made products. She did it all by herself, but always with a song. Nothing was too much for her. In addition to preparing for the seudahs in her own home, she somehow managed to prepare a care package for every child as well - and as I said, “she was a mama to everyone,” so whoever entered her kitchen was treated as her child. Her supply of goodies was endless, her pots bottomless.

My husband, HaRav Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, was a spiritual giant. He too, was a survivor of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He came to this country alone - his entire family had perished, but he always had a smile on his face - a smile that penetrated your heart and a positive spirit that buoyed and uplifted you. Just talking to him made you feel better. He had infinite patience, and he lived his life to help others.

On Rosh Hashana, he would come home from shul drenched with perspiration. He gave all his strength and energy to leading the services and inspiring his congregation. Although our shul was filled to capacity during these days, he always knew if someone was missing, so before he allowed himself to relax, he went to visit the sick to blow the shofar for them. It was only when he was confident that every one had heard the sound of the shofar that he felt comfortable about sitting down at the table.

In addition to his many rabbinic responsibilities, my husband was also the Chaplain of the Nassau County Police Department. During his illness, the Police Commissioner came to visit him in the hospital. I walked him to the elevator and thanked him for coming.

“Rebbetzin,” he said, “don’t thank me. It’s my greatest privilege to visit the Rabbi. You see,” he went on to explain, “I never understood the connection between goodness and G-d until the Rabbi became a bridge for me.”

As I write these lines, Yom Kippur is quickly approaching. I see their holy faces. On erev Yom Kippur, we would rush to my parents’ home for a brocha - blessing. My father would don his Shabbos rabbinic hat and coat. Lovingly, he would place his hands upon our heads, and as he blessed us, we felt his body tremble; his tears would flow freely down his long white beard. My father’s brocha emanated from his innermost soul. How I wish I could receive that brocha again! How I wish my children and grandchildren could be in his presence! How wonderful it felt to kiss his hand, and how loathe I was to leave that little house in Brooklyn.

As we prepared to leave, my parents would accompany us to the car and stand there until we turned the corner. I can still see them in my mind’s eye - their hands raised, waving, and whispering blessings.

As the years passed and illness took its toll, they would wave from the porch, and still later, they would wave from the front window, and later still, their eyes would follow us from their sick beds. And now, I hope and pray that they whisper their blessings from the heavens above.

When my parents passed on, it was my husband who would bless and wave, and now, that too has become a memory. Now I go with my children and grandchildren to the cemetery.

We stand in awe in front of these giants. Oh G-d. please let them hear us. Please let them know that we are here… Please grant that we be worthy of them. Memories, memories, memories…. It is Yom HaKippurim.

A gutt gebensht yahr to all of you my dear readers and friends, and a gutt gebensht yahr to K’lal Yisroel. We are a nation that lives on memories – Zchut Avot – may the merit of our forefathers sustain us.

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 “Erev Yom HaKippurim Memories”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
An anti-Semitic poster seen in Europe.
Combatting the Haman of Today
Latest Judaism Stories
wine

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

Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

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

Esther Denouncing Haman

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

Niehaus-022715

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

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

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)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

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/erev-yom-hakippurim-memories/2003/11/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: