web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 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
This is what is left of the bus that was firebombed Saturday night.
Shhhhhhh! Police Now Say Bus was Firebombed Saturday Night
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In her diary, Anne Frank wrote words that provided hope for a humanity faced with suffering.

Leff-042415

The Arizal taught this same approach, making the point that the Torah would never mention wicked people and their sins if there was not great depth involved from which we are to learn from.

Staum-042415

Humility is not achieved when all is well and life is peachy but rather when times are trying and challenging.

In order to be free of the negative consequences of violating a shvu’ah or a neder, the shvu’ah or neder themselves must be annulled.

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

He feared the people would have a change of heart and support Rechavam.

Ramifications Of A Printers Error
‘The Note Holder’s Burden of Proof’
(Kesubos 83b)

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)

In this case one could reason that by applying halach achar harov we could permit the forbidden bird as well.

“What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” my husband remarked. “Well, baruch Hashem we are safe, there was no accident, and I’m sure there is a good reason for everything that happened to us,” I mused.

The answer to this question is based on one of the greatest shortcomings of man – self-limiting beliefs.

Myth that niddah=dirty stopped many women from accepting laws of family purity and must be shattered

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rabbi Fohrman connects the metzora purification process with the korban pesach.

The day after Israel was declared a State, everyone recited Hallel and people danced in the streets.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Pesach bonds families and generations: “So that you may relate it to your son and your son’s son.

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

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?

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: