web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Giving Up On Rebellious Children? (Part Two)


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Last week I published excerpts from a letter written by a suffering mother whose rebellious son had not only turned his back on his family but had also rejected his Jewish faith. This woman’s husband had given up on the young man but she was determined to keep the door open in the hope he would yet come back.

When she read my March 15 column in which I emphasized the power of love as the most potent antidote to the poisonous fights that had come to characterize her home, she showed it to her husband. His reacted cynically. He said the love I advocated had no relevance to life today. Subsequently the woman asked that I share with readers one of my own personal experiences to prove her husband wrong.

So last week I began relating the saga of a young man who had rejected his family, left home and was in danger of going to jail. I urged the boy’s mother to do everything in her power to engage an attorney on her son’s behalf and bring him to our Torah class at Hineni. That’s where we left off last week.

Several weeks passed and I hadn’t heard from this mother. Then one morning she called. “Rebbetzin,” she said excitedly, “we brought him back! He’s here with us, but I’m very, very nervous. I’m so afraid he’ll slip back and disappear again. When can we come to see you?”

“Come tonight,” I said. “Come to my Hineni class and, with the help of G-d, Torah will be his cleaning agent.”

Later that evening when I walked into the room, my eyes caught the mother sitting alone in the back row. What could have happened, I wondered? Could he have slipped away again? I didn’t want to have a conversation in a public forum lest someone overhear us. It was late and I had to start my class. But no sooner did I go up to the lectern than I picked him out in the audience. He was tall, dark and handsome and was obviously striving for a “cool” look – it was nighttime and he was wearing designer sunglasses.

I began to teach, but with his eyes hidden behind those glasses I couldn’t tell whether he was listening. His body language told me he was edgy and nervous. After the class I saw his mother prodding him in my direction. She looked upset. There was a lot at stake. But finally, slowly and reluctantly, he made his way toward me with his mother.

“Rebbetzin, this is my son,” she murmured.

“I’m pleased to meet you,” I said, “but remove those shades. You don’t need sunglasses here.”

He muttered something under his breath and said, “The light hurts my eyes.”

“The light here is the light of Torah, and that can only heal your eyes,” I replied.

He took off the sunglasses.

“That’s better,” I said. “What is your name?”

“Mario,” he answered.

“Mario can’t be your name,” I responded. “That’s a façade, a pretense. Tell me your real name, your Jewish name.”

“Anshie,” he muttered.

“Anshie,” I repeated. “That can’t be. Anshie always goes with something else. Now give me your full name.”

“Osher Anshil,” he said.

For a moment I stood there in stunned disbelief. Osher Anshil was the name of my great-great grandfather who was known throughout Hungry as the “Miracle Rabbi.” Some people believed Elijah himself visited him and taught him how to heal injured souls and minds.

All Osher Anshils are somehow connected to my family. My own son as well as my nephew and now my great-grandson are named after him. I asked myself what his connection to us could possibly be.

“How did you get that name?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “Ask my mother.”

“Tell me,” I turned to her, “how did you come to give that name to your son?”

“It’s a long story,” she said, her voice unsteady. “When Osher Anshil was born, he was a twin. His sibling died, and Anshi was very ill. I went to my rabbi and asked him for a blessing and he said I should give the name Osher Anshil, after the ‘Miracle Rabbi,’ so that he might be protected.”

I felt overwhelmed. The entire story was like a jigsaw puzzle spanning oceans and continents and centuries, and now the pieces were all falling into place: the conversation I had with the man I met on my way to a speaking engagement; the mother coming to seek my help; and now, Osher Anshil himself standing in front of me.

“Listen to me,” I said. “I’m the great-great granddaughter of the rebbi after whom you were named. It’s no coincidence you are here. There are no accidents in G-d’s world. The blessing you received when your mother gave you the name Osher Anshil has served you well.”

I invited him to move to our community. He thought it over and consented, though he wasn’t sure how much of a commitment he was ready to make. He learned Torah with us and celebrated Shabbosos and Yomin Tovim. To be sure, the miracle did not occur overnight. There were many ups and downs and days of tension and uncertainty.

But a miracle did occur, and step by step he returned to our Jewish way of life, united with his family and identified with our Torah.

Even as this young man’s name, Osher Anshil, connected him to the great Miracle Rabbi of Chenger, the Menuchas Osherso, so every Jewish name connects every Jew to a zaidie…to a rebbe…to a prophet…to a patriach – going all the way back to our father Abraham.

A Jewish soul is never lost.

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 “Giving Up On Rebellious Children? (Part Two)”

  1. Yossie Wolhendler says:

    Dear Reb. Jungreis!
    I just wanted to share with you the everlasting wise words of The Great Gaon Rav Shimshon R. Hirsch OB'M, "For a child that is physically ill, love acts only as a nurse, but for a child that is mentally frail or morally sick, PARENTAL LOVE IS THE ONLY REAL CURE. In such cases the absence of parental love will be poison to the child, so that A FATHER OR A MOTHER WHO WITHHOLDS HIS OR HER LOVE FROM A CHILD THAT SHOWS MORAL WEAKNESS ACTUALLY WITHHOLDS FROM HIM THE ONE MEDICINE THAT COULD CURE HIM." (see Collected writings Volume VII, page 331) Have a sweet YT. Yossie Wolhendler

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in NY late Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, ahead of Netanyahu's speech at UN General Assembly  set for the next day.
India May Pull Rug Out From Under Abbas in UN Vote
Latest Judaism Stories
Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

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)

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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.”

Why does Hebrew refer to mothers-in-law as “sunshine” when society often calls them the opposite?

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

The call of the shofar is eternal. It is not musical. Its magnetic allurement cannot be explained.

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/giving-up-on-rebellious-children-part-two/2013/03/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: