web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



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
Is that a chicken or Tzipi Livni ready to be sacrificed?
Coalition Plays ‘Chicken’ and Runs Away from New Elections
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

“There is nothing new under the sun” is as valid today as it was yesterday.

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: