web analytics
August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



‘How Do I Cope?’


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Special Note: The letter written by the woman experiencing a financial crisis has evoked a strong response. Many people identify with her plight and still others have come forth to share their own experiences in confronting painful challenges. I am pleased to publish one of these letters. Since the financial crunch has become a universal problem, many are suffering and unable to cope. Therefore, I invite those of our readers who have successfully dealt with their own challenges to share their trials and tribulations so that others may learn from them and be strengthened.

‘How Do I Cope?’
The Readers Respond

Dear Rebbetzin,

Please accept my thoughts on the painful letter regarding one family’s financial problems. My mother, ob”m, contracted breast cancer when I was 10 years old. My father, an engineer, worked full-time, which provided our family with sufficient funds. We were not wealthy or even “well off,” and my parents made sacrifices to ensure that my sister and I received proper training. The onslaught of sudden illness made a considerable impact on our situation to say nothing of the emotional devastation.

My parents, who had always taught us well about money management, dealt with the issue forthrightly. Yes, it was difficult for my father to speak of this with my sister and me, but I remember my father’s words well. He advised us that our family structure and basic needs of food and shelter would not be threatened, but that each of us was to have a role in dealing with the immediate and long-term situation, which would require hiring part-time help in our home plus additional expenses to keep the household running. These sums were far from insignificant for my father.

My sister and I were told that our part involved giving up our weekly allowances (these were very small sums indeed) and to think carefully before asking for any future purchases. If we truly needed something, and it was possible, the arrangements would be considered – not guaranteed but considered. I cannot describe the pain this caused my father, but neither can I adequately explain the level of elevated esteem to which he rose in my eyes. His example has followed me all my life.

While this dear lady’s situation is much more complex and likely more dire, the principle remains the same. Deal with situations with honesty and humility; express your pain and regret to family members and remind them and yourself that true family is not built on finances but is built and sustained on joint loving support.

If the family as a unit, and as individuals, calls upon Hashem with its whole heart, even drastic life changes can be borne. I believe my parents gave my sister and me great honor by trusting us to do our small part and certainly the younger and adult children of this situation will respond in the same manner if they are approached with honesty and love.

As to gifts for Purim, we can all rethink the issue of extended gift lists and perhaps develop alternative, even if not customary, gifts. Perhaps instead of fruits and nuts, we can give friends our time and abilities, even exchanging such mundane tasks as ironing, watching children for an hour or two so that parents can have some time to themselves, or simply giving each other the gift of a phone call on a regular basis. It may not be possible to be as generous as in previous times, but by closely examining our lists, appropriate choices can be made.

We should not overlook the impact of a sincerely written note rather than ordering traditional baskets. These are extraordinary times and we are being called upon to look deep within ourselves to find new methods of expression while continuing to affirm the goodness of Hashem in our daily lives.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion. May these difficult times pass by, and like the thunder which accompanies life-giving rain, remind us that we are always to trust Hashem’s plans. If you feel any of these words would comfort others, please feel free to share them at will.

Sincerely yours,
Deinya Mautz
Jacksonville, Florida

My Dear Friend:

Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your story. After what you have been through, it’s very kind of you to consider that our letter writer’s problem is more severe than yours was. G-d should not test any of us, but terminal illness, losing a mother when you were a child, was surely more devastating than any financial crisis, although you tasted that as well. Too often, when hearing of challenges experienced by others, people who have suffered tend to dismiss them as minor compared to theirs. But a sensitive, kind person will understand that to each person, his/her pain is the most acute.

In regard to your suggestion vis-à-vis mishloach manos, I would like to point out that while the acts of chesed you recommend are certainly very meaningful and worthwhile, they are not substitutes for the mitzvah of mishloach manos, which requires sending at least two ready-to-eat foods to a friend. Such a gift need not be expensive and is certainly within the reach of everyone. The problem is not the mishloach manos, but the extravagance and lavishness that too often accompany it and the desire of people to impress and outdo others.

Esther and Mordechai instituted this wonderful concept to build friendship, harmony and good will among our people. If someone wishes to go beyond the letter of the law and send to many people, it is praiseworthy to do so. But we should bear in mind that, even as we have been given the mitzvah of mishloach manos, we have also been given the mitzvah of matanos l’evyonim – gifts to the poor. If a choice must be made, it is more important to increase our gifts to the poor.

Having said all this, I am in total accord with you that we have to re-think our manner of giving mishloach manos nowadays, and I addressed this issue in my last column. Additionally, in our current financial climate, matanos l’evyonim should be a priority and replace the extravagant gift baskets. But again, I must emphasize that this does not mean that we should, chas v’shalom, do away with the beautiful, joyous mitzvah of mishloach manos.

Purim is an amazing, wonderful Yom Tov for the entire family, and children especially revel in the joy of the day, delivering little food baskets to friends and neighbors. But again, these need not be expensive – two different, ready-to-eat foods that are symbolic of love and good wishes are all that are required, and if we keep it simple and modest, we will be able to include many people on our lists. Your suggestions of chesed however, are well taken, and can be added to, but not substituted, for mishloach manos and matanos l’evyonim.

I invite all our readers to share their experiences. Please e-mail your stories to rebbetzin@hineni.org. May Hashem grant that this Purim brings true joy and redemption to all our families and to Klal Yisrael.

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 “‘How Do I Cope?’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US Marines walk a city street in Fallujah, heavily damaged by the fighting. (2004)
Netanyahu Says Making Gaza ‘Israel’s Fallujah’ Was Too High a Price
Latest Judaism Stories
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

What does Hashem want of us? That we should protect each other and the awesome heritage He gave us.

Gratitude=Great Attitude. Appreciation is always appropriate.

The two words “thank you” have no time expiration; even if spoken after many years they’re as potent as ever.

Let us shake the heavens. Let us not stop until our boys and all our people are liberated from bondage.

Loving-kindness can cure the anger and bitterness in our poisonous world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/how-do-i-cope/2009/02/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: