web analytics
August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
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



I Will Keep Dancing…


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

I’m learning to walk again. Every step is painful. I go with a walker. There is a security belt wrapped around my waist which the physical therapist watches carefully so that in case I stumble she will be able to catch me. As I make my way, the nurses and other health care personnel smile and congratulate me: “You’re doing wonderful! You’re doing great!”

I wonder what on earth they are talking about, yet they continue to cheer me on. There is something familiar about the words “You’re doing great – step by step.” Aren’t these the very same words I used with my grandchildren and great-grandchildren when they started to walk? I would smile for them, clap for them, and say “hurrah.” And when they stumbled and fell I would say, “Come on, you can do it – come to Bubbe.”

Now it’s Bubbe who’s being cheered at each tentative step. The roles have reversed, from Bubbe to baby, from baby to Bubbe. How strange life is. You never know what tomorrow will bring. I remember my beloved great-aunt of blessed memory whom we all adoringly called Tante Miriam. She would say, “Esther, gedenek azoyvee dee musik shpilt, azoy darfem tancen – the way the music plays, so we have to dance.” Her words keep replaying in my mind.

So, I say to myself, I have to learn a new song, a new tune, a new dance. I make my way down the long corridor – which in reality is short but to me so very long. I ponder Tante’s sage advice given to me decades ago when I had to grapple with my new life in the U.S. following the war. Coming to this country following life in the concentration and DP camps I had to face new challenges, learn a new language and find friends even though I was regarded as a “greener.” This was not an easy task, but I had a gem of wisdom to fortify me – my Tante’s teaching. The way the music played, so I would have to dance – and having no choice, dance I did.

I hear one of the nurses say, “Rebbetzin [though they are not Jewish, they all learned to pronounce “rebbetzin” correctly], you look like a prima ballerina.” I wonder, are they mocking me; are they laughing? How at this time can I possibly look like a prima ballerina? Of course I doubt they are laughing at me – they are too respectful, treating me with such reverence and kindness.

Those of you who know me can testify that I’m always careful to appear in public properly dressed – to have my sheitel on and for my clothing to be in order. Now I’m wearing a hospital gown, robe, socks, and tichel – turban. So, again, why are they calling me a prima ballerina? Could this be a message from Hashem to me? Once again, my Tante’s wise words come to mind. “The way the music plays, so we have to dance.”

And then it hit me. Ballerinas have to learn not only to dance but how to skip and hop, leap and stretch; how to be in control and how to let go. Should they fall, they have to quickly stand up and continue to dance.

I am on a new journey. I too have to learn how to skip and hop, leap and stretch; how to be in control and how to let go. Ballerinas have to continuously practice or they regress. They have to be disciplined.

Sometimes we are in a valley and it is so difficult to reach the heights of the mountains. But the ballerina has to learn to make that leap and when she’s on top of the mountain she has to leap to the bottom and quickly stand up – the music is playing and she has to continue to dance.

Might this be the message Hashem is sending me? Might He be telling me, “Esther Jungreis, learn to leap and hop. Yes, now you may be in a valley but you must skip your way to the mountaintop. Hold on, don’t lose control. Swallow your tears and keep going – practice and practice again and keep fit. Remember who you are – you are a prima ballerina.”

Suddenly, I have clarity. The cajoling and encouraging sounds make sense. Now it is the young ones – the nurses – reaching out to Bubbe in a loving voice saying, “You’re doing great. How wonderful – you can do it.” I feel strengthened. Yes, I will make the leap.

As I write this, another memory comes to mind. My father, HaRav HaGaon HaTzaddik Avrohom HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, would often tell us, “When difficult days come upon you, always remember that if G-d gave you those challenges it is so that you should help others find their way when they are confronted with their own struggles and life’s tests.”

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 “I Will Keep Dancing…”

  1. Jena Morris says:

    When I was learning to walk again, my therapist taught me a "kitchen sink dance." You hold on to the sink (it's solid) and first shift your weight from side to side. Get a little stronger, lift one foot, then the other. A little stronger, take a sideways step one way, then the other. Eventually, still holding on to the sink, take steps in the shape of a square, one right, one back, sidestep left, and forward left, step right, and reverse. Don't forget the music, and soon G-d willing, you will be dancing again at chassinahs! Thank you for your beautiful words on behalf of all us bubbies who have been in your shoes.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
An IDF patrol along the Gaza border.
Ground Op on Horizon with Emergency Orders to 10,000 IDF Reservists
Latest Judaism Stories
Daf-Yomi-logo

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

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

The-Shmuz

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

The first prayer of Moshe was Vayechal, where Moshe’s petition was that no matter how bad bnei Yisrael were, the Egyptians were worse.

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

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

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

Rabbinic law is pivotal but it’s important to understand which laws are rabbinic and which biblical.

We give slave gifts? If he wants to stay, we pierce his ear?!

A bit of (non-Jewish) history can help us understand this week’s Torah portion: In the early 1500s, the Catholic church was being fundamentally challenged by movements which claimed it had monopolized religious power and used to enrich the church and its officials. The most radical of these movements were a particular sect of Anabaptists. Anabaptists […]

“When a mother plays with her child there is an acute awareness of the child. But even when the mother works at a job or is distracted by some other activity, there is a natural, latent awareness of her child’s existence.

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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.

The Hebrew word for coincidence is mikreh, which comes from “karah min Hashem – it happened from G-d.”

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/i-will-keep-dancing/2012/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: