web analytics
September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



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
Protest rally against Metropolitan Opera staging Death of Klinghoffer on 9/22 at 4:30 pm at the Met.
For Grass Roots Klinghoffer Protest 9/22, Jewish Establishment MIA
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

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

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

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

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.

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: