web analytics
January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Just A Little Lollipop

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

As I’ve written over the past few weeks, my husband, HaRav Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, ztl, was a blessing to one and all. Whoever came in contact with him glowed in his sunshine.

As a matter of fact, I am currently writing a book, Be A Blessing, inspired by the man I’ll always call My Rabbi.

A few weeks ago a handsome young fellow came to see me at Hineni. “Rebbetzin,” he said, “I have a question. Am I duty bound to invite my father to my wedding?”

I looked at him. It was not a question most people would ask. He noticed my quizzical expression and proceeded to explain.

“Rebbetzin, my father abused us. He left my mother when I was just a little boy of five. There were all kinds of problems. He left deep scars on our hearts and souls.”

And then this young man went on to describe some of the things his father had done.

“So tell me,” he said. “Do I have to invite him to my wedding?”

“Why do you ask me this?” I asked. “Are you engaged?”

“No,” he replied.

“Are you dating anyone seriously?”

He shook his head. He wasn’t dating anyone seriously.

“So why don’t we defer this conversation to a time when you’ll be planning your wedding?”

Even as I said that I realized how deeply hurt he was. His soul just wanted to scream his outrage. He wanted to cry out and express his anger and he couldn’t think of anything more dreadful than a son rejecting the presence of a parent at his wedding.

“Do you know what kept me going all these years?” he asked. “The year my father abandoned us, my mother was ill. She was struggling to make ends meet. Although we belonged to a synagogue, no one in our shul reached out to us.

“One day as Mom was searching the papers looking for bargains, she noticed an advertisement for a bazaar at a synagogue. ‘Maybe we’ll go to the bazaar and find something to buy,’ she said to me.

“The synagogue she was referring to was Congregation Ohr Torah of North Woodmere, Long Island.”

My heart started beating faster and I wondered where this story was going. As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, Ohr Torah was the shul my husband and I established in what had been a spiritual wasteland. I remember well those days of fundraising bazaars. My husband would always stop in to thank the volunteers and greet the people who came to browse.

“I saw a very tall person,” the young man continued. “He had the nicest face, the kindest eyes. Suddenly he stopped to greet me. He smiled at me, patted my cheeks, and asked, ‘What is your Jewish name?’

“I told him ‘Michoel’ and the man said to me, ‘That is the most beautiful name. Michoel was an angel of G-d. He was the angel of blessings, and that’s your mission – to be a blessing and share that blessing with others.’

“At the time I didn’t quite understand what the rabbi was saying but I did understand that he was the kindest man I’d ever met. He gave me a yarmulke and a lollipop and said, ‘Let’s make a berachah, a blessing.’ And he taught me the berachah for candy.

“His message kept me going. ‘This is one of the first teachings you have to remember,’ he said. ‘Always try to be a blessing. Thank G-d and thank all people – and be a blessing.’

“I never saw the rabbi again. But the sweetness of the lollipop and the yarmulke that covered my head went a long way. It penetrated my heart and mind. To this day when I think of a yarmulke I associate it with protection and the sweetness of that lollipop remains on my palate.

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 “Just A Little Lollipop”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Judaism Stories
Staum-013015

People often think that all they are missing is “just a little more” and then they can be truly happy.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The Midrash is teaching a fundamental message of what it means to be a religious person.

Rabbi Sacks

Torah opposes slavery; G-d desires the free worship of free human beings, yet slavery’s permitted-?!

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

Approximately 18 years ago, my uncle called me into his office saying he had an urgent matter to discuss. I didn’t know what he had in mind.

“Where is God?” asked the Kotzker Rebbe “God is not everywhere but only where you let Him enter”

An Explosion In The Trench
‘With A Glowing Hot Knife’
(Yevamos 120b)

Her first tactic was tefillah; she immediately began to recite one perek after another of Tehillim.

When a miracle occurs that transcends nature, Hashem has broken the laws of nature to create the miracle.

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

How can the Da’as Zekeinim say this was Hashem’s plan to allow them to become the Torah Nation? We know it was actually a punishment.

A strange midrash of fruit trees surrounding the Nation of Israel as they walked to freedom

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

“Surely,” my family insisted, “there must be someone suitable for you. You can’t be so picky.”

Shouldn’t we Jews, having experienced the barbarism of many societies, speak support the NYPD?

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

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

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?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/just-a-little-lollipop/2014/06/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: