web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Just Two Words


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Many moons ago, when I established Hineni, kiruv – outreach – was a foreign concept. The Orthodox world looked askance at the idea. “You’re wasting your time,” I was told. “Maybe they will become observant for a day, or even a few weeks, but then they will go back to their former life style.”

But I was determined to charge ahead. Encouraged by my saintly father, HaRav HaGaon Avraham Halevi Jungreis, zt”l, and my beloved husband, HaRav Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, I consulted the Torah giants of our generation, from Reb Moshe, zt”l, to the Satmar Rebbe, zt”l, and, fortified with their berachos, Hineni became a reality. We proved all the naysayers wrong, and today, Baruch Hashem, kiruv has become a powerful reality of Jewish life.

Not once or twice but countless times I have met rebbeim, rebbetzins, Torah teachers, etc., who tell me their parents and grandparents experienced their very first awakening at a Hineni program, or from a column of mine in The Jewish Press, or at Madison Square Garden where I launched my very first Torah happening. So, Baruch Hashem, not only have ba’alei teshuvah passed Torah on to future generations, they have also taken on leadership positions.

But as much as outreach has become popular and accepted, there still remain challenges that have to be overcome, one of them being that kiruv work is an endeavor limited to professionals since most people do not regard it as a personal obligation. The Torah, however, mandates differently. Just a few weeks ago, the parshah reminded us of the awesome mitzvah of returning a lost item. This obligation pertains not only to every object that may have been lost but – as our sages teach – to all Yiddishe neshamahs that may have been lost as well.

If we consider the pain of our Heavenly Father who has lost His children, who among us can feel that he or she is not responsible to bring them home? Still, many will argue that since they have no training as kiruv professionals, they cannot undertake such a task. But even as one does not require schooling to return a lost item, one need not be trained to return a lost Yiddishe neshamah. The only credentials required are hearts that are filled with love and feel the suffering of our Father who is waiting for His children to return.

But can it really be done? Allow me to share an experience I had which demonstrates that no specific knowledge is required.

I live in a neighborhood in which ninety-nine percent of the residents are shomer Shabbos. I moved there shortly after my beloved husband passed away. I decided to make that change since two of my children reside there and thus,Baruch Hashem, I am able to be with them on Shabbos.

To be candid, I do not really know my neighbors. My speaking engagements take me all over the world so I do not have time to socialize and I do not have small children, which would give me the opportunity to interact with other parents.

A few weeks ago, walking home after the Shabbos seudah at my daughter’s house, I saw a man working in his garden – an unusual sight in my community. I paused to wish him a good Shabbosand he looked at me with bewilderment, his expression indicating he was not accustomed to such a greeting. Most passersby would just ignore him. I moved on, but he hastened to catch up with me.

“How do you know I am a Jew?” he asked.

“Our sages teach that eyes are the windows of the soul – your neshamah spoke to me.” I told him.

Now he was really taken aback.

“What is your Jewish name?” I asked.

“Yitzchok ben Dovid HaKohen” came his answer.

“What a magnificent name!” I replied. “Yitzchok, who ascended the altar and was prepared to offer his life! Yitzchok, who taught us the meaning of sacrifice and lived by a higher calling. And Dovid, the king of Israel who wrote psalms and opened our hearts to G-d! Dovid, who enabled our people to sing songs to G-d and who touched not only every Jew but all of mankind.

“And more – you are a kohen, a descendant of the glorious priestly family of Aaron who was chosen to minister before Hashem and represent the Jewish people. So how could I not recognize your Yiddishe neshamah?”

His eyes became moist and I repeated, “Have a good Shabbos!”

Two little words that can awaken a dormant neshamah two little words that can ignite a spark, bring tears to the eyes and launch a Jew on his journey back to Sinai.

So the next time you pass your brother or your sister, say those two magic words: “Good Shabbos!”

My best wishes to all our readers and Klal Yisrael for a kesivah v’chasimah tovah – a blessed New Year.

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 Two Words”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-041715

Lincoln was not a perfect man. But he rose above his imperfections to do what he thought was right not matter the obstacles.

Arch of Titus

Adon Olam: An Erev Shabbat Musical Interlude Courtesy of David Herman

Daf-Yomi-logo

Oh My, It’s Copper!
‘…And One Who Is A Coppersmith’
(Kethubboth 77a)

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The omer sacrifice of loose barley flour was more fitting for animal consumption than human consumption and symbolizes the depths to which the Jewish slaves had sunk.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

When Chazal call not eating treif food a chok, that refers to how it functions.

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Kashrut reminds us that in the end, God is the arbiter of right and wrong.

In a cab with Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & Rav Elayshiv discussing if/when to say tefillas haderech

The successful student listens more than speaks out; wants his ideas critiqued, not just appreciated

Why would it not be sufficient to simply state lehoros from which we derive that in such a state one may not issue any psak?

What do we learn about overcoming loss from the argument between Moses and Aaron’s remaining 2 sons?

Each of the unique roles attributed to Moshe share the common theme that they require of and grant higher sanctity to the individual filling the role.

Because of the way the piece of my finger had been severed, the doctors at the hospital were not able to reattach it. They told me I’d have to see a specialist.

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Pesach bonds families and generations: “So that you may relate it to your son and your son’s son.

Amalek’s hate never dies; its descendants are eternal & omnipresent; Hashem is our only protection

I try to be observant, davening daily, but it hasn’t awakened my heart or my mind or changed my life

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

“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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/just-two-words-2/2011/09/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: