web analytics
September 3, 2014 / 8 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



Lollipops Don’t Fall From The Sky


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Last week I published a letter from a thirty-eight year old single woman who lamented that despite her having become a ba’alas teshuvah, forsaking her secular life, committing to Torah and mitzvos, going to rabbis, receiving berachot – in short, doing all the “right” things – she has failed to find her bashert, her soul mate. She wondered where G-d was and what all her sacrifices were all about. She was angry at G-d and regarded all her efforts as having been for naught. “My joy in Judaism has disappeared,” she wrote. The following is my response.

My dear friend:

As I write this column, the portion of the week is Chukas. I have found that if one searches properly, the parshah of the week always offers clarification on the challenges one has to wrestle with.

You have resentment in your heart. You feel you have been treated unfairly and that your commitment to Torah and mitzvos has been futile. In your disillusionment, you are angry at G-d and ready to give it all up.

Look in the Torah portion to which I referred. Miriam, Aaron and Moshe himself, the giants of our people, had their hopes dashed. Their dream of entering Eretz Yisrael was never realized. They could have argued, “For this we sacrificed? For this we labored? The nation has the privilege of entering Eretz Yisrael and we do not? Where is justice? It’s just not fair!” But they remained silent and accepted the will of G-d with equanimity, love, and a full heart.

Throughout the long centuries of our painful history, the emblem of our people has been unconditional faith. No matter where life took us, no matter what catastrophe befell us, we clung tenaciously to our G-d. Obviously there have been individuals whose faith faltered, who disappeared into the melting pot of assimilation, but we as a people triumphed, and our “Shema Yisrael” reverberated and continues to reverberate throughout the world.

I myself, a child of the Holocaust, can testify to this. With my own eyes I saw the indescribable suffering of our people. I will never forget the holy countenance and the voice of my saintly father, HaRav HaGaon Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, who, after our own liberation from Bergen Belsen, received the catastrophic news that he was the only surviving son of the glorious rabbinic house of my grandfather. In a trembling voice, his eyes filled with tears, my father called out: “Ribbonoh shel Olam, I ask only one thing – that all my children, all my generations, should remain by Torah.”

Think about this and absorb it well. Wouldn’t my father have been justified in saying, “I am through! If this is the reward of great tzaddikim, if this is how You protect Your beloved chosen ones, there is no reason for me to remain and sacrifice. I’ve had it. I quit.”

Wouldn’t that have been the logical response? Wouldn’t that have been the reaction of so many in our generation who recognize entitlement but not indebtedness, rights but not responsibilities, privileges but not obligations? But my beloved revered father, like millions of others spanning many centuries and continents, had only one request, one prayer – that the light of Torah forever shine in the hearts of his descendants.

Having said this, I will try to address your personal dilemma and individual struggle.

While more than 40 years ago I had the zechus, the merit, of establishing Hineni, one of the first ba’al teshuvah movements in the world, I had actually been involved in outreach from early childhood. My father was a visionary, way ahead of his time. To the dismay of many in the chassidic world, he went to Szeged, not to be confused with Sziget, a shtetl in Romania. Szeged was a cosmopolitan city, the second largest in Hungary, as well as the most assimilated. My father created an Orthodox community there and kindled the light of Torah in the hearts of our people.

So it was from a tender age that I was nurtured in outreach. Over the years I learned it is dangerous to tell a secular person if he or she would only do such and such, the heavens would open up and all their dreams would be fulfilled. Our Torah way of life is not a candy store; lollipops do not fall from the sky, nor are there any guarantees of living “happily ever after.”

Life is a test – as a matter of fact, that is the title of one of my books. Our journeys are filled with turbulence. There are ups and downs and darkness and joy. But even in the best of times the skies can quickly darken with menacing clouds and terrifying storms can take over our lives. And yet our faith remains unshaken.

The legacy of our forefathers and the Covenant of Sinai are forever emblazoned on our hearts and souls. We understand it is our duty, our responsibility, to uphold that covenant, to cling to it and hold it dear. We do so because we believe and are committed to our G-d and expect no reward or accolades for our loyalty. Even as citizens of a country know it is their obligation to pay their taxes without fanfare or reward, so we realize that living in G-d’s world is a privilege, and we too must pay our taxes through our adherence to Torah and mitzvos.

This does not mean we cannot reverse our fate through the power of faith – but whether we succeed or not, we must pay our taxes. To be sure, prayer and mitzvos are our most potent weapons. We need only use them and “the help of G-d can come in the blink of an eye.”

Your bashert might just be waiting around the corner, and you can yet be blessed with children and grandchildren. I have witnessed such wonderful stories, even with women who were much older than you. So don’t lose faith. Rather, follow the guidelines of King David: “Place your trust and hope in G-d…. Strengthen your heart and continue to pray and pray some more” (Psalm 27).

Finally, may I suggest that you come to our Hineni Heritage Center, at 232 West End Avenue in Manhattan. I am there every Thursday evening and speak at 8:30. Who knows? Perhaps I will know someone for you, or perhaps our shidduch coordinator, Phyllis Blackman, will be able to help.

Be proactive! Don’t give up. Bear in mind that even after the most dense darkness, dawn comes. In the interim, please accept my berachas for a bayis ne’eman b’Yisrael – a genuine Jewish home and family life.

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.

5 Responses to “Lollipops Don’t Fall From The Sky”

  1. Doing the right things for the wrong reasons? Thinking, “if I’m good G-d will bless me and grant me my wishes”. This is wrong thinking, IMHO.

  2. Unfortunately many people feel the same way.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful response. I hope the woman you describe finds her true love. If it's any comfort to her, I was in her position once, and was also in despair. And, yes, out of the blue, in the blink of an eye, miracle of miracles, there he was! And my life was entirely changed.

    In retrospect, I think despair has its purpose in such situations. In fact, I wish I had used mine to better prepare me for my new life. If I had used it to gain more insight into my own character, I might not have made so many mistakes in my marriage.

    Not to preach, but I do believe that loving God is its own reward. We can't expect 'payment in return' for honoring Him; that would not be love.

  4. As I am quiet new in Jewish, looking around for some Jewish information> Got something important here. Nice to get it.
    Have you seen this video http://goo.gl/Fvyjz? It helped me get over my internal anger.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Journalist Steven Sotloff hid from his Islamic captors that he was Jewish but fasted on Yom Kippur.
Beheaded Journalist Hid His Judaism from ISIS Captors
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

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.

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

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.

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/lollipops-dont-fall-from-the-sky/2012/07/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: