web analytics
July 28, 2015 / 12 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


More Reader Reaction: Don’t Dismiss A Survivor’s Prophetic Words


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

I had planned to respond this week to the letter from the UCLA student (which appeared in the March 11 issue in response to a letter the week before from an elderly Holocaust survivor), but so many e-mails have reached my desk that I decided to devote yet one more column to reader reaction.

The subject of assimilation and Jewish self-hate that is so prevalent nowadays among many young people has touched a sensitive chord, especially in the older generation that still has vivid recollections of the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust.

I ask our many readers to please understand that while I greatly appreciate their taking the time to write and share their thoughts, and while I find their letters worthy and deserving of publication, I cannot possibly publish them all. The following letter also responds to the concerns raised by the Holocaust survivor – but from a far different perspective than that of the UCLA student. It speaks for itself and requires no further elucidation. B’ezrat Hashem, in my next column I will share my own views.

Dearest Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I was inspired to comment on the letter you published in the March 4 issue of The Jewish Press from a rapidly expiring breed of Jew – a Holocaust survivor – because her words, or I should say her poignant plea, struck a chord in me due to my age (60), my family’s history in the Shoah, and my having a 22-month-old grandson and a daughter who, b”h, is engaged to be married.

The Holocaust survivor wrote, “Ours is a youth culture, and people have no respect for the elderly. When I speak, my children and grandchildren listen respectfully – but they dismiss my words and attribute everything that I say to my Holocaust experience and my ago . I follow the news regularly and, frankly, am terrified by what I read, see, and hear. I see pre-Holocaust Europe being repeated all over again and no one is paying attention. And now that Eretz Yisrael is being surrounded on all sides by Muslim terrorists who openly proclaim that their main agenda is to, heaven forbid, annihilate our people, I am overwhelmed with fear. It doesn’t leave me for a second! I am not afraid for myself – I am already eighty-five – but I fear for my children and grandchildren and for all our Jewish people.”

This unknown woman eloquently put forth the quintessential message of Parshas Zachor and Purim. Unfortunately (and maybe rightfully so), she views many of us – Jews in America and around the world who are younger than she and did not see, feel and hear what she and you did – as those described in the Hallel prayer: “They have a mouth, but cannot speak. They have eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear . O’ Israel trust in Hashem; their help and their shield is He!”

Her words, though simple, have a powerful message that cuts to the heart of the meaning of the word zachor in the Torah, and I agree with her that it is time to heed it because as I see it, whether we believe her or not, they are prophetic. So let’s not dismiss her as an old fool – as revisionists no doubt would – but as a woman who speaks with a Ruach HaKodesh that comes out of the flames of Auschwitz, one of the dwindling number of such voices that will, within a matter of years, be lost to us forever.

As we know, Megillas Esther does not mention G-d’s name even once. Why is this? Because all of G-d’s actions surrounding the events of Purim were hidden, and though there were vivid hints, only Mordechai and Esther saw and acted on them. This woman who wrote you that letter is a modern-day Esther.

Look around – we too have vivid hints of impending tragedy, so why are we not seeing them – the fractions among Jews; the unrest and terrorist bombings in Eretz Yisrael; and the spreading political upheaval in the Middle East and the rest of the Arab world that may yet lead to a united and strong Islamic kingdom.

Then look at the significant rise in global anti-Semitism, especially in Europe, not coincidentally sparked by poor economic conditions and an underlying hatred of Jews and apathy for our enemies – just like in the days preceding the Shoah.

If an 85-year-old woman is able to see all this, why can’t we?

My purpose in writing, however, is not to identify the problem but to reiterate a timeworn but often pushed-aside solution, which in this case is quite simple yet for whatever reason quite hard to put into practice, especially among our youth, both learned and unlearned.

Mordechai and Esther saw the signs and sparked a return to tefillah and teshuvah. It was this combination that succeeded in toppling Haman the Amalekite and neutralizing King Achashveirosh.

And how do we neutralize our enemies in our day? We must understand that we will not succeed without Hashem’s intercession. Our salvation can be found in increased and improved tefillah, and better midos from ourselves and our children at all ages.

And while we must support Israel, in hard economic times we should look at what has worked in the past and will work in the future and first support our own makom tefillah and local yeshiva where we pray and where the next generation of Jews is being educated. We must also do a lot of kiruv rechokim, bringing lost souls back into the fold. And I think we also need to work on kiruv kerovim, bringing the frum world back to basics; as observant Jews we should no longer take our middos and our rushed prayers for granted.

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 “More Reader Reaction: Don’t Dismiss A Survivor’s Prophetic Words”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Beit El. early Tuesday morning,
Hundreds of Police Force Protesters out of Beit El Buildings [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Before going in, I had told R’ Nachum all of the things we were doing in Philly, and how it was very important to receive a good bracha on behalf of our newest venture, a Russian Kollel.

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem

(JNi.media) Tisha B’Av (Heb: 9th of the month of Av) is a fast day according to rabbinic law and tradition, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE by the Roman army led […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Devarim often parallels the stories in Bereishit but in reverse & can be considered as a corrective

‘Older’ By A Month
‘…Until The Beginning Of Adar’
(Nedarim 63a)

We realize how much we miss something only after it’s gone.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

Moses begins Sefer Devarim reviewing much of the 40 years in the desert & why he can’t enter Israel

While they are definitely special occurrences, why are they cause for a new holiday?

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

“When a king dies his power ends; when a prophet dies his influence begins” & their words echo today

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

The word “shavat” in the first kina of Tisha B’Av morning indicates a sudden suspension and cessation of time that accompanied the Temple’s destruction.

The two decided to approach Rabbi Dayan. “What is the halachic status of conquered territory?” asked Shalom.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Money comes and goes but its love, commitment, warmth, and kindness that make a family a family.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

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

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/more-reader-reaction-dont-dismiss-a-survivors-prophetic-words-2/2011/03/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: