web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



No Coincidences


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Share Button

Last week I wrote that we are now at a very critical juncture in our long history. We have entered the period of ikvesie d’Mashiach – a time of travail when the footsteps of the Messiah can be discerned. We are receiving wake-up call after wake-up call, and they come in many shapes and forms. Hashemis sounding the alarm, but we remain deaf to its implications.

Time and again we, the American Jewish community, have been shaken to the core – but we remained and continue to remain complacent. Somehow we fail to connect the dots and we go right back to business as usual.

This week I want to call attention to the recent stock market crisis, which was accompanied by an amazing phenomenon that must make us stop and ponder. For three consecutive days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – August eighth, ninth, and tenth), we watched the market plummet with frazzled nerves as the numbers kept changing.

Incredibly, if you added up the digits of the Dow Jones closingnumbers on each of those days, they all equaled 26.

Monday Close: -634.76 = 26

Tuesday Close: +429.92 = 26

Wednesday Close: -519.83 = 26

According to actuaries, the odds of this happening are millions to one.

Now, many people reading this might say, “Interesting, but so what? The bottom line is that the market suffered great losses.”

Before we go further, allow me to explain the concept of gematria – numerology in Judaism. Baruch Hashem, our Jewish Press readership consists of people from varied backgrounds and I would like to be as clear as possible.

Hebrew is different from all other languages. It is lashon hakodesh – the holy tongue, the language in which G-d Himself spoke. In the holy tongue, every word is definitive and significant and has many dimensions, too complex to elaborate on in the limited space of this column. Moreover, every letter has a numerical value. For example, aleph is not just the letter “a” but is also number 1. Beis is not just the letter “b” but is also 2, and so on. Therefore, when probing a word in the holy tongue, we often add up all the numbers in that word so that we may uncover greater meaning.

Hashem – G-d’s Holy Name – adds up to 26. So allow me to once again call your attention to the numbers: Monday closing: – 634.76 = 26; Tuesday closing: + 429.02 = 26; Wednesday closing: – 519.83 = 26.

This should give us pause. It is a reminder to us that as clever as we may think we are, at the end of the day our sustenance, our financial success, our very lives, are all in the hands of Hashem – 26.

Could it be that G-d is sending us a message that our ability to control the market is severely limited? Clearly, there is a Higher Power at work – a Higher Power that is the true determining factor in the ups and downs not only of the market but of our very lives. Sadly, it is a truth we lose sight of in our crazed, money-worshiping society. Every morning, we recite the prayer “Wealth and honor come from You, and You rule over everything…..” A lesson we would do well to take to heart – but we have yet to imbibe that simple truth.

At the conclusion of last week’s column, I wrote that we can no longer allow complacency to define our lives; that we have to wake up from our lethargy and make the stirring Sabbath prayer of Lecha Dodi our goal. “Kumi” – “Shake off the dust, arise and don your splendid, glorious garments, My people…” But we have failed to understand and heed the call of that prayer.

Tragically, ours is a generation that carries on its shoulders the heavy burdens of the sins that led to the destruction of both our Temples. But for now, I would like us to focus on the sin that launched us into our present exile – sinas chinam, hatred between Jew and Jew, brother and brother. Centuries have passed and sinas chinam has become so much a part of us that we no longer recognize it and have actually come to believe that the dense darkness of hatred, jealousy and animosity is a normal way of life.

But the call of G-d is insistent and keeps pounding on the chambers of our hearts, demanding that we act before it is too late. So what must we do?

First, we must purge ourselves of this poison of sinas chinam. Nearly two thousand years later, nothing has changed. It’s Jew against Jew, brother against brother.

You may protest that this sin does not apply to you. You are not guilty of it, though you know many others who are. Anyway, you are just “little you” and have no ability to bring about such a change.

A man went to his Rebbe for a berachah. “Rebbe,” he said, “I would like to go out and change the world – make peace among our brethren.”

The Rebbe gave him a blessing and wished him well. A few weeks later, he returned. “Rebbe, no one is listening to me,” he complained. “And worse, they resent what I say, so I was thinking that maybe I should limit my efforts to just changing my community.”

The Rebbe once again gave his berachah. But a few weeks later the man returned with the same complaint.

“Rebbe” he said, “I met frustration after frustration, so I decided to revise my plan and will limit my outreach to my neighbors only.”

But here again, he ran into a stone wall, so once more he returned to the Rebbe. “I have to change my agenda. I think I will limit my efforts to members of my family.”

Given the Rebbe’s berachah, he once again set out on his mission, only to return a few days later. “Rebbe, I give up,” he said, “no one listens to me.”

To which the Rebbe replied, “My dear son, have you ever considered that the best way to start is by changing yourself?”

Indeed, the very first step we must take if we are to rid ourselves of this heinous sin of sinas chinam is to understand that this mandate pertains not only to others – but first and foremost to ourselves.

(To Be Continued)

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “No Coincidences”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

We have windows of history, of Yom Tovim, but the dust continues to obscure our vision.

On Shabbos Zachor the Torah commands us to “Remember what Amalek did to you.”

We should invite divorced people into our homes for Shabbas and Yom tov.

I attended the recent Shabboton for frum divorced people and listened to your talk. You gave me hope to go on. I was very despondent when I came and went home considerably more upbeat. It was all due to your focus on “being a blessing.”

One can sigh with relief when the divorce is finalized but the heart is full and it aches with pain. Yes, there were conflicts. Yes, there was a cold war that made for a frigid atmosphere in the home. But loneliness is a very difficult thing to bear.

My ex despises me and is bent on destroying me. He has done everything to torture me.

The Torah tells us that ancient Egypt had 49 levels of contaminating impurities and Hashem wanted us out before the fiftieth would become viral.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/no-coincidences-2/2011/08/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: