web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



‘Not of this Generation’

I may be 80 but my memory is as good as it was when I 40.
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis,

I hope you read this letter. I’m told that people these days don’t pay attention to anything written by hand or sent by post. They assume that anyone who utilizes this form of communication must be “old.” I’ve discovered that those of us who don’t e-mail or text are increasingly viewed as out of touch with reality and not to be taken too seriously.

I’m 80 years old. I have no computer in my home, and while I have a cellphone, I don’t know how to text. People tell me that if I really wanted to I could learn it all – texting, e-mails, etc. They may be right but I just don’t have the patience required. I do, however, think it’s shameful that the young have such little respect for the elderly and will make judgment calls on superficial things like e-mail. My little grandchildren are wizards on the computer but does that make them wiser than someone my age? And yet that is exactly the mindset of our culture.

I also happen to think it’s shameful that this so-called smart generation doesn’t know how to write an intelligent sentence or a meaningful letter. It’s all e-mail, with no small measure of grammatical shortcuts, silly abbreviations and acronyms, and fractured syntax.

My beloved husband was 83 years old when he died but he was a young 83. He was in good health and had a sharp mind. Then, suddenly, he had a heart attack. I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye. He collapsed and died on the way to the hospital. No one would have guessed his age. He had retired from his business and handed it over to our son. We traveled extensively and always enjoyed ourselves. Now that he’s gone I feel lost and lonely. I cry myself to sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night and I cry some more.

I have two children and they are both married with beautiful families. My daughter and son-in-law live in Jerusalem. They made aliyah several years ago so I hardly see them, though we do talk on the phone regularly. When I told my daughter of my loneliness and my desire to see her and the grandchildren, she suggested we Skype. I don’t know how Skype works. I’m old-fashioned and prefer the phone and that’s how I speak to my grandchildren as well.

As for my son and daughter-in-law who live fifteen minutes away from me, I see them much more often but they also fail to understand the emptiness in my heart. They invite me to dinner but the conversation between them is like a foreign code I cannot quite follow. They don’t bother to involve me so I sit there feeling unwelcome. Should I try to engage them in conversation? I worry that if I do I will receive some glib or offhand answer. I rarely sleep over, though they always invite me. I just don’t feel comfortable. So I make my way home and I go to sleep in loneliness.

My daughter in Israel says I should move to Jerusalem to live with her and her family. I don’t want to be a burden and I do not know whether at my age I’d be comfortable resettling or changing my life so radically. Of course I love Israel but I don’t think I’d want to move there and find myself in a new environment, without friends. And I don’t want to be a burden to my daughter and her family. I’m not a widow of means and I do not know if I could afford to buy an apartment near her. Apartments in Jerusalem can be very expensive, especially in the neighborhood where my daughter lives.

Rebbetzin, what do I do? Should I make a change and move? Or should I stay here? I want to clarify that in New York I have friends. I’m active in organizations. I have a nice social life. But that does not make up for the vacuum in my heart. And if I moved to Israel, what would I do the whole day? I will miss my friends, doing things with them like playing cards and Mah-Jongg. It may sound silly but it does gives me some escape from the pain of having lost my soul mate.

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 “‘Not of this Generation’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.
Biden’s New NSA Chief Mocked Israeli Nuke Fears
Latest Judaism Stories
Duxvielfalt_2011

Contrary to popular belief, the Talmud never explicitly limits the ban on footwear to leather shoes.

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

“There is nothing new under the sun” is as valid today as it was yesterday.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/not-of-this-generation/2013/07/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: