web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



One Marriage, Two Worlds

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis,

I was born into a secular family. Neither my father nor my mother had Jewish names and I was never given one either. In college I met the man I knew I would marry. After graduation we rented an apartment in Manhattan. I was a lawyer and found a good job. My boyfriend was a CPA. After six years we felt financially secure and got married.

We were blessed with a son and a daughter and life was not too complicated. We had our conflicts and sometimes even long silences for one reason or another but by and large we had a solid marriage. Then one of my closest friends, who had became observant, gave me a book of yours. I had no intention of reading it so I put it aside. I was never interested in Jewish books and yours remained untouched.

But one day when I was under a great deal of stress I picked up your book and started to read. It captured me and I couldn’t put it down. I told my friend I truly appreciated her gift and that it touched me like no other book ever had.

“Why don’t you come with me to one of the Rebbetzin’s classes and get to know her personally?” she asked. I declined her invitation, telling her I was overwhelmed with work and didn’t have time to go to lectures.

My friend didn’t give up. One day I gave in just to get her off my back, though I’ll admit I was curious to meet you and see what you were really like.

That visit turned out to be life transforming. Your words penetrated my heart. I felt you were speaking directly to me. For the first time I felt my Jewishness. I asked you if you’d sign my book. I remember your welcoming smile as you asked me, “What is your Jewish name?” The question really hit me. It kept echoing in my mind. How is it, I wondered, that I could have lived all these years and never thought my identity was connected to my Jewish name?

Until that day I never quite understood the enormity of the vacuum that existed in my life. That night was an awakening for me. For the very first time I felt a need to connect with my heritage – to know what it meant to be a Jew. I started attending your classes regularly but never asked to speak to you privately. I would sit in the back of the room and try to be as invisible as possible while absorbing every word. I knew that eventually I would have to move on to the next step and act upon the mitzvot.

Then my husband was transferred to his firm’s Florida office. It was difficult to adjust at first. My friends were all in New York. It was hard for my children as well. They had to acclimate to a new school and new friends. I missed your classes but I had your weekly broadcasts on the Internet to look forward to. I joined a small but warm and embracing synagogue. I continued to study Torah as I did at Hineni in New York and with each day I became more and more committed to my Judaism.

With the passage of time I became observant of the mitzvot. At first it was kashrus. I bought new pots, pans and dishes. Consequently I had my first real fight with my husband over Judaism. He liked bacon and seafood. He enjoyed going out to dinner in non-kosher restaurants. I asked him to please respect our Torah. He argued that I was imposing a lifestyle on him he never wanted. I realized that to some extent he was right. I argued, however, that while it was true that when we got married Judaism had no place in our lives, it did not mean we were bound to that way of life forever.

I became shomer Shabbos and asked him not make a mockery of the holy day. He didn’t care. He continued to drive, watch television and do all the other things one does on a weekday. When I asked him to come to the Shabbos table to make Kiddush over wine, he became livid. He wouldn’t hear of it. I was concerned that our children would be misled and confused. I was worried that if our children saw their father violating our Jewish traditions they would emulate him and reject a Torah way of life.

My husband is a very loving and kind man – a good father and husband. But just the same, this conflict is destroying our home.

What should I do, Rebbetzin? Should I divorce him? This question plagues me. How can children be raised with a commitment to Torah if their father totally rejects it? Despite everything I still love my husband and am very confused.

I await your response.

(Continued Next Week)

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 “One Marriage, Two Worlds”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF map of Gaza City launcher sites centered among high schools.
Israeli Cabinet Cowed Back Into ‘Tit-for-Tat’ by Obama?
Latest Judaism Stories
Weiss-072514

Just as the moon waxes, wanes and renews itself, so has the nation of Israel renewed itself through the millennia.

126_masei_web

Parshat Masei: Rabbi Fohrman addresses the age-old question, are we our brother’s keeper?

Hertzberg-072514

When Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Thus, by the end of the first week of August all the major powers of Europe were at war.

Winiarz-072514

The Talmud teaches that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred.

When taking any major step in life it is a good idea to carefully re-evaluate one’s past.

Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

Hallel On Purim?
“Its Reading Is Its Praise”
(Megillah 14a)

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

It is apparent from the Maharsha that he does not see galus as atoning for killing accidentally; otherwise, this Gemara would not bother him.

It was found to be a giant deer tick living in her head – with its claws in her scalp.

While daydreaming about finding the perfect job, I never expected to be rewarded in spades for my aforementioned experience.

We are all entrusted with the mission of protecting our fellow Jews

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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.

The Hebrew word for coincidence is mikreh, which comes from “karah min Hashem – it happened from G-d.”

Saying “thank you” to people to whom we are indebted is humbling – especially if we’ve been raised in a culture of entitlement.

To his very last day he struggled to transcend his pain so that he might impart Torah to all who visited him.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/one-marriage-two-worlds/2013/02/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: