web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 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.



Our Jewish DNA


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Share Button

I’d like to share with you a story I believe is a wonderful gift we can present to Hashem now that the painful summer months of Tammuz and Av – months that saw the destruction of our holy Temple – are nearly upon us.

The story is an awesome testimony to the chesed of our people – a trait we inherited from Avraham Avinu and from all the Avos and Emahos of Am Yisrael. This chesed is part of our Jewish DNA and no cultural mores or societal pressures can erase it.

As regular readers know, I have written several columns regarding my recent hospitalization and surgery in San Diego for a broken hip. In one of those columns I described the painful experience of learning to walk again. Jeanette, my physical therapist, would ask daily, “Rebbetzin, level of pain – one to ten?”

I never quite knew how to evaluate “one to ten.” In my mind it was always a ten, but to please my kind, caring therapist I would choose a number and always add, “Baruch Hashem.”

“What are those words you always add to your numbers?” she asked.

“Baruch Hashem means ‘blessed be G-d,’ ” I told her, and then I proceeded to explain the full meaning of those two magical words that have been the hallmark of our people since days of yore. The hospital had a negligible Jewish presence, but whenever I come in contact with non-Jews I make a point of following the dictates of our Torah, which calls upon us to be mindful that it is the Divine words from Sinai that evoke respect among the nations.

As a result of that column I received a slew of letters and e-mails, a few of which I published. One of these letters came from a woman who described her ordeal after her husband, an attorney, lost his job because of the financial downturn. Several years had passed and he was still unemployed.

Additionally, she had to struggle with many new and painful issues. She wrote that while in the past she had always said “Baruch Hashem,” she could no longer utter those words. She felt alone, abandoned, enveloped in darkness. However, after she read my column she forced herself to place “Baruch Hashem” on her lips again.

After her letter appeared in The Jewish Press, the most beautiful phone call came to our Hineni office. It was from a gentleman who resides in Boro Park. “I would like to offer employment to that attorney,” he said. “Ask him to call me.” And he left his number.

In a climate where jobs are few and hard to find, to receive such a call is indeed a beautiful testimony to the chesed that was engraved on our hearts by our father Abraham and became part of our Jewish DNA.

Just stop and consider for a moment: Based on a letter in The Jewish Press, a man offers employment to a total stranger and leaves his telephone number. For all he knows, the man could be unstable and create problems in his office. Conventional wisdom dictates “Mind your own business; don’t get involved!” But this man chose to reject that and follow the ways of our Torah.

Now, the woman’s letter had been written anonymously. Most people who write of their personal problems are hesitant to reveal their names. I remembered, however, a very kind lady full of chesed telling me a similar story. After many years of service, her husband was let go and could not find employment. I had difficulty recalling her name. I meet countless people daily, and while I always remember their faces I have given up even attempting to remember their names. After some detective work, I did find a name and a number and made the call.

The woman who answered was overwhelmed by the news but – and here comes the big but – while the facts matched (her husband was an attorney and he had been searching for work for several years), she was not the woman who had written me the letter I published.

“I don’t know if I have the right to give this phone number to my husband,” she said, “since the Rebbetzin had someone else in mind. I would like to hear a decision from a rav as to whether my husband has the right to call this man for a position.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. Most people, if they found themselves in a similar situation, would happily grab the job and run with it.

Her words left me nonplussed. Who but the children of Avraham Avinu would be capable of such chesed in our selfish “me”-centered world?

I called the gentleman from Boro Park to express appreciation and give him berachas. He assured me it was his zechus, merit, to do what he did, and if there was anyone to thank, it was his wife, who inspired him to make that call.

How many men in today’s world would credit their wives? But this too is part of our Jewish DNA. Was it not our father Abraham who gave the ultimate praise to our mother Sarah when he said to the angels, “Behold, she resides in the tent of Torah.”

As I was writing this column, my brother, Rabbi Yonoson Binyamin, called. He was checking on me and wanted to know my level of pain. As always, we spoke about our saintly parents and he recalled a beautiful d’var Torah from our revered father, HaRav HaGaon Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l. In explaining why the Torah commences with the letter “beis” rather than “aleph,” our father taught that “beis” is two, and if you wish to have berachas, “hob in zeen” – bear in mind – the needs of the other.”

As the story I related above attests, the chesed of Am Yisrael endures and we have never forgotten d’ yukna shel aviv – the image of our saintly fathers.

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 “Our Jewish DNA”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukrane, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
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/our-jewish-dna/2012/06/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: