web analytics
September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Purim Afterthoughts


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Purim is the one Yom Tov all Jews can celebrate. Special knowledge is not required and the demands of its observance are easy enough.

There are no restrictions, no prohibitions; we are simply called upon to rejoice and listen to the megillah with its story of the miraculous salvation of our people despite the evil designs of Haman. We exchange gifts, give tzedakah to the poor, dress up in costumes and celebrate at a festive seudah. In short, on Purim, we can experience joy without bounds; we need only plunge into it.

On Purim, the front door to my house, normally closed, is wide open. It simply takes too much time to respond to each ringing of the doorbell. As in all Jewish neighborhoods, young b’nei Torah come collecting for their yeshivas and people of all ages and backgrounds come soliciting for their various tzedakahs.

When the yeshiva boys come to my house and announce which school they are collecting for, I make a demand of them. “Not so fast,” I say. “Make it freilich. Let me hear a good song. Let me see a good dance. Give me a little d’var Torah. Come to the table. I have some cake there so that you can make a berachah and I can say ‘Amen!’”

We talk. I inquire about their families, where they reside, etc. I learned this from my revered father, HaRav HaGaon Avraham Halevi Jungreis, zt”l, who was never content with just greeting people but always engaged every person in conversation and gave him a berachah.

As a young rebbetzin with small babies, I spoke daily at the Pineview Hotel in the Catskills during the summer months. I had the great zechus to have my parents with me every Shabbos. I am not exaggerating when I say it would take us over an hour to make our exit from the dining room, as my father would stop at every table and speak with every individual, giving each a blessing. That awesome legacy left an indelible impression on my soul.

I love all my Yiddishe kinderlach. They are proof positive that Am Yisrael continues to live and thrive. These are Yiddishe neshamalach who devote this day not only to celebrations with their families and friends but to going door to door raising funds for Torah institutions.

Of course, one needs to be wary. This year, a Hispanic-looking man wearing a yarmulke came through my door and announced he was collecting money for himself and his family. He explained that they were in dire need of support.

As I mentioned, I always have a tray of cake on the table and invite all those who come in to make a berachah. On my counter I also happened to have some food I was preparing. Without asking, this man went to the counter and helped himself to the food.

“I didn’t hear you make a berachah,” I said. “I always like to say ‘Amen.’”

He ignored me and just went on eating. I became suspicious and doubted he was a Jew.

“Do you know how to say ‘hello’ in Hebrew?” I asked.

“No,” he replied.

“Do you know what we do as we enter and depart from a house?”

This time he answered “yes,” placing his hand on his lips and making some kissing sounds in the direction of the door.

“What is this called?” I asked, pointing to the mezuzah.

“I don’t know,” he said.

“I don’t think you’re a Jew,” I said. You just want to collect money from Jews.”

Before sending the man on his way I told him, “I will give you a few dollars because it is Purim and we are a compassionate people. But please don’t try to take advantage of our goodness in this way again.”

May Hashem grant that next year we will all celebrate in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh, where we will eternally celebrate Purim even when Mashiach comes. May we see him soon in our own day.

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 “Purim Afterthoughts”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Keeping-Jerusalem
Marching On Toward Full Unification
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Happiness is not the central value of the Torah. Occurring ten times more is the word “simcha,” JOY

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

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)

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

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/purim-afterthoughts/2012/03/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: