web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Sharing The Pain

People all over the world are conveying their prayers and expressing their appreciation for my decision to share my personal trials in a public forum.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Over the past few weeks I’ve received numerous e-mails from people all over the world conveying their prayers and expressing their appreciation for my decision to share my personal trials in a public forum. They all felt strengthened and inspired.

I know beyond a doubt that it is in the zechus – the merit – of those prayers that Hashem has granted me miraculous recoveries. Prayer is the power that can open the Heavenly Gates. Prayer can make miracles happen even in the face of the most dismal prognoses. And if at first we do not succeed and feel our prayers are in vain, we need only follow the guidance of King David, who taught us to place our hope and trust in G-d, to never give up, to never tire of praying.

Over the years I have discovered that people are happy to share their successes and achievements but are reluctant to expose their struggles and failures. I can certainly understand that, yet there are times when it is important to share so that others might gain courage, inspiration, hope and the fortitude necessary to go on.

At one time or another, dark days assail each of us – days when we are convinced we can no longer go on. At such times it strengthens us to know that someone else has walked on the same path – and may have even fallen into potholes but survived.

When I was a young girl my revered father, HaRav HaGaon Abraham HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, taught me a lesson I shall never forget: “Whenever difficulty besets you, it is not a random happening. It was given to you so that you might grow, become stronger and share your experiences with others.”

He went onto to say, “When someone has pain you must become more sensitive to that pain. You must feel what they feel, cry with them, and be one with them.” My father not only taught me this lesson, he lived by it. He would shed tears when he saw someone suffering. He actually saw the anguish in a person’s heart. And he would take on their torment as if it was his own.

I remember one occasion when my father was visiting our congregation in North Woodmere, Long Island, for a Chanukah celebration. In the midst of the large crowd there was a widow who had lost her son over a year before. My father came over to me and asked in Yiddish, “Why is that woman so sad? Why do I see such pain in her eyes? What is the heavy burden she is carrying in her heart?”

How could my father have possibly known? He had never seen her before. He was unaware of her history. How did he pick her out in a room of several hundred people? I told my father her story and tears flowed from his eyes. He felt her pain and he whispered to me, “Bring her over to me, I want to talk to her.” The ten or fifteen minutes my father spent with her changed her forever.

My husband, HaRav Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, was just like my father. He too felt each person’s pain. I will never forget the story of Mike and Shirley. Their only child had been killed in a horrible car accident. They were not members of our congregation. We did not know them, but that did not make a difference. When my husband heard about the accident he immediately went to their house. He spent a great deal of time with them, visiting them every day during the shiva period.

Sometime later, while shopping in a supermarket, I bumped into Mike. “Rebbetzin,” he said, “I must tell you that if it hadn’t been for your husband, Shirley and I would never had made it. Please convey our appreciation to him.”

That evening I told my husband of my chance encounter. “Mike is so grateful to you,” I said. “What exactly did you tell him that he found so helpful?” My husband just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. “Nothing. What could I have possibly said? What could anyone say under such circumstances?”

A few weeks later Mike called and asked if he and Shirley could come over to visit with us. We set a date for the following Sunday night. When Mike and Shirley rang our doorbell my husband was still at the synagogue and I thought to myself that this would be the perfect time to find out exactly what had transpired during those shiva nights.

“Mike,” I asked, “do you remember when you told me how comforting the rabbi had been? What did he actually say? Can you recall his words?” Mike swallowed hard and said, “Nothing. I know it sounds crazy, Rebbetzin, but it was really nothing – that is, nothing I can quote.” He must have noticed the puzzled look on my face. “When the rabbi entered our house,” he explained, “he walked straight up to me, put his arms around me, and then” – Mike’s voice broke with emotion – “he cried with me.”

Mike paused for a moment. “Rebbetzin,” he said, “no one else cried with me like that except for Shirley. The rabbi came every night and he took on my pain. I will never forget it as long as I live.”

Then Shirley added, “Do you know what I think made all difference? He did not have to say ‘I’m sorry’ – we felt he was sorry. He did not know us, yet he knew us better than our closest friends. He took us into his heart and we felt it. Just knowing he was there made it easier. He’s the most compassionate man we have ever met.”

Such identification with someone else’s pain and tragedy can only come from experiencing your own pain – and from reverencing G-d. It is reverence for Hashem that can render a human being merciful and compassionate in the sense that G-d is merciful and compassionate. When belief in the Almighty is absent, a vacuum is left in the heart – and that vacuum is filled with the selfishness our society promotes. Sadly, ours is an entitlement culture. We want and we want some more, and we are never satisfied. And our eyes and ears are closed to the pain of others.

(To Be Continued)

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 “Sharing The Pain”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Masked Palestinian youth burn tires and throw stones in Joseph's Tomb. (archives)
Arabs Imitate Ancient Greeks and Vandalize Joseph’s Tomb
Latest Judaism Stories
Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Prayer is our language: Hakol kol Yaakov – the voice is the voice of Jacob – the voice of prayer.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

When art and evil are intermingled, evil is elevated and made acceptable.

In BB, he said “You, my children are the angels of Shabbos and the licht are your beautiful eyes.”

Why does Hebrew refer to mothers-in-law as “sunshine” when society often calls them the opposite?

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

The call of the shofar is eternal. It is not musical. Its magnetic allurement cannot be explained.

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 […]

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/sharing-the-pain/2012/12/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: