web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



The Cat from Jerusalem

"In New York I partied almost every night and the next day I didn’t feel good about myself. But here, after spending the night at the Wall, I feel an exhilaration."
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Soon after I established our Hineni organization I started taking a group to Israel every summer. People of various backgrounds joined us – mostly secular.

One year we had a gregarious young woman named Beth with us who was loads of fun and kept everyone laughing. Every day we rose at the crack of dawn to tour and at midnight we would go to the Kotel. No small feat – considering we were all exhausted. But no one complained. As a matter of fact, our nightly visits to the Wall became the highlight of our trip. But why at midnight? There is a tradition that King David would place his harp on his terrace and at midnight as the winds of Jerusalem blew they would caress the strings of the harp and the harp would begin to play, beckoning the king to write his immortal psalms.

David’s harp may have disappeared in the sands of time but the winds of Jerusalem continue to blow, and if you know how to concentrate, if you know how to listen with your heart, at midnight at the Wall you can still hear the sweet music of David’s harp.

At that magic hour there are certain regulars who can be found at the Wall. I guess they can best be described as the guardians of this holy place. Among them was a Sephardic Jew who in an eerie but powerful voice cried out, “Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad.” He drew out each syllable of each word until it penetrated our souls.

And then there was an old man dressed in white who sat on the floor mourning and crying for our holy Temple which is no more. His cries pierced our hearts and we hoped that on the wings of his supplications our prayers might also ascend and reach the Throne of G-d.

Beth had her own way of describing our nightly visits to the Kotel. “It’s strange, but in New York I partied almost every night and the next day I didn’t feel good about myself. But here, after spending the night at the Wall, I feel an exhilaration, a spiritual energy that enables me to keep going the entire day without difficulty.”

Beth was not only a people person, she was also an animal lover. One evening as we dined at one of Jerusalem’s outdoor restaurants she received an added dividend. Jerusalem abounds with multitudes of stray cats and if you are dining al fresco you are sure to be visited by one of them.

There are a variety of opinions as to how these cats came to the Holy City. Some claim they were imported by the British during the mandate to combat an epidemic of mice while others say the cats are reincarnations of souls that were sent to Jerusalem to do penance for their sins. Whatever you wish to believe, the fact is Jerusalem has a huge number of street cats.

That night when we were having dinner outdoors, a little kitten came to visit our table. Beth immediately fell in love. She fed the kitten, held it in her arms, and decided to take it back to our hotel. But as we walked, the kitten jumped out of Beth’s arms and disappeared into the darkness of the night. Beth was devastated. She felt guilty that she had removed the cat from its natural habitat and feared for its survival. After all, it was only a kitten.Rebbetzin-111513-Cat

In honor of the Sabbath our group returned to the Kotel. A multitude of people converged there, Jews from every part of the world speaking a variety of languages and dialects, each singing in his own tune but each singing the same song. “Lecha Dodi – Come my beloved, let us welcome the Sabbath Bride.” Beth rushed to the Wall and among her many prayers she asked for the return of her kitten.

Following our prayers we made our way back to the hotel. We were all immersed in our thoughts and overtaken by the awesome beauty of Jerusalem. After a half hour’s walk, when we finally reached the hotel, an incredible sight greeted us. There, sitting at the entrance, was Beth’s kitten. If we hadn’t seen it with our own eyes we would never have believed it. Overjoyed, Beth took the kitty to her room and fed it.

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.

One Response to “The Cat from Jerusalem”

  1. I met plenty of really nice friendly cats in Israel and two that I fell in love with. Cats do think and evaluate and they are able to give love. "What greater gift than the love of a cat"

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Captain Or Cohen
IDF Selects First Female Commander of Navy Ship
Latest Judaism Stories
Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah

Yitzhak called you Esav and you answered him, then he called you Yaakov and you also answered him!”

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/the-cat-from-jerusalem/2013/11/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: