web analytics
January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


The Gift Of Unity


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

During the past several weeks I have shared many of my own personal experiences and those of others. I am referring not only to my recent hospitalization following the breaking of a hip, but also to my series of articles on hashgachah pratis – events that befall us that can easily be attributed to random happenings but upon closer scrutiny and honest introspection testify to the ever-guiding Hand and mercy of Hashem.

In this column I will share yet another hashgachah pratis occurrence.

This past year our Hineni organization expanded its activities and established a young leadership program for Sephardic youth. Before I embarked on my Pesach schedule, we designated a date for a Young Leadership Sephardic/Ashkenazic Shabbaton.

This event was supposed to take place at the end of May, but my presence and participation became questionable after I had my accident.

Nevertheless, I was determined to be there and Hashem granted me that privilege. So while my first public address following my surgery took place at Hineni’s 40th Anniversary Dinner celebration, this Sephardic/Ashkenazic Shabbaton would mark my first Shabbos program.

The event was scheduled to take place at a hotel in Connecticut, not too far from New York but far enough for me. Little things that under normal circumstances one would never consider, like sitting in a car for two hours or finding a place for one’s swollen legs, all became challenges. My mother, Rebbetzin Miriam Jungreis of blessed memory, would always quip in Yiddish, “Far ah kranker – for someone who is not feeling well, no matter how and where you place them, it’s never comfortable.” And that was very much my situation that erev Shabbos.

Just the same, I was determined to go and was so worried about getting there on time that I managed to overlook my aches and pains without making a stop so that we might get there on time.

Two hundred young people, representing Hineni and Go Sephardic, had signed up. To me, that itself was inspiring. At our Hineni classes on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I always feel uplifted when I look out at the audience and see how Jews from every segment of our population – from secular to strictly observant, Ashkenazim to Sephardim, young to old – are all there, united in a desire to study Torah. And now I felt strengthened and buoyed by this very special Shabbos that would unite our beautiful Sephardic and Ashkenazic young people.

As our car pulled up to the hotel, I noticed some chassidim pulling up as well. Could it be, I wondered, that our committee wanted to surprise me and invited some chassidim to participate? But then, as more and more chassidim arrived, I realized something else was happening.

“Are you having a convention here?” I asked in Yiddish.

“No,” came the reply. “We are here for a private family event.”

When I found out what that “family event” was, my eyes became moist with tears of joy. These chassidim had come to the hotel to celebrate the 90th birthday of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a survivor of Auschwitz, and the family had gathered to give her berochos and naches on this momentous occasion.

When I learned that this survivor of Hitler’s concentration was surrounded by 400 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I was simply overwhelmed. As many of you know, I too am a survivor of Hitler’s Holocaust, and for me this was not only a declaration of triumph over the Nazis, but grand testimony to the eternity of our people – an eternity that no force, no power on earth, can ever destroy.

The celebration took on an even greater dimension Shabbos afternoon. The family dedicated a Sefer Torah in honor of “Mama/Bubba.” It was a scene to behold. There was Bubba, seated in a wheelchair, her face covered by a veil in honor of the Sefer Torah, as four hundred children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren danced around her with the Sefer Torah they were dedicating in her honor.

Through that hachnassas Sefer Torah, all of us who were present – Sephardim, Ashkenazim, Satmar chassidim – became one. If you just think about it, you too will feel chills running up and down your spine.

But the story doesn’t quite end there. That afternoon I gave my Torah shiur and our new chassidic friends all joined us. My heart burst with gratitude. All my pain, all my discomfort, left me. I had no difficulty standing for over an hour.

“Thank you Hashem, for this magical gift,” I whispered again and again. How awesome, that at this first Shabbos gathering following my surgery, Hashem granted me the zechus to teach Torah to our people, who coalesced into one. This very thought took me back to Mt. Sinai, when G-d gave us His Torah and we stood in His presence as “one man with one heart.”

How wondrous that at this very first Shabbos event following my agonizing time, I was able to share Torah with people who represented the majestic panorama of Am Yisrael.

In these terrifying times we must bear in mind that our greatest powerhouse of protection and blessing is achdus – unity among Jews. There is nothing more precious to Hashem than seeing His children united.

Let us not forget that in the generation of Dovid HaMelech the people were meticulous in their observance of mitzvos, but just the same they were doomed and failed in battle.

On the other hand, evil King Achav, an idol worshiper, was granted success. What was the secret behind this failure and victory? Despite its dedication to mitzvos, the generation of Dovid was fragmented by divisiveness and jealousy. On the other hand, Achav’s generation, despite its idolatry, was united by brotherly love – and in front of the Throne of Hashem, that unity outweighs all else.

Why can’t we learn that simple lesson? Thousands of years have passed since the destruction of our Temple – a cataclysm caused by jealousy and hatred – and we have yet to learn the simple truth that Ahavat Yisrael is the most precious gift we can offer our Heavenly Father.

It is a gift that guarantees our protection from all evil and suffering. How simple – and yet so hard.

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 “The Gift Of Unity”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hassnain Aliamin , one of four Muslim teenagers who attacked a Jew in Gateshead.
‘Let’s Go Jew-Bashing’ Muslims Hauled into British Court
Latest Judaism Stories
Tissot_The_Waters_Are_Divided

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Parshat Bo

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

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)

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.

The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”

Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory

Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus

Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.

I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

“Surely,” my family insisted, “there must be someone suitable for you. You can’t be so picky.”

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Shouldn’t we Jews, having experienced the barbarism of many societies, speak support the NYPD?

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

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

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/the-gift-of-unity/2012/06/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: