web analytics
April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


The Power Of A Grateful Heart


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

For several weeks now we’ve been discussing lack of gratitude – one of the most destructive forces in our society. When people think everything is coming to them, they become selfish, angry individuals. They do not know how to reciprocate. They do not know how to be grateful and, worse still, they become bitter and destructive elements in society. They make miserable sons, daughters and marriage partners. They have no regard for parents, grandparents, Torah teachers and the elderly.

They tell their parents, “I didn’t ask to be born – it’s your responsibility to take care of me.” Sadly, mom and dad fall into that trap. They try to cater to their children and are apologetic if they can’t quite meet their expectations. The children quickly discover they do not have to give or produce. They just have to whine and their desire for more and more will be satisfied.

On the other hand, those who grow up in the cradle of faith with a Torah attitude toward life respond much differently. No matter how agonizing the situation in which they find themselves, they summon fortitude. They do not become angry, nor do they crumble. For those who have faith, that flicker of light from Sinai keeps them going and gives them strength to go on even when they hit bottom.

I will now share an amazing story that will leave you with strength and hope. Place it in your heart and tell it to your children.

Many years ago Hashem granted me the privilege of launching Hineni – at Madison Square Garden, a first for the ba’al teshuvah movement. Among the thousands present that night was Shlomo Levin, the Israeli consul. Following the event he invited me to his office to meet with him.

“Rebbetzin,” Shlomo said, “I think our troops in Israel would greatly benefit from your message.”

I was taken aback. I should speak to the Israeli army about Torah? As much as I would have loved to do so, I couldn’t see myself in that position, so I demurred.

Unbeknownst to me, Shlomo had sent a publicity shot of me, microphone in hand, taken at the Garden, to the Israeli Army Entertainment Corps, and they mistakenly thought I was a singer. Some weeks later I received a call from army headquarters in Tel Aviv asking how many performances I was prepared to do. I did not know that they had no idea what I was all about. I was so moved by the fact that they had invited me that I had difficulty finding words. In a voice choked with tears, I accepted. However, after the initial excitement passed and reality set in, I realized I had many hurdles to overcome.

Prior to my speech at the Garden, there was a half hour of Jewish music and song to create a warm ambience. I wondered what kind of musical accompaniment I would have in Israel. And then, as if to show me that G-d had heard my thoughts, I received a call from a lawyer in Miami I had met when I spoke there and had the privilege of bringing back to the Torah way of life.

“Rebbetzin,” he said, “I hear you’re going to Israel. My sons and I would love to join you. Our hobby is jazz, but we’ll practice and pick up some Jewish songs. We would feel so honored to play for the soldiers.”

I would have much preferred a band proficient in Jewish music, but having no other options I convinced myself it might work and accepted their offer.

My first program was in Ramat David, one of the largest air force bases in Israel, and I must admit I was nervous. I had heard that Israeli audiences were tough.

The band was a great hit and they couldn’t wait for me, the “singer,” to begin my act. I froze in terror and wondered how I had ever allowed myself to get into this. I tried to keep my father’s blessing in mind: “Angels of mercy go with you, my precious child. May G-d give you the words to reach every heart.”

I heard my name announced and I wanted to run, but it was too late. I had no choice but to go on. “You are a Jew,” I told them in Hebrew. I began to relate the story of our people, of our covenant, of the Torah, or our long and painful saga, of our hopes and dreams, and of our return to the land of Israel after two thousand years in exile. As I looked out over the audience, I realized they were in shock. At first they didn’t know what to make of me, but then I noticed tears in many eyes. The spark from Sinai may have been dormant, but it never left their hearts.

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.

2 Responses to “The Power Of A Grateful Heart”

  1. Aryeh Sax says:

    She is a amazing person.

  2. Aryeh Sax says:

    This amazing person has survived hell in a death camp and inspired all who have heard her speak.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
George W. Bush in Jerusalem on May 14, 2008.
W’s Private Remarks to RJC Reveal Disagreements with Obama (SHOCKER)
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In her diary, Anne Frank wrote words that provided hope for a humanity faced with suffering.

Leff-042415

The Arizal taught this same approach, making the point that the Torah would never mention wicked people and their sins if there was not great depth involved from which we are to learn from.

Staum-042415

Humility is not achieved when all is well and life is peachy but rather when times are trying and challenging.

In order to be free of the negative consequences of violating a shvu’ah or a neder, the shvu’ah or neder themselves must be annulled.

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

He feared the people would have a change of heart and support Rechavam.

Ramifications Of A Printers Error
‘The Note Holder’s Burden of Proof’
(Kesubos 83b)

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)

In this case one could reason that by applying halach achar harov we could permit the forbidden bird as well.

“What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” my husband remarked. “Well, baruch Hashem we are safe, there was no accident, and I’m sure there is a good reason for everything that happened to us,” I mused.

The answer to this question is based on one of the greatest shortcomings of man – self-limiting beliefs.

Myth that niddah=dirty stopped many women from accepting laws of family purity and must be shattered

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rabbi Fohrman connects the metzora purification process with the korban pesach.

The day after Israel was declared a State, everyone recited Hallel and people danced in the streets.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

In every generation is the challenge to purge the culture of our exile from our minds and our hearts

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

I try to be observant, davening daily, but it hasn’t awakened my heart or my mind or changed my life

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

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

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/the-power-of-a-grateful-heart/2013/04/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: