web analytics
August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Triumph Of The Spirit


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

I feel privileged to share with you the story of the creation of our new film, “Triumph of the Spirit.” For the longest time I have felt that there is a terrible void in Holocaust films and memorials. The epic story of the mesiras nefesh, the boundless sacrifice, that our people made in clinging to Torah and mitzvos – the devotion with which they served Hashem during one of the darkest moments in the annals of mankind has yet to be told.

I am most grateful to Hashem for granting me the merit of making a contribution, however small, in that direction and relating the story of my holy Zeide and Bubba, HaRav HaGaon HaTzaddik Yisroel HaLevi Jungreis and his Rebbetzin, H”YD, who were killed al Kiddush Hashem in Auschwitz, as well as the story of my holy parents, who, even in that horrific time, in the midst of savage brutality, tenaciously clung to Hashem, and lovingly kept the light of Torah burning in our hearts.

But allow me to begin at the beginning and share with you how all this came about. As many of you may be aware, our Hineni organization has a chapter in Yerushalayim. Our Israel branch is somewhat different in its thrust from our American program. In Yerushalayim, in addition to offering seminars, classes, shidduch opportunities and general outreach, we also address the sad reality of life in Israel.

We run a soup kitchen for the indigent and an outreach program for victims of terror. We take those who have been wounded in body and soul and try to imbue them with renewed strength and hope. We offer them visits to various European countries where the local Jewish communities host and honor them.

At the same time, we provide job training and counseling, and in time of crisis, such as during the period of the war in the North, when Kassam rockets rained down day and night on our brethren in the Galil, we brought countless families to Jerusalem. We provided them with food, shelter, Torah study and schooling for their children, and more recently, we have been hosting our brethren from Sderot.

This year the director of our Hineni Israel Chapter, Benjamin Philip, introduced yet another project. He acquired the exclusive rights to the Anne Frank exhibit, which was hitherto housed in Amsterdam, Holland. We were deeply honored at this opportunity to memorialize the life of this beautiful, sensitive young soul who suffered so much and whose poignant diary captured the imagination of the world.

At the same time however, I was once again reminded of the painful void that exists in the memorials for out holy martyrs. Their burning faith that was more powerful than the fires that raged in the crematoria, had yet to be related. “They were swifter than eagles and stronger than lions to fulfill the will of their Creator.” Through their abiding, immutable faith, they transcended the barbaric inhumanity of their tormentors, sanctified the Name of G-d, and gave life to a new generation of Torah committed Jews.

The Nazis were able to rob them of their homes, strip them of their rights, torture them with starvation and constant beatings . they could shove them into gas chambers, incinerate their bodies, but they could not snuff out their Yiddishe neshamos.

Over the years, I have often written and spoken about this, and time and again shared these thoughts with my children and grandchildren. And now, as if on cue, my granddaughter, Shaindy Wolff Eisenberg, who, Baruch Hashem, lives a beautiful Torah life with her family in Jerusalem, and who conducts many of our Hineni programs, called me with an idea.

Bubba,” she said, “if we are to have an Anne Frank exhibit, why don’t you create a parallel exhibit to relate all the stories about Zeide and Mamma, and all the Kedoshim, holy people, who gave their lives al Kiddush Hashem? You really must do it, Bubba,” she went on to say. “Whenever I heard you speak, I thought about it, but now, the time has come. There’s a whole new generation out there that doesn’t know, that has to be taught to understand and remember.”

And so it was that “The Triumph of the Spirit” was born. We premiered the film last week at our annual Hineni Dinner and the reaction was beyond anything we could have anticipated. Young and old, secular and religious, were all equally affected. There was an overwhelming demand to have the film seen by everyone. I am pleased to share with you that we plan to do just that.

B’Ezrat Hashem, on Tuesday evening, September 22, during Aseres Y’mei Teshuvah, we will have a showing of the film for the general public (at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on 85th and Lexington). To assure your place, you can reserve now by calling our Hineni office (212-496-1660) or e-mailing us at hineni@hineni.org.

As I write these lines, I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I was invited to address the beautiful Jewish community. We decided to bring a copy of the film with us. My first speech was to college-age young people, most of whom were secular. A large hall had been reserved for the occasion, and in no time at all, it was filled to capacity, but the young people kept coming until there was no place to even stand.

In Buenos Aires the language spoken is Spanish – our film is in English. I wondered how they would react. Would they be able to follow it? Would they lose interest? But from the opening moment, a silence descended on the audience. I looked out at the beautiful young faces – their eyes were glistening with tears. The “pintele Yid” that lies dormant in every neshamah was reignited.

At the end of the film, the young people approached me declaring their determination to walk on the path of Torah and give new life to the legacy of the holy martyrs. Can such a transformation occur instantaneously? Can people change so radically in an instant?

Of course they can, because they are not changing – they are not transforming. They are just returning to their true selves – the invincible pintele Yid that is always there, forever waiting to be rekindled.

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 “Triumph Of The Spirit”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Jewish and Muslim bless a crowd of hundreds at a special prayer rally at Gush Etzion junction.
Jews, Arabs Unite to Underline Co-existence in Gush Etzion
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

By internalizing the Exodus, it is as if we ourselves were redeemed from Egypt.

Neihaus-073115

Each Shabbos we add the tefilla of “Ritzei” to Birchas HaMazon. In it we ask Hashem that on this day of Shabbos He should be pleased with us and save us. What exactly do we want to be saved from? Before we answer this question, let’s talk about this Friday, the 15th of Av. Many […]

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Amongst the greatest disagreements in Judaism is the understanding of the 1st of the 10 Commandments

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Day He Heard
‘One May Seek Revocation Of A Confimation’
(Nedarim 69a)

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Six events occurred on Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

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)

Snow in Jerusalem! For many New Englanders like me, snow pulls at our nostalgic heartstrings like nothing else can.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

Perhaps the admonition here is that we should not trivialize the events of the past by saying that they are irrelevant to the modern Jew.

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

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/triumph-of-the-spirit/2009/06/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: