web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Two Little Words That Go So Far (Part Two)

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Please note: My column was written prior to the tragic news of our three beautiful boys, our three precious sons.

Mah nomar u’mah nedaber – there are no words, no consolation, only tears.

Our hearts are one with the families; know that you are not alone.

We and all of Am Yisrael feel your pain.

Hashem Yerachem Aleinu.

 

* * * * *

Last week I shared a letter I received expressing gratitude from a woman who had benefited many years ago from our work at Hineni.

Why did I consider it unusual? Don’t people say “thank you” all the time? I’d like to say the answer is yes, or even yes and no, but my experience has shown that very often it is no. Not because people are mean-hearted or nasty. It’s just that it doesn’t occur to them to say it.

Ours is a culture of entitlement. The prevalent attitude is “it’s coming to me; you owe it to me.” In striking contrast, hakaras hatov, gratitude, is one of the main pillars of our faith. Saying a heartfelt “thank you” has no limits. Nor is there an expiration date on it. Thousands of years have passed since our Exodus but to this day at the Seder we thank G-d for every detail of our liberation from Egypt. It may have occurred millennia ago but our indebtedness and gratitude to G-d remain forever.

I am not suggesting that all people are ingrates. There are many who say “thank you” with heartfelt sincerity. But there are many more who accept favors with an attitude of entitlement and feel no reason to display gratitude.

The rationale is simple. If I’m not indebted, I can chose my own way and do my own thing. I’m not bound to anyone. I’m not obligated in anyway.

That attitude has played a major role in the disintegration of the family. You listen to the language that has become acceptable in most households and you shudder with revulsion. If you don’t, it’s only because you’ve gotten used to it.

There are numerous regulations in the Torah that pertain to our relationship with our fathers and mothers. But we are too busy to look at those “atavistic” teachings. We pride ourselves on our scientific and technological know-how. But what good is our ability to reach the moon when we have yet to learn how to reach the heart?

The Torah places honor of parents on the same side of the tablet where our relationship with G-d is declared. There’s a reason for that. If children do not know how to relate to their parents respectfully, they won’t be able to relate to G-d either.

Perhaps now you can better understand why I shared that letter last week. I could write volumes regarding the people who come to my office angry and bitter. “I prayed and G-d let me down,” they say. “What’s the use? I can’t believe in Him anymore. I’m through.”

And there are young people who come to complain about their parents not giving them the financial support they feel is their due. Shalom bayis goes flying out the window when mother and father can’t deliver. This attitude is, of course, antithetical to our Torah way of life.

Hebrew, the holy tongue, is the language of G-d. If we could just focus on the meaning of the words they would give us great insight and understanding. The words for thanks or gratitude, modeh and todah, also mean “to admit.” When we say “thank you” we admit our indebtedness –we acknowledge that kindness and help have been extended to us. It is an admission from the heart that says, loud and clear, “we are grateful.”

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 “Two Little Words That Go So Far (Part Two)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Chaye Zissel Braun Grave
Funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun [photos]
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

Noah and his wife could not fathom living together as husband and wife and continuing the human race

Rabbi Sacks

The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit

Bible1

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The creation of the world is described twice. Each description serves a unique purpose.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

To the surprise of our protectzia-invested acquaintances, my family has thrived in our daled amos without that amenity, b’ezras Hashem.

Shimon started adjusting the branches on the roof. In doing so, a branch fell off the other side of the car and hit the side-view mirror, cracking it.

I, the one who is housed inside this body, am completely and utterly spiritual.

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Shammai Did Not Follow Their Own Ruling’
(Yevamos 13b 14a)

If one hurts another human being, God is hurt; if one brings joy to another, God is more joyous.

I’m grateful to Hashem for everything; Just the same, I’d love a joyous Yom Tov without aggravation.

Bereshit: Life includes hard choices that challenge our decisions, leaving lingering complications.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

What does Hashem want of us? That we should protect each other and the awesome heritage He gave us.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/two-little-words-that-go-so-far-part-two/2014/07/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: