web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



‘What’s Happening In The World? – I’m Afraid’


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Share Button

Special Note: I would like to thank the many people who have written expressing their appreciation for my series of columns titled “When Children Fall Through the Cracks.” I am most grateful for the overwhelming response and I hope everyone who wrote will understand that while I would have liked to publish all the letters, for the time being I am closing the discussion to focus on the many other subjects that have reached my desk.

The following are just two letters that convey the fear and worry people have regarding the rapidly deteriorating world situation.

Letter # 1: Fear of Tomorrow

Dear Rebbetzin:

The world is a scary place right now. The Middle East situation threatens our safety; our economy is nearer to collapse than many people would even imagine; natural disasters are hitting with alarming frequency and devastation, and being a Jew is more of an inherent risk, even in our “civilized” society, than it was before.

I’m just a regular frum woman struggling financially, trying to raise a family and terrified for the future of my children. What can we do? Clearly, Hashem is telling us something. Clearly, something is brewing, but I don’t know what to do with this knowledge. Many say to move to Eretz Yisrael. That’s not an option for everyone. I know the obvious answer is do teshuvah and daven. I know a FFB (frum from birth) woman is not supposed to say these kinds of things, but before and during the Holocaust many people, many mothers like myself, davened plenty and it didn’t save them or their children.

Maybe I am being childish and shallow and shortsighted, but when it comes to the safety of my family, I can’t stomach the “sometimes Hashem says no” line of reasoning. I want to know how to get a “yes” – how to make sure that whatever happens, we will be fed and warm and together and alive.

Spiritually, the world situation makes me feel farther from Hashem than ever. I feel small and helpless, doomed to go with the tide. I can see the writing on the wall and there is nowhere to run. Anyone I have tried to bring this up to, including my husband, either thinks I’m an alarmist and paranoid or gives me tired clichés that really don’t answer any of my specific concerns.

You, Rebbetzin, are a Holocaust survivor and have seen times like this before in your life, at least in some respects. You have a strong faith and are blessed to be able to see through some of the smog to a glimmer of truth and make it understandable to the masses. What can a frum mother with shaken faith and fear for the future do, in practical, realistic steps, to protect herself and her children from the turmoil brewing in the world and whatever it cooks up?

Letter # 2: From a Holocaust Survivor

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I hope you will get this letter. I have been told you only respond to e-mail, but I do not know how to write e-mails. I am eighty-five years old, and though my little great-grandchildren have no difficulty getting on the computer, I cannot get used to it. All this new technology bewilders me and makes me feel out of touch with this generation. I have shared my feelings with some of my friends, and they agree – we all feel so unintelligent, so lost in these times. Very often, my friends and I feel like has-beens, and that, I must say, that is not a pleasant feeling.

It’s not easy getting old, but I’m not complaining. I’m most grateful that I’m not, G-d forbid, in a hospital or a nursing home – that I’m here, alive and comparatively well, while most of my friends no longer are. I must add that I’m even grateful to Hashem that I am able to collect my thoughts and write this letter to you. I know very well that, sadly, not all people my age are able to do this. Nevertheless, I still feel frustrated, not only because of the technology, but because I feel my thoughts and concerns are dismissed.

Ours is a youth culture, and people have no respect for the elderly. When I speak, my children and grandchildren listen respectfully – but they dismiss my words and attribute everything that I say to my Holocaust experiences and my age. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression – they are good children, but I can see by their reactions that they don’t take me seriously. So let me share my worries with you.

I was born in Poland. My parents were wonderful people who were always kind and considerate of others.When the Holocaust began, we were all taken to Auschwitz. My parents and younger brothers were immediately taken to the gas chambers and my sister (three years younger than me) and I survived.

After our liberation, we were taken to a D.P. (displaced persons) camp where I met and married my beloved husband, a”h. We came to America in 1947. My sister, on the other hand, went to Israel and settled in Petach Tikva where she lives to this day. She is also a widow; her husband, a”h., passed away six years ago. She has two children – one lives in Tel Aviv and the other in Ranana.

Upon arriving in America, I was determined to learn English and educate myself. I wanted to become a productive person in my new environment. My husband and I built quite a successful business, which my children are now running, and I retired ten years ago. Sometimes I think I should have stayed in the business. My days are long – I have too much time to think – but then again, I realize that nowadays business transactions are done by computer, and that is a foreign world for me.

I follow the news regularly and, frankly, am terrified by what I read, see, and hear. I see pre-Holocaust Europe being repeated all over again and no one is paying attention. And now that Eretz Yisrael is being surrounded on all sides by Muslim terrorists who openly proclaim that their main agenda is to, heaven forbid, annihilate our people, I am overwhelmed by fear. It doesn’t leave me for a second!

When I speak to my sister (we call each other once a week) she expresses the same fears. And even as no one takes me seriously here and attributes all my worries to my Holocaust past, so she finds the same reaction to her worries in Eretz Yisrael. It seems that people who did not experience that gehenom first hand cannot understand – just like we couldn’t understand what was happening in Europe before the barbaric evil of the Nazis became a reality.

Rebbetzin, my fears do not leave me. I am not afraid for myself – I am already eighty-five – but I fear for my children and grandchildren and for all our Jewish people. So I am writing to you now because you too are a Holocaust survivor and you never hesitate to speak out. You are a woman of great faith, committed to our Torah and mitzvos and if there is anyone who can understand and give some guidance, it is surely you. I hope you will receive this letter and that you will respond to it through your column. Again, I emphasize that I’m not seeking this guidance for myself – I am old, but I am worried for our people.

(To be continued)

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “‘What’s Happening In The World? – I’m Afraid’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

We have windows of history, of Yom Tovim, but the dust continues to obscure our vision.

On Shabbos Zachor the Torah commands us to “Remember what Amalek did to you.”

We should invite divorced people into our homes for Shabbas and Yom tov.

I attended the recent Shabboton for frum divorced people and listened to your talk. You gave me hope to go on. I was very despondent when I came and went home considerably more upbeat. It was all due to your focus on “being a blessing.”

One can sigh with relief when the divorce is finalized but the heart is full and it aches with pain. Yes, there were conflicts. Yes, there was a cold war that made for a frigid atmosphere in the home. But loneliness is a very difficult thing to bear.

My ex despises me and is bent on destroying me. He has done everything to torture me.

The Torah tells us that ancient Egypt had 49 levels of contaminating impurities and Hashem wanted us out before the fiftieth would become viral.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/whats-happening-in-the-world-im-afraid-2/2011/03/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: