web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Yahrzeit: a Time to Remember (2)

Whatever pain or challenge assails us, the parshah of the week will always guide and comfort us.
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Last week I shared some memories of my saintly father, HaRav HaGaon HaTzaddik Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, that are always with me, especially on the day of his yahrzeit.

There are no coincidences in the world. There are no random happenings. The date of our birth and the date of our death are decreed from Above. When I remember a yahrzeit I also recall the shiva. One flows into the other and they remain forever connected.

It was on Parashas Vayigash that I sat down on that little stool and I, who always try to give comfort to others, was desperately in need of comforting. My tatte was not there. He was not there to console me with his healing words. Many years ago I heard Rav Solevitchik, zt”l, speak at his mother’s yahrzeit commemoration. No one, he said, can rejoice at your accomplishments as your mother and father, and once they are gone there is no one to take pride in your achievements.

I have often taught that whatever pain or challenge assails us, the parshah of the week will always guide and comfort us. And so I ask myself, What words of consolation can I find in Vayigash? And suddenly the words jump out. They comfort me. They embrace me with love. My father is at my side. I hear his voice. I see him point to the immortal words in the parshah, “kenafsho keshuro benafsho – the soul of the father is bound to the soul of the child,” and they will forever be engraved upon my heart.

It was the end of the war, 1945. We were taken from the concentration camp to Switzerland. I vividly recall the day we crossed the border. We were carefully examined by medical personnel to determine if we were carriers of some infectious disease or whether we were infested with lice. All of us, adults as well as children, were scrutinized individually. When they came to take my younger brother he became terrified. Memories of his experiences haunted him. In his mind’s eye he saw the Nazis tearing him from my mother’s arms. He let out an agonizing cry in Yiddish: Mommy, mommy, please don’t let them take me away. I promise I will be a good boy.”

For the rest of her life my mother remembered that scene. It encapsulated for her our unfathomable nightmare and she would cry over it again and again.

We desperately needed to heal and live like a family again but it was not to be. The Swiss placed us in DP camps and separated us from our parents. I was taken to a place in the French-speaking part of Switzerland while my older brother was placed in the German-speaking part and my parents and younger brother were in still another place.

The healing process for which we so desperately yearned was nowhere in sight. The school/camp where I was placed had very strict rules. At night it was always lights out, even though we were afraid to sleep in the dark. We all had horrible dreams. My parents came to visit as often as they were allowed.

I remember one occasion when my father came and I broke down and cried bitterly. My friend and roommate had left for Eretz Yisrael. She was an orphan who had witnessed the murder of her parents, and the British, who had slapped a strict quota on the number of Jews permitted to enter Palestine, gave orphans priority. I was left alone in the room and when my nightmares came my cries were lost in the hollow darkness. There was no voice to reassure me.

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 “Yahrzeit: a Time to Remember (2)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tourist injured by Muslim mob on Temple Mount on August 4, 2015
Arabs Beat Up Tourist on Temple Mount [video]
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/yahrzeit-a-time-to-remember-2/2013/12/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: