web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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.

I told my father how afraid I was and he enveloped me in his arms, held me tight and said, “Lichtige kind meinz – my precious light, Hashem is always with you and Mommy and I are always with you; there is nothing to be afraid of.” And with that he took out a piece of paper and wrote those words from the parshah, kenafsho keshuro benafsho – the soul of the father is bound to the soul of the child.”

I have told this story to my children and grandchildren. They know it well. Whenever I give them a gift or write them a letter I always it sign it with those words, The soul of the parent is bound to the soul of the child.” I tell them, “It’s a gift that Zaida left for each and every one of you. He’s in Shamayim but he sees you and hears your voices. He comes to your simchas. He’s at your side on that joyous walk to the chuppah. He blesses you. He davens for you. He holds you tight. You are never alone.”

My father’s message speaks not only to me but to each one of us. Our departed fathers and mothers and grandfathers and grandmothers are always at our side. We need only invite them and they will walk with us on life’s rough road.

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Candy-laden bulletin board greets children on their first day of school in the lobby of an Efrat apartment building. Sept. 1, 2014.
The message reads:
"To our dear children ... may it be a year of fun and happiness in your studies." 
Did You Know September 1 is an Israeli National Holiday?
Latest Judaism Stories
shofar+kotel

If you had an important court date scheduled – one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life – you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand. On Rosh Hashanah, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will […]

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

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

More Articles from Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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.

Gratitude=Great Attitude. Appreciation is always appropriate.

The two words “thank you” have no time expiration; even if spoken after many years they’re as potent as ever.

Let us shake the heavens. Let us not stop until our boys and all our people are liberated from bondage.

Loving-kindness can cure the anger and bitterness in our poisonous world.

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: