web analytics
December 23, 2014 / 1 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Comforting The Afflicted: The Life Of Rebbetzin Chana Weinberg


Weisbord-022412-Weinberg

It is hard to believe that it has already been nearly a month since the petirah of my Bubby, Rebbetzin Chana Weinberg, a”h. We are left without the presence of a tireless advocate for Torah Judaism, particularly those unable to advocate for themselves. We are left without a regal presence. Raised by two Torah giants, Rav Yaakov Yitzchok and Rebbetzin Feige Ruderman, zt”l, and eishes chayil to another, Rav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, zt”l, Bubby was a person who was able to convey a profound message with a look, a gesture, or a word that could change someone’s perspective forever. We are left without an individual who did not know the meaning of the word ‘impossible’, who did not shirk even when tackling issues of a magnitude so great that nobody before her had even attempted to address them. She changed our world forever and we are not the same without her.

Rebbetzin Weinberg’s eldest daughter related how, when helping her mother fill out a form for worker’s compensation after a work-related injury, one question asked her to define the impact of the injury on her life. The Rebbetzin answered that the injury left her unable to do half of what she wanted to do. Her daughter, incredulous, asked her, “How can you say that? This year alone you’ve established three safe houses for women, traveled to another three cities to help start bikur cholim organizations, started a Jewish hospice program and established a home for Jewish developmentally disabled adult men!” The Rebbetzin looked at her daughter and said, “That’s exactly half of what I wanted to accomplish.”

Her drive to fill the needs of the Jewish community was something within her even as a young woman. Mrs. Mandelbaum of Philadelphia, a native of Baltimore, related that in the 1940’s there was no Bais Yaakov school and frum girls had no form of recreation in a Jewish environment. The Rebbetzin, then a young married woman, enlisted two of her friends to run groups for the teenage girls on Shabbos, Motzei Shabbos, and Sunday afternoons. In this way, the girls were able to use their leisure time in a wholesome way and develop their connection to Judaism at the same time.

This was a woman who was fearless, undaunted by obstacles that would stop most people from pursuing their plans. As Rebbetzin Weinberg began hearing from women of all ages about abusive situations, she was determined to do something about it. She asked her revered father if such things occurred in Europe. He told her that indeed they did occur. “And what did people do about it?” she wanted to know. “We closed the shutters,” he replied. “Well, I’m going to open those shutters.”

And open them she did. Thanks to her efforts, domestic violence is now on the national Jewish agenda. But she didn’t stop with simply raising awareness, difficult as that was in the face of the denial and ignorance of 30 years ago. The Rebbetzin opened safe houses across the country, trained volunteers to provide emotional, physical and financial support and always made herself available for comfort, advice, and direction.

While communal issues were always important, Rebbetzin Weinberg never lost sight of the individual. She cared about the needs of every Jew. Someone recalled an incident that occurred when the Rebbetzin spoke at a Torah Umesorah convention many years ago. A woman in the audience coughed incessantly throughout the Rebbetzin’s talk. While others in the room were annoyed, Rebbetzin Weinberg said nothing and, after she finished speaking, brought a cup of tea to the cougher and urged her to take care of herself.

Rebbetzin Weinberg never expected anything in return for the efforts she expended on behalf of others. She used to relate a story from her childhood that in her mind was the source of this valuable lesson: When she was a young girl, there was a stray cat in her neighborhood that she fed daily. One day, with no provocation, the cat lunged at her and scratched her. As she ran crying into the house, she recalls her grandfather saying to her, “Sometimes this happens with people, as well. You do for others because it is the right thing to do, and know that sometimes you will get scratched.” This became a lesson that she internalized and that stayed with her through all the years of her mesiras nefesh for the Klal.

She was an innovator, ahead of her time in many ways. As a teacher in Hebrew school, Rebbetzin Weinberg was given “the tough class” one year. Today, those students probably would be diagnosed with learning disabilities or ADD. Using her own methods, that currently are the standard for special education, she managed to teach her students the basics of Judaism and Hebrew. Along the same lines, she faced another impossible chinuch situation. The Rebbetzin and her husband went weekly to a small town in Maryland, a two and a half hour drive each way, to teach the members of the community about yiddishkeit. The Rebbetzin’s job was to teach the children. Several education experts told her that, since she was going only once a week, she should forget about teaching Hebrew and concentrate on telling stories about people from Tanach. Rebbetzin Weinberg thought otherwise. She believed that if the children learned to read Hebrew and to be able to follow along in a siddur, they would always be comfortable in a shul and that comfort level would keep them connected to Jewish life. Indeed, she taught these children to read Hebrew and even how to lein from the Torah, and many have told us that those classes kept them from assimilating.

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 “Comforting The Afflicted: The Life Of Rebbetzin Chana Weinberg”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
What happened to the Internet access? (illustrative)
Plot Thickens in Sony Pictures North Korea Hack Attack Saga
Latest News Stories
What happened to the Internet access? (illustrative)

The plot thickens as North Korea’s Internet apparently goes offline, and Anonymous hackers enter the Sony cyber saga.

The terrorists who firfebombed a public bus in 1988 mixed glue with the gasoline to make sure the victims would suffer maximum pain

Three Arab wannabe teen terrorists are arrested in a firebombing attack on Border Guard police officers near Jerusalem.

The Mamilla shopping mall in Jerusalem at evening time.

An “out of control” sanitation truck in Glasgow struck a crowd of shoppers Monday and ended their holiday preparations.

Driver shouting “Allahu Akbar” plows into pedestrian in third such attack in France in 3 days

The Israeli government has officially denied Arab media reports that an Israeli drone was shot down by the Syrian Army near Quneitra this weekend.

The oldest continuously running social welfare organization in Israel, Colel Chabad, is hosting its annual retreat for 260 orphans and widows this Channukah.

A family pose for a picture in front of a giant illuminated Chanukiah in the Port of Tel Aviv on December 21, 2014.

The results of the poll may cause people to start changing their minds.

The Palestinian Authority is a serial murderer – first the “peace process” and now Israeli soldiers.

He had posted on Facebook, “Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah and your enemies.” It’s part of a quote from the Qur’an.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who was critically wounded in an assassination attempt several weeks ago, announced he is running “symbolically” on the Likud list for the elections to the Knesset. He is in 33rd place, and he will not be elected unless the party performs a miracle no less than his recovery and wins 33 seats. […]

“Both sides shall respect and protect the listed below religious rights of Jews, Christians, Moslems and Samaritans.” – Oslo Accords.

The annual Giant Chabad Menorah was lit without a ceremony this year in Martin Place, Sydney.

Egypt closed the crossing due the ongoing terror attacks against Egypt emanating from the Gaza Strip.

India may pull its vote in favor of the PA resolution before the UN Security Council and instead choosing abstention.

More Articles from Yehuda Weisbord
Weisbord-022412-Weinberg

Thanks to her efforts, domestic violence is now on the national Jewish agenda. But the Rebbetzin didn’t simply raise awareness; she opened safe houses across the country, trained volunteers to provide emotional, physical and financial support and always made herself available for comfort, advice, and direction.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/comforting-the-afflicted-the-life-of-rebbetzin-chana-weinberg/2012/02/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: