web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
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.



Living For The Boss

Rebbitzen Ruchoma Shain

Rebbitzen Ruchoma Shain

Schulman-040414-BossRebbitzen Ruchoma Shain, who passed away last year at the age of 99, was a woman who carried many titles – wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, English teacher and author. While all five of her books were best sellers (All for the Boss, Dearest Children, Reaching the Stars, All for the Best and Shining Lights), it was her first book, All for the Boss – first published in 1984 and revised and expanded in 2001for which she is best known.

It was in this book that she vividly describes the life and exploits of her extraordinary father and his commitment to mitzvah observance in America in the early 1900′s. In detailing his life she paints a picture of Orthodox Jewish life in that historical period as well.

Mrs. Shain was born Ruchoma Herman in 1914 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The youngest of five siblings – she had three sisters and one brother – she grew up in a staunchly Orthodox home during a period of time when most American Jews believed that the institution of Shabbos was no more than a relic of the past. Her father, Yaakov Yosef Herman, had immigrated to America from Russia with his parents in 1888.  After five years of struggling to make ends meet while still maintaining high religious standards, the elder Mr. Herman concluded it wasn’t possible to do both and made plans to return to Europe.   He could not afford the boat fare for 13-year-old Yaakov Yosef, however, so he left him in America with relatives until he could find the funds to bring home. Ironically, it was the young Yaakov Yosef who saved up his money and brought his family back to America and supported them.

One Erev Shabbos, soon after his parents had returned to Europe, the relatives Yaakov Yosef was living with raised his rent.  It was not money he could afford to pay and feeling very betrayed by their actions, he left their house.  As he had nowhere to go, he spent that Shabbos on a park bench.  It was then that he vowed that when he married and had a home of his own, he would never sit down at the Shabbos table without guests – even if it meant he had to search for them on park benches.

This photo of students from the Mir Yeshiva was taken at the Nowojeinia Summer Camp, which was near Novogodek, Poland (now Belarus) (L-R) Joshua Chinn, R. Moshe Shain, Harry Horowitz, unknown, R. Simcha Weissman, Pinchas Berliner, R. Shmuel Birnbaum, Mottel Jaffe

This photo of students from the Mir Yeshiva was taken at the Nowojeinia Summer Camp, which was near Novogodek, Poland (now Belarus)
(L-R) Joshua Chinn, R. Moshe Shain, Harry Horowitz, unknown, R. Simcha Weissman, Pinchas Berliner, R. Shmuel Birnbaum, Mottel Jaffe

And that’s the way it was.  The week in the Herman household revolved around the Shabbos guests.  Mr. Herman would often comment that he had “cornered the market” on the mitzvah of hachnossas orchim.  His wife and children were his enthusiastic partners in this mitzvah, with his wife doing all the cooking and cleaning.  Mr. Herman was never particular about guests, whether they were homeless, mentally ill or distinguished rabbanim visiting from Europe, he treated them all with love and deference.  Indeed, this was one of the few homes the visiting European rabbanim would eat at – knowing they could trust his kashrus standards.

In an attempt to gain a greater understanding of what it was like growing up strictly observant almost 100 years ago in New York, I spoke with one of Rebbitzen Shain’s granddaughters.  She acknowledges that it wasn’t easy growing up Orthodox in America during that period of time, but she asserts that her grandmother never viewed her life as containing hardships. In fact, she believes that her grandmother wouldn’t have even appreciated the question. Being religious was never a burden to her.

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.

One Response to “Living For The Boss”

  1. Great Jews, we need more of them.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Which glass has the poison?
State Dept. Complains New Homes in Jerusalem ‘Poison’ US Peace Plan
Latest Sections Stories
Israeli winery

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

Mindy-092614-Choc-Roll

I should be pursuing plateaus of pure and holy, but I’m busy delving and developing palatable palates instead.

Schonfeld-logo1

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

If we truly honor the other participants in a conversation, we can support, empathize with, and even celebrate their feelings.

I witnessed the true strength of Am Yisrael during those few days.

She writes intuitively, freely, and only afterwards understands the meaning of what she has written.

“I knew it was a great idea, a win-win situation for everyone,” said Burstein.

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”

For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.

It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.

Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.

While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.

Challah-pa-looza helped get the community ready and excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.

More Articles from Malkie Schulman
Rebbitzen Ruchoma Shain

I wonder out loud how Ruchoma would have handled her father’s putting down the law so strongly had she been a young girl growing up 100 years later.

Shulman-051013-Main

Young men singing – Hodu laShem ki Tov- and gunshots. That was the tragic mix of sounds heard that Friday night ten years ago when two Islamic Jihad terrorists climbed up to the yishuv, cut the gate surrounding the yeshiva and entered through the kitchen door of בית ועד הר חברון, Hebron Hills Torah Academy, better known as Yeshivat Otniel.

Dorit grew up in sunny Eilat. She was involved in sports since she was a young child. As a teenager she was the table tennis champion of Eilat, winning 2nd place in the southern regional competition and going on to win 3rd place in the national mixed double championship. At the same time, she was running marathons.

My name is Eli Freundlich. I was 18 and had just graduated Torah Voddath in Williamsburg. America had entered the war a few years before. I wanted to be drafted so was happy when I received my notice. It was July 1943 – July 27, 1943 to be exact – when I was sworn into the American Army.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/living-for-the-boss/2014/04/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: