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July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘heart’

Speaking From The Heart

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Several years ago I was seated with some friends in a Jerusalem café. At a table adjacent to ours was a group of chassidic young men. I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. Suddenly, I heard one of them utter some inappropriate expletives – language that was better suited to the gutter than to yeshiva students. I felt I couldn’t allow this to pass without saying something.

My friends couldn’t believe I would actually approach them to voice my protest.

“They’ll be resentful,” they warned me.

Disregarding their concern, I went over to the young men’s table and said, “I am very sorry to interrupt you, but I speak from my heart, so please don’t misunderstand my words. I was terribly pained at the thought that the language I heard was voiced here, in Yerushalayim, G-d’s holy city, by, of all people, chassidishe yeshiva students.”

The young man who had dropped these offensive words turned his head away with a smirk on his face.

“Don’t do that,” I said. “I am speaking with love and concern and you respond with disdain. Have you stopped to consider for even a moment what is going on in the world? The dangers that are confronting us? The satanic schemes of our neighbors to wipe us off the map? There is only One who can help us, and you know who that One is – the Ribbonoh Shel Olam. And you are sitting here using such language!”

I continued to speak to them and they sat speechless. By the time I finished, they all apologized and thanked me for reminding them of who they were. When I went back to my table, they stood up respectfully and once again expressed their appreciation.

I am relating this story because we live in a crazy, decadent world. It’s easy for anyone to lose his way, and once the downward spiral commences, the descent is rapid. Downhill is always easy, but it is very difficult to climb back up again. If we catch the problem in time, however, we can change the world and return every lost Jew to his Heavenly Father. It’s all a matter of caring enough to involve yourself – a foreign concept, to be sure, in our self-centered, mind-your-own-business culture.

Some might protest that it’s one thing to reach people in Yerushalayim but quite another to do so in the U.S. I will therefore share another story.

I have spoken over the years at different Pesach programs. One year I was taking a walk on Yom Tov afternoon when I noticed a group of teenagers engrossed in a game of cards. Without giving it a second thought I approached them.

“Sorry to interrupt,” I said, “but it’s Pesach. Yom Tov. Do you think this is the way we should thank Hashem – by playing cards? Please do not think I am trying to be ‘preachy’ or that I am lecturing you. I would never want to do that. I am simply speaking from my heart.”

I went on to tell them many more things.

I know some readers will say such statements surely turned them off, but believe it or not, not only were they not offended, not only were they not turned off – they were turned on. We went on talking for a few more minutes, discussing the shiur I had given that day, and when I left them they thanked me.

That night, in the dining room, a lady came over to our table and introduced herself as the mother of one of those boys. Her son had spoken to her very enthusiastically of our conversation.

“Weren’t you resentful?” she told me she asked her son.

“No,” he responded. “The way the Rebbetzin spoke to us made us realize she was sincere and spoke from her heart.”

Even as she was telling me the story, her son approached and confirmed her words.

So what do we learn from this? If you speak sincerely, with love and from your heart without being judgmental, people will understand and be grateful. It is only when you have a “holier than thou” attitude, and your voice conveys disdain and lack of respect, that people are offended. But when you speak from your heart, it enters another heart.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

My Heart Lives in Israel

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

I was born in Lebanon in 1961, and I grew up in the streets of Beirut. Before the civil war that started in 1975, we played in the streets unsupervised, unaware of the fratricide hatred that was brewing. During the war, I saw Arabs kill Arabs, Muslims kill Muslims, and Christians kill Christians. When the war ended in 1990, a quarter million people had been killed.

We took a country that was thriving and beautiful, and we turned it into ruins. My Lebanon has not yet recovered, 27 years after that war ended.

Next door to Lebanon, I saw a country fending for its life, repelling Arab attack after Arab attack. When they weren’t fighting their attackers, they were building a nation. In only a few decades, they had made the desert bloom, and they were a light unto the nations.

We Arabs chose to fight each other, and we chose to fight the Jews. We chose to make them our enemies rather than our friends, and we chose to destroy rather than to build.

I now live in Canada, a great, beautiful, and successful country, but it will never be truly mine. When I watch events unfolding in the Middle East, my body remains here, but my heart keeps travelling back, and it invariably takes me to Israel.

When Israelis live with daily rocket attacks, my heart is in Israel.

When Israelis are stabbed for the crime of being Jews, my heart is in Israel.

When Israel must fight yet one more war that it never wanted to fight, my heart is in Israel.

When one more terror attack kills Israelis who were going to school, or going to work, or going to pray, my heart is in Israel.

When the world condemns Israel for defending itself but ignores that Arabs have rejected peace again and again and again, my heart is in Israel.

When my Lebanon and other criminal Arab regimes gang up to attempt to erase Jewish history in the eternal Jewish city of Jerusalem, my heart is in Israel.

My heart lives in Israel, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, in an office building in Haifa, or on a bus in the busy streets of Tel Aviv.

As long as Israel must fight for the right to exist, my heart will live in Israel. As long as Israel grows, invents, and thrives despite the bombs and the hatred, my heart will live in Israel. As long as my Lebanon is part of the problem and not part of the solution, my heart will live in Israel.

Fred Maroun

Peres Still Hospitalized After Chest Pains Return

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Former President Shimon Peres remains hospitalized at Tel Hashomer Medical Center after being rushed back Sunday night (Jan. 24) in response to another round of chest pains.

Paramedics dispatched to his home Sunday night found he again was experiencing cardiac arrhythmia.

Dr. Rafi Walden, his personal physician and son-in-law, told Galei Tzahal Army Radio the 92-year-old elder statesman’s heart rate has returned to normal. But it’s not clear when he will be released.

The incident was an echo of a similar experience that took place on January 14, when Peres was taken to the same hospital with chest pains.

During that visit doctors performed an angiogram and discovered a narrowed artery had caused the elder statesman to suffer a mild heart attack.

Within hours Peres underwent cardiac catheterization and then remained for further tests and observation for the next five days.

Hana Levi Julian

Minister Uri Ariel is Home After Heart Procedure in Jerusalem

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center have successfully removed a blood clot from the heart of Agriculture Minister and Bayit Yehudi MK Uri Ariel.

The minister was admitted to the hospital Monday after feeling unwell. He underwent a cardiac catheterization and other tests, which led to the removal of the clot.

Ariel was discharged from the hospital in good condition on Wednesday. He has been ordered to “rest for a while.”

Jewish Press Staff

Annexation ‘Only Sane Plan’ Says Bennett

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says annexing Area C – the Jewish settlement blocs and the areas of the Judea and Samaria that are totally under Israeli control in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords – is the “only sane plan” left.

Speaking in an interview with IDF Army Radio this morning (Monday), the Bayit Yehudi party chairman said, “It’s no secret that for dozens of years there has been a massive disagreement on how to leave the settlements. But there’s been no justification for the argument. It hasn’t proven itself.”

Since 1967, the number of Israeli Jews living in Judea and Samaria – known abroad by the euphemism used by Jordan after it occupied the territory, the “West Bank” (of the Jordan River, that is) – has grown exponentially. Today the region is home to more than 350,000 Jews, most living in what is known as “Area C” – the area under complete Israeli government control.

Bennett — a former member of an IDF special forces unit — has taken a pragmatic approach and maintained for years the only way to resolve the impasse with the Palestinian Authority is to simply annex Area C — beginning with Gush Etzion — and be done with it. In any event the international community is going to kick a fuss just as they did over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem, according to his way of thinking; one may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, and at least keep the family safe.

But Finance Minister Yair Lapid – head of the leftist ‘Yesh Atid’ party and firmly opposed to annexation of any kind – has threatened to bring down the government over the plan.

It’s not yet clear what role the United States is playing in Lapid’s intransigence on the issue or for that matter, his maneuvering a fifth column against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Hatnua party chairwoman Tzipi Livni, former alleged “chief negotiator” for the government. It’s no secret the White House despises the Netanyahu government and would just love to see someone else sitting in the prime minister’s residence.

“If there is any effort to annex even one settlement unilaterally, Yesh Atid will not just leave the government, it will bring it down,” Lapid announced late Sunday in Herzliya.

Instead, it appears that Lapid has become the new Kerry, pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to return to the negotiating table with the PA ‘unity’ government. He advocates withdrawal from “some” PA territory and has insisted that Netanyahu come up with a map showing borders for a new PA state – essentially the same demands made by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Justice Minister Livni is aligning with him against Netanyahu; together, the two comprise 25 of the 68 seats held by the current coalition. If they withdraw their support, Netanyahu could lose the government – or would have to call new elections.

In the long run, that might not be a half-bad idea; given the current options. It is more than likely that Likud would gain the votes it lost in the last election and even possible that Livni might be shaken out in the process.

Meanwhile, although none of the new PA unity government ministers are technically drawn from any terrorist group, Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization is a full partner with Fatah in the government. Hamas, along with its allied group, the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, has sworn to annihilate the State of Israel. In fact neither has abandoned that cause. Somehow these facts have managed to escape the notice of Israel’s finance minister, who seems only to see the necessity of pleasing the United States and Europe.

Rachel Levy

Netanyahu Vows on Jerusalem Day, ‘We Will Never Divide Our Heart. Never!’

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Tuesday evening in a passionate address marking the start of Jerusalem Day “never” to divide Jerusalem.

The day marks the 47th anniversary of the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation during the 1967 Six Day War, and the capital’s unification since. Jordanian forces expelled the Jews from their 3,000-year-old ancient capital in 1948 during Israel’s War of Independence.

The venue for Netanyahu’s speech – at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav Kook — was anything but accidental: In 2008, an Arab terrorist murdered eight boys and men and wounded 18 others in a shooting spree that left the learning hall and holy books covered in blood.

Netanyahu was blunt in his vows not to allow talks with the Palestinian Authority to get in the way of keeping Jerusalem united, despite diplomatic commitments to the “two-state solution” being forced on Israel by the U.S. and international community.

“Forty-seven years ago Jerusalem was reunited – that was the way it used to be and that is the way it will always be,” the prime minister stated.

Jerusalem is Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial Center), [Theodore] Herzl’s grave (the founder of Zionism – in the military cemetery at Mt. Herzl), and the Mount of Olives, where both my grandmother and grandfather are buried, as well as [former Prime Minister] Menachem Begin and our forefathers,” Netanyahu said.

“Jerusalem is also Har Tzion (Mt. Zion) and Har (Mount) Moria (the Temple Mount) and Jerusalem is the Western Wall – Israel eternal!”

Netanyahu vowed to keep Jerusalem united, saying, “Jerusalem is our heart, and we preserve our heart – the heart of the nation – and we will never divide our heart. Never!”

Hana Levi Julian

Weeping for Jerusalem

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

I’m in Jerusalem, the city every Jew should be in love with. The world has become a very small place; in the blink of an eye we can cross continents. We belong to the generation that can visit so many cities, so many villages, so many vacation sites. After a while we become immune to them all. But Jerusalem is different.

If you are a Jew, Jerusalem is in your blood. It’s a city engraved upon your heart. Centuries ago Yehuda HaLevi wrote, “My heart is in the East while I am in the West.” No matter where life has taken us, our hearts have forever remained in the East, in Jerusalem.

When I was a little girl in Hungary I may not have known where Paris or Rome was but I did know the location of Jerusalem. My parents of blessed memory, HaRav HaGoan Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, and Rebbetzin Miriam Jungreis, a”h, nurtured us with the milk and honey of Yerushalayim. Nowadays, few still thirst for that sweetness. And yet, with all the distractions of modern life, Yerushalayim tugs at our hearts.

I just saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears the veracity of this connection between the Jew and this Holy City.

I was speaking at the Great Synagogue. There was no spare seat to be had and despite the lateness of the night people kept coming. Many lingered after I finished my speech. Some sought advice and guidance. Others just wanted to talk.

Above all they asked for berachos – for shidduchim, for health, for sustenance. And then a tall, lovely, blond-haired girl stood before me. She was crying. Something prompted me to ask, “Are you Jewish?” Her voice cracking with tears, she whispered, “I’m a convert. I came to Yerushalayim to become part of the Jewish people.”

She explained that she came from a country where Jews had been beaten and tortured and maimed and killed during the Holocaust. But her soul whispered the message, “Go, join the people who stood at Sinai; go to Jerusalem!”

I naturally assumed she sought a blessing for a good shidduch. “No, no,” she protested, “that’s not why I’m here. You just related a story that entered my soul. Please bless me with the ability of not forgetting.”

And then she repeated one of the stories I had told in my address.

The story was about a mother who lost her husband and eleven of her children in Auschwitz. She made aliyah but still had no peace. She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t work. She couldn’t come to terms with her fate.

She sought out a rebbe – perhaps he would offer her some consolation. She spilled out her heart and described each and every one of her children. The rebbe listened and wept with her. And then he said something amazing. “I think I saw someone among the newly arrived children now settled in a kibbutz who fits the description of your Dovidl.”

The rebbe told her he would try to trace the lineage of that child.

A few days later the rebbe called. “I may have some good news for you,” he said. Heart pounding, she returned to the rebbe’s home – and there was her little boy.

“Dovidl, Dovidl,” she shouted. “Mama, mama,” he sobbed as he ran into her arms. When the little boy caught his breath he asked a painful question. “Where is my father? Where are Moishele and Rochele?” As Dovidl enumerated the names of all his brothers and sisters, he and his mother cried uncontrollably. They continued to weep long into the night.

As I told that story, I remarked to the audience that it occurred to me that Dovidl’s children and grandchildren have no memory of those who preceded them. Similarly, we come to Israel, rush off the plane, pick up our luggage and make our way to Jerusalem. And what do we think about?

We’re busy asking ourselves and each other, “Where is a good place to eat?” “Any new restaurants around?” “Did you try out that new hotel?” “Is it worth it the price?”

But do any of us ask, “Where is the Beis HaMikdash?” Does anyone really miss the Beis HaMikdash? Does anyone search for it? Does anyone even think about it? Does anyone even want to remember?

The girl who stood before me begged with tears, “Please, Rebbetzin, give me a berachah that I should never forget to cry for the Beis HaMikdash. I’m so afraid I will forget and become oblivious to its loss. I do not want to be like Dovidl’s children.”

I could only look at her. She had taken my breath away. I couldn’t recall anyone ever asking me for such a berachah – to be able to remain constantly aware of the Beis HaMikdash and, yes, to weep for it.

For thousands of years we prayed, wept and hoped for Yerushalayim. To see Yerushalayim again, to behold the rebuilt Beis HaMikdash, has always been the center of all our prayers. At our weddings, in the midst of our joy, we break a glass to remember our Temple that is no more. When painting our homes we would leave a small spot empty to remind us that no home can be complete if the Beis HaMikdash has not been rebuilt.

We have a thousand and one reminders in our prayers, in our traditions, in our observance, that constantly recall to us Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. And yet, now that we have Jerusalem again we have somehow forgotten our dream – our Beis HaMikdash that we prayed for and continue to pray for.

Sadly, our prayers for the Temple have become just words recited by rote. And here comes a young woman new to our faith and she seeks a blessing not for shidduch, not for parnassah, not for good health, nor for personal happiness – but for the ability to shed tears and yearn to see the Beis HaMikdash rebuilt. Should that not give us all pause? Should that not make us think and consider?

Should we not ask again and again and still again, “Where is the Beis HaMikdash?” I miss it so. I’m in Jerusalem but the shinning crown of the Holy City is absent and my joy cannot be complete until I see its glory restored.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/weeping-for-jerusalem/2013/08/22/

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