Roy Neuberger - Apr. 18, 2019

We say about some people, “They were larger than life.”


What does that mean?


Some people live with their head in the Heavens. Their feet do very well in this world, but their soul is in the eternal world. Their perspective is different from the perspective of ordinary people, and their ego is sublimated. They live with the understanding of their place in the infinite universe presided over by the King of Kings.


Rebbetzin Shifrah Jungreis died on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Nissan.


I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that she was larger than life. You probably have not heard much about her because she was extremely humble and modest in her behavior. She was petite; she did not intrude herself on you. In certain ways her life was ordinary; she was raised in religious neighborhoods in New York City and never experienced the Holocaust.


But in other ways she was way up there, out of reach of the rest of us.


She was never well. She suffered from serious medical issues which would have stopped or slowed the vast majority of people. But nothing ever stopped Rebbetzin Shifrah Jungreis. Nothing! She just plowed ahead with her prodigious agenda.


The other thing I want to mention was her brainpower. She was so bright that your jaw could drop. At Stern College, she was the head of the “College Bowl” team for Yeshiva University. That was (please excuse the expression) a television show maybe fifty years ago on which (mostly non-Jewish) colleges competed, answering questions posed by the TV host. Yeshiva University won for weeks in a row and she was the captain.


Rebbetzin Shifrah knew everything.


You think I’m exaggerating? She could read a large newspaper in a few minutes and tell you every word that was in the paper. And she did not forget. I saw her in the hospital a few months ago and overheard her conversing with the doctor. She knew as much about her medications as he did, maybe more. In her quiet way, she was as brilliant as the sun.


And for what did she use that prodigious brain? For Torah. She was the Principal of Yeshiva Ateres Yisroel in Canarsie, Brooklyn, the Yeshiva founded by her parents-in-law, the late Rabbi Avraham ha Levi and Rebbetzin Miriam Jungreis, who were also the parents of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis of blessed memory. I worked with her there for twelve years.


She nurtured hundreds of Jewish children who were from “nowhere” in Jewishness. She gave them lives. She never forgot a single child and she kept up with them forever. She labored from morning until night in the vineyards of Torah, always smiling, always encouraging, always wise, always calm. She never veered off course; she was like a ship that ran by the stars; she always knew where she was going.


She died on Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh Nissan. That tells you something. I guarantee you there was a thunderous chorus in Heaven when her soul arrived. They sang Hallel for her! They made a parade that stretched across the universe. She got a welcome that could make us all envious. And I can see her looking down, not believing it had anything to do with her. But it was all about her!


She was small, but she was so big. She was quiet, but she was majestic. She lived for Torah and that is what it is all about. May she eternally enjoy the reward of her totally-dedicated life!


Recent Posts


tears India Rosh Hashanah Adam king Miraglim Rachel Red Sea Tisha b'Av Esther Esau rabbi Golden Calf soul liberation Sabbath Aharon tabernacle tablets locusts Jew Torah scholars blessing bible resurrection Matriarchs judgement three weeks terror miracles terrorists Ten Commandments King Solomon Bilaam Solomon Second Temple heavenly gates yeshiva Hasmoneans redemption seder End of Days culture Beit Hamikdash Raiders of the Lost Ark Boaz Eve Judah United Nations Protective edge gossip Ashkenazi Leah Master of the Universe Father in Heaven fires Song of Songs kesuba repent mitzvos idol creation bris milah redeemer brotherhood Tzuk etan salvation Magog Jeremiah sin Golan Jews Chanukah Chafetz Chaim Lot Hebrew Rabbi Akiva water Moab cholent Sodom Maccabeans Parsha lights spirituality Teshuva compassion plague Europe Samuel the Prophet Passover siddur Jerusalem Golus Jewish festival Ammon sacrifices King of the Universe prophets Zion Benjamin Banias dreams Sages Sea of Galilee spiritual terrorism shmittah Balak Abraham God spies Chol haMoed Tu b'Av logic High Holy Days King David rain forefathers Haman Ishmeal Yom Kippur holiday repentance survival messiah earthquake eternity Rome death patriarchs'matriarchs Judgement Day Zion, Angel Holocaust danger shield of Abraham America shofar Isaac Red Heifer Children of Israel angels commandment deluge Eglon Solar eclipse Holy Temple Judaism Moshiach Earth patriarchs Ezekiel fault Samuel paradise automobiles barley Holy land Geula secret prayer book mitzva Dead Sea Macabees Greeks Talmud prophet Samuel Gog synagogue Babylon prayers hubris Sukkos Mount Zion light evolution Temple evil biblical Moshe Torah portion esrog priests Western Wall ancestors night Heavenly Mercy prophet Shushan leprosy Edom exile holy Holiness terrorist Zohar Yaakov angel Final redemption Day of Atonement Avraham materialism matzos media Matisyahu Sukkah Bais Hamikdosh Isaiah Zechariah stars Jewish holidays Sarah Nation of Israel High Priest kiddush Rebbe yarmulke Western World purity Torah minyan meraglim prayer murder tremors Temple Mount sun ethics incense song Shavuos Ishmael Divine presence Egypt fragrance Genesis Chofetz Chaim Pharaoh war pray rosh chodesh Ruth missiles Jewish People Mount Hermon Faith Babylonia flood heavenly throne Canaan Jewish fear sanctity Shabbos enemies chessed 2020 Vision Chanukkah Joseph evil inclination Passover Seder New Moon Abrahem slaves G-d Creator Rebecca world to come Land of Israel Shechina stones Exodus Terror Attack in Jerusalem kosher Psalms Angel of Death menorah Mount Sinai David chaos darkness Amram Miriam Elul Tu b'Shvat persecution Midrash Lunar eclipse Mordechai pain peace Israel trees keys Blame Laban miracle self-worship Tallis slavery Jacob Rabbis Repentence Malbim violence Sephardi Amalek moon Prophecy bird mikveh, Sabbath Sefiras haOmer Noah Holy Ark Ishamael Moshaich Tefillin Pinchas Rosh Hashana mikveh Psalm kinneret Galil Garden of Eden Baku idolatry Maimonides Moses heaven Yerushalayim Hagar alone Achashveirosh Purim eternal Day of Judgement cries Rashi Hashem