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The Committed Life: Principles for Good Living from Our Timeless Past Paperback – August 18, 1999
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Jungreis warns us in her introduction that our generation lacks moral underpinnings, values, and role models, that our homes lack stability and serenity, that our families have become dysfunctional, and that our world is high on bitterness and low on kindness and generosity. The author's father was the chief Orthodox rabbi of Szeged, Hungary, and when the Nazis occupied that city during World War II, the family was taken to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. In the form of stories based on real-life incidents--including this harrowing family event--Jungreis advises readers on such weighty matters as commitment, responsibility, charity, peace, prayer, forgiveness, banishing fear, compassion, faith, hope, and gratitude. Jungreis, a Jew, quotes from the Torah and the Talmud, but her message is universal. George Cohen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"This is one of the most touching and inspiring books I've ever read." -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger, author of "The Ten Commandments ""In an age where most of us have forgotten what's truly important, "The Committed Life" instills a renewed passion to reconnect to the values that really matter. This book affected me deeply andI highly recommend it to people of all faiths."-- John Gray, Ph.D., author of" Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus""Each of us wants to drink deeply and absorb the inspired wisdomof all times and to use it to live a rich, rewarding, and meaningful life."The Committed Life" gives you a path to make your lifeenchanted and purposeful."-- Mark Victor Hansen, co-author, #1 "New York Times" best-selling "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series"Jungreis. . .quotes from the Torah and the Talmud, but her message is universal." -- "Booklist""A love story between a remarkably articulate, generous, fiercely loving, Jewishly engaged woman and her tradition, her family, her children, her people, and, perhaps most of all, her husband."-- "Jewish Voice"
Top customer reviews
All too often, the only stories we ever hear about Holocaust survivors are those who lost their faith in God because he supposedly was "not there" and failed to rescue the Jews. Why be religious, the skeptics always say, if it doesn't help you to physically survive?
But for Rebbitzin Jungreis, descendant of an illustrious rabbinic dynasty and a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, there is more to life than mere survival. God is always there, even under the most horrible conditions that life can throw at us. The question is not how we die, but how we live. As her father taught her -- and she quotes him in the book -- "A long life is not good enough, but a good life is long enough."
To Rebbitzin Jungreis, the "good life" is not one filled with material possessions, but rather, a life devoted to God, Torah, and mitzvahs -- a life filled with hope, forgiveness, joy and love. Short or long, such a life is always a good life.
After surviving Bergen-Belsen, her father, who had been Chief Rabbi of Szeged, Hungary, before the Nazis came, charged her with a sacred mission: to help renew the faith in God among Jews, which the Nazis had tried to destroy. Rebbitzin Jungreis has devoted her life to doing just that. Her deep spirituality radiates from every page of this book -- not the wishy-washy, self-centered form of "spirituality" so often preached by New Agers nowadays, but the real thing -- the kind of spirituality that takes hard work -- and which manifests itself in a life committed to God and service to one's fellow human beings under any and all circumstances.
I especially liked the parts where she talks about about doing tikkun olam (repairing the world) and forgiveness, saying: "To respond to hatred with hated can only beget further hatred and reduce the world to chaos. Whenever possible, we have to try to communicate by using the formual of our father Abraham by attempting to awaken the Divine spark even in the darkest of souls." (p. 38) Remember, this is from a Holocaust survivor, who personally experienced the darkest chapter in Jewish history. But, unlike many Jews who became embittered and still say "Never forgive," Rebbitzin Jungreis does not allow hatred to fester and poison her soul. Instead, she lights a candle in the darkness, working to heal broken hearts and rescue wounded souls from the abyss.
This is a book you will want to read over and over. Whatever your own level of religious observance might be, her personal stories and heartwarming, down-to-earth advice will help you to lead a more meaningful life.
As a child survivor of Bergen Belsen, she lost her beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in the fiery furnace known as the Auschwitz death camp. Despite this most devastating loss, her own personal flame was never extinguished during those dark days of living hell. Through the deep love and inspiration of her beloved parents and holy grandparents, she resolved to live her life in the quest to fulfill the Torah obligation of "Tikkum Olam", healing the world. Her raison d'etre became to reach out to every Jew with love, compassion and kindness, to emulate all of G-d's attributes and to educate all of humanity to the greatness of our Creator.
Her journey has taken her to the four corners of the globe, as she touches the hearts and souls of all she meets. It is safe to say, that after reading and hearing Rebbetzen Jungreis' message your life will never be the same. This book is a profound and inspiring compendium of personal stories that will move the reader to tears and will bring to the surface emotions that were either long buried or that we never knew existed.
After reading "The Committed Life" one can begin to understand that our role on this earth is to glorify G-d's name and to become closer to His holy Torah, while developing an understanding and appreciation of G-d's commandments. We begin to understand the enormous power of prayer, of communication with G-d as a way to achieve closeness and solace during trying times and even in good times. We begin to understand that each and every day is a gift from G-d and that we should wake up in the morning with a lionlike resolve to serve our Creator. We learn how to deal with the vicissitudes of life, and how to confront the multitude of challenges that life presents for us, both on a personal and communal strata. The words, Koomoo L'Avodas HaBoreh (I awake to serve the Creator) should become our mantra. We begin to understand that through learning Torah, over time our lives begin to change, and as we become inculcated with Torah values our actions and behaviors reflect this great wisdom. We begin to understand that all the material wealth that we spend our time amassing in this world means nothing in the whole scheme of things. The Rebbetzen emphasizes that only through learning Torah will we have acquired great wealth and our learning and dedication to Torah will ultimately be our inheritance to future generations and through which G-d will judge us when we are called by Him.
It is clear that Rebbetzen Jungreis' thorough knowledge of Torah places her in the category of generations of great Torah scholars. Her book is replete with quotes from the Torah and Talmud as she expounds on them in such intricate detail. The stories that she relays of her family and of those she has met and counseled resound with the wisdom of Torah and the love that she has for all people.
While it would be a very difficult decision for me to make regarding which story touched me the most, I must say that my tears flowed freely upon reading the story of her last visit with her grandfather prior to his deportation to Auschwitz. Without going in to the details of the story, it was the defining moment in her life, when she realized that her ancestors had cleared a path for her and we have that same obligation to our future generations.
This most important book is a powerful read, surely a welcome addition to any home, school or public library. This book is not only a highly significant historical and religious contribution to the vast compendium of treatises on Jewish thought, but it is one that must be referred to again and again on a personal level.
Most recent customer reviews
Love everything she writes and it is not just for Jews.