Rabbi Jungreis of Woodbourne Shul Saves a Fellow Jew from Prison

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By Dov Levy
Woodbourne, NY—It was already past midnight and the Rebbe’s son begged him to go home and get some rest. Rabbi Mordechai Jungreis, beloved Rebbe of Niklesburg, arrived at the Woodbourne Shul last Monday morning, June 26th, at 5 AM to open up so the shul would be ready for the first minyan to begin at 6. Since then he spent the entire day catering to the spiritual and physical needs of the hundreds of visitors who passed through the shul, not even taking a rest break. Yet the indefatigable Rebbe balked at the idea of leaving. “How can I go when people are still coming to daven?” he told his son.
And keep coming they did. Although the shul building was already locked, minyanim continued to form outside as mothers dropped off their sons to catch a late maariv before heading or bed.
The Rebbe may have been motivated by his love of chesed and sense of duty to his fellow Yidden, but his decision to remain longer was more than just virtuous—it was downright prophetic.
Not long after, a car that had just left the shul was stopped by police a short distance down Route 52 from the shul. The stop seemed interminably long. Suddenly more and more police cars showed up and it became clear that something serious was afoot. Rabbi Jungreis went to get a closer look, taking care to maintain a respectful distance as the officers went about their work.
At one point the driver, a young man who had just finished maariv at the shul, noticed the Rebbe standing at the side of the road and called out, “Rebbe, I need a bracha!” He was in deep trouble and was visibly frightened. The Rebbe reassured him that Hashem will help.
His words came true, and it was thanks to none other than Rabbi Jungreis himself.
While conferring between themselves, two of the local police officers took note of Rabbi Jungreis standing at the side. One asked the other, “Who is that man?” and his colleague responded, “Don’t you know? He’s the rabbi! Remember that video that went viral last year of the rabbi standing in the street directing traffic so we could get by during an emergency call? That’s the man!”
The two officers approached Rabbi Jungreis, who greeted them with his trademark hug and warmth. The officers told him, “That man is driving with a revoked license that has three suspensions. By law we are required to arrest him. But out of respect for you, rabbi, we are going to let him off with a warning.”
The upshot: a Kidush Hashem by Rabbi Jungreis last summer, along with his insistence on remaining at the shul so long as minyanim were ongoing, saved a Jewish man from being arrested and imprisoned for his violation. Of course, all drivers are urged to obey all traffic laws and drive safely at all times.


  1. “That man is driving with a revoked license that has three suspensions. ”

    Someone like that seems dangerous to me.

  2. Nice story but if his license was revoked he should not have been driving-period end of question. It wasn’t something new he had it revoked THREE times. He should stop and do everything he needs to do to get it back before getting behind the wheel again. A license to drive is a privilege if you abuse it you deserve to have it taken away.

  3. And who is responsible for this irresponsible driver to continue to drive and Chas VeSHalom
    hurt someone! There is such a thing as misplaced mercy.

  4. He was not saved from prison. Prison is where they send people to serve out their sentences after they are sentenced by a court to do a certain amount of years. He also wasn’t saved from jail, which is where people are locked up after they see a judge and cannot make bail or are sentenced to serve less than a year. Rather he was saved from spending a few hours locked up in the police station, which is what the do to those caught driving while revoked. After that they are released with a ticket that is no more than $100.


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