Rav Mordechai Jungreis Marks Kiddush Hashem of 9/11 at Ground Zero

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rav-mordechai-jungreisToday marked the 13th anniversary of the disaster of September 11, 2001. It is date laden with meaning for many Americans, but for Jews in particular. Among the 3,000 casualties of that black day were several hundred members of the Jewish people, and Al-Qaida openly stated that it was out to get as many Jews as possible.

To Rav Mordechai Jungreis, the Niklesburg Rebbe, it is a day of reflection. Not just a time to think back in sadness, but to recall how far a small act of chesed can go and how much more there still is to accomplish. And that is why he makes a point of visiting the site of the former World Trade Center each year on September 11th. He comes to recite some Tehilim, shake a few hands and offer his blessings. It is a small gesture that goes a long way and creates a vast Kiddush Hashem each and every time.

Although this year, as most years, the English date does not correspond to the yahrtzeit of the kedoshim hy”d on the Jewish calendar, the Rebbe is very conscious of the importance of demonstrating the solidarity that Jews feel with other Americans who were affected by the events of that day. Each time he joins the commemorations he is thanked by numerous people for coming to pray, and just for showing that he cares and remembers.

The Rebbe played an important role on that day, 13 years ago. Like most of us that morning, he was at work as usual. For the Rebbe, that meant sitting with his young talmidim at the Talmud Torah of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin. A phone call interrupted his schedule with the news that a tragedy was unfolding at the Twin Towers and his presence was of utmost importance.

The Rebbe was close to Reb Shimon “Shimmy” Biegeleisen hy”d, the young Belzer chossid from Boro Park who was lost that day. The Rebbe joined the Biegelesien family along with a friend from Hatzoloh as they spoke to Reb Shimon for the last time. In the ensuing days of waiting and wondering, the Rebbe was there to give them much desperately needed chizuk.

During the search and rescue efforts immediately after the tragedy, the Rebbe was a regular presence at Ground Zero. He came partly to join in the physical exertions, but mostly to show support and a Jewish presence. Has always, the Rebbe made sure to arrive armed with plenty of water and refreshments to rejuvenate the parched and exhausted rescue workers. As they became familiar with the Rebbe’s warm smile they dubbed him affectionately “the water Rabbi.”

During the first anniversary commemoration in September 2002, only immediate family members of the victims were permitted at the ceremony. All of the major VIPs were there, including New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, New York State Governor George Pataki and even President George W. Bush. Despite the strict protocols, Rabbi Jungreis was able to obtain an entry permit to the event, where the presence of a heimishe rabbi left a deep impression on everyone.

With the president involved, security was at the maximum, and participants were told that would have only seconds to greet the president as he entered and left. As Bush reached the Niklesburg Rebbe, however, he stopped to share an emotional moment. The president waved aside the personnel who were there ensure his progress was not stopped, insisting on spending an extra few minutes with the rabbi who had dared to join.

The president thanked the Rebbe for joining, and the Rebbe replied “We all lost 3,000 brothers and sisters that day.” A tear rolled down the president’s cheek. He pointed to the Tehilim tucked under the Rebbe’s arm and commented, “Keeping praying for us, rabbi,” as yet another tear fell. It is a task the Rebbe took seriously long before Bush made the request and one he still carries today.

{Gavriel Sitrit-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. BS”D
    Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
    A Handicapped child
    3 Av 5774 (July 29, ’14)

    “We Must Prepare Ourselves To Be Unblemished Sacrifices”

    Since the last time that I wrote, much has happened. The world has almost turned up-side-down. Besides the war that we are having here in Eretz Yisroel, many other wars have begun and the world has become a much more dangerous and frightening place. One of the reasons that it is so frightening, besides the fact that these wars are cruel, shooting, killing wars, with blood flowing freely, besides that fact, what frightens us the most is that much of what is happening today simply doesn’t work according to a logical mind, a normal logical mind. Pieces are missing from the puzzle that should be evident. We don’t know who the good guy is. We don’t know who the bad guy is. We don’t know from one minute to the other who is on whose side. Suddenly there are certain things that are uncovered that we had no inkling had ever been in existence, and they tell us in the highest places with the most knowledgeable of people so-to-speak that it has been there for the last ten, twenty, fifty years festering and growing and becoming monstrosities, and we scratch our heads and say how in the world did that happen. How did it become so bad? How come it came upon us in such a sudden way? How come no one knew, and if they knew, how come no one did anything?

    We trust the governments to make sure that all our medications are not dangerous to us. We trust the courts that they will give everybody a fair shake so-to-speak. We trust the doctors that they will give us the right diagnosis. We trust the economists that tell us that things are looking up financially, or they give us advice how to invest. We trust all the different aspects of the Egel Hazahav, but we don’t trust the Truth. The Truth is Hakodosh Boruch Hu, and we trust man more than the Truth with a capital T. I know that we are coming very close to Moshiach. I know that we’re soon going to throw off the bonds of this terrible Golus. I know that only those who recognize Truth, with a capital T will ever be able to live in a world of the Truth with a capital T, and therefore I want to explain to you that things look jumbled and not logical because it’s not the Truth. It’s not the way the world was created.

    What is happening today, it’s going against the Truth. Its degenerate, and its pulling us into a degenerate mode, and its taking over the whole world, and we have to resist. The only way to stop it is to recognize that something is very wrong here and we’re hanging on to the wrong lifesaver for dear life. We think we have a rubber tube to float on the water and be saved, but we don’t. It’s full of lead and it’s going to bring us down to the bottom of the sea, Chas Vesholom. What does Hashem want from us? How can we survive this terrible calamity, this evilness that has oozed out from every corner of the world that nobody realized existed in such a tremendous force? How can we survive all this? Who are we, only puny people without any strength. How can we survive this terrible, terrible flood of degeneracy? There is only one way. We have to prepare ourselves.

    We have to prepare ourselves now to greet Moshiach. We have to prepare ourselves to be perfect sacrifices, and yes I did say Korbanos Shleimos, and we have to be Shaleim, Shaleim or at least try very hard to be Shalem. If we don’t get to Shleimus, Hashem will make the Shleimus, but it will be so difficult and so hard, and cause us much pain, no less pain than an operation, only it will be a spiritual operation which can be much more painful than a physical operation. There’s no anesthetic for this kind of operation, and we’ll feel every single pain, so we must prepare ourselves to be Korbanos to be as pure as possible. Don’t get too frightened. I don’t mean that we’re all going to die Al Kiddush Hashem. I mean that Hashem wants us to live Al Kiddush Hashem, and He wants us to be as perfect as possible, and the way to become as perfect as possible is to trust Hashem completely. Trust everything He demands from us. Do not question one thing that He demands from us. We want to do His complete Ratzon. I’m not saying that we will be able to get to that high level, but we have to make a really, really good try for it. We have to really, really put our minds, hearts, and soul, and our bodies into this great endeavor, probably the greatest endeavor ever.

    Yitzchok Avinu was a perfect Korbon. He was a Korbon Shaleim. His father was ready to listen to Hakodosh Boruch Hu and sacrifice his only son. The only son that could continue and become the father of Am Yisroel, one of the fathers. Only Yitzchok could do that. He was willing to die because Hashem said so. That is the kind of Bitachon we have to have. In the end it was enough that Yitzchok allowed himself to be tied onto the Mizbayach so that he wouldn’t squirm when the knife came to his throat. He put his throat out so it would be easier for his father when he had to do the Shechting, and he was happy to do Hashem’s will, and Avraham Avinu didn’t hesitate once to Shecht his only son, because Hakodosh Boruch Hu wanted it, and he knew that everything that Hakodosh Boruch Hu does is for our good. He also knew that nothing that we have, nothing that we think we own, no child of ours is really ours. Nothing is ours. Everything is His, and we too are His, and that’s the way you achieve Shleimus.

    You have to be sure in every way that Hashem is Hakol Yachol and whatever He does is absolutely perfect for us, and will be the best thing for us no matter how much it makes us suffer, because our suffering is only an illusion. It’s from our twisted desires and we have to realize that this world is only a very short visit for us, and then we go to the next world. But now we won’t go to the next world. Im Yirtzeh Hashem, we’ll go straight to Olam Habah of Moshiach.

    So now my dear Yidden, be strong. It’s time to change. It’s time to take account of our lives, each part of our lives, and try to be much better because if we don’t do this we’re going to be in big trouble. I beg you, make an accounting. Balance your checkbook with Hashem. Find what you owe Him, and find what you think He owes you, and I‘m sure that we all will find that we are deeply, deeply in debt, and that we need to show Hashem how we love and trust Him, how we will do anything in the world that He asks us, even if it means our lives. That’s what we have to show Him. We are going to be called upon as Jews to be tested in the most difficult ways, and we must be close to Him. We must take out of ourselves all the superficial nonsense of this world of lies, of this world of Egel Hazahav, of this world of illusions and come to the truth. Its very frightening because all of your, what you call regular lives, is going to be totally, totally different. You’re going to have to give up things that have become out of disproportionately important to you, and you’re going to have to take from your heart all the petty nonsense that you so come to depend on to help you pass time in a superficial way. You are going to have to deal with the truth. It’s very frightening, and our lives will change. The great wealth that this so-called western world has known is going to vanish. It’s going to be gone. We are going to have to learn to live in a much more simple way, and that will help us become closer to Hashem. It is happening now already, and World War Three has begun already, and I think we can all see it, and it is going to spread. It’s going to become a great, great war, a great and frightening war, and I know that all true Jews will know that what I am saying now is true. Prepare yourselves my dear Jews, my dear Yidden. Hashem loves you and wants you back wants you back with Him. This is a lowly generation but the Jewish heart and soul is still here and on that Jewish heart and soul of every single Yid will be built Olam Habah of Moshiach.

    Q: Why don’t you sleep at night?
    A: I don’t sleep at night because I know that in the not so far future we’re really going to have to trust Hashem. We are going to realize that food and clothing and shelter will not be forthcoming so easily at all, and we will have to trust Hashem. When I say we I’m talking about the whole world. I’m talking about every single person in the world except those few who think that they can rule instead of Hashem, Chas Veshololm, but we will be the winners because in the end Hashem will banish them into nonexistence and we will get all the benefits. We will not starve to death and we will not be out in the cold if we trust in Hashem, if we trust the fact that He is Hakol Yachol.

    That’s why I cry, because I know it’s going to be very hard for many Yidden, and by the way do you realize how much of the world is going to be destroyed, Hashem Yishmor? It is said so clearly in the Nevuas. Do you realize what a shock that is? I don’t think there will be any CNN around to be able to photograph it, but what can I tell you? Just thinking about the shock of it is enough to make me cry, cry for Am Yisroel, cry for the whole world. The Reshaim are playing their sinister games of murder and bloodshed. They are such foolish people especially the Goyim the Jews are also being foolish because we are not coming close to the Truth, to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. We have made our whole lives superficial Yiddishkeit and all I can do is cry over it. We have split up into millions of factions instead of being one with Hashem, but Hashem will teach us. He loves us. He wants to save us, but we’re making it very hard on ourselves.

    Just remember that according to many great Torah sources most of the Jews of this generation, the generation just before the Geula Sheleima, will be Erev Rav. They can be Frum or secular but not true Jews and they will try to pull us away from the Truth.

    Yes my crying has to do with Am Yisroel. I’m so worried. It’s not so simple. We have to be strong and we have to be without blemish.

  2. “A tear rolled down the president’s cheek. He pointed to the Tehilim tucked under the Rebbe’s arm and commented, “Keeping praying for us, rabbi,” as yet another tear fell.”

    George W Bush was and is, a first class mensch who has truly Nosain Be’ol Im Chavero.

    What a shame that we now have a man in the White House who only cares about his own pleasure.

  3. Thank you matzav.com for sheering bout rabbi jungreis at ground zero and all the great articles you post for all the Jewish homes a git gabanch yer


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