The search for meaning in our lives has become a particularly difficult quest. The high-pressure world we live in, with its emphasis on material goods, has eclipsed the timeless values of commitment and spirituality. Today success is measured not by what we are, but by what we possess: the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the trinkets we buy.
As a result, more and more people live with self-doubt, depression, ennui, and familial dysfunction. Relationships are stalled. Personal growth seems unattainable. In the end, the things we buy offer us no comfort. We grow old, lonely, and afraid, wondering how we could have done it differently.
The Committed Life teaches us a better way. Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis has been reaching out to people and helping others find happiness her entire life. By age six she was smuggling food and messages into Nazi detention camps during World War II, thereby learning her first lesson of the Torah: "You shall not stand idly by while the life of your brother is in jeopardy." Today she is a dynamic and inspiring leader who has devoted her life to combating the spiritual wasteland surrounding us.
The Rebbetzin knows that many of us are in trouble. She has heard countless cries for help escaping the emotional vacuums that have become our lives. Twenty-five years ago, she founded Hineni (Hebrew for "Here I am"), an outreach organization that has ignited the hearts and minds of people throughout the world. Her popular classes, based on the teachings of the Torah and focused on what is truly important in life, draw thousands every week.
Filled with wisdom as timeless as the Torah itself, The Committed Life is for anyone eager to connect with ancient wellsprings of faith. Each chapter offers its own riveting lesson on such pivotal subjects as responsibility, forgiving, banishing fear, gratitude, anger, commitment to marriage, depression, faith, and hope. This is a book that you will want to keep on your bookshelf and pick up again and again for help dealing with the many restrictions of daily living.
Written with the Rebbetzin's rare combination of honesty, love, and chutzpah, the stories here are universal and yet so deeply personal that reading them is like having her speak to you in your own home. This inspirational guide will give you the sustenance you need to lead a more fulfilling and committed life.
Drawing on the timeless wisdom of the Torah, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis reminds us of the principles necessary for living a better and more committed life:
"A Long Life is not good enough, but a good life is long enough."
"Let me share with you the formula our sages proposed for change and personal growth. `A man,' they teach, `is shaped by his deeds and actions' [Sefer Ha Chinuch, The Book of Education]. Now this may not sound like such a revolutionary idea, but it is diametrically opposed to that which our secular world believes--that it is our thoughts and convictions that mold and make us what we are...The mind is tricky, capable of rationalizing, playing games with ideas that the heart finds too demanding or too restrictive, and so Sefer Ha Chinuch advises us to bypass the cerebral, concentrate on our deeds and actions, and just do what we have to do. Through that doing, our personalities, our character traits, will be reshaped and molded until one day we will discover that we have become the new beings that we had hoped to become, that we are connecting to that goodness in our souls, and that we are on our way to fulfilling our mission in life."
-- from The Committed Life
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 is one of the most touching and inspiring books I've ever read." -- -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger, author of The Ten Commandments
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis was born in Hungary and is descended from a great rabbinic dynasty that traces its lineage back to King David. Founder and president of Hineni, an international out-reach organization with centers in New York and Jerusalem, she writes a weekly column for the Jewish Press, has a weekly television program, lectures extensively, and has been featured in numerous national publications, among them The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, and People. She lives in New York.