Wendy Runge’s Lowest Point in Prison
B”H, last week JewishMOM Wendy Runge was freed from an Iowa prison after serving only 6 months of her controversial 10-year sentence.
When Rechy Frankfurter of Ami Magazine asked Wendy what her low point in prison had been, she replied, “I was at my lowest point emotionally about a month ago, before I…knew the hearing was imminent. My 11 1/2 year old daughter asked me, “Mommy, what should I wear for Shabbos?” All of a sudden, I realized I didn’t know what clothes she had or what she looked like now. That hit me hard, because I’m an involved mother.”
And what enabled Wendy to pull through this whopper of a nisayon– aside from over 2000 letters of support she received and her rock-solid faith in Hashem? What enabled her to pull through her time in prison was her determination to perform as many acts of kindness as possible for her fellow prisoners. She explained:
“[The prison staff members] were scared of me before I arrived. They thought I was a holy terror. They’d gotten memos that I couldn’t be spoken to by a male. I said, ‘I have male attorneys. My rabbi is male!’ They said, ‘You wouldn’t believe the rumours that were spread about you before you got here.’…
“I lived in the special-needs dorm because they didn’t know what to do with me. So at 5 a.m. I’d take the women in their wheelchairs down to get their meds…
“I [also] volunteered to be the housekeeper. I scrubbed showers and floors. That caused the ‘holy terror’ thing to fade away pretty quickly. The staff would take me aside and say, ‘If this happened to me, I couldn’t handle it.’ But I knew Hashem was with me. I had rough times, but I just continued to do as much chesed as I could. I volunteered for everything.
“I wanted them to see that this is what Jews do.”