Hesped* for Shira. . .
This past Tuesday, I suddenly received an Instant Message while at work, from my son in Jerusalem, savying that a friend's daughter, who had battled Hodgkin's Disease on and off for several years (it had just recurred, after having been in remission), had just died that day. She left a bereft young husband, and a toddler son who will now grow up without a mother.
I had known her and her family since way before they made aliyah, over twelve years ago. Our kids grew up together in the same community, attended the same schools. It is a terrible loss to me--I burst into tears and was unable to concentrate on work that day--and to our whole community.
I know nothing about Hodgekin's Lymphoma, except that I thought this was a more treatable type of cancer. I am devastated; I cannot fathom what her wonderful parents-my friends, who raised all their children to be good human beings and good Jews (Shira's brother and my younger son are friends as well)-are going through. I am afraid to think about it.
And I am angry at G-d, for not creating a miracle and arresting this horrible disease in its tracks, to save this wonderful young mother from this horrible illness (and her parents from an unspeakable anguish), this young mother who (as was written in an email I received from Tsfat) at least, had the zchut to make Aliyah, find and marry her basherte, and have a child.
Two of my children managed to get to the levaya (funeral) in Efrat. They had to tramp (hitch a ride) and wait half an hour for a bus, but they made it. My daughter told me there were 600 people there; it was officiated by our former Rabbi, Rav Twersky, who was able to fly into the country in time. My daughter also said it seemed as if our whole community was in attendance...
The week has left me emotionally exhausted and drained. If any of my readers would like to learn Torah, or give extra tzedakah*, or help someone in need, or do any extra mitzvah, you can dedicate it in Shira's memory. I made the announcement at my intermediate Hebrew class, that all future classes will be dedicated to the memory of sweet Shira Rachma Batzion bat Alter Natan Neta.
May her neshama have an aliyah.
*neshama - soul
*aliyah - ascend (determined by context, either to Israel, or to the higher levels of Heaven)
*hesped - eulogy
*tzedakah - commonly translated as "charity." Really comes from the shoresh (root) meaning "righteousness."