web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



A Life Not With Standing, Inspirational Memoir

Author Chava Willig Levy at a child's sheva brachos (post-wedding celebration meal).

Author Chava Willig Levy at a child's sheva brachos (post-wedding celebration meal).
Photo Credit: Online album

First I must be totally honest about this book,  A Life Not with Standing by Chava Willig Levy.  I do know the author.  We spent a lot of time together in the 1970′s during her visits to her grandmother’s Jerusalem apartment a floor under mine.  Her Bubbi, parents, Aunt Nettie and other relatives adopted us as family, which I’m grateful  for to this very day.

My daughters were totally enamored with Chavi and somehow always heard the taxis pulling up. They’d rush out to our merpeset (balcony) just to check, and then quickly down the three flights of stairs they’d run to take Chavi’s bags to her apartment.  They didn’t do it because they felt sorry for her; they did it because they loved being with her.  That’s the Chavi we all remember, warm, caring and full of an emotional and intellectual energy that captivated everyone.

A Life Not with StandingI must say that the Chava Willig Levy revealed in her memoir is a frightened little girl, the only Orthodox Jewish girl in a series of hospitals far from home and family.  Chavi’s memoir allows us to see the pain and panic she suffered as a little child, weak, helpless and alone.  Reading that early section of the book has me traumatized.  It’s only due to the strong love she got from her family, their faith and support that she became the amazing person she is today. What’s very interesting is that in the book’s Appendix, she has excerpts from her father’s pocket diary which shows much more frequent family visits than it seemed in her memory of the time.  No doubt that the days between her parents’ especially her mother’s visits seemed impossibly long, endless, and the same for her infrequent “vacations” home for Shabbat.  This is Chavi’s book and Chavi’s memory from childhood onto her marriage with Michael Levy.

In the 1950′s, when Chavi was stricken with Polio and given all sorts of treatments and surgeries to counteract the effects, children didn’t have many rights, especially in the hospital.  Parents were also kept away with very restricted visiting times.  Things have certainly changed, especially in Israel.  During the times my sons were hospitalized, the hospitals counted on the families to care for the children.  The staff only handles medical issues/chores.

Chavi writes a lot about the years she dreamed of marrying and having children. I remember her talking about the specially designed kitchen she wanted to have in order to cook for her family. And I remember her complaining that people just tried to set her up with handicapped men, rather than looking at her intelligence and talents for matching. All this she elaborates in her book with her great honesty and humor.

“My Tante Chadsha gave my mother music too, but a music foreign to their Chasidic home. The first of her nine siblings, brilliant, multilingual Chadsha was twenty-four years old when Imma arrived on the scene in 1923. Single until 1930, she gladly helped raise her baby sister. And in the eleven years they were destined to share, Tante Chadsha filled Imma’s ear with note after glorious note of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin and Grieg. Together with her parents and unmarried siblings, Imma immigrated to the United States in 1934, taking with her Chadsha’s passion for, and encyclopedic knowledge of, classical music. She gladly would have given up that treasure if she could have taken Chadsha with her instead. But three of Imma’s siblings—Chadsha, Aidel and Chatzkel—stayed behind with their spouses and children. Hitler’s henchmen murdered them all. Whenever I asked my parents for which departed relative I had been named, as is customary in Ashkenazic families, they would answer vaguely, “Well, for a wonderful aunt, we named you Chava. And your middle name, Yehudis, is also in memory of an aunt.” I always assumed they were referring to two of their own aunts. But ten years after Imma died, I learned that they had been referring to one aunt: mine.”

Finally, it was the gift of music that brought her together with her husband Michael.

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Life Not With Standing, Inspirational Memoir”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jews Against Genocide mimicked and blasphemed the ALS Ice Bucket  Challenge with their anti-Israel "Blood Bucket Challenge."
‘Jews Against Genocide’ Take ‘Blood Bucket Challenge’ at Yad Vashem [video]
Latest Blogs Stories
terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks to the UNGA, Sept. 29, 2014.

Bibi speaks resolutely in forums like the UN but we don’t see that strength on the ground here.

Jewish archaeological finds

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking but no, I haven’t lost my mind and no, I am not kidding.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Discover the motivations and the emotions that may affect investing.

This piece partner- no it was not a spelling mistake- they desire piece after piece of our Land.

President Obama showed courageous leadership with his decision to attack “Islamic State” despite the unavoidable ensuing collateral damage.

The solution to the friction with Hareidim on El Al flights is so simple and obvious, it amazes me that it hasn’t been implemented yet.

Global resources flow to young and capable descendants of Arabs who left Palestine over 60 years ago

There was a problem: A different speech, in part, was delivered on September 27

Obama’s speech was the epitome of chutzpah and hypocrisy.

After Israeli-Arab and Zionist Mohammed Zoabi expressed his support for Israel, he was forced to go into hiding for his safety…

Here is your chance to show your appreciation to the IDF!

This video of IDF soldiers singing one of the most powerful prayers Jews say on the holiest day of the year is simply amazing!

When I think back to one year ago it actually feels like a lifetime ago; I was truly another person.

More Articles from Batya Medad
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks to the UNGA, Sept. 29, 2014.

Bibi speaks resolutely in forums like the UN but we don’t see that strength on the ground here.

obama gunslinger

Obama’s speech was the epitome of chutzpah and hypocrisy.

Last night I attended the big festive celebration of ten years of Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Museum. Security was tight, almost like at a foreign airport, because both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Ruby Rivlin were to be there. And yes, they were and yes they spoke. Officially the evening was a tribute […]

The Jewish Press stressed the possible ramifications of such a breach of Israeli political protocol

Countries like Turkey, Europe and even the US have proven fertile ground for recruiting terrorists

We’ll never be able to negotiate a true, lasting peace with the Arabs.Their aim is our destruction.

Jordan: Only M.E. country with no historical basis and ruled by occupiers placed by European powers.

Not only Israel, but World Jewry owes everything to the holy bravery of the IDF and its soldiers.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/a-life-not-with-standing-inspirational-memoir/2013/12/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: