web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



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
Photo from campaign of Robert Rensdell for US senator from Kentucky.
US Senate Campaign Used to Spread Hatred of Jews (and Masks Hatred of Blacks)
Latest Blogs Stories
Doug Goldstein

Why some countries are more economically successful than others? Tune in for the answer…

ethics

If not scared by God be scared by man; Hopefully ethics will integrate into lives for proper reasons

rgds

Smear campaigns by people with agendas other than justice do not faze him; He does what is right.

Even Muslims -- including a number of groups one might consider to be quite radical -- are distancing themselves from ISIS and declaring the group to be apostate.

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

How many times have you heard anti-semites spew words like Israel are Nazis, or what you are doing to the Arabs is worse that what the Nazis did to the Jews?!…

My blog, Israpundit, was hacked, and I had to move to a new domain…

There’s much confusion about the definition of Daas Torah; simply put it means the wisdom of Torah.

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

Now I live in a country where every shop in the food court is kosher! I can have anything I want!

Pashkevil: “Come out today and battle the Zionist Amalek and all the traitors in Nahal Haredi…”

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

Why is an IRA a worthwhile account for retirement? And how can you use it to the best advantage?

Like the fighter pilot’s letter, I wonder if certain units are simply too sensitive to allow certain leftwingers to serve in, and to entrust in their hands the security of our country and our lives.

There is only one thing more tragic than experiencing a terror attack, and that is allowing those who attacked you to do it again!

Smuggling Gazans into Europe is cheaper than fighting with Gaza, and then rebuilding all the destruction.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

More Articles from Batya Medad
Even Muslims -- including a number of groups one might consider to be quite radical -- are distancing themselves from ISIS and declaring the group to be apostate.

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

Exodus-poster

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.

Reuters has an article up claiming that to rebuild Gaza it will cost $7.8 billion. (Reuters) – Rebuilding Gaza will cost $7.8 billion, the Palestinian Authority said on Thursday, in the most comprehensive assessment yet of damage from a seven-week war with Israel during which whole neighborhoods and vital infrastructure were flattened. I just think […]

It’s time to accept that the world cares more for “Palestinian” fiction than Jewish rights in Israel

Connect the dots, please: All of these Muslim Arab terror organizations are connected.

There is absolutely nothing for Israel’s security in this American document.

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: