web analytics
December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Zaida’s Spirit: A Tribute


“Silly child, why are you crying?” Zaida asked me. He reminded us how fortunate we were to be together in a Jewish medina.

My grandfather was a chasiddishe yid, an ardent lover of Tzion and Yerushalayim, a true ohev Eretz Yisrael in every sense. And as Chazal promised, “He who mourns the destruction of Jerusalem will rejoice in her redemption.”

After undergoing surgery in Hadassah Hospital during the Six-Day War, Zaida returned home weak and weary, in need of healing. My husband promised him that if he ate, and gained strength, he would take him to the newly liberated Kotel. It was a real incentive, and after two months, on Rosh Chodesh Elul, Sholom brought the car to the apartment my grandfather was now sharing with my parents in Rechavia, on the edge of Shaarei Chesed, and drove Zaida straight up to the Wall.

The sound of the shofar, unheard at the holy site for so many years, filled the air at the Kotel that morning. Zaida’s tears of joy – tears for having been deemed worthy to daven, to seek forgiveness, and to praise Hashem at the Kotel – have yet to dry up. They linger on, with much vividness, in my memory.

His soul departed four months later, the 12th of Tevet, on Shabbat morning Parshat Vayechi.

Zaida was likened to Yaakov Avinu whose life and death, and the blessings given to his sons, are recorded in Vayechi. He lived his life as a thoroughly devout Jew, having fulfilled each mitzvah, the simple as well as the most difficult, to the minutest detail. Despite turbulent years in Hungarian and American exiles, my grandfather – Reb Menashe Gross z”l – never lost his love of performing mitzvos or his desire to live in Eretz Yisrael.

Passed on through the wine in his Kiddush cup are his performance and his desires. Those who sipped his wine inherited his uncompromising devotion and faith. Others, carrying his name, inherited qualities of his soul.

A few hours after Zaida was laid to rest on Har Hamenuchot, a steady, peaceful snow began to fall at midnight, blanketing Jerusalem. That quiet snowfall in January 1968 was the calm that followed a wild, windy rainstorm that had thrashed Jerusalem for two days and nights. Electricity was suspended for a week, and Jerusalem was painted white. Old giant trees, uprooted, lay dead across major thoroughfares and side streets, forcing closure. (The huge logs, a pedestrian menace, were finally hauled away to make room for new saplings.)

Damage to the city was far greater than anything inflicted by man-made artillery shells during the lightning war half a year earlier. My mother, my aunt, and one visiting uncle sat down to shiva in a cold, dark apartment. Snowed in, we were unable to get to the shiva house until two days later, and then only by foot.

Hashem natan, Hashem lakach, yehi shem Hashem mevorach” were the only words of consolation offered on that wintry day 40 years ago when a small part of Zaida’s family was comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

About the Author: Faigie Heiman is an accomplished short-story and essay writer and the author of a popular memoir titled “Girl For Sale.” Born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, she has lived in Israel for more than fifty years.


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 “Zaida’s Spirit: A Tribute”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The 13th issue of Al Qaeda's 'Inspire' online English-language magazine.
Al Qaeda Urges ‘Lone Wolves’ via Magazine to Attack US Airliners
Latest Indepth Stories
The New York Police Department has announced increased coverage of NYC synagogues.

Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.

Arieh King

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.

Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.

A revolution is taking place between good and evil; light and darkness. Make the light activism!

Obama’s comments calling Israeli settlements “unhelpful”are harsher than prior US administrations’

He ruthlessly crushed the revolt, and, despite lacking official Roman sanction, ordered the rebel leaders put to death without trial.

Hamas recently stated publicly that a new explosion of violence against Israel is imminent.

We can never allow Israel in the name of democracy to turn herself into an Arab or bi-nationalstate

The Jordanian public is a fertile ground of anger that could be easily exploited by ISIS.

How can “Fame” help bring Moshiach?

Let us become modern day Maccabees and seize the day. Embrace the challenge. Fight for Hashem.

Har HaBayit is still Biyadein; Through our actions, its fate is in our hands

More Articles from Faigie Heiman
Mrs. Hench Leiman

Aunt Hench is a natural charmer. A people person, spunky and quick as only someone small as a light bulb can be, and wherever she is, she is a bright star.

President Reuven Rivlin

The president’s message was one of living peacefully in a Jewish and democratic state, Jews of all stripes unified as brothers, with Arabs or citizens of other religions.

Water: a fluid with life-giving force, a thin liquid even a trickle of which can assure survival. Crops, fields, land, people – we all need water. We need water for growth, for purity, for beauty, for subsistence. What do we do when water sources are depleted? We have learned not to behave like the young […]

Beautiful Site, Joy of all the Earth; two of the seventy names provided for Jerusalem.

Beautiful Site, Joy of all the Earth; two of the seventy names provided for Jerusalem.

At age 104, my mother was still concerned about her relationship with Hashem.

Erev Yom Ha’Atzmaut, 2012: As I return from a visit to my elderly mother in the northern part of Jerusalem, the bus winds its way through ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. The stone buildings along the route are colorless shades of sand and grey, some new, some old and blackened with age. Men and women rush through busy streets, expressions of pain and joy, helpless and hopeful looks defining their faces.

Turning on the news Thursday night, I expected to hear the wretched daily tally of Kassam/Grad rockets shot from Gaza to into Sderot or Ashkelon; instead, breaking news streamed across the screen about a terror attack taking place that very moment at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/zaidas-spirit-a-tribute/2007/12/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: