I had entered shul feeling shaky because I had to say Yizkor, and my attention was riveted by a lovely woman that I had never seen before. I was captivated by her beautiful smile.
When she heard that I was giving a shiur l’ilui nishmat my dear mother, ob”m, she wanted to attend as she was in the year of aveilut for her father, ob”m, a Holocaust survivor.
During the shiur, I asked her to read her father’s chapter of Tehillim and to speak about him. We were captivated by what she had to relate. Her father survived the crematorium. Right before he was due to enter the place of death, he covered his head and shouted, “Shema Yisrael.”
Baruch Hashem, he was spared.
We’ve kept in touch sporadically, as she lives in Las Vegas, where I met her. When I was visiting my children who live there, recently, I heard that she had remarried, a few months ago. We met in shul again and she, in her early 70’s is a radiant kallah. She couldn’t get the words out fast enough to share how her father – yes, her father – had made her shidduch!
Claire (her husband calls her Chaya), related that during the previous Sukkot her new husband, Uri, was the baal tefilla for Yizkor. As he was leading the kehillah, he heard a voice in his ear instructing him “to take care of my daughter.” After he finished davening, he looked around trying to figure out which young lady needed assistance, but he didn’t see anyone who seemed to be in distress.
He went outside for a break and met Claire.
They are a study in contrasts. Claire is blonde and fair but she grew up in Eretz Yisrael. Uri is a Yemenite Jew who also lived for many years in Aretz.
Now they both live in Las Vegas, Nevada.
During conversation they found out that they had been neighbors when both lived in the Holy Land. The conversation flowed. They clicked. They married soon after that initial meeting in shul.
We are instructed to say Yizkor in order “to remember” our dearly departed loved ones. Yet this “love story” proves that love transcends all barriers and that a parent “remembers” his child forever.
Don’t you agree?