web analytics
August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



The Eternal Flame

Lessons-logo

This column is dedicated to the memory of my mother-in-law, Shoshana Weinberg.

It was a few minutes after sunrise. A new day had begun, and everyone was preparing for work, school and shopping for Shabbat. But the sun was setting slowly in our basement, as it was setting calmly for my mother-in-law. It was time for her to take leave of family, children and everything in this world.

For almost nine months she had struggled valiantly with pancreatic cancer that slowly but surely took away her strength. But she still insisted on participating in activities that she normally would not have done. I think it was her calm way of fighting and dealing with life’s curves. Until her last month she attended the seniors group twice a week. And of course she insisted on shopping and lugging her own purchases home from the supermarket. One day, seeing her breathless, I offered to help her. But “help” was not part of her vocabulary until the very end, when it became quite obvious that she could not manage on her own.

As God orchestrates life’s cycles, my mother-in-law’s nine-month struggle occurred during approximately the same nine-month period that my eldest daughter was pregnant with her fifth child. To that point we had nine grandsons, all beautiful and filled with personality. But no granddaughters, although I still held out hope for one (who could be named after my mother).

At around midnight one night, we were beckoned to our daughter’s home in order to take care of her children snuggled in their beds. Five minutes after arriving, my daughter and son-in-law were on their way to meet the doula and go to the hospital. Fifteen minutes later we got the SMS we had been waiting for – for over 10 years: it’s a girl! They could not have gotten to the hospital in just 15 minutes; my new granddaughter was indeed born in their car. Yes, we were very tired – but very happy about our new addition.

This all happened exactly one week before my mother-in-law passed away. The thing about parents is that you don’t want to let them go. All of us were once attached to our mothers by the umbilical cord, and in a way we remain as such throughout our lives – until death do us part. In this case it was hard to let go, though none of us wanted to see her suffer to the point where she would be in chronic pain, dependent on others for her every need.

Perhaps due to our prayers, or to some miracle, she managed so well for so long. During most of her nine months of suffering, she spent much more time with us at meals and on Shabbatot. That was the least we could do.

During my mother-in-law’s last few months, my wife and her mother spent quality time together around the Shabbat candles. My wife told me that my mother-in-law would give a special blessing to all the children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren. While she will no longer light those candles, the memory of those special and unique moments will live on.

Only a day before her passing my daughter gathered the family together to name her baby – our first granddaughter. And my mother-in-law miraculously found the stamina to get dressed and attend the naming. What a lesson in strength and courage. No, not physical strength but strength of spirit – which is of greater value. She so much wanted to be part of the happy event that nothing was going to keep her away.

That afternoon everyone gathered at my mother-in-law’s home to participate in what had become known as Savta Pizza Day. Every Thursday afternoon for more than a year she treated all of us to pizza (I’m really not a pizza fan, but I was there to be part of the clan and to run after my grandchildren). This was the one and only time that my mother-in-law did not have the strength to leave her home and go to the local pizzeria. So we went to her backyard, pizza in hand. We sang with her, read from the Book of Psalms, and enjoyed each other’s company. We didn’t realize that this was to be the very last Savta Pizza Day.

About the Author:


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 “The Eternal Flame”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
4 yr old Israeli Daniel Tregerman, murdered by Hamas rocket on Aug. 22, 2014.
IDF: Israeli Toddler Murdered by Rocket Fired Near UNRWA School/Shelter
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

PTI-082214

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

Weiss-082214-Beloved

Hashem recalls everything – nothing is hidden from His eyes.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

An interview was overheard in which an Arab asked a Hamas commander: “What’s the problem? Why aren’t you hitting your targets? Don’t you know how to aim?” To which he was answered: “We know how to aim very well. We are experts. But their G-d moves the missiles.”

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

The first prayer of Moshe was Vayechal, where Moshe’s petition was that no matter how bad bnei Yisrael were, the Egyptians were worse.

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

Rabbinic law is pivotal but it’s important to understand which laws are rabbinic and which biblical.

We give slave gifts? If he wants to stay, we pierce his ear?!

More Articles from Rabbi Zalmen Eisenstock
Eisenstock-040414

Our loved ones seem present though we can no longer see them or be with them, just as it is with God

Eisenstock-120613

Just as the moon waxes and wanes and then totally disappears from view before returning to the night sky, so, too, the Jewish people.

It was a few minutes after sunrise. A new day had begun, and everyone was preparing for work, school and shopping for Shabbat. But the sun was setting slowly in our basement, as it was setting calmly for my mother-in-law. It was time for her to take leave of family, children and everything in this world.

Rosh Hashanah memories take us to our shuls, homes and families. They remind us of promises made about how we would change our lives and rearrange our priorities. There may also be memories of the delicacies we ate when we were children – the chicken soup, gefilte fish and great desserts. And one sound, the sound of the shofar blasting away with its shrill notes of tekiah, shevarim… and finally the long, very last sound – the tekiah gedolah.

A little more than six months ago, my sister-in-law passed away after battling a serious illness. For more than 30 years she had given symposiums on the Holocaust to youngsters in the Philadelphia area, and we talked about her activities many times on our visits to the U.S. After her passing I was determined to do some kind of volunteer work for Yad Vashem in her memory.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/the-eternal-flame/2013/08/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: