web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Tze’i Lach B’ikvei Hatzon… A Tribute to my Grandmother, Mrs. Irene Klass, on her Yahrzeit


Irene-Klass-477x320

In Shir HaShirim 1:7, the Jewish people ask Hashem how they are to survive in the galut among the nations. The Jewish people point out to Hashem that this is a very dangerous time for them, as it is likened to grazing the sheep in the heat of the day when the sun is too strong for them to bear.

In the eighth pasuk Hashem answers the Jewish people by giving them advice on how to survive when they don’t have a leader and don’t know where to turn. Hashem tells them: “Tze’i lach b’ikvei hatzon” – look at the footprints that your forefathers and foremothers left you and follow in their ways. Hashem points out that our fathers and mothers accepted the Torah and kept its laws, and He guarantees us that if we follow in their ways, no harm will befall us in the long galut.

How fortunate we are to have footprints to follow on our long journey. I feel very fortunate to have footprints that are still fresh and clear. My grandmother, Mrs. Irene Klass, passed away three years ago after a long and full life, Baruch Hashem. She went through very long journeys during her life, and was zocheh to leave behind very large footprints. My grandmother paved the way for us, trying to make sure that we would have a path to follow on our own long journeys. No matter where life takes us or what comes our way, we can just look at how Bubbie would have handled the situation and it all becomes clear.

This is because Bubbie lived a life of Torah. She followed Hashem’s advice to us: accept the Torah and its laws, as our forefathers did. She even composed a song about it that she would sing often: “I love Hashem, I love his Torah and its laws, if you look in it you won’t find any flaws; it’s for you, it’s for me.” Bubbie had a great appreciation for Torah and just wanted to spread it to as many people as possible. My grandfather, Rabbi Sholom Klass, zt”l, shared her passion and it was for this reason that together they created The Jewish Press. She always wanted to learn and understand what the Torah’s opinion was on any topic in her life. When I would ask her for advice, she would tell me, “Let’s ask Zaidie, he will show us where it is in the Gemara,” since she knew that the Gemara would have an answer to any situation and that my grandfather would know where to find it. She was very proud that her husband was a talmid chacham, and always deferred to him.

There are many other footprints that Bubbie left for me. I will try to mention a few of the important ones that I think all of us can learn from. Bubbie was an incredible ba’alat chesed. Many times I wondered (as did my grandfather) how she knew of all these people who needed her help. I recently heard a d’var Torah about a pasuk in Mishlei that explained this to me: in Mishlei (27:19) it says: “As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man to man.” This pasuk means that just as water reflects one’s face, so too our hearts can connect with one another as a reflection. Rav Aharon Shteinman, shlita, asked why the metaphor of water is used in this pasuk to indicate the reflection of the face. The pasuk could have used a mirror to teach this lesson. He answers that it is because in order to see your reflection in water, you have to bend. When one looks in a mirror one is standing straight and is completely focused on oneself. However, once a person has to bend, his mind is already open to seeing things differently. Once a person has to bend, he can see other people’s faces as well. My grandmother took the time to see other people’s faces, and once she did, it was her heart to the heart of the other, as it says in the pasuk. That is how she was able to do such incredible chesed.

These are big footprints to follow, especially in our lives today when most of us communicate through e-mails and texts. We are losing the art of seeing someone else’s face. Yet it is only when we see the person’s face that we can truly understand what he or she is going through and what he or she needs.

Another footprint my grandmother left me was her davening. Bubbie had a special way of davening. She actually had a conversation with Hashem. Every morning she would stand by the glass doors to her porch, look up to the sky with tears in her eyes, and say most of the morning prayers as they are written in the siddur. But then when she was done, she would continue to stand there and literally talk to Hashem, telling Him how thankful she was for all the blessings He gave her. She would list her children and all of her grandchildren, and beseech Him for whatever anyone needed. It was obvious from the way she spoke that she firmly believed that He was present and listening. She understood that Hashem was the One and Only address that was worth talking to. She spoke to Hashem from her heart and always with tears in her eyes. I knew she was davening for me and I felt safe and protected. As I go through my prayers in my busy life, I try to envision Bubbie talking to Hashem, so that I might follow in her large footprints.

My grandmother also had a very strong sense of right and wrong. She didn’t believe in being “politically correct” when it came to moral issues. She was extremely honest and did not bend the truth. Something was either right or wrong. And anything that was right and just was worth standing up for and fighting for – and that is what she did. As she was a gifted writer, she often used the power of the pen and the press to fight for just causes. Bubbie would stay up through the night to make one more phone call or write one more letter or article. She just could not rest until she knew that she had done all that was in her power to bring about justice. She conducted every aspect of her busy life with honesty and sincerity.

Finally, my grandmother was a very modest woman as well. She dressed beautifully and stylishly, but always followed the halachot of tzniut. Her modesty was reflected not only in her clothing but in her speech and behavior as well. She never spoke a foul word and would refuse to listen to anything that contained language that was inappropriate. She would not hesitate to leave in the middle of a show (on Saturday night, when she was in a hotel) if she felt that the content was not pure, and couldn’t understand why any person who followed Torah ways stayed to hear the vulgar language.

My grandmother had many other wonderful talents, such as dancing and singing, but what I miss most of all is her Torah-sound advice, her clear vision in a world gone mad, and her honest way of telling it straight. The footprints she left for us are huge, despite her small physical size. My husband and I try, as Hashem advises us, to raise our family to follow in her footprints, to keep them fresh and clear for the next generation so that we, together with Klal Yisrael, may be zocheh to survive this galut and return to Eretz Yisrael, ushering in the final geulah, bimheirah b’yameinu. Amen.

About the Author: Shandee Fuchs gives a weekly parshah shiur for women in Flatbush.


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.

One Response to “Tze’i Lach B’ikvei Hatzon… A Tribute to my Grandmother, Mrs. Irene Klass, on her Yahrzeit

  1. An insightful, endearing, and extremely well written tribute to your grandmother, Mrs. Irene Klass, may her memory be for a blessing. — Beth Schenerman Sarafraz

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
J-Street
J Street: The Jewish Enemy Within
Latest News Stories
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Organization President Mohammad Sarafraz.

The US decides “no more extensions” as international nuclear talks with Iran come down to the wire.

Former Prisoner of Zion Natan Sharansky serves today as the Jewish Agency for Israel's Chairman of the Executive.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky expresses his firm support for Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.

Elephants in the Water

With temperatures soaring, everyone is getting in the water…

Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems deployed in a military exercise.

Russia closed its deal Monday to deliver the powerful S-300 missile defense system to Iran… eventually.

Flash floods and more rain in Texas means a rising death toll and desperate people searching in kayaks.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Netanyahu government voted Wednesday to form a new ministerial committee on Arab affairs.

Shurat HaDin calls for expulsion of PA soccer chief Rajoub for inciting terror – hours before Swiss arrests of FIFA officials for various charges of corruption.

Rabbi Riskin believes the Rabbinate must be prepared to accept Halachic decisions that aren’t Ultra-Orthodox.

The case also called for banning the sale of French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo and the Liberation newspaper in Egypt over “blasphemy against Prophet Mohamed.”

Saed Erekat: Israel first must agree to all of our terms before we negotiate.

The temperature is expected to reach extreme levels today, drink water.

“In the chaos of the conflict… Hamas…granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuse, amounting to war crimes.”

The Israeli Air Force responded to a rocket attack from Gaza by striking terrorist sites within the Strip.

Information on more than 100,000 US taxpayers was stolen by hackers who breached the IRS.

Hamas terrorist leaders are hiding again as Israel considers a response to Tuesday’s rocket attack.

“In the chaos of the conflict… Hamas…granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuse, amounting to war crimes.”

More Articles from Shandee Fuchs
Rabbi Sholom Klass

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

amalek

Amalek tries to convince us there is no hashgacha in this world – that Hashem is not involved and doesn’t care about us.

My grandmother, Mrs. Irene Klass, passed away three years ago after a long and full life, Baruch Hashem. My grandmother paved the way for us, trying to make sure that we would have a path to follow on our own long journeys.

I wasn’t sure if I should write something about the petira of Rebbetzin Kanievsky, z”tl.

My first reaction was who am I to write about such a great person? How could I possibly describe who she was? She was so great that mere words cannot do her justice.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/obituaries/tzei-lach-bikvei-hatzon-a-tribute-to-my-grandmother-mrs-irene-klass-on-her-yahrzeit/2013/11/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: