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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘continued’

The Story Of Chanukah (continued from last week)

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Yehudis

In armies of the powerful Greek leader Heliphornus, driven by his cruel and evil ambition, conquered city after city, plundering and looting. In addition, Heliphornus demanded that his captives accept the Greek gods as their own. The nations found no particular objection to this, since they were polytheistic anyhow, and hence worshiped a multitude of idols in any event.

The Jews, however, rejected the abominable statues that the Greeks ordered them to place in the Temple.

Heliphornus was beside himself with rage and frustration and gathered a mighty army in preparation for the march on Jerusalem – nearly 120,000 infantry men and 92,000 bow men.

Before setting off for the capital city of Judea, Heliphornus addressed some of his officers and various distinguished guests.

“As you know, the miserable race of people that I am going to destroy differs from all the others. They have brazenly refused to obey the orders of the King to bow down before the Greek gods. I have therefore determined that there is no solution for this problem than the complete destruction of the group.”

Among those listening to Heliphornus speak, was the king of a small nation who rose and declared: “l pray the King’s indulgence. I have heard his words with much misgivings, for I know of the danger involved in waging a battle against the God of the Jews. This God is mighty. He has great powers, and seems to see and know everything. Look, I pray you, at the history of those kings that attempted to struggle against Him and the Jews.

Pharoh, the mighty king of Egypt defied them and we know how his empire was humbled, humiliated, and almost destroyed. Sancherib led a mighty army against the very city that you wish to conquer today. Yet a mysterious plague felled his army. I say, that if you attack the Jews and their God, you are destined to be defeated.

Heliphornus was livid with anger at the words of this captive king.

“Who is the person to dare declare that my powerful army and force of my mighty army will be unable to destroy a weak and insignificant people? Take him and cast him into the cell. We will then chain him and deliver him to the Jews whom he seems to admire so much.”

The king was seized, chained, and led to the camp of the Jews. As he was cast into it, the Greeks shouted: “This is what is done to the man who speaks well of the Jews. Take him, so that he may suffer your fate when we have conquered and destroyed your city.

The unfortunate king, was taken in chains before the two leaders of the Jewish army, Uzziah and Carmi who were greatly surprised to see him. He told them what had transpired and of the mighty army gathered to destroy the city. When the two Jewish leaders heard this they rushed to the Bais HaMikdash, prostrated themselves and prayed: “O Lord, the God of Israel, look down from the Heaven and see what the evil Greek intends doing to your people Israel. Pour out your wrath upon this nation that knows you not and Sanctify your Name.”

 

Awaiting The Greeks

Having finished praying, the two soldiers returned to the room, where the captive king awaited them. Taking him to his home, Uzziah made him welcome and treated him as an honored guest.

He then left for a conference with the army as to the best ways to defend the city.

Many long hours were spent carefully planning for the Greek attack. Finally, all that could be done was done and the city waited tensely for the Greek hordes to come.

The following morning, the Greek army was sighted in the distance, approaching Jerusalem. The defenders of the city knew that they had one advantage in the fact that city was built on a hill. All paths and roads leading up the mountain were immediately placed under heavy guard to keep the Greeks from entering them.

When Heliphornus analyzed the situation, he saw that to attempt to dislodge the Jews from their well-fortified positions on the heights would be a very costly operation.

“My lord,” suddenly spoke up one of the officers “I think that perhaps I may have an idea that will result in a bloodless victory for us.”

“Speak up,” commanded the king.

“The supply of food,” stated the officer, “is undoubtedly good. But they must get their water from outside of the city. Let us find the pipes that carry this water and cut them.”

The Greeks quickly fanned out in search of the water pipes and before long had discovered them. Cutting them, they sat back and waited for the inevitable thirst and surrender of the Jews.

It took twenty days for the wells and cisterns to dry up, and a terrible thirst gripped the inhabitants of the city. As their thirst grew so did their desperation.

One evening a great crowd of men, women and youths marched upon the house Of Uzziah.

“May G-d judge between you and us,” they cried, “because of your actions we shall either die of thirst or a horrible death at the hand of Heliphornus whom you have angered. Far better that we live as slaves under the Greeks than that we die. We have decided that you must surrender the city immediately to the Greeks.”

 

(Continued next week)

Rabbi Sholom Klass

The History Of Chanukah (continued from last week)

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Under A Syrian Rule

More than 2,000 years ago, the land of Israel was part of the Syrian Empire. At first, Antiochus III was favorably disposed towards the Israelites and accorded them some privileges. Later on, however, when he was beaten by the Romans and compelled to pay heavy taxes, he began to tax many of the nations under his rule. When Antiochus died, his son, Seleucus IV, took over, and further oppressed the Children of Israel.

 

The “Madman”

A short time later, Seleucus was killed and his brother Antiochus 1V began his reign. He was a tyrant of a rash and impetuous nature, contemptuous of religion and of the feelings of others. He was called “Epiphanes,” meaning “the gods’ beloved.” Several of the Syrian rulers received similar titles. But a historian of his time, Polebius, gave him the epithet Epimanes (“madman”), as more suitable to the character of the harsh and cruel king.

Desiring to unify his kingdom through the medium of common religion and culture, Antiochus tried to root out the individualism of the Jews by suppressing all the Jewish customs. He removed Yochanan from his position as Kohen Gadol and replaced him with his brother, Yehoshua, who preferred his Greek name, Jason. He used his high office to spread more and more of the Greek customs among the priests.

Yehoshua was later replaced by another man, Menelaos, who promised the king more money. When Yochanan protested the spread of the Hellenists’ influence, he was murdered.

Antiochus was at that time engaged in a successful war against Egypt. But messengers from Rome arrived and commanded him to stop the war. He had to yield and call it off. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem a rumor spread that a serious accident befell Antiochus. Thinking that he was dead, the people rebelled against Menelaos. The treacherous High Priest fled together with his friends.

 

The Martyrs

Antiochus returned from Egypt enraged by Roman interference with his ambitions. When he heard what had taken place in Jerusalem, he sent his army in and thousands of Jews were killed. After that he enacted a series of harsh decrees: Jewish worship was forbidden, Torah scrolls were confiscated and burned, and Shabbat observance, brit milah and observing kashrut were prohibited under penalty of death.

Rabi Eliezer, a chacham of 90, was ordered by the king’s men to eat pork so that others would do the same. When he refused, they suggested to him that he pick up the meat to his lips to appear to be eating. When he said no to even that, he was put to death. There were thousands of others who likewise sacrificed their lives.

Antiochus’ men went from town to town and from village to village to force the inhabitants to worship pagan gods. One day they arrived in the village of Modiin where Mattisyahu, an older Kohen, lived. When the Syrian officer built an alter in the market place of the village and demanded that Mattisyahu offer sacrifices to the Greek gods, he replied, “I, my sons and my brothers are determined to remain loyal to the covenant which our G-d made with our ancestors!”

When a Hellenistic Jew approached the altar to offer a sacrifice, Mattisyahu grabbed his sword and killed him. His sons and friends fell upon the Syrian officers and killed many of them. Having chased the rest away, they destroyed the altar.

Mattisyahu knew that Antiochus would be enraged when he heard what had happened, so he and his sons fled to the Judean Hills. All loyal and courageous Jews joined them. They formed legions and from time to time left their hiding places to fell upon the enemy detachments and outposts, and to destroy the pagan altars that were built by order of Antiochus.

Before his death, Mattisyahu called his sons together and urged them to continue the fight in the defense of G-d’s Torah. He asked them to follow the counsel of their brother Shimon and the actions of their brother Yehudah who was called Macaabee, a word composed of the initial letters of four Hebrew words “Mi Kamocha Be’eilim Hashem, Who is like You, Hashem.”

Antiochus sent General Apelonius to wipe out Yehuda and his followers. Though greater in number and in equipment, the Syrians were defeated by the Maccbees. Antiochus sent out another expedition which also was defeated. He then sent an army consisting of more than 40,000 men swept the land under the leadership of two commanders, Nicanor and Gorgiash. The people assembled in Mizpeh, where Shmuel HaNavi had once davend to Hashem, and they were successful.

 

The Dedication

Now the Maccabees returned to Jerusalem and liberated it. Entering the Bais HaMikdash, they cleared it of the idols placed there by the Syrian vandals and dedicated a new one on the 25th of the month of Kislev, in the year 3622.

When they looked for oil to light the Menorah, they found only a small cruet of pure olive oil with the seal of the Yochanan Kohen Gadol. It was sufficient to light only for one day. By a miracle of G-d, it continued to burn for eight days, till new oil was made available. That miracle proved that G-d had again taken His people under His protection. In memory of this, our sages appointed these eight days for annual thanksgiving and for lighting candles.

Rabbi Sholom Klass

Complains To The King (Continued From Last Week)

Friday, November 11th, 2016

When Terach returned home and saw the havoc that his son Avram had caused, he became very angry and complained to King Nimrod.

“I cannot control my son anymore,” he told the king. “He has destroyed my gods for the second time. I give him over to you to punish.”

The king immediately sent soldiers who captured Avram and brought him before the king.

“Why did you burn your father’s gods?” the king asked him.

“Your honor, it was not me who destroyed the gods,” Avram answered. “It was the large god standing in the rear of the store who did it.”

“Do you think me to be a fool that you tell me such stories,” the king shouted at him. “These gods are not alive; they cannot move.”

“Then why do you worship them, if they are not alive?” Avram asked the king. “Why do you fool all the people into believing that they can help you? Why don’t you worship the true God in Heaven, Hashem? Put your faith and trust in Him and He will help you. You know that it was only because of behavior such as yours that our forefathers were drowned in a terrible flood that Hashem brought upon them.

“Unless you repent you will suffer a similar fate.”

“What are you talking about!?” shouted Nimrod. “I am the true god. I created the world. There is no other god except me!”

“Very well,” answered Avram, “if you are the god then order the sun that usually rises in the East and sets in the West to reverse its order, then I will believe that you are a god.

 

Argues With The King

Realizing that he couldn’t fulfill Avram’s request, Nimrod then decided upon another line of reasoning. “I may not be an all-powerful god, but I do know who the true god is. It is fire that I bow to.”

“Then why don’t you bow to water that extinguishes the fire?” Avram asked.

“Very well, we will bow to the water,” replied Nimrod.

“Better worship the clouds that carry the water away,” Avram persisted.

“Very well, this we will do,” the king agreed.

“Better worship the winds that are able to blow the clouds away,” Avram replied.

“This too we will do,” Nimrod answered.

“But man is more powerful than the winds for he is able to withstand them,” Avram said.

“Therefore you should worship man.”

Finally, Nimrod grew exasperated and in a rage he ordered Avram imprisoned. He remained in prison for 10 days until the king decreed that Avram should be thrown into a burning fire.

“We’ll see how powerful his god is,” said Nimrod. “If He is stronger than our god of fire, then He should be able to rescue him.”

When the appointed day arrived, the king gathered all of his ministers and the people of his kingdom to watch the spectacle.

When the king’s ministers saw Avram, they immediately recognized him as the boy about whom they prophesied and told the king. The king became very angry, and he summoned Terach.

“Why did you fool me when I told you to give me your son?” the king shouted at him.

Terach became frightened and he began to plead, “It wasn’t my idea,” he said. “It was the idea of my oldest son Haran.”

Haran was brought before the king and asked if he was in accord with his brother Avram. “Do you believe in his god or in my god, the god of fire?” he was asked.

Haran replied, “I will wait and see the fate of my brother, Avram. If he survives the fire then I will believe in his god; otherwise I will believe in yours.”

 

Thrown Into The Fire

The king then ordered them both to be thrown into the fiery cauldron. Their hands were bound and they were heaved into a fire that had been raging for over a week.

Immediately the angels appeared before Hashem and pleaded, “Lord of the Universe!” they said, “Give us permission to rescue this holy tzaddik from the fire.”

They then began quarreling amongst themselves, each wanting to be the one to descend into the fire to rescue Avram.

But Hashem stopped them, saying, “I am One and Only in this world, and so is Avram one and only in his land. It is only befitting that I personally rescue him.”

Immediately, Hashem Himself descended into the fire and surrounded Avram with cool air that protected him from the intense heat. Only the rope binding his hands burned. His clothes, even his shoes, remained intact, untouched by the fire. His brother Haran, in the meantime, was burned.

The people saw Avram walking around in the fire and were in awe. They notified the king who approached the fire and he, too, saw Avram walking around in the intense blaze. He ordered his soldiers to take Avram out of the fire. But the soldiers could not approach as the heat was so intense that it burned their skin. But upon the king’s command the soldiers tried to enter the fire. Eight soldiers immediately died, and many more were terribly burned.

 

Believes In Avram’s God

When the king saw this he approached the fire and shouted, “Avram, servant of the true God in Heaven, come forth from the fire. I believe in your God.”

Immediately, Avram walked out. He was untouched by the fire, and when people saw this, a great shout burst forth from them.

The king and his ministers then gave Avram silver and they served Hashem. The king also gave Avram a servant who was named Og.

Hundreds of people began serving the God of Avram, and from that day onward a new religion was launched – a belief in the true God of Israel. May the day soon come when all the inhabitants of the earth shall turn their hearts to the true God in Heaven and may He enter into all of their hearts, and may all the people become as one. Amen.

Rabbi Sholom Klass

The Answer (Continued From Last Week)

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Reb Daniel Yaffee, the wealthiest man in Berlin, made a foolish bargain in his youth, whereby he promised to give his friend, David, all the money he would ever make in the future over 10,000 marks. Then David gave him a penknife as a token. His friend, a pauper, has now returned after many years to seek money for his daughter’s wedding and Reb Daniel remembers the bargain. He rushes to the great Rav Tzvi Hirsch Levin to seek some solution.

 

The Answer

Reb Daniel finished telling his story to Rav Tzvi Hirsch who looked at the shaken man who stood before him, and said: “Reb Daniel, the Almighty knows how hard you worked for your money and how honestly you obtained it. What you worked for remains yours and your friend David has no claim on it.”

Reb Daniel looked at the rav of Berlin and exclaimed in surprise: “What do you mean? It is true that David has not asked me for the money, but I am obligated to keep my word that I gave in a business deal.”

 

Future Transaction

Rav Tzvi Hirsch explained, “I tell you that, according to law, you are not obligated to give anything. There is a clear law in the Talmud that states that a man cannot sell a future interest in a thing that has not yet come into being. And even the minority that holds it is possible to do so, say that it is possible only when the object has a definite chance of coming into existence, such as selling the future crop from a tree.

“In your case, however, and in any far-fetched future transaction, the law holds that the buying party never took the bargain seriously or considered it a real transaction.

“David obviously never considered your becoming wealthy as being possible, and when he gave you the penknife, he did it as a friend and it remained only a present.

“If you want to, you can certainly give David as much money as you wish, but legally you owe him nothing.”

Reb Daniel Happy

When Reb Daniel heard these words, it was as if a stone was lifted from his heart. The sun seemed to shine brighter as he left the rav. He emptied his pockets of all his money as he rode home, giving it to the numerous poor people who stopped him along the way.

Running into his house, he told the good news to his wife and then sat down to say Tehillim in praise to the Almighty.

Then he hurried to his store and took 1,000 ducats from the safe. It was a very great sum, far in excess of the money that David had needed for his daughter’s wedding.

 

David Arrives

As Reb Daniel was seated at his afternoon meal, his friend David returned.

“Welcome, David, sit down and join me at my meal.”

“Thank you, Daniel. I am very happy that you feel better. Your color has returned to your face.”

“It was nothing, really,” said Reb Daniel. “Listen David, I have been thinking about what you asked me and I have decided not to give you 1,000 marks for your daughter’s wedding.”

David’s face fell as he heard these words, and he said, “Is there anyone else to whom I can turn for the money I so desperately need?”

Reb Daniel smiled. “You didn’t let me finish, David. I have decided to give you not 1,000 marks, but 1,000 ducats. From it, use 1,000 marks for your daughter’s dowry, 500 for wedding expenses, and the rest for a business to support yourself in your old age.”

Rabbi Sholom Klass

An Expensive Agreement (Continued from last week)

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Reb Daniel Yaffe, the wealthiest Jew in Berlin, had made a foolish bargain with his friend David when both were poor, whereby he promised to give the latter all the fortune he would make above 10,000 marks. Now, many years later, his impoverished friend has shown up seeking 1,000 marks for his daughter’s wedding. Daniel remembers the bargain and feels duty-bound to give up his fortune, but visits Rav Tzvi Hirsch Levin to see if he might have some answer for his predicament.

 

What Is Wrong?

“Reb Daniel? What is wrong? What has happened that causes you to weep?” asked Rav Tzvi Hirsch.

“Rebbe,” cried Reb Daniel, “I believe I have lost virtually my entire fortune and will be forced to become a beggar who goes from door to door seeking charity.”

Rav Tzvi Hirsch looked at the weeping man and answered in a soft voice: “Let us assume that what you say is true. Is that any reason for you to behave as though the world has come to an end? Listen to a brief story that I will tell you and perhaps you will feel better.

“Rav Shmuel HaNagid was one of Spain’s greatest scholars. He spent his days learning Torah and lived a simple life in poverty. He became beloved and famous throughout the Jewish community and even among the non-Jews.

“His name came to the attention of the king, who was so deeply impressed by him that he decided to appoint him as his finance minister. Rav Shmuel was very conscientious and successful and the king’s fortunes rose mightily. The other ministers became bitterly jealous of the Jewish scholar who was so obviously in the court’s favor and they decided to spread libels about the Jews.

“Going to the king, they said: ‘Your Majesty, we are convinced that Rav Shmuel has been using the office of the finance minister to line his pockets with money. He has been stealing from the royal treasury and robbing you.’”

Asks For Accounting

“The king refused to believe what he considered to be sheer nonsense. But the jealous ministers persisted in their fierce accusations and finally, to put the lies to rest, the king decided to have an accounting.

“Calling Rav Shmuel before him, he said: ‘Rav Shmuel, you are undoubtedly aware of the campaign that some of my ministers have launched against you. I know that the accusations are not true but I want to prove this to everyone’s satisfaction once and for all.

“‘I would like you to go home and give me an accounting of all your assets from the time that you became my finance minister.’”

 

King Is Amazed

“Rav Shmuel went home and appeared the following day before the king with his accounting. The king took it in his hands and studied it. As he read on, his face grew red with anger. Rav Shmuel had listed as his assets not more than 10 percent of the amount that the king himself estimated he had amassed.

“‘How dare you show me such a list?’ the king cried in fierce anger. ‘I myself gave you as personal gifts much more than you have listed here. There is no doubt in my mind that my ministers were correct and that you have stolen things from the treasury.’

“‘Allow me to explain,’ Rav Shmuel said. ‘You asked me to draw up a list of my assets, all the things that are mine, in his world.

“‘What you have given me is not really mine. At any moment you can grow angry with me and take it back. How can I list it then as my own?

Rabbi Sholom Klass

An Expensive Agreement (Continued from last week)

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Recap: Reb Daniel Yaffe, the wealthiest Jew in Berlin, had made a bargain with his old friend, David to give the latter all the money he would make over 10,000 marks in return for a penknife. As the years passed, he forgot about it. Now David, an impoverished man, has suddenly shown up after many years to borrow money for his daughter’s wedding.

 

An Expensive Agreement

“David, is it really you?” asked Daniel in amazement.

“I haven’t seen you in ages. Come in, come in and have breakfast with me.”

The two old friends sat and eagerly exchanged stories about all that had happened to them since they last saw each other. Daniel told the story of his meteoric rise to affluence and greatness while David, with a bitter sigh, told of his struggles to make a living and the tragedy of the death of his children through sickness.

“Now, I have an opportunity to marry off my only remaining child, a beautiful girl named Sarah, but I must have 1,000 marks. Do you think you can help me, Daniel!”

“What kind of question is that?” asked Daniel. “Of course, I can. Do you imagine that I would allow you to struggle when I can help my old best friend?”

 

The Reminder

“I knew I could count on you,” exclaimed David in joy. “You were always a good friend and from the earliest days you were so positive that you would be rich. It is true that I laughed when you bought the penknife from me but you were correct. You did become a wealthy man.”

“Penknife? What penknife?” asked Daniel.

“Don’t your remember? It was such a foolish thing, really,” said David. “Remember the penknife I had gotten from the Polish nobleman that you so admired and wanted so desperately to have? It was only worth a few marks, but you had no money for it and you said that if I gave it to you, you would give me all the money you would eventually have over 10,000 marks.

“I laughed at the time for you were a penniless young man. But you were right. Look at you now…”

 

Daniel Petrified

As David continued to talk Daniel’s face turned pale and his heart felt as if a knife had cut through it. Indeed, he did remember now. What a foolish bargain! But it was a bargain and if he were held to it, it would mean that he was about to lose all he had accumulated over the years. All his furnishings, his wife’s jewelry, his proud coach and horses, the beautiful garden, all that his powerful steel safe held – all this was no longer his; it belonged to the man in rags who sat before him and spoke only of 1,000 marks.

What was he to do?

David noticed that his old friend looked white as a sheet and he cried out.

“Daniel, what is the matter? Are you ill? What has happened to you?”

“It is nothing, nothing, I have a bit of a headache and I would appreciate it if you could come back again a little later.”

As soon as David left, Daniel went to his wife and told her the entire story.

“We have lost almost everything,” he exclaimed.

His wife sat stunned and replied.

“Perhaps, if you sat with David, you could work out a compromise whereby he would take a lump sum and leave you most of your wealth.”

“I don’t doubt that for a moment,” said Daniel, “but my conscience would not allow me to do such a thing. After all, a man’s word is his bond. I made a bargain with him when I was young and, though it was foolish, I must live up to it.”

“What can I tell you, my husband,” replied his wife, “you are a good and honest man. I can only suggest that you go to Rav Tzvi Hirsch Levin and ask for his advice. Perhaps he can help us.”

“You are right. If there is any man in Berlin who is wise enough to find some answer for me it is Rav Tzvi Hirsch.”

Rushing into his carriage, Reb Daniel set off immediately for the home of the rav. As he rode he was greeted along the way by Jew and Christian alike. The great Reb Daniel Yaffe was a man whom all respected and this respect was clearly shown in their faces and the warmth of their greetings.

But this time, the greetings did not fill Daniel with joy. “Are they greeting me for myself or for my money? What will happen when I give up all my wealth to David? Will they still shout so warmly when they see me?” A deep sigh burst forth from Reb Daniel Yaffe’s soul and he exclaimed to himself: “At least there is one thing that can never be taken from me. All the good deeds that I have done with my money, all the charity and aid to the poor and needy will always be in my account in Heaven.”

 

The Rav’s Home

As he finished speaking these words, the carriage arrived at the home of Rav Tzvi Hirsch. Rushing out, Daniel hurried into the house.

Rav Tzvi Hirsch was in the midst of a lecture on Talmud to his students but he greeted the head of the Berlin community with sincere friendliness. When he saw that Daniel did not sit down to wait until the lecture was over, he excused himself to his students and asked Daniel if something was wrong.

“Rebbe,” Daniel replied, “I must see you about something very urgent – and I must see you alone.”

Rav Tzvi Hirsch saw that there was something serious involved and asked his students to leave him and Reb Daniel to themselves.

When they had left, Rav Tzvi Hirsch turned to Reb Daniel and was shocked to see tears running down the wealthy man’s face.

“Reb Daniel! What has happened? Why are you crying?”

“Rebbe, a tragedy has struck me! I think I have become a poor man overnight.”

(To be continued)

Rabbi Sholom Klass

A Woman of Courage and Strength

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

When I was little, my parents didn’t have much money so family vacations were non-existent. But somehow, for years if I remember correctly, my uncle and aunt invited me to spend a week at their house. These are the memories of a child – perhaps it was only a few days. For all I know, it could have been only one night – but the memory I carry with me was that I spent days and days with my Uncle Woodie and my Aunt Pia.

Pia was an accomplished artist – she filled her house with color and brightness. She was a wonderful mother…housewife…teacher. She was always dressed so beautifully, so elegantly. I have so many memories of her as I was growing up.

Seven years ago, Pia was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told she had months, maybe even just weeks, to live. She redefined courage as she fought back the disease time and time again.

When a doctor told her there was no hope… she decided not to listen. She went experimental treatments, was declared cancer free and continued to fight even after the disease re-appeared. She became a symbol for many as she launched campaigns to raise money and awareness for a disease that leaves devastation and shock in its wake.

Through it all, she continued to smile, continued to cherish her family. I saw her a bit over a year ago when she came to Israel to celebrate the bar mitzvah of her oldest grandson. There was such pride in her as she stood on Masada and watched her daughter’s family gather around.

We all knew the disease was still there and we knew she would continue to fight it for as long as she could. She never gave up; she never gave in.

She lost her battle with cancer on Friday (Shabbat in Israel).

There are many heroes in the world – perhaps the greatest are those who simply struggle to live their lives with dignity, respect, and love.

I always knew Pia was a woman of grace, beauty, talent and love. I have learned over the last few years, that she was also a woman of incredible courage and strength. May God bless her memory.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula Stern

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/a-woman-of-courage-and-strength/2013/08/18/

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