Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

My dear Zaidy Sholom, another year has gone by and it’s time for your precious soul to reach an even higher level.

Once a person passes from this physical world they enter the next world. We might miss their bodies and their physical presence, however, the soul lives on in the next world.

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According to the actions and deeds that a person did in this world, this is how they are judged in the next world, and through their actions it’s decreed where their resting place in the next world will be.

Once a person is gone and cannot do anymore mitzvot and good deeds, we, their offspring and the people who follow in their footsteps, can elevate their soul to an even higher level.

When we use the words le’elui nishmat… – this literally means to elevate the soul of…

Each year on their yahrzeit – the day they passed away, we also say the Kaddish in their merit and this prayer elevates their soul in the next world.

This coming week will be 22 years since my dear zaidy left this physical world. Yes, his physical presence is greatly missed, however the Torah he left behind, the good deeds, and all those beautiful children that are named after him, clearly carry on his name with great pride.

The merit of the Torah he learned and loved so much truly lives on. There are many grandchildren called Sholom, that learn Torah just like you, Zaidy. And there are so many children who remember your generosity and good heart and try to emulate your ways till this very day.

All these people carry on your way and wish to help elevate your soul in the next world to an even higher place.

I wish to tell you about one child in particular who doesn’t carry your name but clearly carries on the light you gave over so well.

You know, Zaidy, how much I loved you and how much I loved to come and spend time with you. I lived in Israel most of my life, but would visit from time to time.

When I was a teenager I lived next door to you, and was able to enjoy and learn from you so much. Then I got married and once again moved back to the beloved land of Israel that you loved and fought for with all your might.

I brought up my children with the love of Israel and the love of Torah and good deeds. You, Zaidy, were always spoken about in my home at all times to my children, who didn’t really get a chance to know or meet you as I did. You would have loved them all.

I have one son Moshe, however, that went back to live in the U.S., and all his actions remind me of the way you were.

His name isn’t Sholom, however his whole being and purpose in life is to make shalom – peace between each and every person. He works hard and always tells me that he wants to help his siblings and family members just like Zaidy always did.

He loves Torah and makes sure his family is going in the right direction. His generosity reminds me so much of you. Whenever anyone needs some help he is always there, and he says;

“If someone is asking me for help he probably needs it. Zaidy would have given him a helping hand. Hashem gave me so that I can give to others.”

He is a good Jewish boy with a great head and a great heart, you would have loved him so much.

I’m sure that your soul is elevated each and every time my son helps others. He does it with such a generous heart. I know that it’s your merit that gives him the strength to do all the good that he does.

May this year on the tenth day of Shvat, the day you and many great holy rabbis passed away, have an elevation to your wonderful and holy soul. May the higher place you reach now, give us down here even more strength to keep following in your footsteps, and learn more Torah and help others with an even greater heart than before.

I love you Zaidy and miss you.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com