Photo Credit: Jewish Press

We cannot move on to our regular schedules without stopping for a moment and hearing about these righteous women who were killed this past week.

As Jewish people we are all connected and we all mourn the tragic deaths of these ladies. When such terrible events happen to the Jewish nation, we must stop and remember that we are one – and what happens to one of us happens to us all. We must all feel as though the traumatic event is part of us; we must cry and pray to Hashem to have mercy on all of us as individuals and as one big family as well.

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Ori Ansbacher, who was 19 years old, was brutally murdered by an Arab who came from Chevron, seeking the death of any Jew. Ori was the first holy soul that he saw. Ori was a happy person who loved nature and who loved the world. She worked with troubled teens who needed extra love and attention. She was so young but had the heart and listening abilities of an old person. Her hope and encouragement went far and beyond anything you can imagine. She always had a smile on her face and to her this world was all good. People were good and she saw every event as an opportunity to grow and see the light in every moment. She loved nature; she would go and sit among the trees in the forest just to connect and marvel at G-d’s wonders. And from that natural and beautiful spot, she was taken back to her Creator who created her so perfect and wholesome. May her memory, spirit and all she stood for live on forever in all of us.

Rachel Gutmann was a young woman, age 29, a wife and mother, who was tragically killed this past week when the bus she was on, on her way to work in Jerusalem, was in a terrible accident, killing her and another woman sitting right next to her, and injuring 51 other people. She was a gentle soul who was connected with all her energy to doing everything good for others. She wanted her husband to learn all day long in kollel even though that way of life was very demanding on her. That meant that she had to take care of all the needs of the house, supporting the family and making sure that her husband would have no worries, and that all her husband’s time would be spent learning the holy Torah.

Whenever things were tough she would smile and say, “It’s all good, it’s all from Hashem and this is how he wants things to be.” She had a special love for and connection to special needs people. She tried to care for them whenever she could; she felt that they were G-d’s most special creations. On the bus going to Jerusalem that day she sat next to a lady with Down syndrome, Ruchama, who was killed as well. May the holy Torah that she loved and sacrificed everything for greet her in heaven and stand by her side like she stood by the Torah, and may her special neshama and the good deeds she did live on with us and her family as a model for us all.

Ruchama Rosen, who was 27, was the second victim in the bus accident. She had a heart of gold. She lived in a hostel with other special needs women and did all she could to advance and be a part of this world. Her determination and strength not to give up and want to excel was tremendous. The other girls in the home she lived in always wanted to share a room with her since she was always filled with happiness and hope. She felt so positive about life and her condition that she would often tell her father that she hopes and believes that she too will get married and have a family of her own someday. She was so positive and full of life, giving everyone around her purpose and the right perspective on life. May her beautiful memory give us all the power to do good and to have the right outlook on life in order to believe that we are all special souls in different bodies with different purposes.

These wonderful and amazing women were taken from us so tragically this week. We as a nation and as one family send our love and support to all the families that are grieving so badly and we pray and hope that these three special souls will be the last ones who were picked before their time to stand before the Almighty. And may they pray on behalf of the entire nation for the full redemption now and with no more pain. May their holy souls rest in Gan Eden together with the holy Mothers, Sara, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah.

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