Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gabi, Chani, it's hard to be writing this as our hurt for you is still so fresh, but I wanted to leave this as a bit of chizuk for Chani one day. It's just the tiniest, most inconsequential, sliver of this whole story, but, in a sense, I think that's exactly why it gave me so much comfort. It happened at the absolute thick of the darkness- in the last weeks and even day of your mother's life- and came to comfort and remind me that even then, and even in a situation that we will never be able to understand, there was still a Boreh Olam up there- listening to our tefillot and always orchestrating the 'big picture.'

First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ziva Glanz and I was the Aym Bayit at Landers when your father was a student there and when he dated and married your mother. Like 'army buddies,' when you give to somebody and go through such a significant piece of all of your lives together, they become like family, and that's the way it was for us at Landers. Our 'boys' became part of our family and, as such, we too questioned and struggled and mourned when we heard your mother was sick, and- of course- davened for her and your father wherever we could here in Israel.

Then, a few weeks ago, we got an email from HASC asking all alumni to join together to finish Sefer Tehillim daily on your mother's behalf. With worry about the significance of that email having to be sent, we quickly looked to see which tehillim my husband Daniel and I could sign up for. As a testament to your parents though, the email had only been out for a few hours and already almost every perek of tehillim had been taken - twice! The absolute only ones left were these random seven perakim (from 60-67), and they were left for a reason: they were considered 'hard;' difficult, and unfamiliar, with long-winded words to make your way through. Not quite 'popular,' but that's what was left and so they became ours.

Now, I want to share this with you (and I guess everyone else who will read this on the blog!) because I want you to understand exactly where we were coming from on April 1st when we started saying these tehillim. We had tried to buy an apartment a few months before, but the project had suddenly fallen through, and with it, our life savings. We managed to get a guarantee that our money would be paid back to us by April 2nd, so we scrapped together some cash and somehow managed to make it through to that date. But then April 2nd came and with it, no money. The contractor reneged, said he couldn't pay us back, that it would take at least a year, and we soon didn't know how we were going to continue putting food on the table. Our days became filled with lawyers, the process for Beit Din, and worry- and truthfully, the only productive thing I managed to do in all of this was make sure each day to say those tehillim for your mother. And each day they gave me strength, and renewed perspective, and reminded me that, despite the intensity of the stress, money was just money and nothing was more important than health.

The shabbos after Pesach, my husband had some free time and so he decided to sit down and learn the meaning of these tehillim that we were saying every day. He learned up one and was pleasantly surprised when he read that this was the tehillim to be said when someone was putting you in a difficult situation, as this contractor was with us. And then he learned another and was shocked to learn that this was a perek to be said in times of tremendous financial difficulty. And then he learned the next one and read that that it was a tehillim to say during times when you needed to see yeshuot. And that's when he called me over!

Together we sat- stunned- as we realized that, one after another, the 'unpopular' tehillim that had been 'left' for us to say, were really the very tehillim that described our exact situation (down to unbelievable detail). We could not have handpicked them better had we tried! And here we were, saying them every day, not knowing that the zechut of your mother's mitzvah was also helping us in our own lives as well. We sat there, astounded, as we realized the enormity of the Planning it took to execute even just this one small sign of Hashgacha Pratit, and we took comfort from it's reminder that, Kal V'Chomer, there must also be Yad Hashem in the greater situations as well- as hard and unclear as they may be.

It was only a few hours later that we got the news that your mother had passed away. It's easy to say that we were devastated, but I'm not sure that really describes it. We, along with all your parent's other friends (and of course family), felt the blow like a punch to our stomach- it winded us and all we could do was just sit and think of you and your family and attempt to just try and absorb it all. Yet through the thickness of that mourning, there was only one other thought that managed to sometimes break through to the periphery of my consciousness, and that was the sporadic glimmer of nechama that if Hashem's care and hashgacha were so evident even in a detail as seemingly insignificant as the tehillim being said, then how much greater must His care have been for the overall situation.

And now Gabi and Chani, I pray that that care should go to you, the Nats, and your entire extended family. Chani, I know that nothing will ever comfort you for the loss of your mother, but just as in the thick of that mourning there can be no real comfort and all we could do was peripherally concede to the acceptance of a Yad Hashem, so too I hope that this story will one day help you, in some small way, as you work towards that acceptance as well.

May Hashem give your father the koach he needs and, as you grow up, may you always face this struggle as well as your mother faced hers.

With all our love and condolences,

Daniel and Ziva Glanz

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