Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Life And Death

today we buried a dear friend. she was only 52. i can't believe that it was only a month ago that i went to see her at a rehab nearby. who could have imagined that she'd be gone so soon. i was supposed to visit her on sunday afternoon. i had an early morning ride to the kibbutz but i didn't want to miss my yoga class. i figured that i could see her later in the week. michal went without me and called, later that day, to let me know that our friend was on her way out of this life. i couldn't bring myself to go and watch her die.

yesterday, my great pal and partner in crime's stepdaughter held a bris in meron at the kever of rabbi shimon bar yochai. my friend had to work in the morning and didn't know how she'd have enough time to get ready to go to the bris. i reassured her that i would pick her up at work in a taxi and we'd proceed to meron for only 50 shekels. sometimes, you have to throw money at a certain situation. we actually, arrived early. the entire indoor kever was in a state of rennovation. it was so noisy and very disorienting. the festive meal after the bris, was somewhere in meron. we simply followed the crowd until we made our way into the correct house. the sephardi safta was just beginning to set up the tables. i thought about returning to the kever to read psalms, but my friend, the stepgrandmother, wanted to stay and help out.

so there we were, dishing out salads and setting up tables, while the crowd of people were entering the room for the seudah. we finally finished our tasks and sat down at the very last bench at the end of the room. we were only 4 women at the table and we had a full table of food placed in front of us. salads, and platters of couscous, and chicken, and sephardi potato kugel. we commandeered a bottle of araq, licorice flavored alcohol, and helped ourselves to as many l'chaims as we wanted. another one of my friends' stepdaughters made the most delicious whole wheat rolls. i was a happy camper.

we stayed at the meal until 4:00 p.m. we were rather, lucky, and were able to share a taxi back to zefat for only 20 shekels. i spent the next couple of hours, shmoozing and drinking coffee. i then walked over to gal's mom to retrieve one of my purim costumes. i had lent them bags of purim wigs and props last year. i drank some tea and chatted til 9:00 p.m. and then took a cab home. the 48 year old sephardi grandmother had spent hours on her feet frying donuts for her husband's kollel and then wondered why her eyes burnt and why her back hurt. she offered to drive me home but i didn't have the heart to make her go out again.

i went to the senior citizens' center this morning to volunteer. murray from brooklyn is still housebound because the elevator in his building is out of order. bertha from romania, fell on her head yesterday at the center, so she's in the hospital. i wanted to run over to visit her but i heard that her son had come in from haifa to be with her. the idea of an elderly mother with dementia, living alone, sickens me. the rest of the group seemed a bit subdued this morning. i think that the extreme changes in the weather are making us all tired.

i got the 'call' this morning, about our friend's passing, at 7:30 a.m.. yesterday i prayed that my friend should pass from this world peacefully and without suffering. and today i said goodbye. yesterday we watched a new boy baby being brissed and brought into the covenant and today we buried a dear friend.


  1. I was waitng to see when and what you will write about "our" day. Chani will be greatly missed by us all. May her memory be everlasting.

  2. just got off the phone with my sister. i kept speaking about chani. she wanted to know how long i had called chana 'chani'? always!

  3. I am sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. Hold on the the fond memories of her. Thinking of you, Wendi

  4. I also always called her Chani, whereas Mindy Kumer and others called her Chana.

  5. Sorry for your friend!I know so many say this words...so many comes to meet you!and so many people have so many expectation towards you!But what you learn from death of your friend?!Live life, do complete what is left in between...and spread happiness!Nobody can take your sorrows from your heart but you can give so many happy movement to yours!
    r4i gold ds