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Rebbetzin Lieba Hecht - 2nd Yahrzeit

Rebbetzin Lieba Hecht - 2nd Yahrzeit

What can bring families together and what causes family differences to dissipate?  How do we get children to communicate with siblings?  There are questions that are asked by so many troubled families.

Sometimes to find an answer we ask a question that seems related.  Can there be good that comes from a bad event?

I believe the answer is yes.  There are always lessons to be learned from life and death.  We can learn from a sad experience, like a death of a loved one.  Let me elaborate and pen my thoughts.

This week my eight brothers and sisters gathered in Brooklyn, New York to join my aging father.  He seems to become better and better.  He is more mellow and patient and shares his time, listening and observing his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  He is an inspiration to be with.  He says “The 80’s are a time of growth.”

After my mother’s unexpected accident and death two years ago I envisioned a life of worry for my father.  After all, I thought, he is in his 80s and he will soon turn crabby and demanding.  But no, instead of being as high maintenance father and grandfather, he has become the true fine patriarch of the family.

Being a rabbi for over 60 years has given him the understanding, and love found in a human being.  He says he is busy with overseeing his empire, meaning his investments, not physical or monetary ones, but spiritual ones.  He is busy praying and caring for his ever-growing family.

As all the boys are rabbis we have individual ideas and ways.  The girls are all married to rabbis so they, and their husbands, have their own ways of looking at things.

With so many personalities I thought we would have plenty of conflicts and differences but no, if anything there was joy and family.  Each of us went out of their way to make sure to accentuate the common goals our mother instilled in us – love, sharing, and altruism were her way of life.  So when we gathered at this second yahrzeit we all lived the meaning of “living in the merit of the dead”, to mean that we, the living, inherit the responsibility to carry out the examples set by our beloved mother Lieba bas Boruch. 

If only I could teach families to look at Yahrzeits as an opportunity for empowerment to do good then the yarhzeit of my mother would be ever more meaningful.