In memory of Gerda Haas, who was laid to rest this week at the age of 98. See below.
The purpose of this email is to provide something meaningful for Friday night dinner conversation. Please print and share.
Wedding or Funeral?
Here's the question of the week for your Shabbat table:
If all factors were equal, would you choose to attend a wedding or a funeral?
instance, say you had a friend getting married and another friend
sitting shiva. Keep the factors equal - they both equally would want you
to attend, they both equally would understand if you did not attend,
In other words, the question is what you would prefer to do for you.
King Solomon asked this question some 2,900 years ago.
"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting."
Second question for your table: What was he thinking?
(For a clue, see the source of the quotation, Ecclesiastes 7:2 - I only quoted the first half of the sentence.)
Gerda Haas, to whom this week's message is dedicated, made it out of
Germany with her husband and infant son just in time to save their
lives. Most of their extended family perished, but they survived, via Marseilles, Shanghai and San Francisco.
In her memory, here are two anecdotes to show you the strength of her character.
her 80s she had the opportunity to visit Jerusalem and of course spent
some time at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial. I saw her that evening
and she only had one thing on her mind.
On a bus with other
tourists, she overheard a German man behind her say, "Ach. I don't know
why they have such a thing. We lost a lot of people in the war too."
turned around and told him off in impeccable German that his people
murdered her entire family because they were Jews and how dare he speak
that way. She wasn't shocked that someone should think such a thing, but
said it took incredible chuzpa for him to say it aloud.
Another time she had surgery that required a local anesthetic to her leg but she chose to have a general anesthetic as well, but not a deep one.
the buzzing of the surgeon's saw woke her up and seeing what was going
on she exclaimed in her German accent, "Doctor? You call yourself a
doctor? You are no doctor! You're a carpenter!"
I cannot do this great life justice - she touched many, many people her her 98 years.
She is survived
by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many friends of
all ages whom she inspired. May her memory be for a blessing.
http://bestjewishkidsbooks.com has last-minute school supplies and gifts for teachers.
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