November 24, 2006
Shabbat is starting in just over an hour, but there are some things that you feel like you have to write, even if time is short. I was busy earlier with a group from
It was just a week ago that we hosted, here in
Some ate in tents set up all over, receiving Shabbat meals preordered from
The preparations for such a weekend are long and consuming. People worked day and night for weeks to try and insure that everyone arriving would have a place to sleep and food to eat. And even those who didn't make reservations wouldn't be left out. (We had two fellows from
People from all over the world come into
Shabbat Hebron, every year when we read in the Torah about Abraham's purchase of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the Caves of Machpela, is always special. But this year was extraordinary. At least as far as I was concerned.
Last Friday morning our apartment beepers started buzzing. Sometimes they inform
Itzik and Oriya have two little girls. But they should have three, for Oriya gave birth to three girls. The first of those, their oldest daughter, was named Shalhevet, and over five years ago she was shot and killed by an Arab terrorist from the Abu Sneneh hills, overlooking the Avraham Avinu neighborhood. Shalhevet was in her stroller, with her parents at her side when the killer started shooting. Itzik was hit in the legs; the bullet went through Shalhevet's head, killing her instantly.
What does a family do following such a tragedy, their first-born plucked from them, at only 10 months of age? Itzik and Oriya are strong people, filled with faith and love of their land, their people and their G-d. It certainly wasn't easy, but with support from family and friends, and people all over the world, they were able to overcome their sorrow and mourning. Today they live only meters from the very spot where Shalhevet was shot and killed, with their two other daughters playing outside in the playground adjacent to where their oldest sister was murdered.
And after three girls,
Early this morning, at the 'Kollel' (Torah Study Hall) opened in Shalhevet's memory in that same Avraham Avinu neighborhood, family and friends, from
Following the loss of a child, so tragically, the Pass family didn't give up, they didn't run away. They battled, for the right to continue to live, in
To the extended Pass-Zarbiv family, Mazal tov – best wishes for many other happy occasions. From all of us in