On Life and Death

I was saddened on Friday to learn of Debbie Friedman’s (z”l) illness. I thought of her over Shabbat as my synogague community celebrated the 80th birthday of a phenomenal man.  A man who fell ill during services and had to be taken out on a stretcher for an evaluation at a local hospital (at the advice of the many doctors who were clearly at shul ;) ).

Then this morning, after inquiring about the status of the beloved 80 year old man, and speaking to 8 year olds about the presence of Hashem in all of our lives – I find out that Debbie had died.

Having grown up around a funeral home and working in hospice, death is not scary to me. I recognize that we all have a set amount of time on earth and only Hashem knows what that will be.  However that is intellectual, my heart still mourns the loss of fabulous parts of the global Jewish community.

Debbie Friedman is a part of who I am as a Jewish woman. I cannot articulate why that is, but on some deep level – she is.  I know that who I am has been shaped by her life lessons, and that I am a better woman for it.

All I know, is that there is a very special song in olam haba tonight and I will always dance with timbrels.

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