I used to hate saying yizkor. Everyone young left the room except for me. It took many years to recognize the blessings that being orphaned at age seven, brought into my life.
As long as we are still in galus, we all have our work cut out for us. Health issues, parnasa woes, chinuch crises, middos challenges, bereavement, and other enormous tests. In the midst of the darkness, it’s usually not enough to remind ourselves that “This too shall pass.” What we really need is an infusion of emunah – to connect with Hashem, and to notice that our darkness isn’t as pitch black as we thought.
Rebbetzin Bluma Teitelbaum, the Sassover Rebbetzin z”l, lived through the epitome of darkness: The Holocaust. She suffered immensely, yet she also recognized the rays of chesed and humanity that illuminated that darkness and gave her the strength to carry on. The kind words and gestures, the warm coffee after a freezing night of slave labor, the gift of candies that revived her, the used black velvet garment she managed to sell in order to bribe the camp doctor, the friendship of her Bais Yaakov sisters, and more.
Read the Rebbetzin’s memoirs, see the Shoah from her lofty eyes, and then, as you step back into the tests of your own life, recognize and savor the rays of chesed that already illuminate your darkness. The task will be easier now.
Guest Blogger: Liba Lauffer
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