Jan 27, 2013
Navi Remembered at Shloshim
A large crowd turned out at the Marriott Hotel in Milan, Italy to mark the shloshim - 30 days since the passing of Nava Ruth Chen, who passed away at the age of 2.
A large crowd turned out Sunday night, yud shvat, at the Marriott Hotel in Milan, Italy to mark the shloshim - 30 days since the passing of Nava Ruth Chen, who passed away at the age of 2.
Friends and family joined with the Minkowitz and Chen families, not only to remember and celebrate the short life of Navi, but also to perpetuate the message that Navi left, to love and help others.
Rabbis of the many Jewish communities of Milan were in attendance, including Head Shliach Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik, Rabbi M. Lazar, Rabbi A. Hazan, Rabbi M. Shaikewitz, Rabbi Y. Hezkya, Rabbi L. Hazan, Rabbi S. Wilshansky, and Rabbi L. Wolvovsky.
The speakers were all women who knew and loved Navi.
Mrs. Ilda Minkowitz, Navi's grandmother, opened the evening with a beautiful speech about her long year spent next to her daughter and granddaughter, recalling the struggles and the happy moments spent together while Navi was ill. She then thanked various personalities who had helped the family with moral support and prayers.
Rebbetzin B. Garelik then took the stage and gave a study based on the parsha. She then described what she had seen at the house of Hadassah and Yossi Chen, Navi's parents, when she went to be with them during the week of shiva.
Hadassah Chen then took the microphone, and in a beautiful and touching speech spoke about her daughter Navi and the lesson she learned from her little girl. She told the story of how a letter from the Rebbe to the Zippel family (her mother), which was brought to her attention for the first time at her daughter's shiva, gave them strength. She related how she and her husband, while reading the letter, even while knowing that the letter was written to her grandfather 30 years before, it felt like the Rebbe was talking to them. It was very clear to them that the Rebbe knew to take care of them at the exact moment they needed it during the shiva, with his letter of strength, support and faith. She ended by saying how even if we don't see our beloved ones because they left us, they are always with us, like the Rebbe said in the letter.
Mrs. Chen also announced the opening of a foundation called NER - Keren Navi Ruth, which will be open and active very soon with programs and charity drives for sick children and their families.
A touching video on the little girl was then shown, with a message from singer Yaakov Shwekey who became close to the family during the course of Navi's illness. His song "Yesimcha," which was Navi's favorite song, was the soundtrack of the video, and Navi's sister Elkah's voice was recorded separately and added to original soundtrack with his blessing and appreciation.
Hadassa's sisters Anita Bassali and Ruth Matusof from Brussels then closed the evening, thanking their own communities, the Belgian and the Sefardi community in Milan, for all the prayers and support they had shown throughout the year to the family.
The crowd of about 280 people left inspired and uplifted from a very emotional and intense evening and a beautiful message from the Rebbe.