By Rabbi Hirshy Minkowicz
This Sunday will be a year (on the Hebrew calendar) since that dreadful day,
When from out of nowhere, Rashi was suddenly taken away.
There is so much on my mind, but I couldn’t decide,
What things to share this weekend, and what to hide.
So I opted to write this goodbye letter, in the form of a poem,
To the memorial candle which burned for a year in our home.
For 12 months now you sat on our window sill,
And in a strange way, our hearts you would fill.
Despite what you represent, our loss and our sorrow,
When we looked at you, strength we would borrow.
The flickering flame on the top of your head,
Was always silent, but there was so much it said.
The flame represents the soul, is what we are taught,
I have now felt that for real, with the comfort you brought.
You witnessed so much as the year went by,
You saw us laugh and you saw us cry.
You saw the strength of the human spirit
But you also observed that we do have a limit.
I wonder what you thought as you sat there and watched,
The things we did right and the things that we botched.
You got to see the beauty and power of a united extended family,
Roots, trunk, branches and leaves, oh what a strong tree.
You also saw true friends, that are there for each other,
Though not related, treating us like a brother.
A community that rallied to their leader in need,
I hope you noticed that and took heed.
You must have been amazed, at the actions of the housekeeper,
Who knew to expand her role, to something much deeper.
When there were bumps in the road, or other kinks,
You surely enjoyed seeing, Hashem sending those winks.
But I know that what gave you the most joy in the midst of the sadness,
Was seeing the children thrive, which must have filled you with such gladness.
When we get home from New York your flame will not be there anymore,
Providing your warmth as we walk through the door.
It seems that now a new phase in the journey does start,
But you won’t be missing, forever you will illuminate our heart.
* * *
A groundbreaking ceremony will be taking place on Sunday, March 8, laying the cornerstone for the new Rashi’s Campus, a full service Jewish educational and outreach center which would carry her name, and serve as a permanent home for Chabad in North Fulton.
At the event, a new Torah written in her honor will be completed to be housed in the new center which she co-founded with her husband and family.
To join the campaign, visit rashiscampus.com