By Mrs. Dina Hurwitz
Yesterday we celebrated the Bas Mitzvah of our daughter Mussie. It was beautiful and she was beautiful. I would like to share with you what Yitzi wrote and what I wrote. It was surprisingly difficult for me to get through it. I cried numerous times.
I often speak to people about the hardships of life and get teary eyed, but this was so different. She is my baby and life has been so challenging. I so wish I could just tell her that things will be ok, but that honesty thing… It really gets in the way.
What Yitzi wrote:
Dear Mussie my precious pretty princess,
Since the day you were born, you were special. You always lit up the room with your smile and you knew how to make others feel good. You also have the most beautiful voice and you love children and they love you.
You love to help people, you are a little mammaleh. You are also beautiful like your mother, and that is because, like her, you are beautiful on the inside and that comes out for everyone to see.
These are just some of the gifts, that Hashem gave you. It is clear, that Hashem wants you to use these amazing gifts, to lift the spirits of others and that is a true blessing.
My wish for you, is that you strive to be the most happy and wonderful version of yourself. You are our little light, our beautiful Mussie.
And here’s what I wrote:
To My Dearest Daughter Mussie,
Mazal Tov on this very important occasion. A Bas Mitzvah is such a special time for a young lady. We welcome you to your place among the Jewish people and more specifically, among the Jewish women. The strongest, smartest and kindest people I know are Jewish women. Hashem has given you the most important task in the world, to make sure our future is strong. You are going to need brains, creativity, hard work, a big heart, a beautiful smile and unshakable faith. It will be like a recipe. Add a bit of everything and mix with love and care and often tears, and the outcome will be delicious.
In the summer of 2013, your father and I went to Israel for a medical trial. While we were there, we davened at many holy places, but specifically by the gravesite of our Matriarchs. There is nothing like crying to your mother, and a mother always wants what’s best for her children.
We were heading to Kever Rochel (the gravesite of our matriarch Rachel) when we bumped into a girls traveling camp. They were so excited to see us as they had been davening for Tatty (Daddy) all summer. They gave us many blessings for a speedy recovery and asked if Tatty would speak to them.
It was quite difficult to understand what he was saying at that time, but there, just outside Kever Rochel, Tatty gave his last speech, and it was to young ladies much like you. He told them that Hashem loves them, and how the Rebbe has so much faith in them.
He told them that they are the key to our future. It will be up to them to determine out future. Right there, outside the gravesite of our mother Rochel, who is also called the mother of Galus (exile), he told these young ladies that although this exile is hard and bitter, they have what it takes to endure, and not just by the skin of their teeth, but magnificently.
Mussie, your sunny disposition is the most similar to your father’s. The way you sing while you work, the way you love to laugh and wake up with the sun -at least before you became a teenager. The biggest gift in life, to yourself and to those around you, is to be happy. It will make every part of your life better and more enjoyable.
We watched as Tatty lost the ability to sing and to laugh out loud, and in losing your ally, it became harder for you to maintain your sunny disposition. As our lives got harder, and we left our beloved Shlichus, being so happy was not so easy. I want to remind you that this is who you are.
Sometimes we can forget who we are, but returning to yourself is like coming home. It is not nearly as hard as changing your nature. Your nature is beautiful and joyful and loving and nurturing.
May Hashem bless you, my sweet Mussie, with so much to be happy about. We are all looking forward to the day when you and your beautiful father can sing together and laugh together all the way to the Bais Hamikdosh.
Mrs. Dina Hurwitz is a motivational speaker who continually writes on the subject of harnessing strength and spirit in the face of coping with challenge. She is married to Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz who was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. She blogs at The Caffeinated Thinker