My Dear Sisters,
I am writing to you in my last moments, with the last threads of my strength. I am writing to you with blood and tears, from the bottom of my broken and tormented heart.
Yes, I, Revital A., 19 years old, am standing on the threshold of death, so young, but already feeling all the gates of life shutting slowly before me. I am like a beautiful flower closing its petals.
Like all of you, I had my dreams about love, husband, children and social position.
But Hashem has decided otherwise, and I know today that if I had lived differently, nothing would have happened.
I was born in a religious family from the center of Israel. From the day I can remember, I knew I was a beautiful child. From kindergarten, I attracted everybody’s attention, and I knew I had been blessed with a rare beauty, and I am not exaggerating. Even though people were talking my exceptional beauty, my dear and wise parents tried to minimize the effect of such a gift on me, and made all possible efforts to put the whole family on daily routine. But I was a bright child, and I cherished more and more my beauty.
My friends encouragements made me understand that beauty can buy anything in this world – friendship, position and honor. I learned to exploit it for my goals, I wore clothes which draw attention, my very long hair caused astonishment and envy, and every detail in my appearance was thoroughly taken care of. I enjoyed the long looks of people everywhere I went – to my deep regret.
My teachers in high school tried to change my mind, but it was already too late – I was attracted to a magic circle called “to please and be outstanding”.
I can remember one of my teachers’ words: “Revital, you have received a rare present, a special beauty – This is your trial in life, keep it carefully for the right person to come in your life”. I was pretending to be convinced, but these words were just passing by my ears. I was addicted to my looks and did everything to bring people to admiration. I know today that I have caused hundreds or even thousands of people to fail because of my clothing. I was really enjoying it!
And then I received a first warning sign. One evening, while preparing an omelet in the kitchen, and made a brisk turn and my beautiful long hair got caught in the fire and became in seconds a red and fearful flame. I was saved, but my hair had gone. I remember my hysterical crying in the hospital, and my father trying to console me: “Revital, Hashem has made a miracle. You could have been entirely burnt! You have now an opportunity to change and leave your foolish attitude behind you”.
But I didn’t listen. I was 16 years old then, and within two years my hair grew back to what it was, and everything was forgotten.
I was the queen of my class. My friends loved me, anything I wanted was granted, and I never was alone. I grew more and more beautiful with the years, and at 16, I began to put on make-up and tight clothes. At this stage, I even got involved in some trouble. It is hard for me to write about it, but I think you can guess.
I forgot to tell you about my grand-mother. She was a wonderful person, a real “Tzadekes” and I loved her very much. She was very sad and upset about my spiritual state of mind.
She was giving me money to buy more decent clothes, but nothing helped! She died before I was 17. I cried a lot and didn’t know how to live without her, and for a brief period, I even became a little bit more religious. But time eased the pain, and within a few months I was back to my bad habits, boastful and immodest as ever.
And then I received a second sign from above. One night I had a dream about my grand-mother. She was sitting on a stone and crying. I asked her why she was crying, and she pointed to her head without saying a word. I woke up very upset, but I forgot the whole thing very quickly, and this second sign melted away without any thought.
And then, I received the big blow. It came gradually but consistently. At the beginning, there were headaches, and my mother said I was tired and studying too much, that I should rest more, but deep down I felt it was something more serious.
After a month, I couldn’t even stand because of the headaches, and I thought my head was going to explode. My mother and I were worried and anxious on our way to the doctor, to get the answers to all the examinations and analyses I had been through, but the doctor’s face revealed the fearful truth. He said: “such a beautiful girl and so sick!” I burst into tears, asked for explanations. My mother and I were disoriented and helpless before this new and cruel reality: I had a cancerous tumor in my head.
It was only a question of time. I don’t remember how we got home that day. I just remember tears, fear, confusion and pain.
And suddenly I remembered the dream, my grand-mother crying and pointing to her head! If only I had understood at the time the meaning of that dream, my life would have different! But I didn’t give any importance to this dream and went on with my life. The next day, at the hospital, I began the treatment I never thought would be so painful. I felt death crawling slowly inside me, burning my bones, my blood, and my whole self.
Dear Hashem…You are all goodness, but I didn’t listen to you. Dear Father, I ignored your compassion and your messages.
The rest of my story is sad and painful, and I don’t even have the strength to write it.
My wonderful hair fell. Within a few months I was left completely bald, fearfully pale and weak. Every doctor I met was mentioning my rare beauty, and I, every time, felt my heart break a little bit more. Hashem had given me a precious gift, an outstanding beauty, and I had used it the wrong way, instead of keeping it intact and pure for a true cause. Oh Hashem!
Today I am 19 years old, living a tormented life. My days are counted, my illness is getting stronger and I feel death coming closer. I pray that my suffering be the atonement for my sins. I turn to you, my dear sisters, with a torn soul and a broken heart, and ask you to listen to my last words: be decent. There is Law and there is a Judge. And He sees all and knows all…and every one of our acts will be brought to judgment. I beg you: strengthen your decency, don’t wait for signs, please don’t…
Do it for yourselves, do it for me!
My pillow is soaked with tears. I am writing with tremendous efforts. Please pray for me and say that you’ll keep decent so that I recover and be healthy again. I beg you… I want to live.