We stood at the door, needy and poor
Searched for words, but none would appear.
For you, Leah, mere words could never express,
Just a hot and glistening tear.
For whatever we’d say, any words we’d outpour
You were so, so much more…
You were so, so much more…
A mother and daughter, sister and wife,
Your “flock” always there at your side,
With devotion and will, and always so calm,
Your children you gently would guide.
You had such a pure and pleasant demeanor,
Your genuine joy captivated.
You knew to be silent, even in pain,
A true inner wholeness radiated
I felt your strong image obligating us all,
For we saw a life story of courage,
A tale – short, yet long – from which we must learn,
An epic to urge and encourage.
I saw your figure arousing, demanding –
So simple, yet sincerely so pure.
Teaching: What value has a transient world
Versus Torah heights that endure?
I merited seeing how one can and must
Live with rivers of flowing love
For every mitzvah, for each creature,
And for the Creator above.
I had a walking textbook before my eyes,
Of how to feel the pulse of time as it flies.
Pearls carefully strung, pieces of life
Stories too many to count,
You were… You said…
You left us a legacy…
A wondrous lifetime account.
Volunteering at your bedside was a privilege indeed,
Your radiant character inspiring,
Days and nights, how you hoped and believed,
I was awed by your faith, never tiring.
You lay in your bed, wounded and aching,
Your body, in agony and pain
Yet you did all to give a good feeling, a sweet,
Thanking us again and again.
As the sand in your hourglass neared to its end,
You knew how to utilize your time.
To inquire about our new job, a shidduch to suggest,
As if you were feeling in your prime.
Your modesty was rare, O, what a loss!
You were a sacrifice, for the rest to atone.
They surely rejoiced up Above when you came,
But, Leah, we were left here, alone!
We’ve lost mother and daughter, sister and wife,
Our finest, alas, has moved on!
Our heads are bowed, we weep on end,
The “thorns” need their “rose,” but she’s gone…
I know that the prayers and the tears that were shed
Carved into our hearts their impression
They built and transformed, worked wonders indeed,
With their painful, yet penetrating lesson.
For, we, too, want to be pure as were you,
To rise above matter, beyond “why”
And, like Leah, to amass innumerable merits,
To lead a life of truth, to try.
The final lines, the music fades,
The tears are reluctantly dried.
I’ve written and shared, yet my words cannot paint
Your greatness – I’m just not qualified
No, I just couldn’t capture your towering image,
Not your life, nor the secret of who you are.
All we can do is to learn and to yearn
To be like you, though we are so far.
See, Leah, the fruits of your labor,
The light that you kindled still glows
It continues to shine and illuminate
The Kiddush Hashem yet grows.
The paths that you blazed, rare in their beauty
Many more will yet tread them again,
For this path is not far, it’s within our reach
“Yisgadal v’yiskadash shmei rabbah,” Amen.