Thursday, August 21, 2008

What Now?!

Dearest Friends and Former Strangers

Our tremendous loss has left us feeling paralyzed. During the Shiva, we shared fond memories of Rochie, but for the most part, we were dumbstruck by the unbelievable reality. How do we get our minds around this notion that tomorrow morning we will wake up once again to a world without Rochie?! It is true Hashem's greatest gifts are often taken for granted, but this is how we get through the day, this is how we are able to rest at night; feeling secure, knowing that tomorrow everything will be just as we left it. Like the sun that rises each morning to warm our constant and seemingly stable world, we always knew Rochie would be there... With her steadfast courage, character and staunch support of whoever she met. In her inconspicuous ways, she cared for each of us. We knew she was our friend through thick and thin, and we fed off her quite but unyielding love and energy. Rochie would always be there... if all else failed, Rochie would be there....
With this swift painful blow, we are realizing how she was such a big part of our life, our happiness. With Rochie's unique manner so subtle as it was, we were not always conscious of how much it meant to us, and will forever struggle to put it into words.

Whom to turn to at a time like this?! Who can support and encourage us when our source of courage has been taken from us?!

How do we move on Roch?! We all know the answer. We all'd rather just ask the question and curl up in a ball, but we know you won't let us. There's work to do: we need to finish -or at least 'carry on'- what you started.

For the short time allotted to you, you merited to live up to what you always wanted to be: a true Chassid; a soldier. You had such a unique gift, having the ability to see everything though a crystal-clear lens; the big picture always prevalent, constantly in focus. If something went wrong, why sit and brood over what may have been, instead, make something happen.

Alas, we will do as you taught us. Our heavy hearts and confused minds try to pin us down, but we haven't lost you completely Roch, you are right here with us, pushing us forward. As one anonymous blogger put it so well:

After reading Yaakov’s message, I wanted to wanted to post the following thought:
Even not knowing Rochie personally, just seeing her beautiful face and being told of her even more beautiful inside... then reading this.... the heart aches, the head feels to split, the body doesn't feel to lift itself.... and yet, there is a drive dormant beneath all this, that awakens one and says: Now, go do the right thing... do something that will shake the earth and motivate the One Above in the Heavens to bring us back the most beautiful flowers he has plucked, seemingly heartlessly & uncaringly, but we know that He too is so suffering. Hashem: AD MOSAI!

The greater the tragedy, the greater the response must be. The night could only be so dark because Hashem knows we can counter with an even greater light. A friend sent me a video which inspired me to write these lines. Perhaps it will help others as well, knowing that in this mission we are not alone, and it has been done before. Here is the link.

With Hashem's help, Rochie's Friendship Network will continue to grow and make Rochie proud. In Rochie's world, first and foremost was love and respect for a fellow Jew, then came everything else. Didn't matter who you were or where you came from, didn't matter who you were connected to or what you had to offer in return.
My father recounted during the Shiva, when they (my parents) would ask her opinion for a Shidduch, she could only bring herself to say the positive things she knew about the person, the rest they had to read between the lines...
Our community, as all, faces constant challenges. This can easily discourage a proactive attitude. But Rochie has shown us how easy it is to rise above it all when help is needed. With that kind of positive outlook towards a fellow Jew, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.

The Rebbe told us he's done all he could, now it's up to us. Rochie did all she could to bring Moshiach, now it's up to us to get her back.

Together, we can do it.

One thing's certain; we have our work cut out for us, as my brother put it when we got up from Shiva yesterday: It's a good thing Rochie has such as large network, who knows how many it will take to make up for all the Chesed she provided! Let us act sooner then later.

If you have any suggestions as to how Rochie's Friendship Network can offer services to those who need it most, and what ideas can be used to create a a long-lasting and active network, please post or email us.

May Hashem repay you all tenfold for your efforts.

p.s. Thank you to all who have sent in their memories of Rochie. We will be posting them shortly. If you haven't submitted your "Rochie Story" yet, please do to

Monday, August 18, 2008

Please Share With Us

Over the course of the next few days, we will be posting memories of Rochie on this blog. If you have any Rochie "moments" we would greatly appreciate your sharing it with us.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Message From Yaakov

This is Rochie's husband writing on the blog for the first time – now that my days are no longer divided between playing mommy to Yosef Yitzchok and nurse to Rochie…

I just want to say thank you all for your overwhelming concern for Rochie; for the outpouring of hope, care, friendship…and ultimately grief.

That we did not succeed in bringing a healthy Rochie back home with us and that we left the hospital-turned-motel empty-handed and brokenhearted, in no way lessens the enormous good we have generated over the course of these nine difficult weeks. It in no way cheapens our efforts or diminishes our impact.

Our deeds did help Rochie, although they did not produce the results that we wanted. I have no doubt they made G-d's heart shatter when He finally had to gather Rochie and welcome her precious soul into the highest heavens. As He gently lifted Her from the worn hospital bed, plucking the beautiful rose so fragrant in kind deeds to adorn His heavenly throne, I know His hands trembled. When the nurses turned their heads to avert our gaze and swallowed hard, I know He turned to Rochie and gave her His most comforting, warm, G-dly smile, telling her, "Don't worry; you will never suffer again… and I'll take special care of your child." I also know that Rochie thanks you all for your efforts. She really appreciates all the deeds and prayers and hopes at least some of them will continue for her sake…

As her husband, I stand totally humbled by the tidal wave of loving kindness generated by friends and strangers alike, from all over the globe, from the so very many beautiful members of our eternal and caring nation. To know that so many hearts tried to help is extremely comforting. You can be sure that collectively we literally stormed the heavens and roused the earth for Rochie. And now… the fragments of my own shattered heart throb together in violent grief, but also in gratitude – to you.

So, although the heavens took her neshama and the earth her body, thank you and thank you again. May G-d reward your kindness with joys; may we know no more sorrow; may G-d "remove the tears from every face" by fulfilling His promise and ushering in the final and true Redemption. Then the heavens will return the far too many precious souls we've lent them and the earth will restore their bodies in full health. Then "those who lie in the dust shall arise and dance," including the lively and kindhearted Rochie we know.

Until then we weep – and continue to help each other.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baruch Dayan Ha'emes

Thursday morning, 13 Av, 3:00 am, Hashem took back our Rochie, claiming his, and what was most precious to us. Words cannot describe...

ובלע המות לנצח
"And Hashem will annihilate death forever and will wipe the tears from upon every face."

When will this darkness end...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Join The Hakhel Party

A new year is approaching, and in the undercurrent of every Chossid's "Elul-wind" is a special urgency: the year of Hakhel is upon us. The Rebbe transformed Hakhel from a rare event involving the King's recitation of the Torah, to a widespread campaign obligating every one of us to inspire our sphere of influence.

Hakhel is considered so vital, that on Sukkos, Shnas Hakhel 5748, the Rebbe veered from the way he had observed the Friediker Rebbe unite the arbah minim during the recitation of Hallel. "Despite personal hardship and raising a notion, chas veshalom, of a lack of hiskashrus to my Rebbe," the Rebbe later stated, "I held the lulav and esrog together so extensively to affect the great unity of Hakhel!"

Fellow Chassidim, mekusharim of the Rebbe! As Hakhel approaches, let's internalize the Rebbe's act of mesiras nefesh. It's time to reexamine our loyalty to the Lulav party and ensuing exclusion of Rabbi or Rebbetzin Esrog on the grounds of our hiskashrus to our Rebbe. It's time to surrender our sanctions and evasions, our disputes and partisan relationships and gather all branches together in pursuit of the ultimate candidate.

Vote Hakhel!

Please post your hachlatos for increasing in Hakhel and hiskashrus L'iluy Nishmas Chaya Rochel Bas Yissachar Dov YIBLCH"T.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Yosef Yitzchok

Sunday (Tisha B'av) was Yosef Yitzchok Paley's first birthday! We hope Rochie will join him soon to celebrate.

Please continue to daven for her complete refuah. If you would like to say a yom Tehilim for her every day, email Also, if you've already taken a yom and you would like to pass it on to someone else, please notify via this email address and we will remove you from the list.

Thank you all once again.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Siyum Tonight

Tonight, Wednesday at 8:00 there will be a siyum at our home, 536 Crown st. for Rochie's immediate recovery.

We apologize for not updating until now, unfortunately there hasn't been anything to report. With Hashem's help we will have good news to report very soon.