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

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