DANIEL PINNER'S HESPED FOR THE SHLOSHIM OF HIS MOTHER Z"L

(Note: The Shloshim for Daniel's mother z"l fell on Wednesday 24 Marcheshvan/15 November (last Wednesday), but Daniel Pinner was in prison and not allowed out for the graveside rite, so the following is in lieu of a hesped which he could not give at the gravesite.)

My mother, Hana Malka Feigele bat Yehoshua Miriam Machlah z"l, passed away in her sleep on 23 Tishrei, which was Simchat Torah in England. Her entire life was Simchat Torah, a celebration of the Torah: She educated generations of Jews in England in love of Torah and love of Israel. Her children and grandchildren, all of whom are living in Israel, are living testimony to the love of Israel that she instilled in all who knew her, as well as thousands of her former students who are also living in Israel.

Her life was one which could not possibly have been foreseen when she was born: She was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, to parents who had moved there from Austria, living the carefree life of a wealthy Jewish family, living securely in one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. Her life, together with the ancient Jewish community of Prague, was smashed in March 1939 when the Nazis invaded. She spent the next 9 months under Nazi occupation. At the end of 1939, her entire family left Prague, arriving in Israel on Hanukah of 1939. She merited to fight for Israel in the Underground during the War of Independence, and again in the 1950's as a soldier in the Golani Brigade. Her entire subsequent life was influenced by the shadow of Nazi occupation in Czechoslovakia, British occupation of Israel, and having had her entire childhood annihilated. But the stability which was ripped from her, the childhood which she was deprived of, she managed to give in such tremendous measure, not only to her 3 children, but also to thousands of young Jews whom she educated in Israel and England.

The last tefila she davened was on Shmini Atzeret, the day when we begin to pray for rain: Mashiv HaRuach uMorid HaGeshem. On a simple level, we mention that G-d causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall. But on a deeper level, Mashiv HaRuach implies Meishiv HaRuchaniut (he restores the spirituality) uMorid HaGeshem implies Morid HaGashmiut (he lessens the importance of physicality). My mother lived long enough to complete the festivals of Tishrei and to complete one final cycle of the reading of the Torah. Her physical body has gone back to the earth from whence it came, and her spirit is back with the G-d Who created it.

I miss my mother terribly; she always fought for me like a lioness defending her cubs. May she be a Melitzat Yosher in the Heavenly Court for all of Am Israel.

I drew tremendous comfort from the hundreds of people who came to support me and my family, both at the funeral and during the Shiva, and the uncountable messages of support that I received by telephone and e-mail. There is no way I can respond to everybody personally, so please see this as a personal expression of deep appreciation for the support given me and my family.

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