Sara, my friend - not Sara, "the prisoner's wife"

I studied with Sara at Machon Ora in 1990-1991. She impressed me with her strong identity and sense of right and wrong. At the time she was mourning Rav Kahane's recent murder, dressing in dark clothes and arguing vociferously with the Rabbi's critics.

Sara cared tremendously about her appearance and the way she dressed. She took pride in being a Jewish daughter, a Bat Melech. She always dressed and acted appropriately in public.

She was extremely sensitive to other people's feelings. When she heard of a death, she would cry for hours, even if she didn't know the person who died very well.

After she married Ami, Yediot Acharonot took the time to put out a full smear campaign. From that moment, in public, she was no longer the quiet learned girl who had once been Rav Meir Kahane's secretary...she was "Ami' the Mass Murderer's Wife".

Even last week, on the news, she was "Ami's Wife".

Sara will be missed. But it will be a greater tragedy if those of us who knew her allow her to go on being remembered merely as "Ami's Wife".

Sara was a great person, who like the rest of us from America, was a survivor of the silent Holocaust. She was also a strong person, who made difficult choices and lived with them everyday.

Sara had a beautiful smile and a warm voice. That is the only way she should be remembered.


Moti said...

That spin must stop now.

Sarah z"l WAS Rabbi Ami Popper's hy"v wife.
She CHOSE to be his wife.
She chose to be his wife BECAUSE he was Ami Popper, the 7UP killer.

That's who she was, an integral part of her identity.

Your post describes how YOU would want to remember her, not how SHE would like to be remembered.

Nofyah Altman said...

With all due respect...were you a VERY close friend of her's? And how do you know how she wanted to be remembered? SORRY, I published your comment, but I disagree. You are not a woman, you cannot understand.


Dina said...

This is for Moti and all other ignoramuses he so richly represents:

Nofya, I was moved almost to tears by your hesped of Sara and
especially your defense of Sara as a person in her own right -
beautiful inside and out, in every way.

Not a day has gone by since the tragedy of her loss, that I don't
wake up and go to sleep thinking about her.

Sara and I shared the same "loazi" birthday - May 15. We made a point of talking to each other on that special day, and I always
blessed her in particular and Am Israel and Eretz Israel in general, in her merit. I also invited her to our get-togethers with other
friends on that day to celebrate (unfortunately she was unable to
attend during recent years because of family obligations).

I remember standing in line with her in the crowds who went to the
shiva of Binyamin and Talia Kahane HY"D, on a Motzei Shabbat. She couldn't stop crying, and I just felt a tremendous need to comfort
her as well as the Kahanes.

I'm not surprised in the least by the character assassinations and
the automatic condemnations of her as the "Jewish terrorist's" wife (this is the term used by the J. Post about Ami, last Friday). I saw the comments last week on the on-line Post's article about the
accident, as well as the talkback on HaAretz. Sorry I wasted my

I found the most sympathetic article in this past Friday's "Makor Rishon", where there is a half-page article on page 5, mostly about
Ami. The headline reads: "Ami Popper laments his wife and son at the hospital". He cried all night between last Wednesday night and
Thursday over the deaths of his wife and son. The rest of the
article goes into the history of how he became "famous", how he
became religious, and recent initiatives to free him and other
ideological prisoners.

While at Soroka Hospital, Ami praised Sara, eulogizing her
tremendous mesirut nefesh: "For 13 years she lived like a widow...She would tell me, I'll take care of the children, you sit
and learn".

Sara was an extra-special girl. I had that feeling about her from
the minute I first met her, a good 18 or so years ago in the Kach movement.

And this is the feeling I'll always have about her. Israel doesn't know it yet, but it is so much the poorer for her loss.

May her holy soul be bound up in the bonds of eternal life, and may
Sara be a "melitzat yosher" for her family, friends, and all of Am


yitz said...

Among the lies that have been spread about this terrible tragedy is that no one in the car was seat-belted. Today I received the following e-mail:


Last week just before Shabbas the Popper family was in a fatal car crash in which the mother and the youngest child were niftaru. I don't have an update on the father and two sons who survived, but a friend of the family feels it is important that all know -- everyone in the car had on seat belts. Evidently at least 1 or 2 major newspapers reported, incorrectly, that they weren't belted:

shavua tov chana. regarding our past conversation: i spoke to Sara Gittel Z"L's brother Lenny regarding the seat belt issue. As anyone close to Sara knew, she was quite demanding that a car would not be started till all were in seat belts. We spoke about this at the levaya that it made no sense...the news articles that the children weren't belted?????? Lenny said that one of the boys in fact had to have stomach surgery because the seat belt had so gut damaged him. To disseminate such loshen h'ara is criminal and I am writing to the press to print retractions. -- Gittel