Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weinbach’s daughter and thirty Human Beings

Francine was someone’s daughter.

Did she have a sister? Or, brother? I do not know. Perhaps she did, perhaps she did not. But friends must she have had. And neighbors?

One thing she had for sure, and lots of them – students. For Stein was a musician and she had taught at the Julliard School.

What kind of person was she - Francine Stein?
Did her students hate her? Did anyone love her?
What kind of music did she play? Did she string a violin that cried loud through the starry starry nights when the world was sleepy and the only listeners were fairies and angels?

How was Francine when she was sixteen?

Was she the most beautiful girl of the world to someone?
Did her supple body warm someone else’s in a night of cold? Damp, or, rain?
Did she have any child?
Did she ever comfort a young tiny helpless creature in her loving arms?

I do not know answers to any of these, I only know, when she died she was alone.

And when the time of her burial came she was going to be alone but for a kind-hearted Rabbi, and her sensitive daughter, Ora Golda Weinbach.

Ora, the kind daughter of a kind rabbi had another idea.

Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach, a man of God, was to do the God’s service. He was to officiate at the suburban New York funeral at a cemetery in Orangetown, NY. Ora posted the following message on her Facebook page.

Huge mitzvah opportunity. A woman is being buried tomorrow who has LITERALLY NO ONE attending her funeral, other than the funeral home director and the rabbi (my father). Who would like to join me at the funeral? I will be leaving Teaneck at 10:45. Free lunch with the rabbi after. 

The response was heartwarming to Ora. A score and half people showed for the service to pay their respects to a woman who they never met. It was an act of human decency as one person commented.

Yes, this is the last bit of decency in an age of selfish, violent time that defies all odds and declares triumphantly: God your creation was not in vain.

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