Blessing God for Our Troubles

A few hours ago, my father’s sister was found dead in her apartment. I don’t know for certain the cause, though a heart attack isn’t unlikely.

My Aunt Sandy was a kind, but often lonely woman. Most of my memories of her involve family get-togethers during the holidays. Her husband, my Uncle Glenn, passed away some years ago, and they had no children.

I have to admit right now that I’m feeling a bit guilty at having not spent more time with her and gotten to know her better. Even so, I’m going to miss her terribly.

Her death is going to be much harder on my father than me, who was the one who found her after he and Aunt Joyce were unable to reach her by phone. It will be hardest of all on Aunt Joyce, who has built much of her life around caring for Sandy and being there for her. Your prayers for both of them is appreciated.

At the moment, I’m mostly feeling . . . heavy. It’s hard to find words beyond that.

This is a rough time of year for everyone at Beth HaMashiach. As we get closer to Pesach, the Passover, which is probably our greatest outreach, things always have a way of going wrong on multiple levels. Much as Job faced the loss of his property and loved ones and health at the hands of the Adversary all at once, we’re dealing with multiple issues of our own. The person who offered to watch the rabbi’s children so that he and his wife could go to Israel in a few weeks has been hospitalized with a heart condition (fortunately, she should recover), we’ve had some unusual internal strife among the members, at least one extended unemployment, and now a family death.

Job, facing much worse loss than we have (praise God!), was still able to say, “Blessed be the name of the LORD.” In that Spirit, I’d like to “recite” the Mourner’s Kaddish for my aunt:

Exalted and sanctified is God’s great name in the world which He has created according to His will, and may He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May His great Name be blessed forever and for all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, elevated and lauded be the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be great peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

May she find the peace with the Lord that she was denied in this life.

Shalom.

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