Yesterday, [15 Shvat (Tu Beshvat) 4 February 2015], we laid to rest a wonderful young woman, Mechaya Ruth Read, who immigrated from Canada to Jerusalem 2 years ago.
In her brief life and even briefer time in Israel, she touched so many of our lives with her positive energy. On her final night, before she succumbed to cancer in Jerusalem’s Sharei Tzedek Hospital we made a festive Tu Beshvat Seder, for the New Year of Trees in her hospital room. Mechaya was a vegan and very health conscious.
Mechaya loved music! The last sounds she heard was her close friends and family celebrating a singing and playing guitars to celebrate life!
WE ARE LIFE: Mechaya Ruth Read
I met you a year and a half ago when I moved to Jerusalem. I was an old-timer in Israel yet in many ways new to the social scene here. I was inspired by your energy, giving and sense of life. You were a partner in our Singles Shabbat dinner group Friday Night Live in Katamon and helped me build a warm community of where singles could hang out and have fun together.
I was inspired by your energy and optimism … which was symbolized by … your name … Mechaya! You brought new life to us all!
This week we are between Parshat Beshallach and Yitro, our Journey – through freedom – to commitment and responsibility. In a year of Shmita, where we learn to step back and give back … to reflect on what we have rather than rush to create, and acquire.
We do not control nature, it is G-d’s tool to control us. G-d brought a heavy east wind, which took all night, to turn a mighty sea in to a dry wasteland – a charava. Yet a simple relaxing of Moses staff immediately returned the sea to its former might.
We are part of nature and don’t really own anything, even the days we have on this earth. You bravely fought a battle with illness many years ago and parted the Red Sea, so you and all of us could safely journey through a challenging phase in our lives, and begin to build new ones.
You had the sense of how ephemeral our days are and were determined to show us how to live to their fullest. It’s hard to believe that only a 4 months ago you hosted the most breathtaking, romantic Rosh Hashana dinner in your courtyard outside your home opposite the center of the world – Jerusalem’s Old City. And barely 2 months ago – our last dinner of 50 which you were as always a great help.
Hashem sent you a great shaliach, Jonathan, who brought your heart into full bloom. Jerusalem has 9/10 of the world’s beauty. I saw that beauty reflecting in your eyes when you were with him or talked about him.
Just as this week’s Parsha gives us the Ten Commandments – the commitment we need to fulfill our Journey Through Freedom … so we see children coming out of the love of marriage.
Just as you are going on to make great Shabbat and Holiday celebrations for those in Heaven as a fulfillment of what you did here in Jerusalem.
You may think you missed out and didn’t have time to have children with him … I need to correct you Mechaya.
From now on, we are all your children. We are all Nature and Life.
We are all Mechaya!
Brucha At … Mechaya Et Kulanu!
You are blessed … and bring life to us all!