A Eulogy for Dalia Lemkos HY”D


Your face stares out at me from my Facebook newsfeed. I see your face everywhere as I scroll down, as many of my friends have posted and re-posted your picture. Late yesterday evening, after you were murdered, I saw your picture for the first time, and I began to cry. I looked into your eyes in that picture, the picture of you in that colorful dress, white top and blue earrings. And then, I saw your smile. That smile, that I am certain was your hallmark. No, I never knew you and I never heard your name before last night. And yet–you suddenly became a part of my life. You became a part of all of our lives. 

I look at your picture and wonder: What were your dreams? What plans did you have not only for the rest of your life but just simply, what were you going to do last night? I think of the empty chair at the dinner table and the empty bed that you won’t sleep in and the family and friends whose lives have been shattered with your murder. And I look into your eyes, and I feel sad.

Dalia, I never knew you, and I imagine that, for that, I am a poorer person. In His infinite and often hard-to-understand wisdom, Hashem chose you to be “the one” last night whose holy Neshama would return home to Him. It was you whom He chose to have at the Throne of Glory with Him. The one who, along with Almog Shiloni (hy”d) and countless others, have been given a place at the foot of the throne. Why? No one on this Earth can answer that question. But, chosen you were, and now instead of planning your next tiyul or what you may be doing with friends next week or attending some family simcha, you have a new role: an intercessor on behalf of your people.

Your role in this world has come to a tragic and sad end. The pain that is felt in this world after you were taken from us must be immeasurable for those who are close to you. To those of us who did not merit knowing you, our pain is the national, collective pain of yet another Jewish holy soul ripped away from us.

We can only pray that your words and prayers to Hashem, along with your radiant smile, will pierce the veil and will reach the ears of G-d and He will respond to all of our entreaties with favor and grant us all the true redemption today.

Dalia, go in peace and know that while you are no longer with us, there are tens of thousands of people who miss you and will continue to keep your memory alive.

בִּלַּע הַמָּוֶת לָנֶצַח וּמָחָה אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה דִּמְעָה מֵעַל כָּל פָּנִים

(“May death be eradicated forever and may G-d wipe away the tears from all faces.”)

About the Author
After living in Chicago for 50 years, the last 10 of which Zev Shandalov served as a shul Rav and teacher in local Orthodox schools, his family made Aliya to Maale Adumim in July 2009. Shandalov currently works as a teacher, mostly interacting with individual students.