Dear Leah,
Motzei Shabbos Michael and I had been out for the evening and we returned home around 12:15 AM. For some reason I felt that there was a 'change in the world' and I told Michael that Yossi had passed that night. After a while Michael who had felt something also went and read and read the web page then at around 2:30 AM he did a refresh before coming to bed and saw that indeed Yossi was no longer in this world. Amazingly 11:12 Minnesotaota time translated to 12:12:AM Richmond time. The next day I spoke to three other woman who had felt that he was gone at around the same time. My only explanation is that we felt the loss of his innocent, pure neshama from Klal Yisroel.

On Monday afternoon Eitan at his request had the zhus to be a shomer with Josh and Avi Cane. As I dropped him off I learned that R. Sherman was coming with Menachim and Avrummi followed by the Cantors. I cannot begin to tell you what a beautiful but bittersweet feeling it was to know that all these people were there with Yoss to keep his neshama company and help him to prepare for his heavenly assent with psalms and talk about all the good times they had spent. I am so very grateful that I am Jewish and I find great comfort in the beautiful rituals that make Judaism so unique.

When I heard the weather report say that it would be raining on the 14th I thought that it is fitting for such a sad occasion, however, when we came out of synagog it was warm and sunny, and I realized Hashem was happy! He was anxiously awaiting Yossi to return to him. Then as you know, afterwards it rained and became very windy as you walked away from the grave and Michael said Hashem is crying for us. Once again it became sunny and I knew Yossi was with his Heavenly Father.

There are no words that can erase the terrible pain and loss that both of you are feeling only know that many people {even ones you would not expect and probably will never know}are doing things to help. The whole community feels Yossi's passing it is as if we have lost our own son. In truth, I believe, all children are members of the greater family of yidden and we all have a responsibility to care, love and help them since it is in their merit that Hashem gave us the holy Torah.

In closing, even in Yossi's passing people are learning Torah and halacha not by sitting in a class but rather in a practical way as unfortuntly they learn how to follow the ways of mourning. May you find some small measure of comfort in the knowledge that you had a son who lit up the world with his smile and suffered so that many would learn Torah, and that people of many religions realized that we have more in common than we have differences.

Love Jackie


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