Memory Book for Shoshana Weintraub

The following are the memories those of us have of Shoshana/Shoshi/Shosha :

Entries 80-89

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Visitor: Tricia Hallock
Time: May 19, 2006 9:23 PM

Today I was given a memory encapsulated in a snapshot of a green-eyed 8-year-old of wondrous beauty sitting astride her father's shoulders while both parents glow with love and pride for the child and her artistic creation...a galloping horse in silhoutte at sunset. Who could know that the time we had to experience the personality and mind behind that lovely face was so preciously short. What promise...what talent.. and even a hint of the passion for life comes through. I will dearly miss that passion for life in all of it's nuances (positive and negative). I will cry for the loss of such a vibrant Lily from the garden of my life. And I will smile at the memories of watching it bloom and change! As profoundly as I feel this loss, oh how much sadder not to have experienced the last 6 years.

Visitor: Katherine Lynn Van Leeuwen
Time: June 8, 2006 8:47 AM

I met Shoshana in 7th grade. She was in my 5th period class, Crack the Code with Mr. Ermer. Soon Shoshana, Smadar, and I became really good friends. I remember, when we were waiting for Mr. Ermer to come back from lunch, I would try and keep a straight face while rapping, "When I say Apple, you say sauce, when I say apple, you say sauce," and Shoshana laughing her head off. I don't remember how, but soon we came up with an entirely new religion called Ermerism, and every Friday, we would rub Mr. Ermers head for good luck, and we would each present him with a nickel. For a while we did this until the second semester, when we no longer had Crack the Code, and sometimes forgot the ceremony. After Shoshana passed away, Smadar and I remained faithful to the religion, every Friday we'd rub Mr. Ermers head, and give him 3 nickels. One for each of us. Remember Shoshana. She was brilliant. And support Ermerism. Love from, Katie.

Visitor: Isabel Borges

This letter came out just after Shoshana's death and is reprinted here with Isabel's permission

Shoshana Weintraub died on April 28, 2006. Many would say she was too young to die, for she had so much ahead of her; so much to live for. Her soul migrated from one place to another, and I am so grateful that she was able to live such an joyful and inspirational life, as short as it was. Death is not a closing to Shoshana's life; if anything, it is an awakening.

Why is it that we are afraid to live, yet so scared to die? Life seems so pleasant, death so's the transition that is troublesome. I find it extremely interesting how a million deaths is nothing more than a statistic to me, while a single death of a person I was just beginning to get to know is such a tragedy. It may sound cliché, but love truly is stronger than death. Love is what makes us hurt when death takes place. It has the power to control us, and to grieve and miss Shoshana so much is our love for her taking over.

Death is the only event which we can predict will arrive at some point in everyone's life with absolute certainty, and the relationships shared with Shoshana Weintraub will never end. One quote I found particularly incredible was one by Andrew Greenley, who said, "We are born with two incurable diseases, life, from which we die, and hope, which says maybe death isn't the end."

Normally I do not like to think about death. I would much rather think about life. Why reflect on death? When you start preparing for death you soon realize that you must look into your come to face the truth of your self. Death is like a mirror in which the true meaning of life is reflected.

I have always felt a bit afraid to die. Until your own death, you can never fully realize how much courage is needed to live through all the events in one's life. But it seems like Shoshana's death opened my eyes. I'm not afraid to die. I will live and I will take the good and bad, the consequences and the praise, mix it all together, and make that my life. It is worth dying to find out what life is.

Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, "Did you bring joy?" The second was, "Did you find joy?" I feel like I should try my best to live so that if I am asked those two questions, I could answer yes without a doubt to both of them.

As I cry over all that Shoshana's friends and family have lost, I realize we have all found something too. In many ways, I have been living life to learn how to die. Shoshana shall continue to live in our hearts, our minds, our souls...she is everywhere, surrounding us and watching over us all.

As my mother and I were walking to the car after Shoshana's funeral, my mom started to cry. As I tried to comfort her, she asked me, "Isabel, will you promise to never leave me?" And as much as I wanted to tell her, to tell the whole world, that of course, I would never ever leave her, it was not a promise I was able to make. I told her that, and it seems as though we made a connection right then, more than anything we could have ever had before. She understood me and I understood her.

I've found tragedy to be a profoundly confusing thing- it takes time and patience for the gift in it to find us.

It will.

Visitor: Koppelman-Harif Family
Time: June 18, 2006 11:02 AM

I have two strong memories of Shoshana to share: One while she was here with us, and one after she was gone.

Shoshana's contributions to the monthly Chevrat Shlosha Devarim service was one of major reasons that I started attending that service on a regular basis. Before this, I had never attended services purely by choice, without a bar/bat mitzvah or other simcha as a reason. Shoshana's enthusiastic and joyful leading of the services was infectious and made the service so accessible and enjoyable. I credit Shoshana in having a major role in bringing me closer to enjoying Shabbat and enjoying services, and she will always be with me as my Jewish learning and living goes on.

Then, two months after Shoshana's death, my daughter and Shoshana's friend Rachel joined me for a Shlosha Devarim service. She decided to bring her tallit, which is something she rarely does. As the service was starting and she removed the tallit from the case, a pamphlet fell out; it was the program from Shoshana's bat mitzvah, which was the previous time Rachel had used the tallit.

It was an intensely strong reminder that Shoshana's spirit was with us at the service and always will be. Such tremendous influence for such a short life! I thank Tina, Steven and Aaron for helping to nurture such a wonderful soul to make such an impact in my life and the lives of so many.

Visitor: Pam Fruit
Time: June 29, 2006 3:20 PM

Shalom, I found your website while trying to find how to make my first sukkah. Your instructions are wonderful! Then I read...about your daughter's passing...and I saw your photos. She was beautiful! She is STILL beautiful! You will see her again in the World to Come. May the Holy One continue to give you healing oil in your hearts and minds. Blessings to your lovely family, Pam Fruit

Visitor: Jerry Blaz
Time: July 3, 2006 3:38 AM

Ha-shem yinaxem otxem tox kol evlei yisrael v'irushalayim. Steve, I do not know if we ever actually corresponded, but I've read your messages on several lists where you write, enjoying your wit and knowledge. I know that there cannot be a greater pain than the one you, your wife, and your son are experiencing, and you asked if God is listening. I believe that we are all a small part of God, and I am among those listening with a full heart for the grief you feel. I am sorry for your terrible loss. Jerry

Visitor: Cantor Robbi Sherwin
Time: July 9, 2006 11:50 PM

This took me weeks to write - I was overcome by grief everytime I tried to write it. I miss you, Shoshana.

Shoshana's Song

A spark, a smile
A special child
She rides again her cheeks flushed like roses

A soul apart
Seared in our hearts
Taken, but not gone
To a path winding and long
We'll miss your joyful song
You always sang along

But, she's riding now, she's flying now
In soft and fragrant pastures she'll ride on
But I don't know how,
I don't know how
To soar about the pain
Like the winged dove
She's riding on the wings of Shechina

No goodbye
Still tears left to cry
Thank you for gifts you gave us - briefly

May the One
Who makes peace for all of us
Grant us peace within
So that we'll be whole again
So glad you let us in
May your back be to the wind

We can't take her on this never-ending journey
She's in the saddle on her own
The canyons and the mountains celebrate her very presence
In Your loving arms, we know she's safe and warm
In Your loving arms, she'll ride through all the storms
And the only thing that I know that truly keeps me going
Is knowing that
In Your loving arms, she's safe and warm

But, she's riding now, she's flying now
In soft and fragrant pastures she'll ride on
But I don't know how,
I don't know how
Please help me soar about the pain
Like the winged dove
She's riding on the wings of Shechina

Visitor: Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill
Time: August 1, 2006 9:43 AM

I did not know your Shoshanah, but I too lost a daughter, also named Shoshanah, in 1988. My daughter was almost 12 years old. I know the pain in your heart that will never go away. Recently I became a Great-Grandfather for the first time. Life is still good despite its moments of despair and trouble. May you see comfort and blessing along with all those who also mourn for Jerusalem and Zion.

Visitor: Lauren (Schmidt)
Time: September 11, 2006 10:37 AM

Dear Tina and Steven:

I was one of Shoshana's preschool teachers at the JCC when she was three years old. I just came upon this website and I'm shocked by the news--I'm so sorry for your family's terrible loss. I am also a mom now; I have a 6 month old baby girl named Maya and my heart aches to even think of losing her. It sounds like Shoshana bloomed into an incredible young girl and teen, just a bigger and more mature version of her preschool self. She was always full of positive energy and love for her friends. I have some wonderful pictures of her in dress-up clothes (one of her favorite classroom activities), and I remember what a wonderful playful spirit she had.

My prayers and thoughts are with your family.

Lauren (Schmidt) Ross

Visitor: Butch Embry
Time: September 30, 2006 1:56 PM

Dear Steven and Tina,

I have been wanting to post on here for a long time but have not been able to. As your family plumber I have watched a lot of children grow up,yours included,I remember playing ball with your children on the driveway one afternoon after I was thru working on your home. I also remember giving them both stuffed animals making Shoshana and Aaron part of my "Teddy Bear Family". I share your loss in a special way because we lost our baby daughter to cancer in feb this year, She was 28, I also grieve with you in your loss of your baby.

                                       Thinking of you often,


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