Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shoshie's Last Act on Eart, Part 2

I was once heard Rebbetzin Tzipora of Neve Yerushalayim talk about the Torah concept of modesty (snius) in the following way.
It's the difference between attractive and attracting. (in all areas of life) In my mind, this says it all. When I need something from you; for you to notice me, give me approval, stare at me, like me, desire me, flirt with me, or even say a sarcastic joke to you to get your attention- this is "attracting" - There is some response that I need to elicit from you to complete me. And there is nothing wrong with that desire, we all long to feel "whole", "complete", "valued", "worth", -the object of being seen as "the package"
We constantly are searching for affirmation, validation, respect, appreciation - in the end of the day it is the ultimate greatness we seek. The illusion is that when we seek it from the outside, when it is given to us from the outside, the resulting affirmed good feelings of yourself, your inner self-satisfaction, the feeling that "I am good" lasts as long as the attention flow comes from the outside-in and the self esteem ,value and worth I thought I had remains an illusion dependent upon you. Think of what happens to some famous people who seek being famous or can't get enough fame. It's pretty selfish too "I" need you to complete me as opposed to the flow in the other direction. Gee what happens when I am left to myself, alone without you. How do I really feel about myself? Is my joy dependent upon my popularity, my beauty, sexiness, the attention of the girls in my school?

And this is where we get to Shoshie. She didn't need you, not your approval, your affirmation, validation etc etc. Shoshie thank GD, was able to experience what we all long for. She liked herself, felt an inner self confidence, expressed herself without worrying how you would react, what you would say, would like it or not like it. Shoshie's expression of life in was pure, inner-directed, from a place that wasn't contaminated from feelings of self-doubt. Not polluted from "neediness" - Shoshie was in the moment - fun, joy, radience -Did I mention she was funny. Make no mistake about it, if you have with all the nice words about Shoshie conjured up an image of a delicate, sheltered, Borough Park, Beis Yaakov girl (and Gd forbid nothing wrong with that)
Shoshie has presence, a lot of it, she was counted, not faded in the background- she liked to be first, the best (very competitive and an excellent athlete) she liked to win - But with all I have said Shoshie was never attracting -only attractive. Wow-this looms as much other stuff I have realized about her large in my eyes. How proud I am to have had a daughter who is teaching us much about life.

OK I have been avoiding talking about her last moments. My heart is utterly broken, tears from down my face, inner panic sets in, and I can't see through my glasses- but I am typing a mile a minute-and I have so much love for all of your right now.
Shoshie's lasts moments on earth defined her

Shoshie might have been 12 but those who knew her, she was mature, capable and developed midos (good character traits) way beyond her years. It certainly helped to have Devori (14 years old) as her everything, as Devori is a giant of greatness too)
Not often (a few times) did Shoshie go across the 6 lane, 50 MPH street that connects 2 sides of our community alone. On her way back home as she was navigating the cross-walk on her "long board" or was it a "rip stick" she locked eyes with what turns out to be a wonderful Shomer Shabbos man from the BRS community. Shoshie with her presence, confidence and joy of being alive in this world (of someone so much older) flashed a radiant and beaming smile eliciting the defining reaction and the end chapter on earth.

The man said to himself "what a beautiful 'Frum' girl she must going over to the other community (we live close by to another shul on the other side of the 6 lane highway).

All he saw and experienced, in just a moment, was Shoshie's inner beauty pouring out of her, palpable good feelings caressing this man-the kind of feeling of being 7, coming out of the shower and your father wraps one of his huge, fluffy white towels around you with a long embraced hug to dry you off -ooohh that feels so good. Shoshie's love and radiance made you feel goooood. (She sought and was seeking nothing for himself and seeking nothing from you) - a pure altruistic, we are enjoying this life, aren't we? of course we are.

The man didn't not take notice of her, he locked is eyes in on her, witnessing a thing of beauty, (but not attracting, not sexy, not alluring, not risque, not the latest of latest fashion) just Shoshie without the layers, without the costume we sometimes put on to elicit response from others. He said to himself "a frum" girl. She was dressed appropriately, in a dignified fashion, identified as someone who looked a part and belonged to our Frum community. For me this could be the ultimate Nechama. She accomplished in her lifetime attractive but not attracting with a presence to all who came into contact with her - not someone who hid in a corner and shied away from life. On the contrary she embraced life. I couldn't be more proud of Shoshie. Shoshie I love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my might

As you know by now I could go on and on but I realize how much could one person possibly read in one sitting . Thank you to you all for being so gracious to me and indulging me by reading and commenting on my thoughts about Shoshie. We will soon let you know when our celebration for Shoshie continues with a special guest lecturer (my Rabbi Eliyahu Bergstein) hopefully at BRS in a few weeks in honor of Shloshim. Have a beautful day.

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