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Nancy Pitch, Naomi Palansky z"l, Rena Chiarelli, Rhonda Prepes



by Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng. November 11, 2010

Today is November 11, 2010 – Remembrance Day - a day to commemorate those who died in World War I and World War II.

I don’t know the names of any fallen soldiers or civilians from WWI or WWII. I don’t know the names of any of the 6 million Jews that perished in the Holocaust. I don’t know the names of anyone that died during the War of Independence or the Yom Kippur War in Israel, either.

But these names keep running through my head- I am sure that there are many more- but these are the names that come to my mind: Marla Altman, Adam Anhang, Kerry Cohen, Lisa Cohen, Matthew Cohen, Lesley Cory, Esther Brina Erenberg, Shaun Filkow, Howard Paul Goldberg, Samuel Gorenstein, Stewart Hochman, David Katz, Noam Lakser, Harry Leszcz, Ari Lipson, Slaten Morry, Elana Dil Palay, Michael Paul, Trevor Paul, Jack Pollick, Nathan Pollock, Adam Potash, Fern Shawna Rykiss, and Shira Waldman.

These are the names of people I did know or know of – sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, but not a grandmother or grandfather among them. These are the names of some of the young Winnipeg Jewish people who passed away in the last 30 years or so before they had the chance to live full lives.

These are the people that I have chosen to commemorate today. 

I attended the funeral of a childhood friend yesterday – Naomi Rosenberg Palansky. She was a friend, a daughter, a sister, a mother, an aunt and she was way too young to die. I believe that G-d has plans for all of us, but no mother should ever have to bury a child. There is just something fundamentally wrong with that.

What could G-d be telling us when he takes away a young soul?

1. Reconnect with your school friends/camp friends/boyfriends/girlfriends/teachers.
2. Love your family and keep them close.
3. Forgive.
4. Spend time having fun with friends.
5. Give of yourself to those in need.
6. Share your wisdom and wealth.
7. Take one day at a time and perform a mitzvah every day.
8. Know what is important and what is not.
9. Be righteous, kind, honest, grateful and nonjudgmental.
10. Be passionate about something.
11. Live each day to its fullest for we know not when our time is up.

Jews believe that death does not mark the end of a person's existence. The people we love who have died continue to live on in our memories and in G-d's awareness.

May these eleven important messages be a tribute to those I knew who were tragically taken before their time. On this the 11th day of the 11th month and every other day, lest us forget.

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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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