The Rabbinical Alliance of America joins the country in mourning the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush. Mrs. Bush served the country as First Lady during her husband George H.W. Bush’s term as President and as Second Lady during his two terms as Vice President. She was also the mother of President George W. Bush during his two terms as President. With this unprecedented closeness to the leadership of the free world for twenty years over three decades, Mrs. Bush displayed a universally acknowledged dignity. In her unique role, she championed the cause of family literacy by encouraging parents and children to read together. She recognized that the values of family and education are critical to the success of this great country.

The Talmud teaches that the wife of a Torah scholar receives the same honor as her husband. This beautiful teaching encompasses important lessons on many levels. One aspect of this teaching is that any individual’s accomplishments emerge from the support of family, from the emotional foundation established and sustained by loved ones. In this sense, Mrs. Bush achieved not only her own impressive track record but also supported her husband, son and other children in their unique roles. She served as the backbone of the First Family, sustaining her husband, son and the entire country.

The Rabbinical Alliance of America sends condolences to the bereaved husband, children, grandchildren and country. The United States of America has a lost great woman who served as a role model of leadership and family values. We pray that the country utilizes her memory to continue her crucial work of strengthening family and education.