Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Programming, Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
===Thursday June 2nd,2022, Sivan 3, 5782===
Lat week the picture in the article about Donny Morris z” l was accidentally omitted. This is the picture of Donny between Aryeh and Akiva in front of MetLife.
This past Monday evening May 30th was the seventy-first annual banquet of Beth Medrash L’Torah V’Horah Kollel, the Graduate school of Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem of my Rebbi Rav Dovid Feinstein ztk” l and of course Rav Moshe Feinstein ztk” l. I was zoche to have a relationship with both. I am also grateful to have a relationship with Rav Reuven Feinstein shlita and Rav Berel Feinstein shlita. I mentioned about the annual banquet because I decided to submit an ad about the honorees and about Keila Lutza bas Shalom Hakohen. I received a number of requests to acknowledge her yartzeit because of how much she was a true ambassador of the Ribono shel Olam and Klal Yisrael. She conveyed the essence of the meaning of Kidddush H, of Achdus, of emunah, betachen, faith, hope, Shalom al Yisrael love of H and tremendous trust she had in H. I have therefore included that ad below followed by quotes from Rav Moshe and Rav Dovid’s Darash Moshe and Kol Dodi on the Torah.
“Shavous is the second yartzeit of Keila Lutza bas Shalom Hakohen A” H. She was nifteres the morning of the first day of Shavous, the yartzeit of Dovid Hamelech. She had a special relationship with Rebbetzin Malka Feinstein sol zein gezundt as she did with the yeshiva MTJ. The brachos she received from Rav Dovid Feinstein ztk” l always meant so much to her. She was loved by her entire family and so many in Klal Yisrael. Men and women from diverse backgrounds still remember her kindness, her smile, and her goodness. She was a modern-day Sara Imeinu having a beautiful impact on the lives of so many. Her wish was for her family to be happy, continue being productive, continue with maysim tovim which brought her much simchas hachaim and to share with many simchos. Most of all, to continue to have emunah, betachon, trust in the Ribono shel Olam and to be Mekadeish H. She was immensely grateful to have been able to recite the counting of the entire Sifiras Haomer. Her last mitzva was to make the bracha Shel Yom Tov on the candle that was lit for her that would light all the candles. Less than two weeks before she was nifteres she requested the following to be publicized. “When things look blue it helps to remember that tomorrow is another day and will be a brighter day.” She wanted all to have hope and faith in the Ribono shel Olam for the days ahead as she sincerely did. She did not give up hope and her love of the Ribono shel Olam remained strong even in the last days of her life. May she continue to be a malitza yeshara for her mishpacha and for Klal Yisrael.”
From Darash Moshe A selection of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s ztk” l choice comments on the Torah Artscroll Judaica Classics Mesorah Publications, Ltd Page 219 “Then I will provide your rains in their time (26:4) The expression” your rains” needs explanations. Are the rains not G” s? In what sense are they “our” rain? This teaches us that the universe functions only due to man’s good deeds. When one performs good deeds and observes H’s laws. the rains truly belong to him because it was for his sake that the rains came.”
From Kol Dodi on the Torah by Rabbi David Feinstein ztk” l page 204 “I will remember My covenant with Jacob and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember, and I will remember the land (26:42)
My covenant with Jacob refers to the covenant of Torah; H will redeem the Jews if they occupy themselves with Torah. My covenant with Isaac refers to the covenant of service, that the Jews should perform the commandments and bring the prescribed offerings in the Sanctuary (or, at a time when there is no Sanctuary, recite their required prayers with appropriate concentration). My covenant with Abraham refers to the covenant of kind deeds, the quality with which Abraham distinguished himself.
The Sages taught that the phrase, Es habris ve es hachesed, the covenant and the kindness, tells us that H made a covenant with Abraham that his descendants would always have a kind and generous nature (Yerushalmi Kiddushim 1:5).
In other words, this verse is a promise by H that however far the Jews stray from the Torah and mitzvos, He will remember the covenants which He made with their forefathers and not destroy them completely. Rather, He will always leave them an opportunity to return to Him and to fulfill His covenant in each of the three areas.
What is the significance of H’s promise to remember the land also? Eretz Yisrael is the place where the service of H can take place in its purest form, in all three aspects of the covenant, He must remember the land as well. Because H remembers that Eretz Yisrael is where the Jews were meant to keep these covenants, He will return us to our land so that we can serve Him fully.”
Keila Lutza bas Shalom Hakohen personified what an Eishis Chayil, a mother, a confident, a true Bas Yisrael is. She would be aghast when someone would speak loshon hora. She always found good in a person. Whenever a person would seek information about a shidduch, she always found something positive to say, never embellishing, but truthful, and uplifting. She was able to enhance and bring two families together making a Brady Bunch plus One a reality that would be everlasting. She was makpid on ensuring no jealously between or amongst children. Her love for each child was amazing. Her ability of lifting the spirits and the qualities of each child was so special. At work, her co-workers even her supervisors would seek her advice and her guidance She befriended many of all backgrounds not just of Judaism, but people of diverse religions and cultures. She always found the time to be of help and of assistance and her smile was of extreme sincerity. She had tremendous simchas hachaim. Her hope, her faith her love of H was so pure. She wanted to know from the doctors what her symptoms will be like, how will she know how much time she has left. The doctors and her husband already knew her cancer was spreading but did not have the heart to reveal the process had already begun. She insisted on knowing. She went from tremendous sadness, because she wanted to live knowing her life was coming to and end. Yet, she found the inner strength to revert and decided to use all her strength to find appreciation for all that H had given to her. She insisted on having faith and hope for whatever mitzvos she could still do the love she could still give to her family and extended family. She insisted on looking at the albums she put together giving thanks to H for all that she did and accomplished. She continued to give inspiration to her family and to others and insisted her family to find happiness and not sadness after she will be nifter. She gave permission to her family to do whatever is necessary to have happiness, to have hatzlacha and to continue to be productive. She gave all she could to her relatives and friends. For many months after her death hundreds whose lives she touched were heartbroken from far and near, including community residents. They had tears when they found out she was no longer alive, sharing her warmth, her kindness, her goodness, her bright smile, all the right words lifting up the spirits whenever someone was down. The amazing expression shared by everyone who knew her, who mentioned they never knew how ill she really was. She never let on how ill she was. She always showed concern for others. She conveyed Shalom al Yisrael, but she was also able to bring peace to all who knew her. It is amazing the influence she had on her family and those who were close to her. To have been able to shed the sadness of grief. To be able to begin new relationships and have an ever-stronger vigor of productivity with simchas hachaim keeping our word to her to do so as she requested. Many have expressed if was possible for her to have such a sincere smile, could have so much care for others, with much joy and happiness for others, with such simchas hachaim, then they too could also do the same. She continues to be a role model for so many. This includes the many children and young adults whose lives were touched by her love of H, her kindness, her gentleness and all the wonderful things she shared with them. I hope I was able to respectfully share various aspects of Keila Lutza bas Shalom Hakohen. May she be a malitza yeshara for her family and for Klal Yisrael.
Emunah, betachon, hope and faith, are so important. Having trust in H is especially important.
May our relationship our kesher with the Ribono shel Olam continue to grow even stronger. Aside from the regular seuda, enjoy whatever dairy tasty delight is special for this Yom Tov.
Have a wonderful and meaningful Yom Tov. Sincerely, Rabbi Yehuda Blank
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