In Memoriam: My Mother’s Glasses

10 Nov 2014

By Adina Broder

Rebbitzen Peggy Weiss with her granddaughter.

My mother, Rebbetzin Peggy Weiss, passed away two days before Yom Kippur. While still in shock at her sudden passing, I was forced to make arrangements for our immediate trip to Eretz Yisrael for her kevurah. Having rushed into my parents’ house after receiving the horrible news, I had forgotten to bring my reading glasses with me. I found a pair of my mother’s glasses (with roughly the same magnification that I use) in the kitchen, and, with my father’s permission, I wore them to look up information and dial phone numbers. I continued to use those glasses to say tehilim at the cemetery and to daven on Yom Kippur.

To this day, I continue wearing my mother’s glasses. At some point I came to realize that the glasses provide me some nechama during this emotionally painful time. I love the feeling of having something so personal of my mother’s – something that she wore on her face – now resting on my face. Somehow it’s as if I am still connected to my mother, whom I miss dearly, through her glasses.

Of course the symbolism of my mother’s glasses isn’t lost on me. Just as glasses clarify blurry words on a page, my mother had always shown me the clear path in this uncertain world. She taught me to love learning Torah; to realize the power of tefilah; to appreciate the beauty of Shabbos; to support our homeland, Eretz Yisrael; to treat all people with respect and kindness; to be an active member of klal Yisrael; and to live my life in a way that would make a kiddush HaShem.

But my mother’s glasses hold an even deeper significance for me. They are a physical reminder that I should try to view the world through her eyes:

– My mother was a woman of fierce bitachon. She never questioned the Ribono shel Olam, knowing that everything that happens, no matter how difficult for us to understand, is part of His divine plan.
– My mother was a trailblazer who defied stereotypes by becoming the first female regional director of NCSY. As long as it was within the confines of Halacha, my mother never let being a woman hold her back.

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