For my 1000 post landmark, I did a life history. As I neared 2000, I debated whether to do a landmark at all -- and if I did, what about. I was still trying to decide when I realized I was at 2004. Then again, it should surprise no one that I'm posting only odd landmarks.
The idea of focusing on someone who was significant to me (as eslaine/Erik Slaine and Hobbes, among others, did in their landmarks) was appealing.
I've known Alan and Shifra Heyman for many years. They are long-time friends of my parents, and now friends of mine. They are two of the most open, giving, generous, intelligent people I know. But this post isn't really about them. They were blessed with only one child, a girl a few years older than I. Shoshana attended a different high school, so I knew her, but not well. It may seem like it, but this isn't really about her either.
In our community, most young women get married before they are 23. At 26, one is essentially an "old maid." At 28, Shoshana was single, living in NY, and teaching. She loved her students, and they adored her. Her parents beamed with pride every at every mention of her. When she got engaged to Shmuel Greenbaum, everyone who knew her was overjoyed.
Shoshana and Shmuel married and settled in New Jersey. A few months after their marriage, they visited her parents. When I spoke to Shoshana, I noticed a deep joy about her. Most newlyweds are happy; this was something more. She had searched a long time, and I was glad to see the wait had paid off.
On August 9, 2001, Shoshana was in Jerusalem for a six-week study program. Shmuel had gone back to the States two days before. She was 31. They had been married for 15 months, and Shoshana was 4 months pregnant with their first child. A suicide bomber entered Sbarro and detonated a large bomb (packed with nails to maximize its lethal effect). Shoshana had stopped in to pick up lunch. She was killed instantly. But this is not about the dead.
quote:Kindness has been my personal response to terror. My wife, Shoshana, was murdered by a suicide bomber. She was one of over 100 victims that were killed or injured at 2:00 P.M. on August 9, 2001 at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem.
In the past few months, I started an organization in my wife's memory, called Partners In Kindness. The organization's aim is to encourage people around the world to do an act of kindness each day. Our first project is called A Daily Dose of Kindness. Each day people report acts of kindness to me and I report anonymously to the list what people have done.
These stories give you ideas and the urge to act yourself. It is pretty contagious. In just two months, we had 300 participants in four countries.
It is tempting to believe that people cannot make themselves better. Either you are lucky enough to be born to a family where kindness is valued or you are not. The reality is that everyone can learn how to increase their kindness skills.
Kindness is like music, art, sports or any other discipline -- it can only be mastered with practice, training, and lots and lots of encouragement. That is what PartnersInKindness.org is trying to promote.
Partners In Kindness has six goals: 1. Inspire the world with stories of heroes and role models that display kindness. 2. Incorporate the stories into a structured approach to seeing opportunities to do kindness. 3. Create a method to reinforce this using TV and Radio commercials with emotional stories from celebrities about how an act of kindness changed their life. 4. Design programs for schools to teach kindness. 5. Design programs for employers to teach kindness. 6. Design programs for government agencies to teach kindness.
Thanks for sharing that!! I'm sorry you had to experience that but I'm glad people now take the opportunity to share their feelings. It's made me realize that you don't have to be good friends with someone to care and be influenced.
I know me and I am pretty sure I don't have the kind of "center" it takes to respond to a devastating tragedy in the way that Shmuel has. Thanks for the reminder that there really are people like him in the world - it's easy to forget when there are so many examples of people responding to tragedy with hatred or their own violence.
He's given a beautiful gift to whoever wants it. And you've passed it on.
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Thanks, Rivka, for sharing this. Sorry it took me so long to respond. It is through people like Shmuel that God works, bringing a bit of light to a world reveling in its own darkness and depravity.
May you be blessed with kind words and may we all learn a bit from your story.
Posts: 8503 | Registered: Aug 1999
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