Eulogy for Rabbi Kelman’s Aunt, Gloria Mehler

The following was a brief eulogy for my beloved Aunt Gloria Mehler in honor of her unveiling which took place on the same day as the Yahrzeit of my dear father 26th Cheshvan

Nov. 12, 2020

Aunt Bracha

כ’ תשרי תרצ”ב – כ”ט אדר ב’ תשע”ט

I think I’m not alone in asserting, and this most likely has already been stated, that most of us here- Kelmans, Lamms, Mehlers, and Goldmans, were born into a unique Matriarchate. 

Bubba, Aunt Minnie, Aunt Paulie, and then the next generation, Jean, Judy, Mindella, Pearl and of course Aunt Bracha. The presence of those elegant ladies filled our Sundays, Shabbosim, and Yomtovim, and whether it was sorting out clothes for the Israel Aid society, or distributing  potatoes Erev Pesach, in Williamsburg, or family gatherings on Purim or Thanksgiving — I especially remember those Thanksgivings! The presence of those ladies filled our lives, and gave them direction and purpose. They taught us that life was not about having fun alone, but rather it must be filled with accomplishments, filled with Chesed, filled with Mitzvose!

Although they all played the role of surrogate mothers to us,none did it more consummately nor beautifully than Aunt Bracha. She had enough love in her heart for us all to last forever. And I believe that that love will last forever!

We all know of her devotion to her nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews and beyond. But we also take pride in her love of Torah, her love of attending classes, and her sponsorship of Torah in YU, The JC, and other institutions all across America, as well as in Israel.

I think that she was more than just a “Tzadeikisdeh” She was a “Chassidisteh,” in its truthful and authentic meaning. 

What’s the difference, you ask? A tzadik does all that he/she is obligated to — which we all recognize is no easy task! Not many people are considered to be Tzadikim! But a Chassid goes way beyond that. That motivation stems not from a desire to be an Eved Hashem alone. Rather, it stems from a deep and abiding, and never ending love in Hashem!

Aunt Bracha- as far as I know, you’re among  the few true Chassidim in the family!

Rest in peace, sleep your well-deserved rest in peace, and may you rise up with all your ancestors, and siblings who are resting with you , with Techiyas Hameisim Amen!

אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי מָשָׁל לִשְׁתֵּי סְפִינוֹת שֶׁהָיוּ פּוֹרְשׁוֹת לַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל, אַחַת יוֹצֵאת מִן הַלָּמִין וְאַחַת נִכְנֶסֶת לַלָּמִין, זוֹ שֶׁיּוֹצֵאת הָיוּ הַכֹּל שְׂמֵחִין בָּהּ, זוֹ שֶׁנִּכְנֶסֶת לֹא הָיוּ הַכֹּל שְׂמֵחִין בָּהּ, פִּקֵּחַ אֶחָד הָיָה שָׁם אָמַר חִלּוּפֵי הַדְּבָרִים אֲנִי רוֹאֶה כָּאן, זוֹ שֶׁהִיא יוֹצֵאת מִן הַלָּמִין לֹא הָיוּ הַכֹּל צְרִיכִין לִשְׂמֹחַ שֶׁאֵינָן יוֹדְעִין בְּאֵיזֶה פֶּרֶק הִיא עוֹמֶדֶת וּמַה יַּמִּים מִזְדַּוְּגִין לָהּ וּמַה רוּחוֹת מִזְדַּוְגוֹת לָהּ, וְזוֹ שֶׁנִּכְנֶסֶת לַלָּמִין הָיוּ הַכֹּל צְרִיכִין לִשְׂמֹחַ, לְפִי שֶׁהֵם יוֹדְעִים שֶׁנִּכְנֶסֶת בְּשָׁלוֹם וְיָצְאָה בְּשָׁלוֹם מִן הַיָּם

Aunt Bracha – A Blessing Indeed

By Rabinessa Liora Kelman

The first time I met Aunt Bracha ZZ”L was at my wedding. Even then, I could foresee that she would be a blessing in my life. Aunt Bracha was the most caring woman- she had a killer maternal instinct, she was like a mother or grandmother to most of the people who knew her.

When we talked on the phone she always wanted to know it all, down to the littlest details in our lives. Most importantly, she was always insistent about being of help in some way to everyone in the family. We all remember her frequently saying things such as, “Does Abbey need a new suit? It is very important to be a well-groomed Rabbi” or “I’ll send some books for the kids. Reading is so essential!” and “Please come to the city so we can go out to eat together” (in her favorite place, Deli Casbah, of course). Or she might say, “Have you ever been to the Met, you must go! I have some Opera tickets for you!” She was extraordinarily generous and giving. She simply showered us all with love.

Observing the mitzvos and learning Torah were the things she valued most. She stoutly encouraged and supported those who were devoted to Hashem’s work. She was also a modest and humble woman, who was never impressed by superficial qualities.

The last time that we were together was at another wedding. Aunt Bracha wasn’t able to dance anymore, but was still enjoying the music (we all know how Aunt Bracha highly appreciated music).I picked up a napkin, held one end and gave her the other and we danced in our chairs! Aunt Bracha was glowing with joy and nachas, she always adored a real Yiddishe Simcha. From wedding to wedding, my life circle with my blessed Aunt Bracha zz”l was precious. I will cherish the memories.

Yehi zecher Bracha bas Shalom ha’zadika li’vracha 

Liora Kelman