Chaye Baila bat Leib Dovid
December 10, 2020 – 20 Kislev 5781
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:Ecclesiastes/Koheles
A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to seek, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for Shalom.
In Judaism timing is everything. Everything in our lives occurs at appointed moments or during particular seasons. This perhaps gives us permission and allows us an opportunity, to derive lessons about a particular individual, from the timing of his or her birth as well as their passing.
Well when was our beloved BB born? It turns out – I checked- she was born on a Rosh Chodesh, The first day of a lunar month. Why is this significant? Because Rosh Chodesh is firstly the festival dedicated to women, and halachicaly, women are entitled to take a day off from work! Ladies – you may want to mention that to your employers!
More importantly though, it is also a day of singing Hallel, the lovely songs of praise taken from the Psalms of King David and dedicated to G-d Alm-ghty.
Rosh Chodesh is generally a day of celebration of song and dance. Perhaps for BB that teaches us that every day of her life was a Rosh Chodesh of sorts. Every new sunrise of all of her 94 years was a new opportunity to sing, to dance, and to bring God’s happiness into this world, as well as to every single person she would meet!
My wife reminded me that BB had a strong and beautiful voice which was appreciated by everybody in our little congregation of Kol Beramah. What I didn’t know about her was that she was also an accomplished dancer! It is the job of every dancer to learn the difficult steps of a particular dance to perfection. No room for mistakes. And as every professional dancer will confirm, to dance well you need a sense of rhythm timing, but most importantly, a strong sense of balance! BB mastered the dance of life with perfect balance, and she performed it each day until the very end with grace, elegance, and charm. L-rd knows, her life was filled with many challenges and many many difficulties, but she overcame them with dignity, delicacy, and grandeur.
She raised two fine sons, Water and Chaim, both experts in their chosen professions, and was blessed with many grandchildren and great – grandchildren. At this time we offer our condolences to the entire family – to Water, Chaim, step daughter Alana, sister Franceska Plusker, grandchildren Harmony McCullough, Sarafina and Vauna-Lee Feldman, as well as great-grandchildren, and Cora and Sigrid McCullough.
To her many many friends in Santa Fe and beyond, she was a breath of fresh air, a Godsend, always ready with a humorous anecdote, and always flashing an incandescent, and beaming smile!
But what about the timing of her passing? Does that have any teaching for us? BB passed away a few days ago on December 6th. This year, that is the day in which Jews the world over begin to pray for rain, and to thank G-d for this amazing and vital force for life. For without rain there is no life! GF. So in Judaism rain also represents the ultimate blessing to the world. Life giving rain, which quenches the earth, which in turn produces the agricultural bounty which we all enjoy each and every day!
Perhaps G-d wants to tell us that BB was an amazing and unbounded source of blessing to her children, her friends, and ultimately to the entire world. Perhaps her very name BB stands for Boundless Blessings! She was a force for good, for us all, and she will be terribly missed.
Her beginning- her Bereishit- was Hallel – song and dance. Her end was V’zot Habracha – a full life, a life well lived, a life which will serve us as an eternal inspiration for all time.
May the name of BB Beverly be for a blessing!