On Tuesday evening, August 24, Jackie Bitton, renowned speaker, shared a beautiful shiur in memory of Chaya Goldberger. She began the shiur with reading a letter from the Ribnitzer Rebbe. She said that she wanted to share it with the Queens community as it brought comfort to Gayle Sassoon and others mourning the death of someone who died young. The letter explained that your loss is not a sacrifice, but rather, it is out of the highest love and it will help to bring Mashiach. It is not a punishment. These are extraordinary people who accepted this mission before they came down to the world.
Mrs. Bitton then shared advise she learned from Rebbetzin Tehila Jaeger on how to move on after a tragedy. Rebbetzin Jaeger shared that when her children were young, she received news that her good friend was killed in a car accident. She felt she was devastated and couldn’t make Shabbos or move on at all. Her father, Rav Shlomo Freifeld, taught her that “every Jew has to know there is something called a pocket in the heart. Sometimes you have to tuck strong emotions into that pocket of the heart. It is Erev Shabbos, and your food needs to be cooked. Your kids need a happy mother, and your husband needs a happy spouse. Put the pain of the loss in a pocket in your heart, and on Motza’ei Shabbos you will pull it out and we will cry together. There is a time and a place.”
Mrs. Bitton continued. “We are not allowed to close up our emotions. We just sometimes have to temporarily put them away.” She shared how she had to do this during COVID when her husband was ill with COVID, and Erev Pesach she found out that a good friend’s husband was niftar. Her husband reminded her about what she had learned from Rebbetzin Jaeger – that she needed to put her emotions into a pocket in her heart so she could finish making Pesach. “We need to know that we are allowed to feel many things at the same time.”
“Now is a special time – Chodesh Elul. Now, we are supposed to look inward and become better people and grow and live a better life. We need to know that Hashem’s love for us goes beyond any fear we have during this time. When the lion roars, who will not be afraid? We need to remember that Hashem’s love for us is not normal. It’s beyond anything we could ever imagine. It doesn’t matter how hard a year it was or what you did all year. Hashem’s love for you is always, forever, and unconditional. Remember who is in charge: the Ribbono Shel Olam. The way to show Hashem that we love Him is to be good to His children.”
Mrs. Bitton ended with some powerful stories, and everyone left uplifted and inspired.
By Susie Garber