Rabinovitz Family
Rabinovitz FamilySelf Photo

Arthur Rabinovitz became religious as part of a teenage rebellion. But in his search for a sense of belonging within a community, his rebellion stuck.

He and his wife Fern made Aliyah in 1988, living the dream that they shared.

But not all was rosy.

At the birth of Arthur's oldest child, the doctors predicted that tiny baby Liam would not live past her first birthday. Arthur and his wife refused to believe this. Their own prediction was that their precious daughter would live a full life to 120 (as the famous blessing goes).

They were both wrong.

While Liam shocked the system, living and growing, going to school and making friends, she still needed medical care. And just when everything was falling into place, Liam died suddenly, just a few weeks shy of her 14th birthday.

"And that's where the story begins," says Arthur.

"Customs for mourning the death of a loved one vary from culture to culture," he continues. "By sitting Shiva, we felt a warm embrace in an incredibly difficult time. But at the end of it, you're left by yourself and you have to figure it out."

Language is important. Words can hurt or heal when one is in pain. Arthur's says his young daughter died. "She isn't 'lost' because I know exactly where she is. She's not a train or a bus, so she didn't 'depart.' She is not 'gone' because there isn't a day when I don't think about her. She died." Arthur adds, "Mourning changes who you are and grief becomes a part of you. The only way to be able somehow get through it is to come to the realization that she's dead and she's not coming back."

Arthur talks about ways people helped him and his family through the tragedy that befell them, and about those whose comments were insensitive and unhelpful. He shares thoughts on his relationship with G-d, and about his connection with our forefather Abraham, who apparently shared his experience of being angry at G-d. He gives advice to those who want to help a friend or family member who is mourning, and he ends with such positive lessons on life, that he leaves us in awe of his inner strength.

Tune in to meet a person whose life is not one we would want to imitate, but whose inner strength both empowers us as humans, and inspires us as Jews.

A must listen!