June 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

A Letter to My Oma: Martha Lunzer, z”l

Editor’s Note: Martha Lunzer, Matil bat Yosef, z”l, passed away a year ago at the age of 100. A survivor of the Holocaust, she was hidden during the Hungarian onslaught with the help of Raoul Wallenberg. She left behind a large family, including 18 great grandchildren. Her grandson Eli fondly remembers festive Shabbat meals with “Oma.” Below, her granddaughter, Rena Lunzer of Englewood, shares some memories of their times together.

Dearest Oma,

I cannot believe a year has gone by already. It still doesn’t feel real. Each day I attempt to call you during my lunch break and then realize that you are not going to answer. Every night I come home and wait to speak to you. I am still eager to tell you all the gossip and reflect on my day, but you are no longer physically here. Even though that may be true, I know you are here with me always. I feel your presence and know that when I speak to you, or even sometimes cry to you, you are there listening to me.

As hard as this year has been, there has been a lot of growth that was gained, too. Whether it was with family, respect or derech eretz towards one another, a lot was learned. Oma, you were such a strong person who didn’t take stupidity from anyone. Oma, you showed me that if someone is doing wrong towards you, you deal with them in the most respectful way possible, but you also taught me how to keep one eye open. Family was everything to you. There was not a simcha that you missed, a play that you didn’t go to, or a birthday phone call that you forgot (even if it wasn’t first thing in the morning). What you have taught us all is that your family comes first. It was always an honor to do as much as we could for you. It showed what kibud av v’eim was all about. You called and we were there with a smile on our faces. No matter if it was for doctors appointments, doing errands or even taking you to weddings, no matter how near or far. You loved me so much, you just wanted to show me off. Even though, let’s be real, it was all for trying to marry me off. As you would always say, “You never know who is going to be there and who will see you!”

The tools you gave us weren’t just about your children and grandchildren. You have exemplified derecho eretz kadma l’torah with everything and everyone you encountered. You treated everyone with respect and even when things got tough, you maintained a Torah home and chesed lifestyle. You were involved in so many different organizations and causes. Everyone knew you. It was amazing to just be able to watch from the sidelines.

Although I can no longer sit on the corner of your bed or on the ottoman across from your recliner, your presence has been in the apartment this entire time. The major lessons that I have learned during this past year and my whole life will never be forgotten. I hope to one day pass them on and hope to be able to bring the shechina of Hashem everywhere with me like you did.

With love,

Rena

By Rena Lunzer

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