July 13, 2024
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July 13, 2024
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A Tragedy Beyond My Understanding

Until one hour ago I had a totally different idea of what this column would be about for this week.

It will have to wait.

I just heard news that totally devastated me.

I am sure that most of you are aware of the terrible tragedy that occurred in Yerushalayim last week, when a young 18 year old seminary girl was hit by a car and killed. Her parents and two brothers live in West Hempstead and everyone is reeling from this horrific tragedy. Unthinkable that parents have to go to Israel to bring back the body of their daughter so that her funeral and burial can be close to those who know and adore her. The Young Israel of West Hempstead, where Adira Koffsky’s family davens, is where her family felt she deserved to be.

Just a short while ago I learned that an old friend of mine, who I knew from the days prior to our marriages and who then ended up, quite coincidentally, married and living in Montreal for many years, was the driver of the car which caused this enormous catastrophe. Apparently there was a rainstorm and she lost control of her car. The newspaper stories that were posted on many sites spoke of the male passenger who was killed in the passenger’s seat of the same car. What all of them neglected to mention was that the passenger who died was this woman’s husband.

I cannot even fathom how she is going to get through this. Her physical injuries were significant enough, but coupled with the rest of the tragedy, the injuries to her heart and soul will obviously never fully heal. After she is well enough to receive calls I will call and reach out to her because my life experience has taught me that it is in these types of situations that most people refrain from getting involved. A short and caring call can be very meaningful. Of course it is necessary to take the cues from the individual you are calling, but we all have to learn that there are times when we need to step outside our comfort zones. Difficult is an understatement in these types of situations but, at the right time, a hug over the telephone is sometimes meaningful and greatly appreciated.

I do not remember as a young child or teenager that there were as many situations as there are today of young parents dying, or a child tragically taken from us. The example that we set for our children of how to deal with these scenarios can influence the way that they will act as adults in the future.

It is impressive to me that today we are blessed with organizations such as Chai Lifeline that immediately step in when a community, a school and/or a parent group is faced with these tragedies. The overwhelming worry about how to speak with our children as well as how we as adults can overcome our intense fright is lessened by their powerful teachings that we can use in such situations.

However, it seems to me that the mental toll of what has happened to my friend in Israel could simply be too painful. Only with tremendous faith in HaKodesh Baruch Hu can there even be a light towards a path to the future.

The Adira Koffsky Memorial Fund has been established by her family in order to perpetuate her name. For the other families involved in this tragedy of such great proportions, I hope and pray that they too will be able to survive on the beautiful memories that they recall of a loving father, grandfather and devoted husband. Overwhelmed is how I felt when I heard about this tragedy, and I still have trouble wrapping my head around it.

So many whys for Hashem. We will never know.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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