July 22, 2024
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July 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Dear Eli Mo-

I haven’t spoken to you in so many years. I remember when you were born and when your family moved to Israel. I remember hearing of your many milestones and those of your amazing siblings as well. The closeness I felt specifically with you was through the connection of the daily tehillim we recited for you here in the U.S. and hearing about you on a daily basis from your dear mother. Sara, my long-time, very special, close friend, makes great efforts to always keep in touch with others no matter where they are. As you know, we have been friends for a long time. Both of your parents are such near and dear friends who are unassuming and would do anything for anyone.

Though I do not live in Israel unfortunately, I felt ever so privileged to hear from your mother about your life, especially since you enlisted in the army. Not only was this extremely enlightening for me to hear about, it also gave your mother the opportunity to share and to vent to someone who understands, but cannot “truly” understand (as I do not yet live in Israel nor do I have a child in the army). I was able to provide her with a different kind of compassion than her “Israel’’ friends (in lieu of what she was experiencing as a mother of a child serving in the army). I had to use deep empathic skills and the power of imagination to envision what army life was like for you and your family. Your mom constantly shared with me information, stories, pictures and videos that I would immediately share with my family and friends. Through that, we here in the U.S. gained a much deeper appreciation and knowledge of what you, your fellow comrades and all of your families are doing for us collectively, as a Jewish people. So even though I don’t live near you and haven’t seen you in so long, I feel like you have occupied a big piece of my heart over the past couple of years.

Your mother was so grateful for each phone call she received from you and for each moment she got to spend with you when you were released for short periods of time from the army. It was not taken for granted. I loved hearing about these moments from her, especially the most recent Shabbos that your entire family spent all together.

Upon hearing the news of your passing, I screamed. I cried. I cried amidst my screams.

Every single soldier lost in this war is a world. You were our world.

Friends of mine commented how nice it was for me to decide to fly to Israel to attend the shiva. The honor was mine. I spent practically a full day of shiva in your home. I witnessed and heard so much that if I would have had a notebook to record it all, I would have filled an entire notebook, just from one day.

Your beautiful smile and ability to connect to each and every extraordinary family member you have was extremely unique—from each of your incredible sisters, to your most special brother, to your loving grandparents to all of your aunts, uncles and cousins. You had so many friends of all kinds, all of whom came to share stories with your family of the dedicated friend you were. Your unbelievable talent to build was known throughout the entire Beit Shemesh community and extended well beyond.

Everyone who knew you, loved you.

And those who didn’t know you, loved you too.

Food packages from all over the country were sent to your home, from individuals and from business owners alike. Many people came to the shiva who did not know you or your family. Of course, the politician visits were impressive. However for me it was so touching seeing the “regular” people who schlepped from various parts of Israel, in the brutal heat, to come and visit with your family. They came purely out of feeling a sense of Jewish unity and thankfulness for all that you, Eli Mo, did for us.

Your loss is such a big hole. It is only because you have touched so many through your being and your actions that the hole is just so big. Life will never be the same. No support group or book could ever have prepared your family and friends for this new reality of life without you.

So much is being done by your family, friends and community in your honor and memory. In your 21 years on this earth you accomplished so much and impacted so many. We are all better people for having known you and are so proud of the person you became. Feeling this gives everyone such a tremendous amount of comfort, but it does not take away the intensity of the grief and pain that your loss brings.

I know Hashem will give each member of your family the strength they need to manage in the future days without you.

We hope, pray and need to believe that the geulah is really getting much closer and Hashem wanted and chose you to help build the Beis Hamikdash, as Rabbi Rosner so beautifully stated in his hesped. No one else is more suited for that job than you.

With appreciation, admiration, sadness and love,

Debby


Debby Pfeiffer is a board-certified chaplain working at Morristown Medical Center through its affiliation with the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest New Jersey. She resides in Bergenfield with her husband and children. She can be reached at [email protected].

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