Thursday, March 07, 2013

Nachman’s Letter

Nachman and Raizy Glauber on their wedding day
It is rare to see  Hakoras HaTov (appreciation and thanks) expressed to parents on the day of one’s wedding the way it was by this Chasan  on his own wedding day. For most people it is hard to focus on parents in the midst of the most important day of your life to that point. And yet this Chasan took the time to not only express it but to write it down in a letter.

I do not say this to criticize anyone. Nor do I say that Hakoras HaTov to parents does not exist. I know that it does in most cases. Most children do appreciate what their parents have done for them and often express it. But it is also understandable to see it overlooked in the hustle and bustle of your wedding day. And even when it is expressed - it is rarely if ever done in writing.

The letter written by this Chasan, a Satmar Chasid, is quite remarkable. To say that he was a Mentch is an understatement. This is the kind of person Judaism is meant to produce. (Unfortunately that is not always the case.)  

His parents apparently raised him with good values – Torah values. They taught him well – probably by example. And he learned those values well. I’m sure he would have taught them to his own children.

But that will never come to pass. The writer of this letter is Nachman Glauber, who together with his pregnant wife, Raizy, were killed by a speeding vehicle in a hit and run accident. The driver plowed into the livery taxi that was taking them to the doctor to check out the health of her fetus. The baby was delivered prematurely only to die a short while later.

Why oh why, dear God does it always seem like it is the good ones that die young? So suddenly. So tragically. So senselessly. So unnecessarily.

Tzadik V’Ra Lo.

Here from the New York Times is a translation of the letter originally written in Yiddish. Read it and weep.

To my dear parents:

In these imminent joyous and highly spiritual moments of my life, when I’m heading to my chupa to begin my own family, I feel a sting in my heart that I’m already leaving your warm home.

I feel an obligation to thank you for everything you did for me since I was a small child. You did not spare time, energy and money, whether it was when I needed a private tutor to learn or an eye doctor or general encouragement. Also, later on, you helped me to succeed in my Torah studies, you sent me to yeshiva to learn your values, religious and worldly, until I reached to this current lucky moment.

Even though I’m leaving your home (actually I’m not leaving, I’m bringing in an additional family member) I want to tell you that all the education and values you taught me I’ll – with God’s help — take along with me in my new home, and continue to plant the same education in my home and kids that God will grant me.

But since kids do not grasp what parents are, and how much they do for them, and only when he matures and – with God’s help — have their own kids, they could realize it. And unfortunately I may have caused you a lot of pain; I am asking you to please forgive me.

I’m asking you, I’m dependent on your prayers, pray for me and my bride, and I will pray for you.
I pray to God that Daddy and Mommy should see lots of pride and delight from me and my special bride, until the final redemption of the Messiah.

From your son who admires and thanks you and will always love you.