A Year Has Passed, A Sefer Torah In Her Memory

It’s almost impossible to believe that one year has passed since Hashem took back the Neshama of our treasured and cherished Esti, אסתר תהלה בת גבריאל פינחס. Over the past year, there has not been a single second of any day that our family does not intensely miss Esti’s smile, her laugh, her humor, and her kindness. She truly lit up our world, and the pain of her absence is a constant presence.

After Shiva, we received a letter from one of Esti’s Child Life Specialists at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, which included the following:

“I’ll never forget when we played a question game and I found out so much about her. One of the questions was, “What do you want a stranger to know about you?” Esti answered, “I want a stranger to know that I am a kind person.”

I have read and reread Esti’s answer dozens of times since last February and continue to be struck not only by its simplicity, but more importantly, by its depth and wisdom. Most children want to be baseball players, ballerinas, actresses or princesses. But, Esti just wanted to be a kind person. She definitely was that and so much more. Esti always put others before herself, always said please and thank you, and had impeccable middos. She was polite, caring, considerate and just a good person.

During shiva and throughout the year, many of her friends wrote to us stories about Esti’s kindness and thoughtfulness. Each story was deeply meaningful and a reminder about the precious and irreplaceable neshama that we lost. Esti was always special and, already from a very young age, it was clear that she had a unique ability to befriend other people, to make them feel comfortable, and to be thoughtful to their needs. We may have taken those qualities for granted because she never made them seem extraordinary. Being kind, having good middos, and being good towards other people were simply natural and effortless for her.

While there is a constant pain we feel and a gaping hole that remains forever in our hearts, every day our family wakes up with the mission to strengthen the values that Esti represented and to spread as much Torah, light, goodness, chessed and happiness as we can to the world, all in her name.

Esti’s first Yahrzeit will be tonight and tomorrow, the 20th of Shevat, Monday night, January 29 – Tuesday, January 30. Any Mitzvos, extra learning, Tzedaka or acts of kindness and chessed done לעילוי נשמת אסתר תהלה בת גבריאל פינחס, is deeply meaningful to our family.

In the hesped that I gave for Esti in Israel, I referenced that the turning point of the Megilas Esther is בלילה ההוא נדדה שנת המלך, the night when Achashveirosh could not sleep. He asked his servants to bring the ספר הזכרונות, the book in which his kingdom’s events were recorded, and read it to him. The Megila says, ויהיו נקראים לפני המלך – the book was read before the king.

The Pirkei De’Rabbi Eliezer points out that the pasuk does not say ויקראו, that the king’s servants read the words of the ספר הזכרונות, but rather ויהיו נקראים – the words were read, as though they were read on their own. To explain this pasuk, the Pirkei De’Rabbi Eliezer tells that the servants were hesitant to read the book to the king. They were loyal to Haman, and they did not want the king to hear Mordechai’s praises. So they closed the book, choosing not to read it, והכתובין הם נקראים לפני המלך מאליהם – however, the book started reading itself. Even after the book was closed, it was still being read.

Based on that Midrash, I suggested that while Esti’s book is tragically now closed,והכתובין הם נקראים לפני המלך מאליהם, all that she accomplished and all the people she inspired will continue to be read and learned from for many years to come.

On the flight home from Israel that night, as we reflected on those words, we decided to have a Sefer Torah written in Esti’s memory. She truly loved learning the Parsha each week and was a sponge for the stories in the Torah. Most Friday nights at our house, she would go on and on about the Parsha, in amazing detail, repeating word for word from what her teachers taught her. Arielle and I feel that there is nothing more meaningful than to have Esti live on through the timeless and immutable words of Torah. Etz chayim hi lamachazikim ba, “She is a tree of life to those who grasp onto her, and happy is everyone who supports her.”

The community is invited to join us as we dedicate a Sefer Torah

לעילוי נשמת אסתר תהלה בת גבריאל פינחס on Sunday, February 4. At 1:00pm we will be escorting the Torah from outside of Palacios across the street to BRS and there will be a program in the Rand Sanctuary beginning approximately at 1:45pm.

We are appreciative to each and every one of you for your friendship, care, and love over this difficult past year. May the neshama of Esther Tehila bas Gavriel Pinchas have a continued Aliyah and may her legacy continue to inspire us all.

With much love and gratitude,

Philip, Arielle, Moshe, Shayna and Rena Moskowitz

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