This is a short note to add to your heart-rending and moving
description of the lives and last moments of some of the
kedoshim who were murdered in Jerusalem on 21 Av.
One of the victims was Judith Shoshanna Greenbaum, Hy"d.
Mrs. Greenbaum, of Passaic, New Jersey, grew up in Los
Angeles as Shoshanna Hayman, the daughter of Alan and Shifra
Hayman, may they live long and in good health, originally from
the San Fernando Valley and later of the communities in the
Pico-Robertson and La Brea sections of Los Angeles.
My wife and I have known the Haymans for nearly twenty years,
which means we had known Shoshanna since she was about 10. She
was a person imbued with happiness and a strong sense of the
importance of her life.
Shoshanna was a devoted talmidah of her teachers in
high school; long before she went on to seminary, she had
decided to make a career in chinuch. Eventually, she
became the morah of hundreds of girls in the New York
area. Her latest appointment was at the Hebrew Academy of Long
Beach (New York). She was in Israel this summer to complete a
five- week component of a program that led to a Master's
Degree in Jewish Education.
She had recently married Shmuel Greenbaum, of Flatbush, and
had made a home with him in the Torah community of Passaic.
She was expecting a child sometime next year.
I can only add about Shoshanna what I have heard: she had a
profound and lasting effect on hundreds of talmidos in
New York, Long Island, and the counties immediately around New
York City. I understand that many girls were badly shaken by
this news of her petiroh, and may their yiras
Shomayim and mitzvoh observance continue to stand them in
Now I want to say a word about their parents in order to
convey how the act of a cowardly killer in Jerusalem "rippled"
across continents and how his action -- at what a cost! --
showed us how much our lives are interconnected to each
During their years in Pico-Robertson, Allan and Shifra were
affiliated with the Yeshiva of Los Angeles. They were regular
mispalelim in the Yeshiva's beis hamedrash for
nearly twenty years. These details, though important, tell
only a tiny part of their story.
Allan and Shifra made souls. Like Avraham Ovinu, they took
people into the home they made with their only daughter and
showed them the beauty of Yiddishkeit. Their warmth,
friendliness, and sparkling personalities drew young couples
and singles to them like iron shavings to a magnet. This
family was the role model of literally hundreds of baalei
teshuvoh who have gone on to build their own homes and
families in the path of Torah. I do not know where my wife and
I would be were it not for the Haymans. In a sense, they were
our parents during some trying and difficult times.
Their house was full during the shiva for their
daughter, with hundreds (maybe thousands) of Jews who came to
comfort them. Dozens of men from different streams of
Orthodoxy (though in Los Angeles the streams are not so
vividly differentiated as they are in Eretz HaKodesh) shouted
"Yehei Shmei Rabo mevorach" at every opportunity when
Alan recited Kaddish.
Here in Los Angeles we, too, have walked around numb and dazed
for the past week, afraid to admit the news was true. But out
of this tragedy, hundreds of people have come together and,
with the aid of Heaven, found a new dedication in their
tefillos and limud haTorah. These people, as
much as Shoshanna, Hy'd, are Mr. and Mrs. Hayman's