Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

3 Ellul 5761 - August 22, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Judith Shoshanna Greenbaum, Hy"d
by Moshe Polon, Los Angeles, California

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 good stead.

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 other.

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 children.


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