Words of the Week

None of us had ever met this Rabbi before, and he ended up getting around 30 percent of his speech correct. I was standing with my grandmother’s body on my left and my mother to my right as this backup Rabbi started the eulogy: ‘We’re here to celebrate the life of … it’s here somewhere … one second … Miriam Bat Leah.’

Someone corrected him. ‘It’s Leah Bat Miriam.’

‘Leah Bat Mariam,’ he continued, ‘such a loss!’

A pattern emerged: He would confidently say a line, we would correct him and he’d shamelessly just repeat the entire line in the same cadence with the new information he learned mid-eulogy.

‘The Holocaust destroyed a beautiful life she and her family had in Poland.’

‘Czechoslovakia.’

‘The Holocaust destroyed a beautiful life she and her family had in Czechoslovakia.’

He was basically reading from a Holocaust funeral Mad Lib he had in his siddur.” 

Source: Eitan Levine, “Burying My Bubbe During a Pandemic” (The New York Times)

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