With pain and sorrow, I regret to announce the passing of my grandmother, Gisele Hausman, on Shmini Atzeres.
Grandma is the only grandparent I have really known; my other grandparents passed away before I turned 6.
In the course of my rabbinate I officiated or participated in funerals for hundreds of people. I feel cliche in invoking words I have heard out of so many other mouths - but it's all true.
Grandma is loving, courageous, and funny.
Grandma is committed to her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Grandma embraces Torah and encourages her descendants to do the same. She thanks Gd constantly for her good fortune.
Grandma remembers the pain of fleeing Europe in her youth and the death of so much of her family, and yet can revel in playing with children born in the 21st century. She can tell stories about pre-war Belgium, and ask how the Mets are doing in the next breath.
In forty years, I never heard a cross word from my grandmother.
Frustration, yes. Concern, yes. Soft rebuke, even. But never anger.
Grandma is the greatest, and she leaves behind the greatest hole.
I hope to put up something more coherent in the next few days; right now, this is all I can say.