Mrs. Chana Weinroth, A”h

Great pain and sorrow were felt by many Jewish women and girls as the sad news was received yesterday of the passing, in the prime of life, of the eminent Mrs. Chana Weinroth, a”h, wife of attorney and accountant Dov Weinroth, yibadel l’chaim tovim v’aruchim, daughter of Rabbi Moshe Feigenblatt and daughter-in-law of Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Weinroth, after much suffering that she accepted with faith while spreading and disseminating strong faith to many people. She was 34 years old.

In the home of her eminent parents, ybl”c, who survive her, young Chana absorbed a simple faith and fear of G-d that accompanied her throughout her life, even in the depths of pain and suffering.

When she grew up, she built her home with Dov Weinroth, who was one of the outstanding students of Yeshivas Itri and later of Yeshivas Mir in Yerushalayim. She watched over the ways of her household and, together with her husband, raised their three children with noble qualities and complete faith in G-d and His Torah, along a path of seeing the good in everything He does with us.

Eight years ago, she fell ill, and the doctors said she had three months left to live. However, b’chasdei Hashem, she recovered and continued to live and give life to others. From the depths of pain and suffering, she drew up bucketsful of faith and closeness to G-d and watered others with them.

In the days of her severe illness, during her suffering and pain and the medical treatments, she summoned superhuman strength to inculcate faith and confidence in many Jewish girls and women and also among Jews who were distant from the ways of the faith.

With the help of her professional abilities and knowledge as a psychologist, the ideas of faith in G-d that filled her grew stronger. As a woman of truth, her true language spoke to everyone. She was a friend to women from all circles and of all kinds, from chassidic and litvish communities, Modern Orthodox, and even nonbelievers and atheists. She was able to approach everyone and her truth found its way into their hearts.

During her illness, she was interviewed many times. She appeared at assemblies and in places where she expressed messages of strengthening faith, and she ceaselessly wrote messages of faith, both briefly and at length.

As a continuation and as part of her struggle for faith, during her illness she wrote and published three books (in Hebrew): B’eretz Hachaim (In the land of the living); Chamesh Dakot Bayom” (Five minutes a day) — of personal thoughts and self-examination; and Olam Hafuch Ra’iti (I saw an upside-down world). They all relate directly to faith and coping with sickness. They are full of observations about the life of every sick person, about what a person who falls sick sees in his or her illness; how he or she sees life differently and learns to appreciate the simple things in life.

She also prepared her wonderful children for a future that might possibly bring with it the worst — the loss of their dear mother. She instilled in them awareness of the fact that everything G-d does is for the best, and that they must gather their strength and not stop and sink in despair, but continue to flourish.

Recently her condition became worse and, fully aware of her situation, she readied herself. She recently wrote something that is expressed as a will, and she entreated us not to be sad at her departure, but to be happy with life and able to thank G-d for it.

In the last few days, her worsening situation became known and many people prayed for her recovery. Sadly, she returned her soul to her Creator, in Tel Hashomer hospital.

Her funeral took place yesterday at the Segula cemetery. Her father-in-law, Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Weinroth, who is renowned as a G-d-fearing talmid chacham and ranks among the first order of lawyers in Israel, spoke movingly about the faith she drew for herself, her family, and for many others, from the depths of pain.

He mentioned the words of the Sages in Maseches Sotah, that Israel was redeemed from Egypt thanks to righteous women. The Sages describe how, in the days of slavery in Egypt, the women of Israel went to the Nile and drew water in which there were fish, and they fed their husbands and children. The women of Israel, in the darkness of the exile in Egypt, acted so that life would continue, despite all the difficulty of slavery.

If we pay attention, said Rabbi Weinroth, the most traumatic word in the exile in Egypt is the Nile. There, the babies of the people of Israel were thrown, drowned and were eaten by crocodiles. Presumably, the men were unable to approach the Nile, because it was the embodiment of their nightmares — whereas the righteous women drew the water themselves from that very same Nile, the most frightening, the most threatening and the darkest thing. With all the tragedies, they drew life from the Nile itself. They fed and watered their husbands and children and ensured the continuity of the people of Israel.

People who face illness, said Rabbi Weinroth, try to ignore and suppress it, whereas she went to a place that is the peak of pain, and from there she drew strength and encouraged people and helped them to grow, and instilled in them encouragement, hope and consolation.

Her husband, Dov, spoke with great pain, and stirred hearts when he told of what she said to her children when preparing to go to Olam Haba: “Shlomo [age 12], if you are sad at your bar mitzvah; and you, Naomi and Shira [ages 13 and 10], if you are sad on your birthdays, I’ll come out of my grave and smack you … life has to go on. I won’t be happy if you’re sad; on the contrary, I’ll be happy if you are happy and rebuild your lives.”

She is survived by her husband and three children, her parents, her parents-in-law, as well as a good name and a heritage of faith that she bequeathed with self-sacrifice, until her last breath of life.

May her memory be a blessing.

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