A Hesped (Eulogy) for Bracha Tova
Rav Kook, a well known rabbi, philosopher and mystic, once explained that truth in its truest form must contain opposites; that truth in its essence must be paradoxical.
Our dear friend, Bracha Tova was a seeker in this sense. Her search and quest for her own truth often led her to paradoxical conclusions, and at times, forced her to live in great spiritual tension.
Though I've known Bracha Tova for the past ten years, I got to know her really well over the last three years as she began attending services at Beth Israel on a regular basis. In the last year and a half of her life, we would often go on long walks, sometimes once a week, sometimes less. In each of those walks, Bracha Tova was looking for ways to make peace between competing visions she had, mainly of herself, but also of family, and community, and the Divine.
In one of those walks, Bracha Tova and I explored the possibility of her taking on an additional Hebrew name. The name she would have chosen was Shleimah, coming from the same root word of Shalom (peace), it means wholeness. She ultimately did not take on this name, but it was very clear that as her life was coming to an end in this world, wholeness was a goal she set for herself.
We, who at times, might of constrained her personal quest, her inner sense of self, through our at times limited understandings of truth, peace, wholeness, and the nature of the divine, now seek her forgiveness - knowing simultaneously that at her final months and days she deeply felt our love and witnessed it in our words and deeds.
I believe that Bracha Tova left this world with a sense of Shleimut, a sense of wholeness. With a good blessing, a Bracha Tova.
During one of my last visits to Bracha Tova, I noticed two pigeons dwelling in the bird house hanging on the window pane of her room. One was white and the other was spotted with multiple colors. Two birds dwelling in one home, nourishing from one water source. After a while the pigeons took flight and disappeared into the sky.
In her passage from this world, Bracha Tova found a home for her soul. Even her many souls. Her wings are open, she has taken flight, the heavens can now truly be her dwelling place.
May her memory be a blessing, a Bracha Tova to us all.
I am fascinated by this concept that "truth in its truest form must contain opposites; that truth in its essence must be paradoxical." This has started me down a new study path. Have you come across an word or sentence that sent you to research and learn more?