Three Jewish women whose loved ones were killed discuss overcoming tragedy

by Leah Rosenberg

Overcoming tragedy is different for every person. But these three women have inspiring insights that can change anyone’s life.

Overcoming Tragedy

There are no words for listening to something this powerful. They each had something to say that could truly help others overcome unspeakable tragedy. Rachelle Fraenkel spoke about how it is a choice. When people experience such a deep pain, they can choose to let it take over their entire lives or they can choose to give it space while also giving space to other things. Rachelle said something so profound: “I can feel pain, I don’t have to become my pain. I can feel sorrow, I don’t have to become my sorrow.”

Sherri Mandell spoke of resilience and becoming greater. Mandell and Fraenkel both discussed the idea of when people say “be strong,” and how they feel that is not the way to get through tragedy. They have to allow themselves to feel; to make room for the pain.

They all spoke about G-d and His blessings; about being thankful for what you do have.

Everyone experiences and tries to cope in his or her own ways. And that is okay. What helps one person may not help the other.

One thing is for certain: The values of Judaism helped these women all overcome and properly deal with tragedy in their lives. Each one in her own way, but they all used the tools that were given to them by G-d and Judaism. And it is truly life-changing and inspiring to hear them share their personal experiences.

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