Do you feel responsible?
This week, the world lost someone incredibly special. Hedy Orden was a pillar of our community, someone whom despite every odd placed against her, built a legacy of hope for the Jewish world. Surviving the atrocities of the Holocaust, Hedy and her husband, Ted (zichrono livracha) created a family that embodies a personal mission to ensure the continuity of Judaism and a flourishing state of Israel. Their family spends endless days, months and years finding ways to reinvigorate our communities, aid the distressed and reimagine a Judaism for the next generation.
And yet…my heart is broken because Hedy’s constant presence was a reminder to us all: we must not take our faith, people and homeland for granted. Without her physical and emotional presence, without this pillar of the community, I realize that our compass has gone a bit askew.
We can all name the people, mentors, and visionaries that give our lives purpose and direction. And yet, to be a visionary is to pass down that vision to the next generation. For those of us blessed to be guided by someone whose impact moved mountains, I urge all of us: we must feel responsible.
It’s our turn. No looking at someone else to take the reins. No determining whom will step forward and lead the tasks at hand. We must stop wondering whose voice will come out from the shadows. If we were or are privileged to live among giants, it is time we stood a bit taller, sharing our voice, proclaiming our vision.
Hedy, you will be missed. But need not worry. Your voice inspired mine. And I will never take that blessing for granted.