Amina Rachman z"l
The congregation, Board of Directors and clergy of Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives mourn the passing of our long-time, beloved member and Board member Amina Rachman (z"l), who died after a brief and intense struggle with cancer on Sunday, September 25, 2011. She is survived by her son Joshua Gordon Rachman; her daughter Sabra Pacheco-Batjiaka and son-in-law Sean Batjiaka; her former partner and longtime companion Leonore Gordon; many family members and a large community of dear friends.
Here we include remarks made at her funeral, along appreciations written to Amina by Kolot Chayeinu members.
Our Torahs are old,
One on permanent loan
And one from a now-defunct shul.
The velvet torah covers
And the silver plate that hangs over the velvet
Both covered in names
Of donors long gone,
And their honored loved ones, gone even longer.
These names mean nothing to us:
We ignore them
While we parade around the shul.
On Selichot we put aside the old velvet
And dressed our Torah in fresh white covers, only a year old,
Donated by a beloved member,
She died this year, four days before Rosh HaShanah.
Tonight it’s Simkhat Torah.
So we take off Amina’s white covers
And put on the old ones,
Gold and blue, embroidered with strangers' names.
Then we will dance around the shul.
We will think of Amina every year at this time of year
From now on, until none of us are here,
Until no one alive remembers her.
Then others will carry this scroll with the white cover
Donated by a Jew they never knew,
Our loved one, Amina,
While they parade around the shul.
We give thanks to the ancient Yud-Hey-Vuv-Hey, telling the story even when we can’t, keeping our loved ones’ memories as blessings and giving us Torah from the beginning, every year.
---WE PARADE AROUND THE SHUL: A Prayer for Simkhat Torah, by Trisha Arlin
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