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Dear Friends

Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg of Chai Lifeline

I have a strong feeling that Shelly at this moment is saying “Enough talking let’s do something.” And yet, Shelly, I’d like to repeat over our last conversation. I had just come with some medicine from Europe -- medicine that was going to give us a miracle. It was starting to work. The paralysis was slipping away -- little movements here and there.

But I want to speak to you about miracles. Because even though I only knew Shelly when she could no longer move her body, I saw a child who danced, who sang, who loved. Because all it took was to look into her eyes and to see that energy of life, of love that was Shelly Volk.

And I told her a little bit about our Tfilot because we prayed together. And you could see that prayer was in her eyes as her soul sang the words that she knew so well. The first time that I prayed with her, using the European, Ashkenazi pronunciation she looked at me pretty askance. Then I realized you know I’d better do it right. We prayed together.

And I told her that inside of herself there is a tremendous light, that it’s very beautiful, very strong. And I told her that that light was forever. And that she should never be afraid. And then we prayed together, she with her eyes, with her soul singing so loud. And me blinking away tears -- this sweet precious little child.

But I’d like to share with you: She’lee in Hebrew is “mine.” But for a Jew there’s a special meaning in the word “mine” because the Hebrew letter yud represents God. And we realize ultimately that what is truly mine is God’s. What we truly have is given and what is truly great we ultimately return. But even when we return, it is always Sh’lee, it will always be mine.

I want to speak to you about the miracle -- and I deal with many, many parents of sick children. But the sense of intervention, investigation, research and the love and care that I saw from Howard and Ruti -- I can promise you is extremely unusual. Not only the energy of their talents and intelligence -- when they were telling the doctors what the protocol should be -- their doctors were wonderful. But more -- it was a function of their love -- to hold onto what was theirs.

And I’d just like to say, I told Shelly, and she giggled, when I was at the hospital last time, a real giggle and I don’t think it was her body, it was the laughter of her soul. And the strength that she knew very, very well. It’s the essence of her being and our being.

And I told her about looking at all her paintings, and it was very late at night, when I was by the Volks, and they insisted on bringing out every single piece of art that she had done. And not only did I not mind, I was so impressed that such a young person -- a child -- could produce the colors and the images and the shapes. Unbelievable.

And she knew that when she painted, she painted with her soul, which is ageless. When she produced music, she did that with the notes of the neshamah, which is beyond time. And when she laughed and when she smiled and when she prayed, it was with that light, and that light is forever. Nothing takes it away.

Shelly I’d just like to say, that now that you’re a part of the light of the eternal world, I still know that each person here says “She’lee, there’s still a part that’s mine, even though you belong to God.” But the next time that we see the beauty of the sunset and see that it’s more colorful than usual it’s because Shelly is adding in her hues and colors. And next time the sounds of nature produce the harmony of life we’ll know that Shelly’s painting someplace else.

Shelly, beloved each one of us, and mostly to your parents, to your sister, to your Grandparents, that Shelly you belong to God. It’s been a privilege to know, to pray with you, and in your own way to sing with you, to laugh with you. And to see the beauty that you’ve produced in this world and that you’ll produce in the world beyond. And to know that that beauty will be with each one of us and in God’s world.

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Shelly's Place

Created by Ruti Volk
Last updated 7-22-99