On this past Sunday morning, my grandmother, Celia Sholovitz, passed away. Alli and I skyped into the funeral. The following short eulogy that I wrote was supposed to be read at the funeral.
My grandmother’s memory deserves more than just a few brief moments by her graveside. She was a woman who lived a very full life and it would take me hours to describe everything that she meant to so many people and to me in particular. As incomplete as it may be, let me start by listing some of her characteristics that stand out in my mind: social, energetic, intelligent, bold, courageous, feisty, a leader, a woman of conviction, funny and loving. For example, at one point when she was heavily involved in Hadassah, she decided that it was time that they should move into the computer age by typesetting their bulletin using computers. Let me remind you that this was a woman close to 80 years old who made this decision. So after taking some basic word processing classes, she surged ahead with her mission. Eventually, she got a computer of her own and for several years produced the Hadassah bulletin on it. Of course, there were occasions from time to time when I would I receive phone calls from her saying, “Adam, I clicked on something and now it doesn’t work.”
“What did you click on Grandma,” I would reply.
“I don’t know.”
“What’s not working?”
“The whole thing.”
And so the conversation would go until we worked it out. But this was my grandma in a nutshell. I am sure that those in attendance can recall other examples of how she personified these traits and can think of more traits that I neglected.
How can I mention my grandmother, however, without also mentioning the beautiful marriage that she shared with my grandfather. Hollywood could not have written a more beautiful love story. When I think of who I want to be, and what marriage should look like, I picture them. She and my grandfather were like a second set of parents to me. I would often stay at their house after school and after camp and I will always remember the Jewish holidays at their home. They are my heros.
Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says in the first chapter of pirkei avot that, “The world endures on three things – justice, truth, and peace.” My grandparents lived these three things. They showed us about how to do peace by the way they greeted everyone with cheerfulness. They taught us justice by the way they talked about fairness – both in sports and in social issues. Finally, they taught us truth by the way lived each and every day true to their beliefs and commitments.
Now their chapter in the story is over. Now it is our turn. As we take up where they left off, may we be guided by their memories and be blessed to live such full and meaningful lives as they did.