By Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss
My beloved Rebbetzin wanted her matzeivah up as soon as possible. Although I never talked to her about it, I believe she felt that a barren grave was a b’zoyen, a disgrace, to the deceased. So, as soon as the ground warmed up enough for the foundation to take hold, I put up her matzeivah. Last week, we had the hakomas matzeivah where I explained what was written on the stone. When I wrote the text and showed it to some of my good friends, they expressed surprise at how much I wrote. Not that they thought she wasn’t deserving of it, but rather they thought it wasn’t in sync with her spirit of modesty.
I disagreed. I told them that there were two main reasons why my wife always stayed under the radar. One was because she was afraid of an ayin hara which she doesn’t have to be afraid of any more in the Next World, and the second was because she always ran away from kavod, from honor. We are taught that to those who are deserving, honor finally catches up to them when they leave this world – as is hinted to in the names of three consecutive parshios, Achrei Mos, Kedoshim, Emor, after death, we say who is holy.
I would like to translate her matzeivah for my dear Matzav.com readers:
“Here is buried the esteemed Miriam Liba, the daughter of Reb Aron of Blessed Memory, may her merit shield us. Rebbetzin Miriam Libby Weiss, wife of HaRav Moshe Meir Weiss, Shlit”a. She was a worthy woman who did the will of her husband all of her life; She loved and honored her husband with her whole heart and soul. She was a trusted partner to him in all of his Torah accomplishments, especially with his study and teaching of Daf HaYomi and with the rest of his mitzvos, with all of her might.”
I’d like to interrupt for a moment here to tell you that when I showed what I wrote to my friend, Rabbi Lehrfield, Shlit”a, Rav of the Young Israel of Staten Island, he suggested that since I was writing the text, maybe I shouldn’t put everything about myself first. Although I greatly respect his opinion, I deliberately constructed it this way since, in the thirty-four and a half years that we were married, my wife always put me first. All of the other magnificent activities that she accomplished were done in the cracks around me. I always came first and therefore I wanted to include that tribute by putting her relationship with me first. Now, let’s get back to the text.
“With her bare hands she prepared and helped to mail out many myriads of Torah cassettes and CDs working both day and night. (I wanted to say a hundred myriads, meaning one million instead of many, but since I couldn’t be sure that she actually hit a million I couldn’t say that – even though I’m pretty sure that she did.) She gave her life to her sons and her daughters with warmth and with sweetness at all times and at every moment. She honored and loved her parents with all of her might and she sustained them in their old age and in their sickness with great sacrifice. Her daughters in-law and sons in-law were precious to her like her own children. She had great joy from her grandchildren and loved them with a deep love. She loved her two sisters with a fierce love. She had deep and enduring friendships with hundreds of people. She gathered many for Tehillim and various acts of kindness; She gave charity and all kinds of support privately with wisdom and intimacy to many who were in need.
“She counseled many people with great intuition. She greeted all those that she encountered with a smiling countenance. She wore the crown of a good name to anyone who knew her. She bestowed blessings and warmth to any who crossed her path; She gave her life on behalf of the Agudas Yisroel of Staten Island, the Zichron Shloime Refuah Fund, the Bikur Cholim, Haztalah, and Tomchei Shabbos of Staten Island and many other worthy organizations.
“She made brides and grooms happy and fulfilled the mitzvos of visiting the sick, burying the dead, and comforting mourners with great desire and great self-sacrifice. She endured much suffering with faith in Hashem and fulfilled the mitzvah of v’chai bahem, to keep oneself alive (she had 40 chemo treatments) with all her might.
“The Name of Heaven was caused to be loved through her in anything that she did. She left us to Heaven on the Sixth Day of Teves in the year 5778. May her soul be bound in the bounds of Eternal Life and the name of her mother was Devorah, of Blessed Memory.”
In the zchus of our trying to emulate her beautiful ways, may we be blessed with long life, good health, and everything wonderful.
Please learn, give tzedaka, and daven l’iluy nishmas of Miriam Liba bas Aharon.
Sheldon Zeitlin takes dictation of, and edits, Rabbi Weiss’s articles.
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