Eulogy for Sylvia Knie

Oh beautiful beautiful Mimi,

Baruch Dayan Haemet. Blessed are you G-d who judges the truth.

O this sorrow such a final decree. Baruch dayan haemet. Such a harsh truth. too stark, too final. But G-d’s truth, his eternal everlasting love, our truth. We love you forever Mimi in this world and beyond. You draw us to the highest heaven and you watch over us in our lowest despair. You have always watched over us with love, with embrace. You encouraged our love with confidence, you love us so thoroughly with an eternal love of truth.

The word truth in Hebrew is difficult: EMET. It cuts to the quick EM MET. Mother died. But there is more in those letters. EM TAM. Mother is pure. AT EM mother is everything, the totality. ME’AT – I am from you. ME’AT – I am so small. T-M-A I am shaken to the core. T-A-M to the core T-A-M you have no equal. We love you so much Mimi. Mama died and my life will never be the same. Poignantly Mimi’s birthday is the same day of the UN granting permission for Statehood for our beautiful miracle: Israel.

You had a long majestic life and you didn’t have enough. You fulfilled small moments in full measure. Your look of love on someone revives them, your attention on us is full focused and unwavering. Now if we could only revive you our lives would sing. Its your refinement we always saw, your causes, your civic projects, the library that Sylvia Knie built. If I were older I would have voted for you for school board and followed you in municipal elections.

You always led by astounding sense of conscience. These days, even on your judgment day, you review and turn over if you did enough for your friend’s children, Lucy and Charlie, when she died suddenly. Worried unceasingly if you did enough to reconnect Meyer to Dale.

You were Judy’s champion when she was in the hospital. You were her essence, strength and life-force. When Kitra was born, Karen called you first. What do I do? How do I put on a diaper? You are Janet’s confidant, her support and self-esteem booster assuring her of a good future and you saw it come true. You adore your grandchildren each. You kvell easily and can’t wait to call Anne and tell her the latest episode. Your eyes well-up whenever you think of Sandy in Canton. He’s probably going to be the first to embrace you in the next world. Running to press his flowing tears on his cheeks on yours. His big sister Tootsie. So gifted in the best psychology doctorate program in America. Doing holy holy work and researching with veterans.

You never stopped retelling the fabulous heroic Knie family story, the legend of Paul. During WWII some Jews re-entered the bible. Maybe Paul joined the Richie boys to rescue your grandmother and her family, who went back to her family in Wilke Kishmir from Canton. Maybe if only symbolically. Your marriage is Jewish grandeur. Netzach Yisrael Lo Yishaker. The Destiny of Israel is firmly true. And what a family you’ve formed. Each one glorious, a part of you and your many travels and adventures. There are so many fascinating elegant pieces to our family story. Bob and I are so blessed to be a part of you and the family. You are graceful and soft-spoken, opinionated, generous, beautiful, high-brow and modest.

The Knie-Jacobs hallmark is loyalty but what Mimi put on extra was considerateness along with loyalty. I agree too. These are the greatest values.

When I had my highs and lows there was none in the world like you for me. What encouragement! How you went directly into my soul. There is no one who lifted me like you, Mimi and I trust you with all my heart. Now what should I do? I don’t even know how to put on a diaper.

Grandpa Paulie, I always learn from you how to love Karen by how you admire Sylvia. I know how profound you love Karen and how that originates in your passion to your wife.

When a Jew departs this world we say Baruch Dayan Emet. Blessed is the judge of truth. G-d’s truth is absolute truth. After the Shma we say Emet – Absolute truth. Absolute truth means irreversible. But I believe that the righteous continue their effects in this world. The righteous is Sylvia – Tzvikia Glickele bat Yaacov Hacohen v Rachel. The word Emet is composed of Aleph-mem, which means mother, which is from whom we learn the truth and mem-tav means death or finality because her wisdom lives deep in our hearts until our moment of death. Aleph is the first letter, mem the middle and tav the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Your life, Mimi, was one of truth and honesty from beginning to end.

Our lives will irrevocably change, but your truths of loyalty, love, considerateness and desire for us to all stay close and abide by your wisdom will be our commitment to you and to each other.

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