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September 4, 2015 | 20th Elul 5775

Tirza Arad, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, NY, NY

I met Debbie for the first time in 1988 at a small CAJE conference in San Diego, small because CAJE had held their conference that year in Israel.

I attended her workshop on healing and there she shared with us her some of her struggles with her health. We did not exactly know what was wrong, but she created the now famous mishebeirach with us at that time, making changes as we sang along. The last evening of CAJE that year we performed this now famous song of healing for the first time in the over 100 voices strong CAJE Zamir chorale. From that time on, every year I joined her at CAJE, Ma'ayan seders, local concerts, we reconnected, sang new songs and after a few years my daughter Gabi joined in the ritual. When Debbie moved to the upper west side of Manhattan, every now and then I would hear a voice calling "Tirza" from the other side of the road, "manishma, hakol beseder?." "Hakol beseder", I would answer. Sometimes we stopped for a little chat, she would in vite me to come to the healing service at Anshe Chesed, but I never came. That was our relationship, a warm hug, a few words in Hebrew, and chance encounters. I did not know she had moved back to California to be closer to her family.

Lo nafsik lashir....we will not stop singing

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