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October 4, 2015 | 21st Tishrei 5776

Connie Levy Hornung, Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek, Lima, OH

I never got to meet Debbie Friedman in person, but I attended a concert of hers in Cincinnati, Ohio in November, 1993, two days after my mother's funeral.

My mother had been ill for years and we had been told to prepare for her death so many times, that I had no reaction when she died. I already had my free tickets to Debbie's concert, and felt compelled to go. As she sang the Mishabeirach to the audience, slowly, hushed, the tears began to fall, uncontrollably. It was the first time I had cried for my mother, and Debbie, unknowingly, helped to heal me, starting that evening. When we first discovered her music at our temple, she opened up another floodgate of wonderful possibilities for celebrating Shabbat and all holidays with her inspiring music. She will be terribly missed by so many people, but her spirit definitely lives on in her music that she shared with the world. I was fortunate enough to be in the front for another of her concerts a few years later, and it was a total religious experience just to be in her presence and to hear her sing!

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