From the memorial service on November 29 2018, at conclusion of Shloshim at JCA
Thank you all for being present – for all your support, kindness, and words of consolation over the past month, and today honoring Hanna Jane.
I was fortunate to have an extraordinary life companion – who possessed a “lev tov” – a compassionate heart, and a “gute neshama”, a loving soul.
The pain of losing my beloved is and was intense. The waves of grief are calmed by her memory and of her presence.
“Hineni” she calls, “I am present.” and she declares “LeChaim–to Life.” LeChaim–to Life.
William Blake wrote, “the cistern contains / the fountain overflows”
Hanna Jane was a fountain of Life.
I will read part of Jane’s tribute to her father, at his memorial 30 years ago. Think of her when she refers to her father, Sioma.
One day this last July, my father and I were reading poetry together: Rimbaud, Beaudelaire, Verlaine; and quite suddenly, her wrote in the book: “Je serais ton copain de la magie” (I shall be your companion in magic – or of the magic).
A striking idea, but what did he mean exactly?
The answer came to me several days ago as I searched my heart for the special gifts my father gave me. The most precious of all was the gift of magic.
– that sparkle that made him do things quite differently from other people, that made me always feel that I had a very special father.
The magic of clowning, of punning, or a curious sense of humor; of special insights; of demanding tastefulness in all things, and of the perfectly turned phrases, of course.
Nothing ordinary and nothing thoughtless.
His was a search for the amusing, the perfect, the unforgettable.
There was no Papa like mine. [There was no Jane like mine.] None as demanding. None as playful.
He said, “I shall be your companion on magic”. But, my dear Papa, you always were.
The imagination to be different, albeit with style, that is the most precious inheritance my father has given me. And this I shall pass on to my children … Sioma’s gift to the world.
Today, at the end of Shloshim, we also celebrate Hanna’s 70th birthday. And she had hoped to be with you all today – and in so many ways, she is. Building friendships and community was essential to Hanna – may you all in the gathering following the memorial share memories and renew and make new connections.
I conclude with a poem of one of Hanna Jane’s teachers, Colette Aboulker-Muscat, which captures her essence.
The White Mantle.
I wear the world
As a garment.
I submerge myself into the others.
My knowledge comes from my Images.
I sense, hear, See. And I know
And is adorning us
With the White Mantle