Note from Rabbi Shaked about the passing of his grandmother in Israel

Dear friends,

My family in Israel gathered today to the funeral of my grandmother, Shoshana Cohen, which passed away early Saturday morning.

Earlier last week she had a stroke, and the consequences were inevitable.  The doctors indicated clearly that rehabilitation is not a medical option. Sometimes death is more merciful than life.

My grandmother was 83. She is the first grandparent for me to loose. I was very privileged to reach the age of 39 with my all my 4 grandparents alive. I hope that my mother’s father and my father’s both parents will be with us for many years to come, healthy and clear in mind. When I left Israel to come here she told me: “I’m not going to see you again”, and I told her to stop talking nonsense.

Shoshana Cohen came with her parents and one brother from Russia to British mandatory Palestine as a toddler in the early 30’s. They came illegally and were always under the fear of being caught and deported. They had very poor conditions. Even though things got much in her life after the state of Israel was establish and my grandfather came into her life, she carried much fear and hardship into her adult life.

Given all that, she had reach and full life, having 4 children – 3 daughters and one son, 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, a number that will surely grow, as I’m the oldest grandson. She was a loving and loved matriarch to her family.

The hardest thing for me is not being able to be with my mother in this moment, and not being able to share it with my extended family. From my both side, I’m part of a big kin/clan/tribe. Here I have you – my congregation which supports and love me in such a touching manner.

I’d like to thank all of you who approached me to express condolences. It is wholeheartedly appreciated.

Yours in friendship,


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