Dear Jan, Rea, Josh, Aaron, and Shira, extended family and friends who are here to pay their final respects to Mrs. Debbi Buckler, Devorah Michal bas R’ Reuven Shimon.
When I mention Debbi’s name Devorah, I can not but recall Devorah Haneviah the great prophetess of Israel… that great woman who led and guided the Jewish people through a period of battle and conflict.
From the very first moment I met Debbi, the first impression she left with me, was of a courageous woman. A woman, who knew she had a very important role to play. Throughout the years I’ve known her, I would observe time and again how she would fulfill that role in a very dignified, yet in a very proud way.
As Devorah Haneviah, she fought her personal battles and struggles with fortitude, vigor, zest and faith, including her final battle, the battle that took her life at her relatively young age.
When I spoke to Debbi recently, she told me about her personal transformation. I don’t know if you know Reb Kuti, she said, “Since we’ve met last, I’ve become a very spiritual person. Shabbos is now a part of my life.” How much courage she had! How much strength!
But as Devorah Haneviah, her strength is not her ultimate praise. Devorah Haneviah was a counselor, a guide, and an inspiration to so many during a time of crisis and confrontation, yet when she sings her own praise in Shirat Devorah- the Song of Devorah- the greatest praise, the greatest accolade she attributes to herself was Shakamti Aim B’Yisrael- “I arose as a mother in Israel.”
Debbi, as a skilled artist, would volunteer during the summer months at Camp Gan Israel on Cape Cod to teach art to the little children. But her greatest piece of Art- and the piece she was most proud of was the home she established together with her husband and the children she raised. And this magnificent piece of art- is something that will continue to be credited to her and can never be taken away from her.
Although in days and years ahead, Debbi’s life may seem short, qualitatively, her life was filled with purpose and meaning- especially in her role as wife and mother- but also in her commitment to G-d- as the sages tell us one who does Teshuvah and returns to the way of the Torah stands beyond the righteous.
The last two times I spoke to her, she mentioned her children, how much she loves them, and how much it means to her that they remain committed to the ideals that were so valuable to her and that she lived for.
The very last time I met her- she cried to me- please, please, take care of my children.
What can be greater than the cry of a mother- out of concern for her children?
The cry to want to see nachas- yiddishe nachas- to be able to carry out her special role and to see it fulfilled.
I don’t think there can be anything more powerful than that.
Hashem in His mysterious way, has decided for now, to separate this devoted, caring, and loving wife and mother from her husband and family. But I am sure your mom, Debbi, will continue on in her unique way-
As the verse says in Devorah’s song:
Uri Uri Devorah, Uri Uri Dabri Shir.
Rise up Devorah, Rise up Debbi- Rise up, Rise up,
Ascend to the heavenly throne and sing your song.
Continue to pour out your heart before Hashem.
Plead to Hashem in a melody no one knows, but you.
Pray that your children follow that which you have taught them.
Pray for the well being of your children and your dear husband.
Sing to them the song of strength and courage amidst challenge.
May your life forever shine as a beacon of light upon your children and family- to guide them, to lead them, and to inspire them, until we merit the era of Moshiach when tears of sorrow will be no more and we will all be reunited with our loved ones in this physical world,
MAY IT BE VERY SOON!
Rabbi Yekusiel Alperowitz is the Rabbi of Chabad Lubavitch of Cape Cod. 745 West Main Street. Hyannis, MA 02601. 508-775-2324