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Who, more than Nancy, taught us this message!? As the letters pouring in from her friends testify, Nancy was a living Kiddush Hashem. She lived amongst Jews and non-Jews, secular Jews and religious Jews—and she made a tremendous impact on all of them. She would not desecrate the Shabbos, even on a far-away bike tour. She would not eat non-kosher food, even when everyone else did. Nancy was different. As she would explain to all her friends and to everyone who came into contact with her, a person must not only think of herself all the time. A person must also think of G-d. She prayed every day, and her friends saw this. They saw a person who had normal interests like their own, and still thought of Hashem and lived accordingly. Nancy brought Judaism to so many people who would never otherwise have come into contact with it.

Did I appreciate this aspect of Nancy? Was I willing to bring the beauty of Judaism to those bikers in Northern California, or to the skiers of Vail, Colorado? Nancy was ready and willing. Nancy did it all without fanfare; all I knew was that she was taking another trip out west, without an appreciation of the contribution she was making. I should have seen it. I should have respected her for it, as she so richly deserved. If only I’d known. If only I’d opened my eyes and seen.

Nancy taught us to look beyond the surface. To appreciate all people for who and what they are, because they are a part of the team. They may be accomplishing great things, achieving a level of service of Hashem that we ourselves have not attained. We must always remember this lesson. The next time we look at someone, we must stop and think: Is he contributing to our team in a way that I am not?

If we think hard, I’m sure we will find that he is. And our Ahavat Yisrael will grow.

 


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Acknowledgments Introduction Testimonies Photo Gallery 1 Reflections from Nancy's Mother