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Nancy had no “master,” as mentioned in the Parsha, but she did have a challenging environment. She knew, however, that she was G-d’s servant, and behaved accordingly. Whether it was faithfully keeping Shabbos, or cooking her own food in remote locales, or acting with such honesty and integrity that everybody around her was amazed, she became—and remains—an unforgettable person. She never lost that closeness with G-d.

The second interesting point about Nancy is her unique personality. I have come up with a short list to demonstrate two seemingly contrasting sides to her personality. All of the expressions and descriptions are direct quotes from the many letters her friends have sent.

Nancy the Achiever

Adventurous
Fearless
Self-confident
Strong
Powerful Presence
Energetic
Vivacious
Intensely Competitive
Aggressive Competitor
Competes even against friends
Fireball spirit
Jumps up and attacks
Hard-driving
Conquers challenges
Strong-willed
Independent
Determined
Resolve and courage
She is all business
Physical and mental toughness

Nancy the Friend

Loyal
Encouraging
Offers emotional support
Inspiring
Supporter
Sincere
Protector
Savior
Selfless
Considerate
Always giving
Good Spirit
Happy
Smiling
Deeply admired
Easy to talk to
Easy to be around
Fun
Makes sacrifices for friends
Great friend
Conducts herself with
class and a smile
An honest friend—
corrects others
Wins the admiration
of even new friends
A friend for life.

In reality, all these traits stem from a single root—To do one’s utmost in every situation. When it came to business, activities, sports, etc., Nancy strove for perfection. When it came to bein adam l’chaveiro, she strove for the same perfection: She did what was best for the other person. And in the area of bein adam la’Makom, the perfection lay in realizing that she was a part of G-d’s nation under all circumstances, ever committed to keeping his Torah and remaining close to Him.

If we emulate Nancy’s ways, seeing her as a role model for all of the virtues listed above, then losing her will not have been in vain. In her zechus, may we merit the ultimate perfection of the geulah sheleimah, the complete redemption, speedily in our days.

 


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