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May Hashem grant you and your family the strength to enjoy many years of good health and nachat.
As I am unable to pay you a shiva call, I wanted to wish you and your family a long life and express my condolences for your loss.
I met Nancy z'l through Mindy a few times in the summer of 2001 after I moved to New York, and received a copy of the moving book you compiled in her memory.
I remember Nancy as someone who was always smiling and living her life to the full and hope I can emulate her positive outlook and happy disposition in my own life.
From Mindy's stories it is apparent that she was an exceptionally rare good friend few are fortunate to have.
On one occasion, when we were at a party and Mindy and I fell out over something trivial, I remember Nancy reminding us how unimportant it was and to stop arguing. When she heard that one of us saw someone she liked, she urged us to go for it and seize the moment.
I was at her apartment one Friday night in August for a Shabbat dinner her roomate was hosting just after the Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem. and I remember Nancy reading the graphic report in the newspaper and saying how worried she was for her sister and the new baby in Israel. (As an emergency doctor, my sister's father-in-law, Dr David Applebaum z'l, was one of the first on the scene and was himself killed with his daughter, Naava z'l at the Cafe Hillel bombing in September 2003 the night before her wedding).
As I have got older, I have become more aware of how nonconducive it is to remain observant while still single, which makes me think of how easy it would have been for Nancy, as a single woman in the city and such an active member of the biking community to give it all up rather than deal with the practicalities of observing Shabbat and Kashrut and trying to balance both. Yet she chose not to.
I am also reminded of Nancy when I think of some single women I have met who are dissatisfied with their lives and sit around waiting for something to change with a negative outlook, and how much she embodied the opposite of this attitude by constantly striving to meet new challenges and pursuing new adventures and goals and how rare this spirit is for a young woman in our religious community.
Your book and memorial fund are a wonderful tribute to a vivacious daughter whose life was such a kiddush Hashem.
I wish you and all your family a long life and that you should only know Simchas and good health.
While looking for an article on the Jerusalem Post website today, a headline caught my eye about someone lost in the World Trade Center being buried in Beit Shemesh today. I continued to read and found it was your daughter, Nancy. From there I followed the link to your website, which I found to be a remarkable testament to how special Nancy's life was. Though I had never met her, through your wonderful photographs and the letters people sent, I was able to get a real feeling of how she touched everyone she came in contact with, and left a lasting mark. Knowing that she touched the people around her and made a difference in their lives is something we can all learn from, and should all attempt to emulate.
Thank you for sharing her life with those like myself†who didn't know her, but wish they had.
May the hearts of your family be comforted, and may your daughter's memory be for a blessing.
I first met Nancy when we spent shabbos nachamu of 1990 together with Elana, at the Browns hotel (or maybe the Concord?) Though it was the first time I met her, I felt that through Elana, I already knew her well. After that, we went on many vacations together ñ to Miami over pesach and winter break and to Israel over sukkos (and of course, back to the Catskill hotels for many shabbos nachamus.) Always in a good mood, she was so much fun and I just had such a good time with her.
I received your book last May on Motzei Shabbos the night before the Israeli Day Parade. I took it as more than just a coincidence. You see, I think of Nancy often, but particularly around the annual parade as the parade of 2001 was the last time I saw Nancy. I was not in contact with her very much during these last years, but Iíve gotten a good idea of her interests and passions from your book and from the stories that Elana has shared with me. I treasure the pictures and little bit of video clip of Nancy from my wedding.
Thank you for putting together such a wonderful compilation of stories, thoughts and testimonials about Nancy. . . she was really something!
With warmest regards,
Robyn (Smith) Samuels
My husband Steven Toplitz, a bike racer and music store owner in Amherst, MA met Nancy briefly in Majorca and later signed up at a race to receive a copy of your book of letters about Nancy. Though he has not yet read the book, I have been in the process of reading every inspiring letter. As a piano professor at the University of Massachusetts and an orchestral pianist with a heavy teaching load (and small hands), I am sometimes faced with huge performing projects, difficult passages to conquer and long and late hours. I love my work and my students, but I find the letters even more of an inspiration to keep going, to appreciate the ability to be present to take on these tasks and say, I can do this no matter what.
Thank you for sharing these letters.
If possible I would like to request another book for our development officer who is deeply religious. I know she and her husband will read the book and pass it along to the Jewish Community of Amherst. As I am practicing Buddhism I respect greatly the devotion with which Nancy practiced and deeply felt her own spirituality. I also teach step aerobics on the side and will try to think of Nancy's example on those days when getting to the gym seems like more of an inconvenience than a joy.
Thank you so much for sending me a copy of the book you published honoring Nancy's memory. It's a beautiful testament to your daughter. I am truly humbled to have been a small part of the testimonies you received, showing what a beautiful daughter you raised.
I have shown the book to many of my friends and members of my family and everyone is impressed with the work you did on the book and touched by the love you and your family shared with Nancy. She was special! In fact, when my sister read the book, she remarked, I wish I would have known her we would have been friends.
Again thank you for preparing the book and for giving me a copy and for sharing your and her friends' and family's memories of her.
I had skimmed the book on Nancy, AH after you sent it and found it a beautiful tribute. But this Friday night in the hours between the end of her yar zeit on the Jewish calendar and midnight initiating 9/11 in the hours after the end of a beautiful family Shabbat meal in our home and the onset of sleep I decided this was the right time to really connect with Nancy through the book. And through her remember the three thousand other special souls lost that day.
What a truly wonderful person emerges from the perceptions of her friends. What a mekadeshet shem shamayim. Would that all representatives of Torah created such a positive image for Hashem's Ways! It made her loss both more and less painful at the same time. In her tragically short life she packed in enormous impact on our world.
And what unbelievable parents you are. A lifetime in an evolving narrow and parochial world that you live in has not succeeded in narrowing your perspective on life on humanity on yiddishkeit on tolerance on an appreciation of the world on a sense of what Hakadosh Baruch Hu really wants from us. I am proud to be part of your extended family."
There's a picture in the book of Nancy at age 4 or so which is exactly how I remembered her looking when first meeting you all. How verbal and expressive she was even then. I last saw her (as far as I can remember) at Lori & Avi's sheva brachot in Granny's house some 10 years ago. A self-confident smiling grown-up.
May Hashem give you as much nechama as you need and may you and your entire family be blessed with a Shana Tova a year of health and fulfillment. Rivki and I think of you constantly.
I was at the September 11th memorial that Esty and Dovi Scheiner from World Tikkun Center arranged.
It was heart-wrenching to hear a mother cry out loud about her wonderful daughter taken so brutally from this world.
When the event was over I passed by you a couple of times but couldn't bring myself to express my sorrow for fear of breaking down. Instead I just smiled, a smile of sadness, and said Hello. - That was me the young lady who smiled each time she saw you.
When I got home I read the book that you gave to the attendees. It broke my heart to read about your loving generous happy and beautiful daughter Nancy. How special you her parents must be to have given birth to such an extraordinary daughter always respecting you in such a special manner.
I feel privileged to have met you and your wonderful son and daughter-in-law.
I wish you your husband and family only happiness in your life.
My thoughts and prayers are with you
Today is three years. We just want you to know that we miss Nancy ah more not less as time passes. We think of her often ...every time we see a biker...every time we need that extra push" to finish something...every time a challenge can be met with a laugh as well as with determination.
The book (which we have read and continue to read) is beautiful. It is an on-going uplifting testimony to the well-lived life of the very special person that Nancy a"h was. I hope that we can follow her lead and make whatever time Hash-m gives us the best it can be.
May her beautiful neshama have an aliya and may we all merit the ge'ulah shleimah.
With much love
Nasanel Nancy and family "
Tonight (your son-in-law) Avi spoke in shul, and what he said has finally inspired" me to write something for the guest book.
Avi spoke about two things: about the first halacha in Rambam's (Maimonedes') Hilchos Tshuva (Laws of Repentence) which are so pertinent for this time of the year right before Rosh Hashana the Jewish New Year and he spoke about Nancy.
He connected the two in the following point: that in a person's spiritual quest and development he must be inside as he is outside. And that said Avi and as I saw so much from reading the book was Nancy. It is so much easier "appearing" to be a righteous and upright person while surrounded by people who would not expect or even not allow you to act differently. But to act in the correct way-- and for Nancy as a religious Jew to follow in the special path which she learned from her family and her people and which she chose so devoutly and enthusiastically to adhere to even in the most remote places and in oftentimes the most difficult circumstances-- is another story entirely. This is the greatest achievement that a Jew can attain: to be the example for upright behaviour amongst the nations and to act in a manner which makes others want to say "this is how we should be". And this your daughter Nancy did with such grace such joy such happiness.
The point I'd like to bring out in light of the tremendous help you have given in helping build the shul funding the Kollel the ambulance; in general strengthening the community is that it is so like Nancy: inside just as much as outside to act in a discreet and modest way in achieving the goals of life and provide the example and inspiration for those in the immediate and extended surroundings.
We again thank you for all the help you've given us and the community at large and only hope that we are living up to the expectations that in many ways Nancy has set for us at least inasmuch has she has been such a wonderful example.
Beis Hamidrash Pnei Shmuel
Ramat Beit Shemesh"
We spoke by phone the other day. It was nice to think that my thoughts added something to your memories of your daughter. Nancy was a dear friend and very sweet person. I knew her first as a travel agent, then as a friend. Funny how close our homes were in Brooklyn. As a former managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald I was very happy for her when she told me about her new job, although I have to admit I gave her flack about abandoning me to another travel agent. Who could replace Nancy?
Nancy encouraged me to be a better stonger bike rider in my triathlons, and I will forever see her face in my minds eye passing me on the Brooklyn Bridge in her bike helmet as I jogged to Brooklyn and she returned, with her team, from a race. She will always be missed but never forgotten,
Thank you for letting me glimpse the shining light of Nancy's life through your remarkable book. There seemed to be so much to admire in her integrity, strength of character, compassion, and friendship. Reading about her made me want to put aside small things and be a better person.
I had seen the photo on your desk you and Nancy on skis atop some beautiful mountain (Snowmass?) and was struck how comfortable you looked together in this adventurous setting. And then to read of her same closeness friendship almost with her mother. How unusual is it I wondered to have a warm close relationship with your grown-up child. I hope my daughters grow up strong like Nancy and that we will be friends in the same way that you were.
Thank you again for allowing me to see your daughter's life so well lived.