Brooklyn, NY - The Most Precious Of Pearls, The Rarest Of Diamonds: Remembering Reizy Morgenstern And Hindy Spira A’H
Brooklyn, NY - Hundreds of mourners with tear stained faces, wearing looks of shock and disbelief, gathered late Tuesday night to bid a final farewell to Hindy Spira and Reizy Morgenstern who were killed instantly when their rented jeep was struck by a tractor trailer in Holbrook, Arizona.
The two levayas were held back to back at the Shomrei Hadas Chapels in Borough Park. Approximately 2,000 people turned out to honor the two young women and their heartbroken families, with the overflow crowd spilling out onto 14th Avenue.
As previously reported on VIN News, the two girls were traveling on the west coast with two other friends when the fatal crash occurred on Monday afternoon.
Hindy Spira was remembered as a devoted daughter, a passionate teacher and a stellar individual whose effusive personality brought joy to those around her. A general studies teacher at Bais Yaakov of Borough Park, 26 year old Hindy was the youngest of nine children who shared an incredibly close bond with family members.
Below video of the funerals. (Shimon Gifter/VINnews.com)
“She had a wonderful relationship with our parents and she showed them exceptional kavod,” brother Sruly Spira told VIN News.
With eight brothers and sisters, each of whom have large families, Hindy was an aunt many times over, and she treasured her relationship with her siblings and their children.
“She had a special connection with all of her nieces and nephews,” said Sruly Spira.
“She was Tante Hindy to each one,” added sister in law Goldie Spira. “She treated each one like they were the only one. From going to siddur plays, chumash plays and graduations, she would write a cute card and buy them a cute present. She was so happy at their simchas and their weddings and was so devoted to them.”
Hindy also had an extremely close relationship with her parents.
“She was the baby of the family and the apple of their eye,” said Mrs. Spira. “Not only that, they were the apple of her eye. It was a mutual relationship. She was crazy about them and they were crazy about her. It was a relationship full of respect and she loved them to pieces.”
A graduate of Tomer D’vorah, Hindy taught at Bais Yaakov of Borough Park for the past seven years, working first as a fifth grade teacher and moving on last year to sixth and seventh grades. Hindy also directed Bais Yaakov’s after school program, where she lavished attention on both students and on the staff who worked under her.
“They were mostly seminary girls from Bais Yaakov Intensive and they would go straight to their jobs,” recalled Mrs. Spira. “She would leave a cute note on the door with a perky little message that she would sign, ‘Love, Miss Spira.’ She would prepare refreshments along with a witty note attached for the after school program staff.”
Hindy also paid special attention to the food served to the students.
“She was very into the menu and treated them like she was their mother. She made sure that there was enough food and what they liked. She was extremely caring and wanted to be a mommy.”
Hindy grew up in a home where respect for parents was held in the highest esteem.
“Hindy’s kibud av v’em went above and beyond,” said Mrs. Spira. “As a girl, she saw her parents going all the way for their own parents.”
That bond extended to the entire family and Hindy had contacted siblings this past Sunday, asking them for visiting day pictures and sending back pictures of her west coast vacation. In previous summers, Hindy had used her time off to visit Israel and spent two summers in Russia doing kiruv.
Hindy’s sunny personality and tremendous simchas hachaim went hand in hand with her serious nature. Mrs. Spira described both Hindy and Reizy Morgenstern, who also died in the catastrophic crash, as “gems, exceptional girls who worked on themselves, just special girls.”
“Hindy was the cream of the crop,” said Mrs. Spira. “She was top notch, high caliber, frum, ehrlich, cute and with a beautiful balance. She was raised in an incredible home where she received special chinuch. Everyone saw it on her. She had a certain quality of life and knew how to treat people. She was a real, real queen and she leaves behind an entire family and an army of nieces and nephews who are bereft.”
Among those who eulogized Hindy were Rabbi Osher Ehrenreich, principal of Bais Yaakov of Borough Park, Rabbi Elya Fisher, rosh kollel of Ger, Rabbi Dovid Orlovsky of Ger, Hindy’s brother and nephew, Binyomin Spira and Yidi Spira and Hindy’s uncle, Rabbi Shulem Green.
The levaya for Reizy Morgenstern began close to midnight with the first hesped delivered by Rav Dovid Eichenstein, the Burshtyner Rov. Reizy’s grandfather, Reb Leibish Morgenstern began his eulogy with a heartfelt cry, saying that he had hoped to be able to dance the mitvzah tantz with his beloved granddaughter.
Speaking in Yiddish, Reb Moshe Morgenstern thanked the many people who were involved in dealing with the accident including Hatzolah, Misaskim and Chai Lifeline and spoke passionately about his daughter, praising her for her eidelkeit, her tznius, her tremendous respect for her elders and her immeasurable ahavas habriyos, which was evident in her relationships with the students that she taught on a daily basis.
“All of the women and all of the girls knew that she had many talents,” said Morgenstern. “She was very creative in music and other things but her greatest talent was her incredible humility.”
Alluding to the meaning of his daughter’s name, Morgenstern said that sometimes it is the finest who are taken from our midst.
“When the Aibishter takes a flower, he doesn’t take a thorn, he takes a rose,” said Morgenstern.
“It is very hard to accept this,” added Morgenstern after a long pause.
Family member Faigy Morgenstern said that Reizy, the fourth of eight children, was incredibly special.
“She had a heart of gold and I know that she always helping the underdog,” said Mrs. Morgenstern. “She was just a wonderful neshama.”
Mrs. Morgenstern observed that the heartbreak of having to bury a child is an agony that no parent should ever have to endure.
“If a person loses a parent, they become a yasom,” remarked Mrs. Morgenstern. “If a person loses a spouse they become an alman or an almana. But there is no word for someone who loses a child.”
Former classmate Naomi Blau recalled Reizy’s perpetual positive attitude.
“She was always, always smiling,” said Blau. “It was so sincere and her smile came from within. When it comes to classmate’s weddings, after a few years it can get hard, but Reizy came to every wedding and she stayed until the end. Sometimes as the night goes on the crowd gets empty but Reizy always stayed. She was the face you always saw and she danced with so much excitement.”
Reizy’s musical abilities were well known throughout Borough Park and she had an in home music studio.
“She started at a really young age and she was a master at music,” said cousin Chani Lissauer. “I run a day camp and she would record songs for me no matter how busy she was. Her mother would tell me that she would try to squeeze me in somewhere and Reizy would always hand me a masterpiece on a labeled CD like it was nothing although I knew she probably did it for me at like 4 or 4:30 in the morning. She would always say it was nothing and it was no big deal.”
Mrs. Lissauer recalled another instance when her own daughter made a kumzitz for her class and she asked Reizy if she could come over and provide musical accompaniment.
“She came right over lugging that huge keyboard and it was so appreciated,” said Mrs. Lissauer. “If you asked her how much she charged she would say, ‘For what? I didn’t do anything.’ She was such an incredible giver and so unassuming.”
With her many talents, winning personality and good nature, Reizy had many friends.
“She had the looks, the grace, the voice, the popularity, everything,” said Mrs. Lissauer. “But she had no idea that people walked away from her filled with admiration every time they spoke to her. Sometimes people who are successful have that air about them but I don’t think Reizy ever knew how incredible she really was.”
Of her many qualities, it was her ever-present smile that stayed with Reizy until the very end.
“Her father said at the levaya that the woman who did the tahara approached him and said that she placed Reizy inside with a smile at her face and that he knew right away that it was true, because that is how she lived her life,” said Mrs. Lissauer.
“I know it is true, too because as long as she lived, there was never anything else but a sweetness that was so refined and so gentle. Reizy was never plain serious; her eyes could have been serious but her lips would always be smiling. I don’t think I ever spoke to her where she didn’t have a smile on her face.”
Kevura for both girls took place in the early morning hours on Tuesday in Rockland, with Hindy laid to rest at the bais hachaim in New Square and Reizy interred at the Monsey bais olam.
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