Friday, March 30, 2007

Chaya Mitchell

God, haven't you had your share? You took Aviva Miretzky. You took Tanielle Miller. Now you want her, too? Leave her be!

Have done with death and sickness and leave her be.

    Chaya Mitchell- Chaya Rivka bas Sheindel Sarah.

    Chaya has had her fifth relapse after four unsuccessful trials of chemotherapy plus other standard treatments. The tumor has progressed, and she has lost mobility on one side of her body. She needs our tefilos, especially the power and zechuyos they create when we unite together as one klal.

I wrote this once for Tanielle:

    But I knew her. We all knew her, we saw her, and unfortunately, as is often the way with people, we did not appreciate her until she was called away from us. We did not realize the power of the quiet glow she shed, or perhaps simply the power of mortality. The fact that one human life can mean so much, even when we did not truly know her.

I don't want to have to write this for Chaya.

So damn it, God, leave her alone.

I know her...we took the bus home together in elementary school- I wasn't in her grade, but I still know her, talked to her a bit, and when I read these words about her, I don't even accept them because it doesn't even make sense. Chaya Mitchell, paralyzed? Chaya Mitchell, suffering from cancer? Who the hell are you talking about? This isn't anybody I know. I don't even feel any emotion as I write this, because I still don't think it's true.

I won't think it's true. Damn it, damn it, damn it, how many lives do you mean to steal away, God? This is Pesach! This is the holiday of spring, of joy, of redemption, so go and redeem her and cure her and help her to be well.

But I still don't think it's true...I won't know it's true until I see her, and as I won't see her, I'll think this is all an abstraction. I won't feel anything; I can't feel anything until I see her, and if I would see her it would hurt me, so I can't- she probably doesn't even remember me; it's not like we were friends or close, but still, but still! God, please, not another terrible debilitating illness, not another death. She's too young; she hasn't lived yet, and what kind of life are you giving her by hurting her like this? We've had enough, enough; it is enough, dayenu!


Anonymous said...

What a powerful post. We have all had too much sorrow- too many young and beautiful and gifted and loving people stolen from our midst. May we know of no more sorrow and may your friend and all of Klal Yisroel have a speedy refuah and a Pesach filled with health, freedom and love.

Moshe said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I can truly say that I know how you feel. May this joyful season bring her a refuah -- and a freedom from pain and suffering for her, those who love and care for her, and for all of Klal Yisrael.

laughingwolf said...

dang, m'dear sil... so much sadness, indeed :(

SemGirl said...

I wish your friend a sppedy Refuah Shleima bkorov. But be careful not to question Hashem's ways or question too much. I recently heard in a Shiur that when we do that, we are taken to the place where there are no questions, and no one is in a rush to go there.

Chana said...


Thank you so much. It frustrates me so much when it is someone young who suffers.


Yes, you of all people would understand. Apparently it's a brain tumor.


Thank you so very, very much. And 'Sil' brings back many pleasant memories; thank you.


Hell is the place where there are no questions? I very much disagree. As for questions; I believe in being honest, and honesty means revealing whatever my state of mind or heart is to God- He will know it anyway; I may as well be truthful. I find that this relationship is far more fulfilling and true than one in which I have to actually refrain, as it were, from questioning. I have become 'Job Ha'Chadash,' I suppose...

I do not think it is those who question who end up in hell. I think it is those who live a false, untruthful, unfulfilling existence who live in hell, as it were, but hell on earth- caught within a very unhappy life, seemingly without alternatives. The truth is much better. God is strong enough to take my hatred, anger, love and fear for what they are, and to respect my coming to Him in truth.

Or if He is not, and for a reason I cannot conceive of would punish my honesty by throwing me in hell, I think I would prefer that hell to having to lie to gain His favor.

Anonymous said...

I am a girl who have usher syndrome. I totally disagree with Semgirl.
Talking to semigirl: Excuse me, you are telling me that i can't question about that why Hashem is taking away my vision very slowly by year and year and he already gave me deafness which i born by it. I think it is most healtly thing to do to argue or question it, if you don't question it. THIS IS NOT HUMAN! We could learn from Job, who has so many sufffering in his life. We learn it is okay to show bitteress in our life because Hashem understand bc due our limited capacity unlike Hashem who have unlimited. Plus after I agrue to Hashem for many months, I learn to accepted who i am and what I have. If i didn't argue/questions at all. It would turn to haterd to Hashem which none of us will like that at all.
Talking to Chana: Don't listen to semigirl, this girl must be have no suffering in her life at all so she is telling everybody that we shouldn't do it to questions it bc she never deal with this. I think you should be angry because you are talking to Hashem directly and trying to understand why Hashem did this. I hope you may find answers or accepting why Hashem did this. But right now you don't have to do this because you need this emotions in your prayer bc that what Hashem wants (which is my opinion)
I really hope she will get speedy rufah.

C said...

I just stumbled upon your blog today...and I saw this post. It hit me especially hard because Chaya Mitchell is my cousin. And I feel guilty because I was so involved in losing my grandmother to cancer, that I barely took the time to think about Chaya. You are right...its not fair! I remember last year, Chaya and I were in Israel together, I was shocked! I still should be. Contrary to what semgirl said, I should still be yelling at Hashem, telling Him its not fair. Thank you for the wakeup call, and never ever stop questioning.

Have a chag kasher Vsameach

Anonymous said...


I can't say much about your pain, except that I, too, have unfortunately experienced similar pain--although I will not say that I feel your pain, because everyone experiences diffferent levels of pain under different circumstances.

I can say, however, that sometimes simply crying is not enough. If it hurts you this much (as it rightfully seems to be doing), I suggest you do something about it. Like what?

Like organizing Tehillim to be said on a daily basis. Like organizing a shiur. Like organizing a machsom l'fi. Something that will actively show G-d just how much Chaya is needed down here. I can't say this is a "guarantee" for long life, but one way or another it will i"YH give Chaya zechusim with the One Above.

May all cholim experience a refuah shleima u'meheria!

Anonymous said...

Semgirl, I think your comments are well-meant, but they seem to be taken a bit too far out of context to be appropriate here.

I know you mean well, but when emotions are involved, sometimes these type of statements are simply not helpful, as you can see by the outburst of replies written in response to your statement.

Chana and all others who were offended by Semgirl,

I have no idea who Semgirl is, but she seems to express good intentions (albeit they are masked in a superficial statement). I understand your frustration at her statement, and if semgirl has checked back here, she does too. Sometimes people simply stumble when they try to help others. It's not being inconsiderate or uncaring; it's a bit careless. I'm not going to say that semgirl said the right thing, but please realize that her intentions are good even though they came out wrong.

Tova Z said...

Chaya Mitchel is my cousin and therefore it is especially hard for me to talk about it. I was in Chicago for my cousin's wedding in February, and Chaya was there. My grandmother was the only other person I knew that took her sickness in stride aside from Chaya. She's especailly unique and special and Hashem should cure her immediately.