Tragedy!

Young mother passes away leaving behind a grieving widower and a two-year-old orphan.

The day was May 1, 1906. More than a hundred years ago.

The young woman was my great-grandmother. The little boy my grandfather.

The widower remarried and had a few more children.

The widower died in Auschwitz, his other children in Sobibor.

The young boy, Levi, grew up to be the Chief Rabbi of Rotterdam, one of the largest cities in the Netherlands. His children and grandchildren include rabbis and community activists.

How did people react in 1906 when she died? Did they realize she was going to be one of the only people in her age group to have a grave? Did it occur to them that even the ones that were to die and get buried before the holocaust would not have anyone to come visit those graves?

Most probably not.

All they felt was pity for the woman who died so young and for the poor little orphan who would have a hard life ahead. All they felt was pity for the woman who died so young and for the poor little orphan who would have a hard life ahead.

He did have a hard life but at least he lived. And he was able to lay the foundations of many future Jewish homes. Not only does he have children and grandchildren continuing his work, the children of the people whom he taught Judaism also continue in their parents' footsteps.

We don't always understand the Divine plan.

The picture has changed.

My great-grandmother's short life is bearing a lot of fruit today.

Everyone else is gone.

My grandfather Rabbi Levi Vorst, of blessed memory, the former Chief Rabbi of Rotterdam
My grandfather Rabbi Levi Vorst, of blessed memory, the former Chief Rabbi of Rotterdam
On the hundredth anniversary of her passing her great-grandson visited her grave in an abandoned section of the cemetery. Visitors had no reason to make their way to this area. Who did they know there?

The letters were hard to read but they were there.

Kaila bas Yehuda had been put to rest 100 years earlier like all her neighbors in the cemetery. But only she has hundreds of living descendents.

She had a son saying kaddish for her for the next 80 years. She has millions of good deeds, mitzvahs, being performed because of her short stay down here. Her soul is constantly going up higher as a result of that.

Was it a tragedy? Yes.

Was it a tragedy? Is it possible to say now that she was not forgotten? Yes

G‑d's ways are mysterious, but she is still alive within us, her grandchildren and all those that they influence.

Her grandchildren are Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in The Hague, Netherlands; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Amstelveen, Netherlands; Manchester, United Kingdom; Yerres, France; Chernigov, Ukraine; Israel; and Charlotte, North Carolina.