This week we said goodbye to our beloved mother, Blossom Fenster (Lichtenstein). She passed away in her sleep at age 97 after a full and happy life. She was born and brought up in Philadelphia, daughter of Benny and Kay Lichtenstein. After graduating as an outstanding student at Girls Highschool she got a BA from Penn State university. In 1946 she married Henry Fenster who had returned a wounded veteran of World war II. Their marriage flowered and lasted more than 60 years. In 1951 I was born and two years later my sister Batsheva AKA Suzie completed the young Fenster family. Mom was a strong, independant woman. She became a highschool teacher teaching science and psychology for more than 25 years. She also earned masters and doctoral degrees. She was considered an excellent teacher loved by her many students.
She was a wonderful mother. Hers was a "tough love" showing us the behavioral boundaries and giving us a moral compass. Dad was a strong dominant presence but it was Mom who took care of the day to day discipline,sibling rivalry and school problems. I remember that in the fourth grade I had an antisemitic Irish teacher, Miss Kehoh who threw me out of class because I wouldnt stand for the Lords Prayer. Mom came to school and told the principal that if I wasnt reinstated immediately she would take them to court, She was active in the teachers union and was a feminist before it was politically correct, always involved in womens rights issues and also involved in the civil rights issues of the 1960's.
When in my teens I began my journy to religious Torah Judaism and Zionism there was some tension in the family. Mom didnt really understand what I was going through. Even so she respected me and supported my continuing Hebrew school after my Bar-Mitzvah and eventually going to Akiba, a Hebrew high school. She also supported my decision to immigrate to Israel after high school even though she wanted me to go to college in America.
After I married and had children in Israel mom became "Bubbie"(grandma). She was the quintessential grandmother coming to visit us at least once a year giving unconditional love to her grandchildren.
One of Mom's favorite songs was Frank Sinatra's "My Way". She was able with G-ds help to live her life in "her way"
So we say goodbye to Mom as we say in Hebrewתהיה נשמתה צרורה בצרור ה החיים May her soul be enveloped in the soul of eternal life.