A Labour of Love
Maddie Leventhal ז״ל, my beloved sister, is the woman after whom the BAYT Mikveh is named.
The impact of Maddie’s effect on people the world over was profound. One theme recurred constantly after the staggering shock of her sudden passing – their overwhelming love for her; their deepest appreciation to her; the privilege they felt in having known her – some for a lifetime, others for a fleeting but intense moment of their birthing experience.
Maddie enriched so many people’s lives, the refrain that emerged as people cried over her untimely death and basked in the warmth of her memory, wove its repetitive imagery into a tapestry of a unique woman. Her warmth, radiant smile, the light she spread so effortlessly, the exceptional gift she had for making each person feel special, her open home, intense love of children, her uncanny ability to connect with each person’s deepest feelings, her healing hands during her prized massage treatments, her comforting presence at the bedside of the terminally ill, her resounding laughter and empathic tears, were her multi-faceted trademarks.
But it was as a doula, or labour coach, that Maddie reached her majestic height. Dressed in her Shabbos finery in order to be worthy of welcoming a new neshama, she worked her magic with tefillos and segulas, aroma therapy oils, her soothing voice and extraordinary hands. She was beloved by “Her hundreds of mommies” and the professionals with whom she worked.
How appropriate that the vehicle chosen as an Aliyas Neshama for her is the mikveh, the physical and spiritual epitome of renewing life. Many of “her mommies” and now “their babies”use the BAYT mikveh. It is our tefillah that the abundance of chesed epitomised by Maddie will be a testament to the mitzvah of all using and supporting “Maddie’s Mikveh”.
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