Shiva Story

Posted on November 20th, 2013

stellazbShiva week is over. The chairs and guests, and food have been put away. The home that was turned into a medical clinic and then a synagogue is slowly being transformed back into a home. There were many amazing stories that were told about Stella over the week. This one was my daughters’ favorites:

I received the following e-mail one evening. Of course I remembered the story. How together with these two seminary girls we had a wonderful shabbos in the surgical ward. Stella knew right away how nervous and scared this girl was to be in a hospital where she had no family, barely knew the language, and had an undiagnosed and somewhat scary condition. But let me share part of her e-mail:

I don’t know if you remember me, but two years ago I met you and Stella in Shaareh Zedek hospital.  I had expected that first shabbos to be an absolute nightmare–I was in the hospital alone with no family in Israel. But you and Stella took me in and treated me like family. I will never forget sharing shabbos food with you two and my friend. It was one of the most uplifting experiences I’ve ever had; Stella never let her problems make her any less positive.

I’ve been following your blog for the past year and was brought to tears by your most recent post. I don’t know what to say to you other than I hope you both know that despite all of the horror this illness has brought you both have managed to have a positive, life-long affect on me and my friend. And, I’m sure we are not the only ones. I have taken up learning in the merit of Stella.

Now comes part two.

I was told that a family was coming to pay a shiva call to me. I did not know them. I only knew that their daughter had been killed in a car crash the week before and that her freshly dug grave was the one next to Stella’s. I was wondering what on Earth I could say to this grieving family who were coming to comfort me on my loss.

So I told them the story above. And I said that I have no idea how this works, but if Stella were given a choice on whom to be buried next to, it would be next to their daughter, a poor, scared soul taken out of this world way too early. And I told them that I was certain that Stella would spread her wings around their daughter and comfort her the same way she did the girl in the hospital.

Because whether in this world or the next, that’s what an angel does.

For those who were not able to come, don’t worry, I have more stories to tell.

Just not tonight.

Yarden Frankl, Neve Daniel


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  1. Mush says:

    Yarden we have all read the blog posting – now start working on the book of Stella zt”l stories… strong my friend!

  2. Naomi Singer says:

    Wow! So beautiful! All the things I’ve read are glittering glimpses of an elevated neshama. Ephemeral, soft, inspirations tugging out our souls to see good, do good, be good! Thanks!

  3. frady says:

    I think one of the most comforting parts of shiva is hearing the stories from others…incidents you had no idea happened, but surprise you not at all. Stella touched many people in her (too) short life, and those stories will continue to surface…may you and the children continue to find comfort in them.
    Thinking of you from here.

  4. Brian Miller says:

    I am speechless.

  5. Cheri says:

    So beautiful! As hard as this life sometime seems, these stories, these neighbors, this particular timeline of events makes me smile, and of course cry at the same time. Thank you for sharing.

  6. carla friedman says:

    Thank you for telling these stories. She touched so many lives and you and your children have touched so many too. May your laughter, tears, joy and sorrow as you recount these stories continue to show others how to love and take care of each other. For loving someone, caring for someone, taking care of others and repairing the world is what we all need to do. Thank you for showing the way.

  7. Geula says:

    yARDEN- Today I got into a tremp from Zomet Gilo going into the Gush. I sat down in the front seat next to the kind stranger who stopped to take me home, assuming it would be a silent ride. As soon as I buckled up he asked me where I was from, and when he heard Neve Daniel he immediately started to talk about you and Stella and your children, and how Hashem loves you so much and how he love all of us and we love him even though we don’t understand why he does what he does. I was drawing such comfort from him, thinking that only in Israel do you sit in a total stranger’s car and get such words of strength and comfort. I felt like Hashem had sent him not to take me home but to tell me what I needed to hear. He then proceeded to tell me that he is Nofar’s gradfather, and how he and his family felt the need to come to you as soon as they got up from Shiva even though they did not know you because all Jews are one family and we have to help each other and comfort each other. He spoke about meeting your beautiful children, and how it gave him comfort to know that his granddaughter is buried next to Stella. By the time we reached our destination I stepped out of the car with a renewed feeling of “mi kaamcha yisrael Goy echad baaretz”. May Hashem comfort you and give you the strength to continue strengthening all of those who you come in contact with.

  8. Joshua Frankl says:

    we have all been following the family through this. I just wanted to tell you how incredibly uplifting even your darkest posts were, because it gave us another reason to take a moment to really appreciate everything that we have, and maybe hold onto that for a little while longer. To tell our wives, and children, our parents and siblings, our friends how much we care and love them. Know that we are thinking about you guys all the time and wish that there was something, anything that we could do or say to make you all feel less pain than you do. Love to you all, Josh Frankl and the Jersey Frankls

  9. toby says:

    I heard you tell that amazing two-part story when I came to the shiva, and it absolutely blew me away – I’ve been telling it to everyone I see every day since then 🙂 You actually managed to make me feel better about both Stella and Nofar, which I certainly wasn’t expecting to happen when I came to your house. Thank you so much! We wish only the best for you and your family from here on in – may your memories of Stella continue to be a blessing to you all.