Remembering Chagit bat Leah

Remembering Chagit bat Leah

My dear friend, Chagit bat Leah Lozon, passed away this past Thursday after a 2-year battle with cancer. When she died, she was only 39-years-old and a devoted wife and mother to 5 children ranging between the ages 3 and 11.

During the hundreds of afternoons that Chagit and I shared at the neighborhood playground, we enjoyed countless hours discussing faith and children and miracles and marriage and everything under the Mediterranean sun. Looking back, I realize that Chagit wasn’t only a great friend to me. Chagit was also, hands down, one of the most inspiring human beings I have ever known.

I wanted to share a few stories to give you a sense of this holy woman that I was privileged to call a friend and neighbor for over a decade.

*For many years, Chagit ran the neighborhood clothing Gemach or lending society. Chagit put her heart and soul into that gemach, because performing acts of kindness for others brought Chagit more joy than just about anything else in the world. Before every holiday, Chagit would set aside and deliver to my door the most gorgeous dresses for my daughters for the upcoming holiday. Over the course of many years, I’m sure that Chagit saved my family thousands of dollars with those pre-holiday deliveries. But what I realized over the years is that we were far from the only family she helped in this way. On many occasions, when I would compliment a neighbor on an outfit or remark on the beautiful outfit her child was wearing, the neighbor would answer, “Oh this? Chagit brought this over for me…She knew exactly what I would like…” At Chagit’s funeral, which was attended by hundreds of people even though it took place outside on the coldest and stormiest day of the year, Chagit’s husband eulogized her perfectly when he said, “Chagit loved every person here, and every person here loved her. And she did acts of kindness for each and every one of you…” and I’m sure it was true.

*Financial stability was something that Chagit and her family never enjoyed. Paying rent, tuition, bills, and the debts at the corner store was a constant, ongoing struggle. A few years back, Chagit’s family even found themselves homeless for 4 months after their landlord raised their rent. Chagit was a very home-oriented person, the kind of woman who derived tremendous pleasure from making her home beautiful and cooking and baking and hosting her many close friends from around the country. Therefore, I can only imagine how incredibly challenging it must have been for Chagit in particular to be moving from friend’s house to friend’s house with her 4 children (she had one more child 3 years ago). But, while being homeless was clearly extremely frustrating and upsetting for Chagit, she never failed to see God’s hand in that and every challenge she experienced (and she experienced many). Chagit never stopped praying and believing that Hashem would help her to find a home in Nachlaot that they could afford. And she never stopped telling me that there was something she was supposed to be learning from what she was going through. In the end, Hashem answered Chagit’s prayers. She found an affordable apartment right next door to her Gemach, which she felt was a dream come true.

*For several years, Chagit hosted a weekly class in her home on faith and trust in God by the popular teacher Rabbanit Shulamit Fisher. Women from all over Jerusalem would flock to Chagit’s home on Monday mornings to hear those famous classes, which were always accompanied by a home-baked cake and refreshments prepared by Chagit. Even though I never attended that class, I sort of felt like I did, since Chagit lived that class. Every challenge she went through, she would say “Tatty, zeh atah!” “Father in Heaven, this is You!” The truth is that every conversation with Chagit was like a lesson in faith. Slowly but surely she taught me, as well, to start seeing God’s hand in every situation.

*Chagit was a person who seemed to live above the laws of nature. When I was in my 3rd pregnancy, Chagit told me that she had dreamt that I would give birth to a baby girl. When I did give birth to a girl, and we named her Maayan, Chagit wasn’t surprised. That, she told me, was the name I had given the baby in her dream.

*A friend named Michal just told me that a few years ago, she spent a few weeks working at Chagit’s gemach. One day, a customer had a very unusual request. He wanted to buy all 200+ men’s shirts on sale at the Gemach. Michal called Chagit to figure out what she should do, concerned that they would be left without any men’s shirts for other customers. Chagit answered right away, “Sell him all the shirts! Don’t worry, Michal, we will give them away and Hashem will give us more!” So Michal sold the shirts, and sure enough, within an hour another man brought by two huge garbage bags stuffed full with men’s shirts! It sounds too incredible to be true, but believe me, that was what life with Chagit was like.

*This is a strange story, I know, and I hesitate whether to include it. But I will, because it affected me very deeply… This past Friday morning, broken by Chagit’s death and the thought of her devastated husband and 5 orphaned children, I went to daven at the gravesite of a great rebbe. After reading a chapter of Psalms for Chagit, I heard Chagit’s voice speaking to me. Chagit sounded quiet and far away, but I could hear her very clearly. She said, “Chana, stop crying! Stop crying! You have no idea how good it is for me in Heaven! It is so good for me here! God knows exactly what He is doing. He loves us and is taking care of us, and you will see how everything will be fine with my husband and the children. Don’t cry!” Maybe it was my imagination…But hearing those words consoled me at that broken moment, and they are still consoling me today…

Because they remind me that even though Chagit’s is no longer with us on a physical level, on a spiritual level Chagit lives on.

May Chagit Lozon’s legacy of unshakable faith and earthshaking kindness continue to inspire and serve as a model for her children and for all of us.

Chagit, I love you, and will miss you so much.

Passover is coming up, and I am collecting money to buy new holiday clothing for Chagit’s 5 young orphans as well as for other necessities for the orphans over the coming months. Please click below to donate to this worthy cause.





Photo courtesy of Anaelia ben David

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10 comments

  1. Chaya H.

    Jenny, I’m so so sorry. Your post is a beautiful tribute to your friend. We would like to help with the clothing for Chagit’s children.

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing this with us. Chagit sounds so beautiful and wonderful.

  3. Chaya Jenny, Hashem filled you with Chagit’s emunah so that one day, when you would hear her voice from Olam Haba, you would KNOW it to be true…

    Baruch Dayan Emet

  4. This was so beautifully written, as a young mother myself struggling with the same horrible disease. I take inspiration from your friend. Only good things from here on ou and Moshiach Now!!!

  5. Margalit

    BS”D

    Shalom Jannah….
    Ayyyyyy coebli haleb…. eizo shabua…. nora meod, meod…
    Ani mebina otaj…. vegam mebina et Jagit… haia li hamajala hazot, haia zeman kashe, kashe, kashe: bishbili, bishbil mishpaja sheli, bishbil javerim sheli…
    Ani maamina she Jagit rotza she at margisha beshalom, vegam im bitajon she HaShem, Hu HaMelej, kemo nikre beJag Purim, Beezrat HaShem…
    Sof…. berajot miBuenos Aires, Argentina!!!

    Pd. SHEVA: ANI ETPALEL BISHBILEJ, HACOL IHIE BESEDER, KEN?

  6. I’m so sorry for our loss of Chagit A”H… I don’t know her personally but from your article I can feel her impact that she made on the world. There’s so much pain prevailing in the world right now, so much darkness and gloom. I hope Hashem gives the world the strength to move on and refine the world to a better place.

    And let’s all pray for Sheva’s complete recovery now!

  7. I loved your article. I have known Chagit z”l a little bit, and you described her so well. When me and my family were living at my mother-in-law’s because of financial difficulties, she would tell me to trust in h’ and just rent an apartment. She said that somehow, h’ had always given them just enough parnasah by miracles. Now I read that she herself also had difficulties in this field.

    When Chagit was already ill, but I did not yet know about this, she heard how me and my family finally moved to our own appartment. She was so happy for me. When I realised that at the time she expressed her happiness for me, she was actually very ill, I was moved to tears. Even though she was going trough this horrible, horrible thing, she could still be so sincerely happy for others.

    Our neighbourhood is not the same without her. She is so missed. z”l

  8. What a beautiful way to honor your friend. Thank you for sharing.

  9. We are blessed with many things that perhaps this family could use please give me a way to contact you about what they might need. You have my email.
    Baruch Dayan Emet
    May you and the family be comforted among the mourners of zion

  10. Susanna Rossen

    A very moving tribute to your good and holy friend. How I would love to have known her! Thank you Chana Jenny for generously sharing your life with us.

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