On July 17, 1968 a horrific tragedy struck my family. On that day, also known as the 24th of Tammuz, my mother’s parents and grandmother were killed in a freak and devastating car accident in New York City.
I was born three years later, so I never knew those grandparents.
Though I’ve tried over the years to honor their memory in various ways.
Our son, Yaakov, is named after the grandfather I never met. Our daughter, Tsofia, who was named on the 42nd anniversary of the accident, is named after the great-grandmother I never met. And I carry the name of my grandmother, Chana.
12 years ago my husband and I decided to buy our first home. While prices back then were far lower than they are now, buying a home in Jerusalem was already a serious investment. But my parents told me that they had money set aside to help us make the down payment.
I thought this money came from my parents, and it was only later on that they explained that this money came from my mother’s parents who had invested in a small, unknown computer company called IBM.
It was a bit of an eery experience, discovering that these grandparents I never even met had provided a home for me and my growing family.
A reminder, I felt, of the blessings we receive and pass on to generations we have never met or never will.
This morning I came across these photos from the advertising campaign for the Calvin Klein perfume “Eternity.”
I was surprised by the photos. I would have thought that “Eternity” would be represented by photos of the Sun or the sea or possibly the Grand Canyon. Primordial things, almost as ancient as the universe itself.
But, instead, Calvin Klein chose to represent eternity with the opposite: through photos of people who have been walking the earth only a couple of years– very young children with their parents.
So Jewish, right?
A reminder of the traditions and Torah and love and blessings we receive and pass on through our children. Whom we love and educate. To their children, and their children’s children, and their children’s children’s children.
To all the generations we will vicariously touch, but never see.
And from them, to eternity, IY”H.