Mazal Tov, Miriam! (3-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Mazal Tov, Miriam! (3-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Some fantastic news about my next-door neighbor, a young widow.

My next-door neighbor, Miriam, is a lovely person. A young grandmother in her late 50s whose husband passed away 2 years ago.

You actually all heard about Miriam, because she was the anonymous nurse at Shaarei Tsedek Hospital who personally delivered the hundreds of notes you JewishMOMs sent a few weeks ago to Shira Ishran.

But that wasn’t the first time you heard from me about Miriam.

Exactly two years ago last month, shortly after her husband’s death, I wrote the following blog post about her. And this is what I wrote:

This week, I was listening to a class by Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi. And at the class’ end, Rabbanit Yemima asked each woman attending her class to turn to the woman sitting beside her, place her hands on that woman’s head, and bless her and pray for her. Unfortunately, I was listening to a recording, so I was all alone (unless my washer and dryer count), but I stopped right there on my porch, and turned my heart to the woman next door.

My dear neighbor Miriam, a young grandmother, became a widow the day before this past Yom Kippur. I saw when the ambulance arrived, and when the chevra kadisha came several hours later to remove her beloved husband’s body. I was at the funeral that night, and at the shiva the next day. But for some reason, I never cried for Miriam, for her grief, for her loneliness, for her marriage cut short so abruptly and irrevocably, until this week, listening to Rabbanit Yemima’s class, standing by my washer and dryer.

As the tears poured down, I prayed that Miriam should be healthy, that she should have nachat from all her children and grandchildren, that Hashem should bring her comfort, that she should…(should I dare?) find love again. Find a zivug shanee to build a second floor to the solid, joyous home which she built with her first husband, Yisrael.

So, now, fast forward two years and a month since I wrote those words. This Friday afternoon I heard Miriam’s voice, and blessings of Mazal tov!

Had one of Miriam’s sons gotten engaged? Maybe she had a new grandchild?

But then I found out that the mazal tov was for Miriam’s herself. Miriam got engaged this Friday to a man named Chaim who was also widowed around 2 years ago. Chaim happens to be the grandfather of my daughter’s good friend (you also read about that friend on She wrote the impassioned letter I posted this past August about smartphones.

So, JewishMOM, the reason I’m sharing this story is not only because I am so excited for my dear neighbor Miriam!

But also because I want to remind you, and myself, that the next time we have nearly given up hope–for your child, your husband, your friend, your family member, yourself. Then I suggest you remember how nearly hopeless I felt, just two years ago, regarding Miriam’s chances at finding love again.

Mazal tov! Only simchas!


  1. Beautiful story Chana Jenny!! Mazel tov Miriam!

  2. I love this message. The power of prayer. And Chana is a powerful prayer name to have. It’s my middle name. And you Chana davened for me four years ago to have more children and BH I have been blessed with three more. I need to remember this big bracha as these three close in age are being very challenging!

  3. I love the comparison to the second floor, how beautiful and comforting!

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email