Rabbi Henoch Dov Hoffman on Debbie

I can't possibly write about her as eloquently as she wrote about our studies together. She found me as a study partner 10 years ago by googling "Ishbitz teacher". She is the only one whoever made that google entry. It was beshert guided by the hand of our teacher the Aish Kodesh. We studied together almost every Thursday morning, Melbourne time for 10 years. During the last 2 years Rabbi Genede joined us. It seems fitting that she found out about the cancer and she died on a Thursday morning. Devorah told me 3 weeks ago that her favorite Aish Kodesh was Chukat 1942. I have taken great pains to teach this piece in honor of Devorah during the last 3 weeks both in Denver and in Israel as my students can attest. The piece is about Miriam's death. She reached up and kissed Hashem when she died. She got credit for all of her initiative in Torah study because she was a woman. Men don't get credit for their study because they are commanded. Women get full credit for their Torah because the are not commanded. Moshe couldn't teach after Miriam died and that's why he hit the rock. Miriam taught him how to walk into his mistake and leave the camp alone and go to Baal Peor to die alone. Only then, when Moshe followed Miriam, did Moshe become Moshe Rabbeinu, our teacher.Only the could he again connect masculine waters to the feminine waters.

Devorah was the feminine water for Ralph and I. She inspired me to see the chasidut that we diligently studied together from the perspective of Miriam's water bubbling up from the ground. The Aish Kodesh wrote her eulogy in 1942. I can do no better. If anyone sees Miriam's/ Devorah's rock please tell me so that I can again feel her waters bubbling up from the ground. I have no doubt that Devorah also got credit for all her Torah and died reaching up to kiss Hashem.

—Henoch Dov Hoffman

Posted on August 21, 2011 .