Editor’s Note: On erev Rosh Hashanah, Hashem called back a precious neshamah who was beloved by the whole community. Rachel Baron lived an inspirational life full of chesed and simcha. In spite of her long and painful illness, she taped the following message to help others during difficult times.
The birds are singing Shirah today. They are happy to be alive. Do you know that Hashem loves Shirah, and human beings too. We have to take life to the maximum and appreciate it. I realize every day that life is a big gift. Sometimes we are afraid and we worry but we have to remember “ein od milvado,” Hashem really runs the world.
It is important to be modest and to feel valuable. Being modest is to know who you really are. That Hashem gave it to you and you should appreciate that. Modesty is not denying what you are; it’s acknowledging that what you are is from Hashem.
It’s important to go to shiurim because it helps you grow in life. When a person stops growing, he stops living. You always have to go and learn and learn more because the sky is the limit. Send your hand and reach it and get it. One of the things that gives me koach to continue in my fight is to go to shiurim. When I go to shiurim and to the Amen Group, my neshamah is blooming and growing and it gives me koach. People say, “Are you sure that you can go?” It’s important to push myself to learn and grow. If you zero in on growing, life is mo>
The more I go to the medical field to find a cure for my big C, the more I know there is nobody like Hashem, and if He wants He can cure me in a second, and He will, b’ezras Hashem.
I always say that after 120 when they ask me what I did with my life I’ll say I sang Hallel to the Amen group. Every time before I do Hallel I get very nervous and worried because leading the tzibur is a big achrayus especially praising Hashem. Shirah is being in line with the ratzon Hashem.
The journey Hashem blessed me to go, which I’m so lucky to have, is to be b’simcha, and one of the best ways to be b’simcha is to sing, and I hope Hashem loves my singing as much as I love to sing to Him. To me to be able to sing to Hashem is like hand in hand. When I am scared, instead of dwelling on fear, I sing and it takes the fear away.
That’s why I can relate so much to (and I like to sing this tune in Hallel) “she’ha’ikar lo lefached” the song of Rabbi Nachman. The world is a narrow bridge and the most important thing in life is not to be scared. When I am scared it helps me to go to Rabbi Nachman’s tune that all the world is really a narrow bridge and we shouldn’t be scared. Instead of being scared, I try to be happy.
One of the things that I want to say is that fear takes away from our simcha. It’s very important to know that when you are afraid, tre meaningful. I’m trying to learn more and grow more and bloom more in the garden.
I think this experience shows that we think we have control and can reach the sky and take care of everything, and then we find out that really ein od milvado and we don’t have control at all. He’s the one that is running the world and there is nothing like G‑d and there is nothing besides Hashem. When you want to make your wishes and dreams come true, it’s up to you. G‑d is running the world but you can have the effort to make your wishes come true, because they can—lo bashamayim he. I know I wanted to be a journalist and people said it’s too hard, but if you want it you can make it and zero in on the doing. Take your time, estimate, and see how you can make your dream come true, and it should all come true in a beautiful way.
A lot of times I find myself struggling about being bsimcha. It doesn’t come to me naturally not to be afraid. I want to learn to be bsimcha and connect to simcha because this is how you get in touch with Hashem. The cane and the walker are just accessories. As long as I can still walk it’s a big thing. Don’t think that I’m a hero; it doesn’t come easily, but I work on being oved Hashem bsimcha and that is the motto of my life.
I like to go on the wild side. Once on a family vacation, we went on a boat, and jumped from the boat to go snorkeling. I went scuba diving. One of the best vacations in the world is scuba diving, so I wanted to give my kids all the adventures I liked. It’s important to be adventurous—jump in the water and just do it. Don’t miss out in life.
Giving to others is important to me. Sometimes, when I was organizing evenings to raise money for tzedakah, it came on the cheshbon of the children, which I am sorry about.
Zero in on chesed and tzedakah and making people happy. It is my goal in life, I promised G‑d to make people happy as long as he is keeping me here. Now I am trying to make shidduchim. I am trying to involve the community with chesed. You can change the world by working on the little circle around you. It’s like throwing a stone in the water and making ripples.
It’s important to be mesameach chatan and kallah and ba’al simcha. People say: “You are going everywhere to a simcha.” It’s very important to be mesameach people and zero in on the positive and appreciate the other person’s simcha. When you honor him and you say I love you I want to be mesameach with you. It’s not about you, it’s about being happy for the other person.
I think priorities are important, making decisions, having clarity. A lot of the battles have to do with accepting the machla and working with it and how to deal with it with briyut hanefesh and briyut haguf. How to treat people, how to make decisions, what to prioritize. You’re not alone because Hashem is with you but you’re pretty much out in the dark trying to fight.
A lot of times lately I am having these thoughts about life and how to deal, and sometimes you get falling down to fear and anxious about life. In these moments I have to remember that Hashem is good to me, and zero in on the thanks and all my blessings, like my husband Hershel and the kids and my family. Being a mother was the best present that I got from Hashem.
I am human and sometimes I get scared, but when I zero in on thanking Hashem for what I have, I consider myself very lucky and appreciate what I have. Instead of falling down to fear I should zero in on singing and thanking G‑d for what He blessed me with—all my family, amazing friends, amazing community surrounding me with so much love. Lucky me, I don’t think anyone has the support group that I have. I am showered with love and presents and encouragement that helps me to walk around my life and make my journey happy as can be.
In a way, I appreciate G‑d giving me this test, because I’m so lucky to have love all around, and the cancer helped me realize what I have also. You can learn from that, really you have to focus on the full cup. Because you can choose to be bitter and upset, or look at your blessings. I think love is the key to live your life. You should concentrate on shirah, simcha, and love. Love is what builds the world. It gives me koach to continue. Thank you all family and friends.