In memory of a dear friend, role model, teacher and scholar, Avigail Rock z”l.
Avigail influenced my desire to grow in Torah learning beyond the walls of the classroom. Her ability to draw on literary and artistic examples in parallel to teaching Tanach spoke to me and spurred me on to look at artworks of a biblical nature in a different light. Whenever I came across these paintings (for work or pleasure) I shared these experiences with Avigail. Firstly, because I knew she would appreciate it and secondly, to hear if she had any additional input to help me understand these works better.
Not only did Avigail have a breadth of knowledge that inspired me time and time again but she also had the ability to connect with her students. She always made a point of calling her students by name as they asked or answered questions. The capacity to draw each of her students into the lesson and bring them closer to her is a trait worthy of mention.
Avigail was able to connect with people of all ages. She developed a special bond with my daughter, Na’ama. I believe this relationship started to take shape when we carpooled to piano chug when Na’ama was 8 years old. Their friendship developed as Na’ama sat next to Avigail in shul and they became ‘davening buddies’. She kept an eye out for my daughter at a time when I couldn’t be present in shul. For Na’ama’s bat mitzvah I knew without a doubt that I wanted Avigail to be involved in some way. To have such a role-model address Na’ama at this important milestone in her life was a tremendous zchut. The bat mitzvah kiddush fell on Shabbat Chanuka so an obvious choice for Avigail was to incorporate a perek Tehillim in her Dvar Torah )to which she often made reference(: .מזמור שיר חנוכת הבית לדודAnother topic Avigail taught with passion was that of the story of Yosef. She encouraged Na’ama and me to learn this together in preparation for the bat mitzvah referring to perushim by Nechama Lebowitz. All these aspects of Avigail’s relationship with Na’ama will remain with her forever.
Joslynne Halibard and family