In October 1968, a young lady in
Belarus gave birth to her firstborn child. That young lady was my mother
Maria, and I was that baby.
Maria and Leon
Maria was also born in Belarus. She was still a newborn when her family had
to flee from the Nazis in 1940. During the war she was wounded from
ammunition shrapnel, but her life was miraculously spared. She grew
up in an economically challenged home and had a tough childhood and
adolescence. For that reason she never denied me or my children the
privileges of life. She cared deeply and practically for her family, gave
preference to the needs of others and had a servant's heart.
One morning in August 2014, at the beginning of the new school year, my
bedridden mother called me to check whether I had remembered to take my own
youngest children to school(!). Later that same day I received a
'phone call from her caretaker, who said that my mom had passed away.
It all happened so suddenly, and yet even on her last day on earth, she was
thinking of others.
Unlike many Jews in the Former Soviet Union, my mother received a good
Jewish upbringing. However, the family culture under the heavy-handed
Soviet rule of Communism did not encourage an open expression of emotions
or communication within the family. In retrospect, I see this as a great
loss - the Iron Curtain had covered our hearts as well as our nation. Now
that my dear mother has gone to be with the Lord, I do have one regret: not
having spent enough quality, heart-to-heart time with her. With God's
help I try to act differently with my own children.
Nina and Leon with
his parents on their wedding day
Growing up, as she did, in an atheistic regime, Mom was not very
spiritually oriented. She did, however, enjoy attending our Messianic
services from time to time. I am greatly consoled by her confession of
faith in Yeshua the Messiah, during the concluding days of her earthly
Of course, even after the seven day Shiva (the Jewish mourning
period), we are still grieving as a family. But with the hope given to us
through the New Covenant, we know we'll be reunited one day!
Maria and Avraham
Some may have esteemed my mother for her devotion to her family. In my eyes
her great value is based on the fact that she was created in the image of
God. Death has NO power or authority to destroy this image.
"He is not the God of the dead, but of the living ..." (Mark 12:27)
He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ... and the God of Maria, my
mother. May she rest in peace.
I thank our ministry friends for their prayers and support during our
time of bereavement.
to the work of Shavei Tzion.
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19:09 30Oct14 Eva -
Thank you for sharing Leon, we honor the life of your mother and
your honoring heart toward her ... May HIS impartation cover you
with strength and everything you need today and the days to come,
shalom with prayers
19:46 30Oct14 SH -
My deepest sympathy in the loss of your mother, Maria. From your
article, it is obvious that she adored her family and that you
adored her as well. She will be missed, no doubt. But, praise
the Lord, Yeshua, that He has prepared a place for us ... and one
day we all (believers) will sit at His feet. Hallelujah!
08:56 31Oct14 Mike and Liz Powell -
Thank you for sharing so personally with us on the loss of your
mother. You are so humble and honest Leon - we love you and will
be praying for you and all the family.
19:18 10Nov14 Judith Beamish -
I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. There is
such a void isn't there? I loved meeting you on the tour a
year ago. It was wonderful.