About two and a half years ago, Tair Taib (Abudraham) lost her husband Yuval and it was a painful loss. Today we want to come full circle and tell you about her great salvation which involved a lot of prayers, faith, and courage.
A year after Yuval died, he appeared in her dream. It was a particularly formative dream, for Yuval encouraged her to move on with her life. “When I woke up and remembered the dream, I understood that I wasn't ready yet – neither mentally nor emotionally, I simply was unable to put the pain aside.”
What helped her not wallow in her pain? The evenings in which she led women in a community Challah separating project was what helped. “On every such evening, I stood in front of dozens of women – I spoke faith, I strengthened and encouraged them, but when it came to my personal life I just froze. On the one hand I knew that I had to start to move on and start implementing what I believe in and project to these women, but it was very hard for me.”
Another year passed. When the month of Elul came, Tair decided to accept an invitation to lead a Challah separating event at Rachel's Tomb. “After we finished the blessings, I went to Rachel's grave and for the first time in a long time, I felt the need to ask specifically for myself and not for others. I prayed and asked our matriarch Rachel: “My Mother Rachel, just as you gave up your husband Jacob to your sister Leah I too gave up my Yuval because that is what G-d wanted. We both gave up our husbands. So I ask of you to help me and recommend on my behalf on high – that this month I should merit to build a loyal home in Israel.”
At the same time, Tair took it upon herself to light a candle for Mother Rachel, to recite a Psalm and pray for her match for 40 days.
Thankfully, the prayer was answered and less than a month later! Tair will meet Harel Silbera, someone from her own town who converted to Judaism 11 years ago and moved to Rishon Lezion.
Who arranged your match?
“His sister is my mother’s good friend. During one of her visits to our home, she got the idea that Harel and I were both people that came back to Judaism, and she made the introductions.”
How did you feel about it?
On the one hand, as a widow, I knew I could not clean my heart one hundred percent. Part of me would always belong to Yuval, my late husband. But I knew that if I wanted children I could not wallow in the past. I had to let go, and allow myself to meet someone new. “
'I wish I would get a heavenly sign, to know Yuval blesses me'
With divine assistance, their dates went well, and after a few months, Tair and Harel decided to get married. “A month before the wedding, we went together to the cemetery to ask for Yuval's blessing,” recalls Tair with emotion mixed with pain. Harel and I both went through a long process till our paths crossed and we both felt there’s no such thing as a coincidence. When we left Yuval’s grave back to the car Harel told me that the first thing he said to Yuval at his grave was, 'Thank you for saving Tair for me.' “It was very moving.”
The day before the wedding, Tair kept her habit of seeking spiritual elevation by going to the graves of the righteous. “Among all the things I prayed for were for Harel and our new home that we’re building together. I said to myself: 'I wish I would get a sign from the heavens,that Yuval blesses me.”
A few hours later when she prayed at the grave of Rabbi Meir Baal Haness her wish was fulfilled. “After my prayer, a woman approached me and said, 'Excuse me, are you from Kiryat Shmona?' I said, “Yes” Then she asked me: Are you Yuval Abudraham's widow, “Yes,” I said. I did not know this woman or where her questions were headed, but her next question stunned me: 'Are you in a relationship?' She asked. 'Tomorrow I'm getting married,' I told her in a trembling voice.”
“I’ll never forget what happened next! This woman did not stop blessing me,” recalls Tair. “And I do not know how, but somehow I felt that it was the soul of Yuval, who is with me all the way, sees me, knows what I'm going through and gives me it’s blessing for the future.”
About a week ago, Tair and Harel stood under the wedding canopy, on their way to building a new family. But Tair would never replace her previous family: “I merited an amazing and special family that I still consider my family. Wherever I am, Yuval's family will accompany me. Their support and understanding, gave me strength in my most difficult moments, when I thought I would never be able to overcome this test.
“Yuval's two brothers, Eliran and Avi, stood under my wedding canopy and treated me with so much respect that I do not take it for granted. They wished us Mazal Tov and I know they were really happy for us.” And her ex-mother-in-law, Esther also really appreciates Tair and Tair says of Esther: “She is a noble woman, with great mental strength, and I will never forget her and her family. I will lead them in their joys, and she will be in my joys. They are part of me forever. “
About Harel: “He agreed to go on this path with me, with great strength and with alot of understanding”
Tair's relationship with Yuval's family is so strong that it was clear that one of the Sheva Brachot parties during their first week of marriage would be celebrated at his parents' home. Yuval's family received the couple with great joy and excitement.
How did you feel in those moments?
“It was hard to explain, there were a lot of feelings and memories at once, and on the one hand, I felt Yuval in all my limbs and I knew that he was giving me the 'feedback' I needed so much. On the other hand, my knees were weak from fear. If it were not for Harel’s understanding and support, I don't know if I'd have managed to get through it. Before I knew him, during the Challah separating evening events I conducted, I always told widowed women that whoever married them would mean he had a great soul. It's not easy to live with someone who has someone else in her heart, but Harel agreed to do that with me, with great mental strength and with a great deal of understanding. We talk about everything, and it's fun to know that there is someone there who can understand everything, the good and the difficult.”
Today, after the long journey and the dozens of women Tair strengthened along the way, Tair gives great thanks to the Creator. “It is true it involved great pain, but I wouldn’t have merited running the Challah separating evenings which strengthened so many Jewish women if I had not known Yuval. Through my pain and loss I learned how to be more accurate in my prayers; to thank G-d for the good and how to ask and pray to Him for what I lack – from a place of thanksgiving and seeing the glass half full.”
In conclusion what do you have to say to widowed women who lived through the same pain? “The choice is in our hands. As long as we decide not to move forward, nothing will happen. We are all afraid, but it is important to put the fear aside, and ask G-d to lead us in the sense of “Draw me after you and I will run.” (Song of Songs 1, 4) When you choose to follow G-d, He leads you to what is yours.
“You can look back from time to time, at the past – but not in order to wallow in it, but in order to take strength from it to continue. You can’t change the past, so tell the Creator: 'Thank you for the years of grace you gave me with my husband. I don’t know why you took him, but I understand that you want something else for me’. “That is how I prayed to G-d, and I knew that there was no chance that the Creator would let me go through what I had gone through and leave me empty-handed. Of course I had moments when I had internal battles with myself, but whoever goes with simplicity – G-d helps him put the pain aside, despite the difficulty. “