Praying for Others
By Vivian Marino
In 2015, my husband and I visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City. Inside, there is an art installation with a quote from the poet Virgil that states, “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” It alludes to the notion that the day you die is not your defining moment; it is just one day of the many that you lived.
Fast forward to April 8, 2021, I came across an Instagram account highlighting the website illuminatethepast.org, an organization founded to increase the awareness and education of the Holocaust for future generations.
The website invites anyone to light a virtual candle in honor of a victim. My victim was Feiga Hassenfratz, born in 1878 in Ispas, Romania (now Ukraine). She died at age 63 in the Holocaust.
After lighting the candle, the quote from the museum instantly came to my mind, and I continued to pray for her.
For over a year now, I have prayed for Feiga daily. She is like an old friend, but one I’ve never met. Recently, I got an idea to request something from her; something I believe she placed in my heart. The request was simple and unique. I asked her to send me a piece of Ghiradelli sea salt chocolate, because I always imagined her eating chocolate in heaven.
I had no doubt it would happen.
Days passed, and life got busy. One day, my daughter asked me to take her to the store to grab things for a party. As we were checking out, I casually looked to the side of me. Sitting in a bowl was a bunch of chocolate squares. The one on top was a piece of Ghiradelli sea salt chocolate; the very one I had asked for from Feiga!
This was no coincidence. She heard me from the beginning, and she continues to hear me today.
I have written this as a testimony to the power of prayer, and to validate that those we pray for hear us though they may not send us signs. Once the veil is lifted, we will realize just how close they really are to us.
My prayer is that, on the day I pass, I will be greeted by my longtime friend Feiga with some sea salt chocolate. I can imagine her words to me, “I’ve been waiting for you! And I saved you the good chocolate!”