The Gestetner and Polonsky families have penned the following open letter of thanks to the Crown Heights community and to the Jewish community at large, for the outpouring of kindness and prayers during the past few difficult weeks leading up to and after the tragic passing of Shua Polonsky, OBM:
The Gestetner – Polonsky families would like to express our deep, immense gratitude, appreciation and overflowing hakoras hatov for all the gemilas chasadim (kindness) boundless goodness and personal concern extended to us over these past few nightmarish weeks. From here in Crown Heights and from around the world you have all stood by our side and davened for our Yehoshua Polonsky. Your tefilos, mitzvos and tzedaka in his merit were overwhelming. May the zechus of your deeds travel with Shua’s holy neshamah in olam hoemes.
To say that we have been completely overwhelmed by your kindness is an understatement. We are humbled by your hachnosas orchim, the way you stretched out your hands and opened your hearts towards our family. You have literally carried us, sustained us and comforted us in our darkest of days. Your love, your tefilos, your tzedoko, your challah bakes, your tehilim groups, your rallies, your good wishes from near and far and your food that was on constant tap has literally nourished us emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Like the enveloping protective shield of the annaney hakoved you too, traveled with us and offered rides to and from the hospital, you brought toys for the children and well thought out care packages would arrive on a daily basis. Your generous meals would arrive three times a day to the hospital to feed our extended family. As well as meals to Simi’s house in case she arrived home from hospital, so that she too would have food for herself and the children. Meals to the shiva house each one beautifully packaged, every detail carefully considered. You gave with dignity and graciousness. You brought us light in difficult times.
We acknowledge graciously the tremendous assistance from the Bikur Cholim organisations of Crown Heights and the greater Brooklyn and New York areas their support was practical, generous and overflowing.
You have an astounding breathtaking community here in Crown Heights, we are in awe of your magnificence. Chesed is your crowning glory. As parents as we leave to Australia and Cleveland we carry with us much anguish and pain but are comforted in the knowledge that you carry Simi and her children in your hearts.
The minhag (custom) is to offer the blessing of ‘hamokom yenachem eschem’ after a petirah. We have been the recipients of the blessings of this Hamakom. All of us have been strengthened by this makom of Crown Heights and indeed the makom of the entire Jewish world. Mi keamcha Yisrael. Our emunah, betachon and faith has been fortified from your mokom that has been home for Shua and Simi these past number of years. We have been humbled by your home, your neighborhood, this place called Crown Heights. You have crowned us with many measures of comfort.
May Hashem repay you all with brochos of hatzlocha and good tidings for each of your personal requests and may we merit that your neighborhood Crown Heights be transported speedily to Yerusholayim and may we be zocheh to the geulah shelama bimhara beyamenu mamash.
May Yehoshua Refael halevi ben Hershel Leib be “a gutter beter” for all of Klal Yisrael.
Elozer and Miri Gestetner, Leonardo and Yocheved Polonsky