Transition from one stage of life to the next, a letter to a psycopomp
Groom’s Letter to Parents, Remembered After Fatal Hit and Run
By JOSEPH BERGER
A letter Nathan Glauber wrote to his parents on his wedding day. Click to enlarge.
The young groom took some moments on his wedding day to write a letter thanking his parents for never sparing time or money if he needed, say, a tutor or an eye doctor, and for sending him to yeshiva “to learn your values, religious and worldly, until I reached to this current lucky moment.”
Children, Nathan Glauber wrote, often do not understand what parents do for them until they mature and have their own children, so he asked them to forgive him for any pain he may have caused them.
“I feel a sting in my heart that I’m already leaving your warm home,” he wrote.
The letter, in Yiddish, has a haunting quality because Mr. Glauber and his pregnant wife, Raizy, were killed Sunday morning by a speeding driver in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as they rode in a livery cab to see a doctor about the health of their fetus. The baby was delivered three months premature but died the next day. The episode has deeply upset the Satmar Hasidic community that they were a part of, if not much of New York.
Undated photo of Nathan and Raizy Glauber, who were killed in a hit-and-run accident on Sunday. Ms. Glauber was six months pregnant with their first son, who died Monday, a day after being delivered.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Hasidim were sending BlackBerry messages to one another with photographs of the Yiddish letter, which is signed with the name Nachman, Nathan Glauber’s Hebrew name. The Glauber family is in mourning and could not confirm the letter’s authenticity, but associates of the family say the handwriting is Nathan Glauber’s.
Nathan and Raizy Glauber, both 21, were married roughly a year ago and a photograph shows them smiling in their wedding garb, with Mr. Glauber in a long belted ceremonial coat, his head crowned with a round fur shtreimel. Hasidim do not customarily write such letters to their parents before a wedding, said Rabbi David Niederman, executive director of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg.
Here is the text of a translation provided by a reader:
To my dear parents:
In these imminent joyous and highly spiritual moments of my life, when I’m heading to my chupa to begin my own family, I feel a sting in my heart that I’m already leaving your warm home.
I feel an obligation to thank you for everything you did for me since I was a small child. You did not spare time, energy and money, whether it was when I needed a private tutor to learn or an eye doctor or general encouragement. Also, later on, you helped me to succeed in my Torah studies, you sent me to yeshiva to learn your values, religious and worldly, until I reached to this current lucky moment.
Even though I’m leaving your home (actually I’m not leaving, I’m bringing in an additional family member) I want to tell you that all the education and values you taught me I’ll – with God’s help — take along with me in my new home, and continue to plant the same education in my home and kids that God will grant me.
But since kids do not grasp what parents are, and how much they do for them, and only when he matures and – with God’s help — have their own kids, they could realize it. And unfortunately I may have caused you a lot of pain; I am asking you to please forgive me.
I’m asking you, I’m dependent on your prayers, pray for me and my bride, and I will pray for you.
I pray to God that Daddy and Mommy should see lots of pride and delight from me and my special bride, until the final redemption of the Messiah.
From your son who admires and thanks you and will always love you.