Tuesday, February 15, 2022

For Orli Sarah Sheffey, ז״ל

Unimaginable Grief: On Sunday, Abq Jew was deeply saddened - no, utterly shattered - to learn that his dear young relative, Orli Sarah Sheffey, 19, had taken her own life on Friday. 

Orli's funeral, which Abq Jew - among countless others, he is sure - watched via livestream, took place earlier today at the North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois.

Orli Sarah Sheffey
Bright, beautiful, caring. Planned to save the world.

Steve and Timna Sheffey are prominent members of their Jewish community. Steve, in particular, is a renowned pro-Israel activist and progressive Democrat who publishes a weekly newsletter, the Chicagoland Pro-Israel Political Update.

Steve Friess of the Forward says Steve's newsletter is "the Chicago Jewish newsletter that even Republicans have to read," and "arguably, the most widely shared local Jewish media in Chicago."


Thanks to MyHeritage, Abq Jew connected with Steve in September 2017. As it turns out, Orli was ... is ... Abq Jew's father's uncle's sister-in-law's father's cousin's brother-in-law's great-great-granddaughter. 

Yes, that's a long way up and over and across and down the Family Tree. And no, Abq Jew never met Orli or her family. Still, Orli's death hurts. To be honest - it frightens Abq Jew. He has children, too.


Abq Jew and the world learned of Orli's death via a tweet from Ayelet, one of Orli's older sisters.
Orli's obituary from the Shalom Memorial Funeral Home reads:
Orli Sarah Sheffey, 19, beloved daughter of Steven and Timna Sheffey; loving sister of Ariel and Ayelet; adored granddaughter of Rachel Cohen, Isaac Cohen, Joyce Mlodinoff and the late Ralph Sheffey; treasured niece of Susan Sheffey (Steve Jungblut) and Dan Cohen; dear cousin of the late Menachem Jungblut. 
Orli was incredibly smart, passionate, funny, and loving. She cared so much for others and the incredible life she lived influenced so many. She made the world a significantly better place. She had too many friends to count and was loved by all. 
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Planned Parenthood (www.plannedparenthood.org).
Orli, a sophomore at Washington University of St Louis, excelled in her studies, worked for progressive causes, was a friend to everyone, and was training to become a suicide counselor. She thought she could do it all.

At Orli's funeral, Hazzan Jacob Sandler sang the 23rd Psalm and El Maleh Rahamim; Rabbi Alex Freedman and Rabbi Michael Schwab spoke heartfelt words of consolation.
Ayelet, Ariel, Timna, and Steve offered ... remembrances. And heartbreak. Ariel, at the end, when Orli's casket was wheeled out of the sanctuary, was inconsolable. She screamed; she wailed, she cried. 

As did every member of the congregation.

Memory be a blessing

Unimaginable grief. Deepest condolences to the Sheffey family.
May Orli’s memory always be a blessing. Baruch Dayan HaEmet.

National Suicide Prevention

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

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