- Date of passing: Nov 24, 2015
- Place of passing:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|May her soul be bound up in the bond of life|
This memorial website was created to remember and celebrate the life of Batya (Sue) Simon. Please add your favorite stories or memories. Pictures will be appreciated as well. Thank you to all who loved Batya.
"Today as I went for the third time to Batya's tomb with a common friend. I actually cleaned the tomb and prayed at the site. I am now much calmer and though I missed her so much, I feel she is watching over me."
"As I reflect after one year of mourning, I have come now to accept my motherly figure passing as a blessing. Batya touched so many people in small and big ways. I am forever grateful for all her teachings and our love for each other transcends this incarnation. She is with me and I am with her forever. Shabbat Shalom"
"Batya was an enthusiastic member of the organizing committee for the 2015 Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference. She was one of the first people to volunteer several years before the Melbourne conference got off the ground but nfortunately, she was not able to attend the conference herself. Batya is remembered fondly by the Melbourne APPCA organizing committee."
"It's been a year since my dear friend left us all. Yet she will be in our hearts and minds for the rest of our days. Batya, I miss our weekly e-mails; and the gifts we sent to each other. I makes my spirit soar to see how much someone so dear to me was appreciated by all who knew her. Mitakuye oyasin...all my relatives. We are all related."
"Sunday eve 11th Dec: Special Kumzitz in Memory of our dear Friend Batya z”l Simon (of blessed memory) on the occasion of the first yartzeit which will be that week. A few of her friends decided that it would be a beautiful idea to collect some Tzedakah money l'illui nishmas . The money collected will go to her favourite shul, Hamayan, and to Yad Eliezer. If you wish to participate please contact Hamayan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kumzitz will start at 7.30pm at the Shule (bring your musical instruments, your voices and your memories)"
Already it's a year since you left us for Gan Eden.
Every day I think of the special and incredibly unique person that you were, and still are in the hearts or so many.
I miss our Shabbat dinners, our fascinating conversations on so many subjects.
I miss playing Mozart duets.
I just miss you...so, so much.
I've added a video which I took during a chemo session at Peter Mac, looking out at Treasury Gardens.
It's only 33 sec, but Batya gives a lovely explanation of the Whispering Wall and hearing her voice is so sweet."
When everyone else was on high ALERT and busy defaming my four/five year old son as a ‘violent child who was a danger to other children and their parents’, you and a couple of others still living -refused to listen to the Loshon Hara about him and refused to alienate him from human company but saw the gentle sensitive little boy he really was and is. You greeted him gently and smiled and treated him like the child he was and not like some terrorist out to hurt you or others and you included him in your ‘Good shabbes’ and made him feel like a real human being instead of someone that must be shunned or ignored and other children must be kept away from him because he would ‘supposedly hurt them.’
You were a truly decent human being who treated others decently and with respect. G-D should give your neshama an aliya and you be remembered for blessings. Shalom."
"As her first yarzheit approach I am a bit besided myself as I missed her so much...I feel she would be so proud of my Spanish home where a picture of the two of us has a proud place on my table o desk. I am pleased though I stopped crying yet I feel like a void in my life as I missed our drive to the country site where we would picnic and have our shabbat left overs on sundays when she did not ride her motorcycle. I know she is looking after me from the other side and that Our connection is for ever. Yet I missed being able to kiss her and hug her and have so much fun and laughter. y Have a l'chaim!!!! She never got to taste the Spanish wine sadly!!!Well I can drink for both of us."
"As I reflect on your last words Batya, my ima role model told me : "Do not change anything; whatever you are doing, it is working." I have not stopped doing what I started last June/July. So although I think of you daily I now can actually function at last. B.h."
"Until recently i could not function properly without my 'ima', until a Little baby girl was named after you, my beautiful friend."
"Batya, you were always so special to me, even though sometimes I didn't appreciate how special I really was to know you almost my whole life. You helped me with my violin, and that summer I probably would have given up it if you hadn't taught me all you know. I really really miss you, and wish you were still with us. I will never forget you."
"This is my second tribute to Batya. It has been over two months since her passing. I still cannot believe she is gone. Barb, Sue, Batya, you will always be in my heart. It is bitter cold today; and I'm wearing the Aussie wool long johns she sent me. I refuse to delete her e-mail address. Wakan Tanka nichi un, mita khola lila washte! Go with the Great Spirit, my dear friend."
"The members of the Friday Line Dancing group at Ormond Senior Citizens, wish to leave a farewell tribute to their wonderful teacher -
Sue Simon, who has been our dedicated teacher for some years.
We enjoyed Sue's warm, friendly manner, and hearing about her interesting activities, and the stories she shared with us.
She is fondly remembered and greatly missed.
Our deepest sympathy to her family and friends.
May she be at Peace."
"Auntie Batya, it’s been nearly the whole month of shloshim since you left us for good. But it’s been about a whole year since you started getting sick, and that was really when we started losing you.
My family and I met Batya when I started piano through school. That was my birthday present when I turned six, to learn to play piano so I could make use of the heirloom in the sitting room. Batya continued to teach me for the next nine years, even through times when I didn’t practice for weeks and weeks or was ungrateful for her constant and scrutinising guidance, which was really proof of how much she cared, and, I hope, loved me.
We also know her through Hamayan. I remember in the Carp Centre, when I was seven years old, sitting next to Auntie Batya the whole of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as she showed me how to daven from the machzor and helped me find the place and keep up. It was such a good idea to stand the machzor on a music stand so your wrists don’t get tired. We walked home from shule with her innumerable times, and had her for Shabbat lunches often and, every year, for at least one of the Pesach sedarim. She was one of the extended family we gathered for ourselves when we had none in Melbourne.
She didn’t eat any meals in our house (or in her own much either, she had so much trouble what with the chemotherapy and everything) the whole year, except for one last one, when she and Nola came over, and my sisters played a duet. The end was very near by then.
Even when the rest of us could see she was dying, she was still cheery and acted as though she had all the time left in the world to live out fully. The last Shabbat she came to Hamayan, I wheeled her home, and she talked about how she’d found humour to be a good technique. “You know, I have to let people know that I’m alright, I’m doing fine,” she said. She cared so much and gave so much to others, although often we didn’t reciprocate as fervently.
There was so much more to get to know and learn with Batya, which I wish I had. As I lit the Chanukah candles tonight, I thought of her, and I missed her even more. Eventually, what she taught/gave us will reincorporate itself back into our lives.
Goodbye, Auntie Batya. I’m so grateful I had my nine years with you. I learnt so much from you, about music, about jewellery-making, about education, about people. And, in your passing, I’ve learnt even more. I love you.
"Sue was an outstanding teacher and beautiful human being. She taught Texas Line Dancing to a class at the Malvern Community Arts Centre in Burke Road, East Malvern. Sue was also a gifted music educator and the compiler and arranger of "Beginner Album of Jewish Songs" for voice and piano (see title page in the Photo Gallery). She will be sadly missed by her Texas Line Dancing group and by her music students. Vale Sue ... and thank you so much for your friendship and guidance."
"Poem by Mary Frye
Do not stand by my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints in the snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Sue will be very sadly missed, she was a very special human being.
Rest in peace, dear Sue"
"Farewell old friend. You had such a full and interesting life, involved in so much. We met you through line dancing and motorbike riding with the Ulysses club many years ago. Always a warm friendly smile. The strong faith of you and your family and friends is heartwarming. A special lady we will all miss. John & Marg. xx"
"I was in shock when I heard about Batya's passing. For me she couldn't die, and in truth she cannot. She lives on in everyone's hearts who ever had contact with her. Wishing Tom and his wife a long life and comfort in the process of mourning."
"I walked with batya on the way to shul one shabbos it and she struck me as as focusing on the beautiful things in the world around her. The wind, flowers, trees and seeing the good. Focusing on the good.
May we all focus on the good like she did."
"Batya was a unique individual. I first met her at the house of Rav Chaim OBM and Ester Serobranski's Shabbes table in the late eighties. She was a gentle presence and always totally there with you. We met again through Hamayan.
What remember most about Batya was how she connected to children. She understood children and recognised the essence of each child because she was one of those rare individuals who had never allowed the child within her to be destroyed by age, society or harsh experience. Her eyes shone with a gentle light that blessed the world around her and the people with whom she shared her time. She was, as I understood her, an interesting and complicated individual.
Some people you sum up in a few moments of acquaintance and there are no more surprises. Not Batya - she was intriguing and despite her gentleness there was a steely quality to her that you had no option but to respect.
She did not care that my son was bi racial or different. He and she connected and he loved her energy. I never got to have you teach him Batya and for that I am truly sorry. You would have enriched his life. You never got to visit us in the country as we had spoken about it before other matters intervened.
Nir was very sad when I told him you had passed on to a new existence and asked if you would see Bobi our husky dog who died in 2008 and I said "yes they will probably have a bit fun together. And HaShem will be looking after them now."
I remember our accident on the corner of Meadow and Green Street. I felt so bad about your car. It was two years ago to the month. We got out of our cars looked at each other and then just hugged in sheer relief that no one was injured.
It was a traumatic time in my life and I was in total despair as my good car had been wiped out on the side of the road by a driver who was medicated and in hindsight should not have been driving. I still owe you. I had bought the Pajero tank thinking the next person who hits my car will have a hard job destroying it. I did not think that I would hit a friend's car in a moment of inattention and I was extremely careful after that incident.
Batya you were a true princess of the people and still. Your example of honest, down to earthiness and your creativity and spirituality remain with many and that is your legacy. G-D bless and you live on in the hearts and minds of many who appreciate the finer things of life. You were one of those finer people."
"Dear family of Batya,
In the brief encounters I had with Batya some years ago through Y.O.W., she inspired me to crochet yarmulkehs! I remember her spirit of generosity and forthrightness. Rest in Peace,"
"Baroque recorders, nigunim recorders, guitar and violin, fiddles, fiddles, fiddles at the Fiddlers Convention and at pubs, percussion workshop, line dancing classes, choir, kumzitz, jamming, sight singing class (you were the teacher), orchestra violin, viola and percussion, Purim the Musical----Batya that was just with me! You were a powerhouse! When I cry, I also smile. Our times together were so special. Thank you."
"I am the least qualified to write a tribute to Batya z”l, but here it is none the less:
1. It is a tribute to Batya that Tom and Marilyn were here to allow there to be a proper shiva week for the community. It allowed there to be an intense mourning and tribute to her and a discovery for everyone on what an incredible person Batya was, and what a loss it is to us at Hamayan and to the many communities and people she has touched.
2. As part of the Hamayan board of management, I did not have the privilege to see Batya in full swing, however despite here not being well she organised and was instrumental in organising the 2015 AGM. Since then unfortunately was unable to participate much.
3. I learned the most about Batya from her talk at the “greatest morning tea” and I learned from there that Batya was what you would call the opposite of a depressed person.
4. Batya reflected what I had heard from Rabbi Manis Freedman and that is that Batya had a condition and that condition was "being Jewish" - and the best thing when you have a condition is to spend time with other people with the same condition! And that was her goal and when Batya had a goal she went after it.
5. I reflected to Batya that the biblical Batya reached for Moshe in the teiva (basket on the river) and the Torah reflects that the basket was out of reach. As I heard from Rabbi Mansour: usually people don’t reach for things that are out of reach, one only reaches for things that one can stretch and reach. But irrespective of the apparent impossible situation, Batya reached for it, and in doing so, a miracle was done for her because she had initiated it. Our Batya reached for many things out of reach because that was Batya, nothing appeared out of reach, and she reached many things and achieved what she reached for - that others would not even have tried. A few weeks ago when I reflected this teaching she got a tear in her eye, because she was just then reaching for what seemed out of reach, and unfortunately we did not merit her reaching this one. As far as her achievements in the world, I have learned so much in this week, how to touch lots of different people in lots of different communities and how to reach out!
6. Barry said that Batya left a very light footprint on the earth – and certainly environmentally that may be true. However the footprint she has left in legacy, the name she has made for herself, the people she has inspired, the value (real value) she has left is enormous.
Batya has left an enormous void, small in stature large in heart, perhaps small in shoe size, she has left enormous shoes hard to envisage how they could be filled. We (me and my family) and Hamayan are deeply saddened by her loss, Hamayan will not be the same without her, but at Hamayan her legacy and her memory will live on.
May all the family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.
- David Kramer
President – Hamayan"
"I just want to wish the family and her friends all over the world long life. She touched many lives. I had the privileged to briefly meet her last year Succot and this year on Succot. She had a special Neshama, she touched many. May her neshama have an Aliyah. May we see the ultimate redemption soon, Moshiach Now. Amein"
"I met Batya in the mid 1960's. She spent time with me and my compatriots at the infamous Booth House on Milwaukee's east side. I have always considered her as a sister. She was a dear soul and I will miss her presence on the planet. I remember when she came to visit me in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A gloomy night with pouring rain. Batya had gone to temple with a friend. It was a time of not using any mechanical devices. I went out to search for Batya and her friend. I finally found them huddled under an awning. I knew she wouldn't accept a ride in a car and using an umbrella was not an option. So I gave them both ponchos so they could get home relatively dry. I will never forget the gratitude she expressed to me. She visited me again in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Her visit was so important to me that I took a 1200 mile round trip to Arkansas to procure a sufficient supply of her favorite herb. My wife and I were delighted by her presence. While she was here Batya knitted me a tea cozy. I use it everyday and always thought of her when I used it. I will keep and cherish that cozy for the rest of my life. I loved Batya, she was one of the very favorite people of my life. We swore to never lose touch; and we never did. She always sent me upbeat e-mails informing me of her health struggles. She was always positive. When she didn't reply to my last two e-mails I was concerned. When I received Tom's e-mail telling me of her passing a cold shadow crossed my heart. I will miss my sweet "little sister". She was a glorious soul. Wakan Tanka nichi un! May the Great Spirit guide you.
"To wonderful Batya, who shared and cared so much, taught my daughter piano, and was a true friend. I wont forget you.
"My beloved 'ima' you came into my life about six years ago when i became a widow y your kindness in welcoming me in hamayan developed into a very closed relationship which transcends time y place. Caramba. Our laughters and cries were a constant ficture on our stormy mother-daughter role model. I miss spending shabbaton y festivals and my sleep over where we talked so much that we forgot time and discussing the torah and its commentary. We were both advocates of cooking from the start and no processed food what so ever. You loved my spicy potatoes y eggs salad. How many hot chocolates we shared mine with chilly!!!..and of course you loved your tea in the morning with quietness. i enjoyed succot the most as your boot won the prize of environmentally friendly as made completely of recycled material. With Hashem's blessing I shall continue to decorate your synagogue with flowers in your honor and continue the tradition you started for your abba too."
"My darling Batya,
I still can't comprehend that you're gone. How I'm going to miss you, my tears are unstoppable.
I will always love you with all my heart."
"My lovely sister had a life that is beyond description. She reached out to so many people who were touched in many, many ways. I invite you to share those stories here for everyone to read.
thank you so much.
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