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Issues of the Day Yarid Shira, a testimony of love

(Ra'anana, Israel) As described on the organizers' website, the first annual Yarid (Heb.: a "fair" or happening) Shira is a "community celebration designed to bring awareness to Pulmonary Hypertension and raise money to assist those suffering from this disease."  And why is the event named "Shira?" Shira, a Hebrew name coming from the word for song, and refers to  "our dear friend Shira Dinur Z"L ["of blessed memory]," the website notes.

"On January 13, 2011, Shira passed away at the young age of 26 after suffering from Pulmonary Hypertension for many years. Shira, who left behind a loving family, three siblings, and dozens of adoring friends,lived in Ra'anana after making aliyah [moving to Israel] from Los Angeles with her family in 1991."

Shira left a legacy that extended far beyond what she could possibly know. The fair site along the pond in Park Ra'anana, a wonderful recreation ground in this central Israel city, was filled with visitors from all over the country who had heard about the well-publicized event. Health-related activities like Tai Chi and performances of various types were featured. Vendors offered for sale a variety of wares and donated twenty-five percent of the proceeds to the Israel Pulmonary Hypertension Association for the purchase of portable oxygen systems. The latter are required by many PH patients who would otherwise be homebound, dependent on immobile oxygen supplies.  

The people who came to celebrate Shira, those who knew her personally and those who did not, must have had a kind of cosmic response to her "constant smile and the way she lit up a room and engaged everyone she met. Always generously seeking to help others, Shira shared a love and enthusiasm for life that was contagious."  

The organizers, Shira's impressively talented friends and the expansive network of contacts they mobilized, were able to recruit the sponsorship of the Municipality of Ra'anana, businesses, shops and artists, as well as that of the Israel Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

Visitors left Yarid Shira feeling enthralled. I left quite convinced that Shira's "contagion," loving-kindness and an élan for life, lives on.

Her memory is a blessing for all those who her spirit touched.

© Yosef Gotlieb, . All rights reserved