Nachman and Raizy Glauber had everything to live for. They had married a year ago and was expected their first child. They were young (both 21 years old), excited about becoming parents and had family members who lived close by in their close-knit Orthodox Jewish community called Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, New York. I know that community well. My grandmother, aunts and uncle relocated there in the 1930’s from Philadelphia. It is also down the street from where I grew up in the Marcy Houses. There was a mutual respect between the Orthodox community and the rest of the neighborhood. They worshipped Shabbat on Friday nights; we worshipped on Sundays. We were accustomed to seeing the men in the long black coats with the ear locks and long beards walk comfortably through our neighborhood. There were no muggings or “white flight” as one might expect. For generations, we had learned to get along.
Raizy reported not feeling well, so Nachman called a cab, presumably to take her to the hospital. Although convenient, it’s not necessary to own a car in Brooklyn based on the availability of public transportation and taxi cabs. Unfortunately, neither Nachman nor Raizy made it to the hospital alive because the driver of a BMW slammed into their taxi. Raizy was ejected from her seat, landing underneath a parked trailer truck. Nachman was pinned in the car and emergency workers had to cut off the roof to get him out. Both arrived at the hospital dead but an emergency cesarean was performed and their premature baby was born alive. In accordance with their religious tradition, the funeral of the 21 year old couple was held the same night with over 1,000 mourners in attendance. The driver of the BMW fled the scene of the accident and is presently being sought.
There was no reason to suspect that Nachman and Raizy would not live to see their new baby or grow old together. On the day that I read about their tragedy, I was having a challenging day but after reading their story, I had a reality check: Life is a gift.
“Our days are numbered.” Please live them wisely. My sincere condolences to the Glauber and Silverstein families. May your loved ones rest in peace.