After a Herculean struggle with stomach cancer, my dear friend Rachel Abrams passed away early Friday morning. ...
She was a brilliant editor, writer, painter, carver, potter, mask-maker, poet (hilariously so) and wit, but her unique, unmatched talent was in wrapping her family and friends in a blanket of warmth and fellowship. She inspired, defended, comforted, regaled, fed, encouraged and enchanted us all.
In the darkest hour of the shared grief of her family and friends, I am reminded that Rachel would often say that gratitude was the central precept of Judaism. Her belief was vindicated by her own life and passing. Her three children and their spouses — every child should have a mother or mother-in-law like theirs. How fortunate they are to have had a nurturing a parent so irrepressible, loving and devoted. “Tiger Mother” has taken on a different connotation these days, but she was the fierce tigress who would maul anyone who messed with her cubs. Her siblings were blessed with a big sister, protector and biggest fan.
The second, from the Washington Free Beacon:
On Friday, with the passing of Rachel Abrams, the Beacon lost a dear friend. She will be missed for many reasons, but we will regret most the loss of her voice. It’s no accident that her personal blog was called “Bad Rachel,” a perfect title for a writer who did not care about politically correct conventions. She had a gift for saying the things the rest of us were not supposed to say with verve and wit.
Here she is in 2012 with a pointed message for Jewish liberals on the occasion of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust remembrance day: “While you’re whispering your ‘love’ for Israel in the tongue of anti-Semitism; while you’re sniffing the scent of our blood, we’ll be counting our dead, and when we’re done with that, we’ll be reminding you never to forget the mighty hand and the outstretched arm—and the long memory—of the Israeli Defense Forces.”
Bad Rachel had no patience for the kinds of fake compliments that are currency in polite Washington society. After a typical Andrew Sullivan post bemoaning the “greater Israel lobby” and the Emergency Committee for Israel (a group on whose board she served), Bad Rachel wrote, “The once sharp and clever Sullivan instrument has been blunted by four years of non-stop rutting in Sarah Palin’s uterus.”