On Sunday, June 10th, Michal Emunah performed at Temple Beth Abraham, in Tarrytown, New York. The concert was free and a reception followed.
What made Michal’s appearance so special is that she is a blind, 11-year-old Israeli girl who is dying of cancer.
Michal is a concert pianist and poetess, and her one wish was to come to the United States and perform among the citizens and diplomats of America. And so she came.
Two teachers, Cantor Uzi and Jenny Rivlin, whose vision to help impoverished children in Israel resulted in the establishment of the Keren Milgot Scholarship Fund, spearheaded this effort. It has been through their fund that Michal and her mother came to New York.
Through an interesting chain of events, the Rivlins encouraged their fifth-grade students at Temple Beth Abraham to write to Michal, whose story had been featured in an Israeli newspaper that they came across during a visit to Israel. The children and Michal became fast friends and they have continued to communicate throughout the year.
Michal, is an accomplished classical pianist. As well, she has written many stories and poems; one of them, "The Kiss," was set to music and recorded by a famous Israeli singer. She is a child of grace and her optimism is unparalleled.
Most of us get at least the chance to leave this world having made a difference; in her short life, Michal’s opportunities have been much more limited. We are left with the daunting task of helping to fulfill her dream. In its fulfillment, however, Michal has touched us all and made each of us a richer human being. That will be the difference, the mark, which she will have made on the world.
Michal arrived in New York several days before the concert. She was most excited to discuss her outlook on the world. Despite her youth and her bleak prognosis, Michal’s maturity and grace was surprising and enchanting, for truly, this is a special person. Each of us was changed irrevocably by having been touched by her.