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A kindergarten teacher who fell in the line of duty

בת שבע ניגרי הי"ד

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

The very thought of a preschool teacher, whose world revolves around little children, makes the heart glad, presenting a stark contrast to the terrorist whose preoccupation is with murder.

Batsheva Nigri, a preschool teacher from the community of Beit Hagai, was murdered in front of her six-year-old daughter yesterday in a terrorist attack. Just as there are grieving parents and siblings after someone is killed, in this case there are grieving children -- those who will start the school year without their beloved preschool teacher.

She fell in the line of duty since she was on her way to prepare her classroom for the coming year when the attack occurred.

Batsheva reminded us of the many amazing people hidden among us. In the eulogies that were heard yesterday night, the image arose of someone who, despite many challenges, was always full of joy. Her parents called her Batsheva (sheva means "seven") since they had to wait seven years for her to be born. She also waited many years to have a child until she brought two foster girls into her home.

She was a warm and radiant preschool teacher, as may be seen from the magical photo shown here. Every parent wanted their child to get into her class, and those who had been in her class kept in touch with her for years.

"You should be whole-hearted with the Lord your God" are the words from last week's Torah portion that were spoken in her honor -- whole-hearteness being a quality that approaches perfection itself.

We can only imagine what transpires in the Palestinian educational system and what preschoolers are taught there. One thing we know for certain: Batsheva instilled eternal values and outstanding character traits in the children under her care.

Those gathered yesterday at her funeral sang "Eshet Chayil" (Woman of Valor), the chapter from the book of Proverbs that is sung in honor of the woman of the house just before Kiddush and the Friday night meal. It was sung line by line, including: "Her children rise and acclaim her, her husband praises her," and so do the hundreds and hundreds of boys and girls for whom she cared over the years.

In her memory.


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