Two beloved teachers, Hadas Tapuchi and Rivka Kapshuk, died in separate car crashes on Friday and were laid to rest on Sunday. One of the young women had celebrated her wedding only three weeks earlier, the other was a devoted mother of four.

In memory and in the merit of these two exceptional Jewish women, we wanted to share some of the moving tributes given by family, friends and students this week, which give an inspiring window into these two remarkable lives cut short.

Married Just Three Weeks Ago

25 year old Rivka Kapshuk was killed when the car she was traveling in with her husband, crashed with a truck on route 60 north of Jerusalem. The couple had celebrated their wedding just three weeks ago. Tom Kapshuk sustained serious head injuries and remains in a critical condition. In a heartbreaking end to their new life together, the couple had just moved into their new home together in the town of Eli.

“You always wanted to listen.”

A popular teacher at the Tsvia High School, in Maaleh Adumim near Jerusalem, Rivkah was also the daughter of its Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yeshayahu Doron. At school, she had pastoral duties for around 30 students aged 14 and 15 years old – a role she was deeply dedicated to, staying well attuned to the events and challenges in the lives of each of the girls.

“To my teacher, Rivka,” one student eulogized her. “You were a true teacher. You showed us the way to live.” Another praised the way she brought the best out in them. “We always tried to make you proud, and we will keep trying to make to make you proud even now.”

Another recalled, “You would ask us every Sunday morning if someone wanted to share how they had spent that Shabbat. You always wanted to know and always wanted to listen.” She added, “Just a few weeks ago, one girl instead asked how your Shabbat had been. With a big smile you answered that it had been your first Shabbat together in your new home.”

Rabbi Doron delivered the students an emotional message at Rivka’s funeral telling them, his daughter’s final request “would have been for you to each establish homes, strong, faithful Jewish homes – like the home she had so dreamed of building herself.”

Hadas Tapuchi

In a second fatal car crash, 30 year old Hasas Tapuchi, a mother of four young children and a music teacher, was killed in a collision with a truck on route 465.

Police have so far held off from labeling investigations into this crash as a terrorist attack, although Hadas’ family have suggested that rocks regularly thrown at drivers on this route could have caused her to swerve lanes.

‘You filled our home with love’

Yonadav Tapuchi wept as he mourned his wife and “best friend” Hadas, who he said had filled their family home with love and dedication for the ten years they had been married.

“You made us happy with little notes, short songs. You picked up on all of the little things that could make somebody’s day. You always knew how to put the right note in the right hiding place, with the right gift or just something funny to make us smile. You were the spirit of life in our home,” he said fighting through tears.

“You loved the children more than anything” he said. “You were determined to bring out of each child as much good as possible. You made time for each of them, and loved so much singing with the children and hearing the words of Torah you encouraged them to share around the Shabbat table.”

“You always focused on the positive,” her husband said. “You exuded modesty, not only in how you dressed, but also how you spoke. ”Your speech was always clean. You couldn’t stand gossip and you ran away from arguments like they were fire.” He added, “You were my compass, I depended on you, I’d come to ask your opinion on so many things.”

Genuine care for others

Friends in the community of Atarot, where the Tapuchis lives, affectionately referred to Hadas as an ‘open all hours store’ for anything they needed. “Whenever anyone posted that they needed anything,” one friend said, “Hadas would often be the first to respond, “We have. You are free to come and take!”

Hadas’ husband also praised her kindness of spirit saying that much of her little spare time went into doing things that was not expected of her especially within her role as a teacher. “So much effort you took, to finding solutions for this teacher or that student.” he said.

‘How can this music stop?’

“Hadas was born in the happiest month of Adar, (the month of Purim),” Hadas’ father, Jacob Langzam said. “She was born to be happy and make others happy.”

Rabbi Yosef Yaacobi, the head of the seminary where Hadas had learned also spoke of the immediate impact she had on her surroundings. "Every place she went, the atmosphere changed into a Shabbat atmosphere,” he said. “She was always pleasant, I never heard a complaint from her, every corner where she put her hand became like a flower.”

“How can this music stop?” he asked, “It's music that needs to go on.”

May the merits of Hadas and Rivkah inspire us to continue their music, may their families find comfort among all the mourners of Zion and may their memory be for a blessing to us all.