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Dear Saadya … Love, Mom

I am doing what I do naturally, which is to turn to words and express my feelings and frustrations and fears and thoughts and prayers

Update: Wednesday April 29

It is with broken hearts that we inform you of the petirah of Saadya Ehrenpreis, son of Mishpacha writer Ahava Ehrenpreis and brother of Mishpacha writer Yaelle Ehrenpreis Meyer, whom many of our readers have been davening for as Ahava chronicled his sickness with endless bitachon and emunah.
Longtime Mishpacha readers will remember Saadya’s friendly nature, his determination and independence, and the incredible accomplishments he achieved with the love and support of his family. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and the many people whose lives he touched.
May Hashem comfort the Ehrenpreis family. 


ear Saadya.

You can’t hear me right now because you are sedated. I can’t come in to see you because you are isolated. I hope you are comfortable and having sweet dreams. The tube that I hope and pray you can't feel is there to help you breathe more easily. The decision to take you to the hospital was done by people who love you and want to make sure that you are safe.

I spoke to you and saw you last night and you assured me, “I’m fine, Mom.” You didn’t look too great on our video “facetime” call but having a high fever would do that! So, Saadya, I am doing what I do naturally, which is to turn to words and express my feelings and frustrations and fears and thoughts and prayers.

Saadya, you are the most positive person who ever walked the face of this earth. You never get angry at other people and certainly never toward the Ribono Shel Olam. You see sunshine where others see the clouds, you smell the roses where others feel the thorns, you abhor hostility and anger and any kind of tension between people, even if it is not directed at you!

Your texts on the Family WhatsApp exude love and happiness and optimism for life to be full of joy and love and unity. You are simchah personified and when you i”yH wake up and can breathe easily on your own, you will never question, “Why did this happen to me?” You will just assure me, “I’m fine and you look beautiful today, Mom” — no matter my actual appearance.

Saadya, in your happy-go-lucky, upbeat way, you changed the world.

Saadya, so many people have gained chizuk and joy from your presence, from your challenges, from your triumphs. Yes, I did make you a little bit “famous” and I know that you were very okay with that. So, “Mom. when’s my next article?” In fact, I think you are waiting for the book about you! Besides the one called 1984 (your birth year), by that guy George Orwell. So many people learned that special needs people can bring joy to their family, to their contemporaries, to their shul, to their classroom and camp, to their neighbors, to perfect strangers. How many people waited to hear and read how you make it across Manhattan by yourself on the subway? How many people’s hearts swelled with joy that you had an aliyah on your father’s yahrtzeit? How many people told me that they were sharing your achievement with their siblings who have a special needs child? How many people who have met you said, how exciting that the special needs child in their life could grow up to be so sweet and charming?


o, sweet dreams, my son Saadya. So many people are davening and saying your name, because whether or not they have ever met you personally, they know you and they know that special guys can do anything in their own way to make Hashem’s world more holy and perfect and, in fact, are a force to bring the Mashaich so much sooner. You told me on several occasions that you were going to be in Eretz Yisrael for Pesach this year. I laughed but maybe you know something that the rest of us aren’t aware of as yet. So, dream on, until all your dreams are our reality.

With Love,



Please daven for Saadya Yehoshua ben Ahava Rivka, l'refuah shleimah

Letting Go

Miracle on East 18th Street

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