Adele Biton: What Adva Saw

Adele. The feel of her name leaving your mouth is a mother seeing in her newborn the gentle femininity of a daughter’s soul, a mother seeing into the future, as all mothers do in the immediacy of the time after birth.

Something happens to women. It’s not just the sweet transformative joy that follows the absolute reality of the crushing pain, but something higher than that.

There is the fact of the baby and the newborn scent that clings to her like an aura that is the pulse of life, and the aching tenderness beyond, that makes a woman see things in that little face. At that moment, she is the opposite of a man drowning who sees his life flash before him, because a woman sees into the future.

Adele in butterfly makeup before the rock-throwing that damaged her brain and eventually robbed her of her life.

Adele in butterfly makeup before the rock-throwing that damaged her brain and eventually robbed her of her life.

She sees things. She sees. She sees into the distance. She sees the spiritual essence of the new soul she cradles in her arms. She feels responsible. She will protect this tiny being with the strength that only mothers have: the strength God grants to mothers.

Adva looks deep into the small face seeing Adele as her future would be, would have been, but for the rock impelled by evil through a car window, straight at the three year old she would then be, slowly stealing her away from this world over the passage of two years’ time, a dark red slash of hate that would split her soul in two, rendering her null and void.

A woman sees things. Yes.

But God was kind to Adva Biton, mother of Adele, for limiting what she could see to what would have been and should have been, had God’s will been respected, the absolute respect for all mankind, the people He created.

Adele before the terror attack in a bunny costume for Purim

Adele before the terror attack in a bunny costume for Purim

God was merciful and gave woman the sight: the ability to see the potential of the souls they shepherd into this world in blood and anguish. God was kind for making Adva think she could see into the future, the real future, and not what it could have been, had it not been for the rock, the hatred, the sin, and the indifference of the world at large.

One small girl lost in the chaos of the headlines.

She was just a Jew. A Jew who would grow up to embrace her gifts and one of those gifts was the land that belongs to her people and no one else.

She was just a Jew who would fulfill her potential; the potential that her mother saw in her at zero hour, when Adele traversed the womb and came into full possession of soul and life. The potential that the world would rather not be realized.

Adele holding her baby brother, a few days before she died, HY"D.

Adele holding her baby brother, a few days before she died, HY”D.

Another Jew. Another smart Jew.

Someone to compete with in the halls of academia, on Wall Street, in the Middle East, in Europe. In Paris, Copenhagen, and Brussels. Someone who has always left a taste like acid in the mouths of those who wish, oh how they wish, that the Torah did not predate their beliefs.

The Jews are nothing special, they tell themselves. They are random beings, a bunch of folks in a deli. Bad things happen everywhere to all sorts of people. Adele was nothing special.

She was a statistic. Climate change. That’s where we need to focus. Because rocks and evil hit a small percentage of people who shouldn’t be where they are in the first place because someone else wants their land and they have oil.

Besides, you know: Jews.

So one little girl leaves the world. Adele. The sound of it on your tongue.

Adva fought for her. She prayed. She cried. She spoke to the media. And she prayed. And she prayed.

Adva Biton, crying on the day of Adele's death.

Adva Biton, crying on the day of Adele’s death.

At the moment that Adele entered this world and Adva saw her future, God was kind and hid the future.

Adva would not see what would kill her daughter three or five years down the line. She would not see in those first few moments of her daughter’s life, what would happen to her soul, a soul so pure and beautiful. She would not see how the life would be stolen from her daughter with ungodly cruelty, in an ungodly generation that wishes the Jews would finally go away.

Adva did not know what would be stolen from this world while she would be forced to soldier on, heavy in her heart, a feeling like lead dragging down her every step: the pain of knowing. She would have to continue on, to live in a world full up and groaning with evil.

But in those first few moments, Adva knew none of that. All she knew was the delicate sound of the name Adele on the tongue as it leaves the mouth with a single breath.

And now? All that is left is the sound, the sound of the name of her soul called away too fast and dissipating into the air like sweet pink smoke rising up from a heavenly altar.

Adele. Like pink cotton candy you’d like to savor the moment, the feel of wispy softness as it reaches the target, and then with a single touch of the tongue dissolves into red. Cut down young by ugliness and hatred.

Something God never intended and Adva, her mother, never foresaw.

Adele Biton, HY"d.

Adele Biton, HY”d.



Varda Epstein

A third-generation-born Pittsburgher on her mother’s mother’s side, Varda moved to Israel 36 years ago and is a crazy political animal who spams people with right wing political articles on Facebook in between raising her 12 children and writing about education as the communications writer at Kars for Kids a Guidestar gold medal charity.