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February 05, 1993 - Image 31

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-02-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


irst, the electric-
ity went out.
The next second,
the phone rang.
"Your mother died," a
nurse told Mordechai
Maybe it was just a
• chance happening — the
I electricity, the terrible
news. But Mr. Waldman,
of Oak Park, doesn't
believe it. Especially
because he was the only
one in an entire apart-
ment complex to experi-
ence the power outage.
His mother's name was
Yetta Waldman. She was
a native of Romania who
had little opportunity for
Jewish education herself,
but who loved Israel and
Judaism and sent
Mordechai to a yeshiva.
She also enjoyed a
-good game of bingo, read-
ing stories from the
Torah and visiting with
the sick.
"She was a very kind
woman, a good woman,
and I loved her so much,"
her son says.
In her old age, Yetta
'lived for a time in a
nursing home. When she
became ill, she went to
Providence Hospital.
Mordechai went to see
her every day.
Then came May 14,
1980. It was a
Wednesday. Mordechai
planned to visit his
mother after dinner, but
then the phone rang.
Friends needed a ride to
a dinner for Yeshiva
Beth Yehudah.
"At first I hesitated,"
Mr. Waldman says. But
the friends were kind
and the cause a good
one, so he agreed. He
would go to his mother
later that evening.
Mordechai Waldman,
then living in an apart-
ment complex in
Southfield, arrived home
at around 5. At exactly
5:12 he heard a loud
slam — "and I mean it
was a big bang" — and
all the lights went out.


Then the phone rang.
Yetta Waldman had just
Because his mother
had asked to be buried in
Israel, Mr. Waldman
made all the arrange-
ments to go abroad. By
Friday, she had been laid
to rest.
After Mr. Waldman
returned home to
Michigan, he called
Detroit Edison about
that curious electrical
outage — curious
because not another per-
son in the complex had
experienced the problem.
The worker confirmed
the electricity had been
out. A small transformer
had kicked out at 5:12
p.m., he said.
The time of his moth-
er's passing, as listed on
her death certificate:
5:12 p.m.
It also was the time
the clock stopped on Mr.
Waldman's stove on May
14, 1980. It wouldn't
work again for days —
until Mr. Waldman
returned from burying
his mother.
Mr. Waldman — who
has never experienced
another such incident —
believes the power out-
age was something of a
"It was like my mother
asking, 'Where were you
(when I died)? What kind
of business is this that
I'm alone?'"
His position is based
on more than just suspi-
"Look," he says, turn-
ing to a page in the
Shulchan Aruch (Code of
Jewish Law). The pas-
sage reads: "From the
moment a person is in
the throes of death, no
one is allowed to leave
him, in order that his
soul may not depart
when he is all alone
because it is bewildered
when departing from the

Mordechai Waldman with daughters
Zipporah Leah, Shayna Gittel and
Esther; Yetta Waldman's death cer-


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