Images of Hope Amid Darkness // The painting gave widower Chaim Rosenberg comfort, but now they are both missing in the Surfside condo collapse

By Chaya Silber

It was a magnificent painting—ethereal, majestic and expressive all at once. It meant the world to a man who had endured so much but who was so resilient and courageous.
Libby Klein, a young mother living in Lakewood, is a talented artist whose personalized masterpieces are highly sought-after. She produces artwork on commission, each piece carefully crafted to reflect the client’s emotions and life story.

Last summer, Libby was contacted by Tzvi Weill, a Flatbush-based askan who had purchased artwork in the past. He wanted to commission a special piece as a gift and tribute to his beloved friend who had recently suffered a painful loss. This wonderful man, Chaim Rosenberg, had faithfully tended to his wife, Chana (Anna), during her grueling three-year battle with brain cancer.

During that time, Chana had undergone ten invasive brain surgeries, and her dedicated husband had given up his other commitments to remain at her side. As her illness progressed, Chana, who davened with her heart and soul for a refuah, slowly became weaker and eventually lost her ability to say the words.
But there was one special time each week when she seemed to rally, to exude strength and optimism and joy. This was during Havdalah, when Chaim would say the words “laYehudim haysah orah, let there be light for the Jewish nation.” Chana would whisper these words, her heart alight with joy.

Sadly, just a year ago, Chana’s heroic battle came to an end when her pure neshamah ascended heavenward. At her levayah, her husband spoke of her connection to these timeless words of Havdalah and the way they gave her strength.

It was at the levayah that Tzvi Weill, who has been close friends with Chaim Rosenberg since childhood, thought of a wonderful idea. He planned to commission a surprise painting for his dear friend by Libby Klein, whose creative masterpieces already graced his walls. This painting would epitomize the message of hope and courage that emanate from the words of Havdalah. Perhaps it would give his brokenhearted friend strength to endure this latest challenge.

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