Earlier this year the world lost a precious neshamah, Adeena Paknoush, a young lady who gave so much to so many in her brief 16 years in this world. As a student at Yeshiva of Central Queens and at North Shore Hebrew Academy High School in her hometown of Great Neck, she pursued her academic journey with enthusiasm, strength of character, and a gift for brightening any room she entered.
For her eighth grade yearbook she used a quote that read, “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” This quote epitomized the kind of young woman that Adeena chose to exemplify. Her gentle nature and willingness to be open-minded and always look for the good in everyone is what drew others to her.
After her passing, an urgent need was felt among her wide circle of friends to do something that would go beyond the moment; something that would have a profound impact on the yeshiva, her family, her friends, and the community as a whole. The decision to write a sefer Torah that would be used for years to come was the perfect answer.
Pirkei Avot 1:15, Ethics of Our Fathers, tells us, “Make your Torah regular; say little and do much; and greet every person with a smile.” These words exemplify the importance of limud haTorah, the establishment of schools to teach Torah, and the practice of kindness of one person to another. Adeena personified that kindness towards her family, her friends, her community, her teachers, and her fellow classmates. When she made a decision to do something, she would do it despite any obstacles that might have entered her path. And for these very qualities, her love of others, and her love of a Torah life, she was a role model for us all.
This sefer Torah project offers the opportunity for each of us to build upon Adeena’s legacy and to help to keep her memory alive in a tangible way. Participating in the sefer Torah project offers not only intrinsic value but, serves as well, as a means of providing solace to Adeena’s family and to all who were touched by her presence.
The Torah is our direct connection to Hashem. It is our most precious treasure and our guide to life. Indeed, it is the lifeline of Klal Yisrael. Adeena too, was a precious treasure to her family and to all those who knew her. Ensuring the eternal presence of her memory through this sefer Torah will create a living testament to the life she sought to lead and to the indelible impression she made on all she left behind.
To participate in the Adeena Paknoush–YCQ sefer Torah project, please visit adeenaemunah.com or call 718-793-8500, ext. 304.