Mrs. Rivki Morel was born with cystic fibrosis and has lived a life of struggle, hardship, transformation, and optimism all rolled into one. As a life’s mission, she has undertaken to take her message of emunah to the wider Jewish community and graciously came to Shevach High School on Monday, February13, to speak to its students and staff as part of that mission.
Mrs. Shulamith Insel, Menaheles, opened the program with a beautiful message. She shared that in Mishlei (15:15), Shlomo HaMelech says “v’tov leiv mishteh tamid (a good-hearted person constantly feasts.” This refers to a person who has mastered emunah and bitachon, for, to him, no matter the circumstances, life become one long celebration filled with happiness. He will always feel secure, recognizing that Hashem knows what is truly best for him. Mrs. Insel introduced the guest speaker as someone who personifies this ideal.
Mrs. Morel charted her experiences in terms of emotions. She described pain, disappointment, sadness, anger, fear, and difficulty. But above all, she is gifted with the ability to see beyond all that and to set a goal of living a life of positivity and joy. She lost a sister to cystic fibrosis, and she lost her husband of only several years to another fatal disease. Yet, through it all, she has stood strong. She conveyed how just as Hashem gave her this challenge, Hashem has carried her through it, and continues to guide her through life.
Mrs. Morel explained that, just as the heart has different chambers but beats as one, so too a person experiences different things in life but functions and moves forward with purpose and conviction. “We all have the power to choose our responses,” she said. “And I have chosen the route of looking for the good and going with that from stage to stage.”
With a lung transplant, intensive physical rehab, and consistent monitoring, she lives today with an attitude that is enviable. She left the girls inspired to take a serious view of their futures and to be involved in shaping that future with the proper perspectives. Shevach students were fortunate to be offered that clarity as they move forward in their lives.