It’s still a shock that Daniella is no longer here, and the truth is I can’t understand why she had to go so soon. I suppose if she were still here, and I had the chance to ask her why someone like her leaves the world so early, leaves a beloved family, she would find a way to impart to me with some of her unwavering emunah.
We were at YULA together, and many of my memories of her are of a bright, happy, cheerful girl who was constantly alight, and so sincerely committed to Judaism that her love of Torah and Hashem was evident in everything aspect of her life. I remember we did a project together in Freshmen English, and she offered her house for us to film it. Of the group of four of us, she was the positive one, the one who made us laugh, who kept the peace, smoothed things over when issues came up. When we were in high school I saw her at NCSY shabbatons consistently, singing, talking to anyone and everyone, making people feel welcomed, and always, always with a smile on her face. Recently I saw her on a shabbaton again, both of us as advisors, and she with her husband and baby. I remember how she greeted me with a smile, seemed genuinely happy to see me and catch up with me even though we were never very close, and also that I left her with a smile on my face. I suppose now we can only hope that our memory of her buoyant emunah will help us get through this challenging time. You will be missed, Daniella.