Amy Winehouse: what the rabbi said at the funeral

The introduction to the funeral service by Rabbi Frank Hellner


"We are assembled here today, not so much to grieve-although we do that-but mainly to celebrate Amy's life and to give thanks for the privilege of having shared part of her 27 years on earth, a life, which although short, touched so many other lives, not only her immediate family and close friends, but people around the world; people who may never have met her, personally, but knew her by her music and by her voice.

For Amy belonged not just to us, but to the world. She was a world class star. And so we are all bereaved, we have all lost someone close to us, but none so much as Mitchell, Janis and Alex.

But if you, dear family, are the most bereaved, you are also the most privileged for having known Amy that much longer and having shared that much more intimately in her life than the rest of her fans.

For you, Amy was infinitely more than an entertainer and musician, she was a loving and caring and giving daughter and sister.

And this came over so clearly when we met yesterday and you talked about how wonderful she was, how genuine and how honest. As one radio announcer said yesterday: "With Amy there were no pretentions. What you saw is what you got".

Her voice and her music will continue to resonate for years to come Rabbi Hellner

Although her life was brief, Amy had a talent that was vast. Her music reached out and touched the souls of so many, and she achieved more in her short time on earth than many who lived a far greater span. As the Victorian poet, Philip James Bailey once reminded us:

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial…

And when measured by that standard Amy not only achieved a greatness far beyond her tender years, but she has attained immortality.

She is no longer with us, but her voice and her music will continue to resonate for years to come.

Like a star in the heavens which we continue to see long after it has burnt out, Amy will continue to shine upon generations to come. Her light will not go out. She now joins that legion of iconic rock stars, like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, among others, who were all taken from us paradoxically at the age of 27.

זכרונה לברכה

May Amy's memory serve you always for blessing."

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