I met Tikva z"l when she and I were colleagues at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. I was privlileged to see and hear her not too long before her death when, despite grave illness, she insisted on doing a series of talks in a named lectureship at Oberlin College, where I now teach. The talks were packed; she filled an ampitheater. She held forth, without notes, for hours, with stunning brilliance and erudition. But I want most to recall her utter unpretentiousness, for all her brilliance and accomplishment. She was quite secure in who she was; it was not false modesty. It was the real thing. I also want to recall her incredible warmth and kindness, the effusion of her greeting to me after the many years we had not seen one another, and the sincerity of her conversation about family and synagogue life—other areas that engaged us.
I hoped against hope, surely a minute reflection of what she and her loved ones felt, that there would be a miracle and this woman would be restored to health and live out her life with her beloved family and her beloved books and ideas. Her combination of brilliance and mind with heart and smile and embrace is testimony to the feminism she strove so hard to create, and exemplify.
Her memory absolutely is a blessing for us and her work, ziyyun la'atid.