לזכר נשמת הרה"ח השליח ר' לוי יצחק בן הרה"ח ר' זלמן יודא דייטש ע"ה

Please donate to the Levi fund. (Please specify that it is for the Levi fund )

Tuesday, November 16, 2021


 By: A Friend

There was a Shliach who often called levi for help, a little donation, a loan, advice etc.
One year he called up Levi before pesach and asked him for a loan, two months later
He called levi again asking him for more assistance.
Levi was happy to give it to him, but he really wanted to assist him in a more impactful way.
He tells this Shliach,
I will send you 25 cheesecakes, I want you to deliver them to your supporters for shavuos, once you finish let me know what happens.

Two weeks later he calls Levi and says BH I do not need your help anymore.
He tells Levi that he was forced to go out of his comfort zone and go meet people and give out the cheesecakes and as a result of that he was able to raise money on his own and since then he is indeed on his feet and self sufficient.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I miss having that

By: Chuck Stern

Looking at where I am now, in Torah u'mitzvos, compared to where I want to be, I find myself disappointed that I haven't done more to honor Levi's memory. All of that brings to mind the great love that Levi had for everyone, to the point he knew where and when to use the whip that he kept in his back pocket. The last time I saw him was on Sukkos, at the shul, where he was attending the Sukkos party for the Hebrew School. He'd obviously started another round of chemo, and was fighting hard. But he took the time to look me in the eye, and say, "I'm really disappointed that you're not coming to shul more than you do. I'm disappointed that you're not learning. I met your first chavrusa from JNet, and said that you were doing a good job. So, where have you been?" Another time, earlier, before we found out that he was ill, a friend and fellow member of the congregation was in shul with his son. The son has, as we all pray for, achieved more than his father in learning, and so spoke to refute something that his father said. Levi waited until almost all had gone home, and then he turned to the boy, and quietly but forcefully said, "It doesn't matter how much you've learned, it doesn't matter what your achievements are, I don't EVER want to hear you contradicting your father in public. You know Torah, but you have to work on your derech eretz to make you into a good Jew."

I'm honored that he was able to yell at me. I miss having that.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Beis Medrash Promo from zeldy eber on Vimeo.


By: Zevi Weinberg

One first and foremost remembers Levi’s genuineness.

As “an outsider” to Crown Heights, the one family which to me stands, or stood out, as the most decent, down to earth, mentshlich, Chassidish, i.e. all the qualities one aught to have, is the Deitcsh family.

I was a class older then Levi, so did not have much to do with him personally, but as mentioned, his genuineness, endearing smile and simple mentshlichkeit tears my heart out, that so precious a person was tragically taken far to early.

My only comfort is, that I am sure with such genuineness and goodness, he achieved miracles – of which you know far more than I – in his all to short life span by our standards.

May his wife and children be comforted amongst all mourners and may we merit Vehikitzu Vraninu Shoichnie Afar Vhu Bsoicham!

Bar Mitzvah

By: Glenn Goldenhorn

Dear Rabbi:

I recall how how you loved all the children in and at the Shul. A little tap on the shoulder, but of course you already know. Young " G ", now 13, is set to click off this Rosh Chodesh. The words of the Torah transcend. He reads them in honor of his memory of you. Do me a favor if you will. Give his mother, when you see her, a Mozel Tov for me. May you both flourish brighter and larger than ever.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Watch Live! Gathering to mark Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Levi Deitsch OBM

On Thursday night Ohr Le'6 Kislev a gathering to mark the 1st - and hopefully last - Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Levi Deitsch, Shliach to Tysons Corner, VA will be held at The Bais Medrash - 580 Crown St. at 8:30pm.

For more inspirational Jewish video, check out: TorahCafe.com!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In your honor

By: Anonymous

Last year I wrote and article about Rabbi Levi, OBM, He and his wife unknowingly left a big impression on me and my search for truth. Their Shlichus helped me tremendously in staying connected to Torah and mitzvoth. You see, I moved to Crown Heights to become observant and shortly thereafter I became unable to move. I had plans to go to Machon Chana and learn Torah but instead I spent the whole year in bed unable to move. I questioned why would Hashem do this to me? Since Levi’s passing, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't reflect on his life. Judaism and Shlichus serving Hashem being a soldier for the Rebbe, being a mentch with good midos first---has become much clearer to me. Every day I take a deeper look at his Shluchis, his life with Miriam and their children and grow great strength, B”H. Levi’s shlichus has become my spiritual barometer. Memories of his family life and role as a Shaliach reinforce my desire to grow spiritually. I only was with them in their home all but a few times but I was quick to observe and take a permanent snapshot of Miriam's role as a wonderful Tznusdik thoughtful and Aidel wife and mother and Levi was the mirror of that image as father, husband, son and Shliach (the only roles I saw him in).

As his passing is creeping up on a year I am making a Hachlata to remember him and in his merit continue to explore finding ways to honor him.

This Saturday night Levi, I hope you are not offended, Chas V'shalom, or any of your family members, we are undertaking introducing the Rebbe's chassidim to the possibility of a cure to disease. It is true people have been cured and if it means that it might offend some, I think you would have said, " go for it," that's just the type of person you are. So, in your honor and I have so much kovod for the warrior you were and are, were going to hopefully enlighten some people and maybe help save some lives. I'll hopefully have the courage to address you there and relay to those that didn't know you how truly remarkable your shlichus was and still is to me and my world (which now, B"H, includes our miracle baby Yisroel Zvi Hirsch. I wrote on the blog but this is really a letter to you, Levi, as I know you are very much alive in spirit bc you have been guiding me. It was a tough year for us all. I pray that Hashem continue to give your wife and children unlimited strength, see you soon with the coming of Moshiach, Now!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Levi's Rainbow

By: Geoff Michaelson

It has been 9 months since my Rabbi Levi Deitsch of blessed memory passed away. Driving in the rain through Tysons Corner, Virginia I am thinking of him. There have been some days when I avoided going to Shul, I am sure to avoid painful feelings. Lately I miss him more with the passage of time, probably because my awareness grows of how great his impact on my life has been. Suddenly, a portion of sky opens and the rain becomes a sun shower. A rainbow appears and as I drive on toward Mclean I can see that it is a complete bow. Above is a second very faint bow that lasts only moments. I imagine his voice. "Don't avoid wonderful feelings". 'Sure, sure, sure', I think, remembering his
signature phrasing. I realize he has turned me around again even now, especially now from the inside out. I look up, smiling. B"H"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hashem, Levi and Hot Dogs

By: BB

Five years ago:

Ok Rabbi Levi, you sucked me in.
That first year at the Chabad I recall him asking.
" You coming to Lag Baomer?"
"OY ", not another Minyan, "I'm slammed." Can't tell him no, now can I? Had no idea, up to that point, what, how or who Lag Baomer was or is. I thought he was the President of Israel. Levi pulls me aside, with a serious look , of importance, on his face , Levi softly whispers, in my ear that, all I need do to be righteous is to "fill Geoffry's( my son ) belly with hot dogs, chips and soda." Levi loved the big BBQ. The Rabbi would oversee the hot coals while Rebbitzen Miriam was getting ready to rock the house, for one and all, with entertainment. Levi and Miriam along with Chessy , Laya and Mendy were and are result oriented.

Success to them was seeing smiles on everyone's faces that would grow bigger and brighter when "Yom ha Hot Dog” is continued to be observed, again and again, in coming years. Levi pushed for the “smile " result so very darn hard.

If my memory serves me correct last year Rabbi Levi attended the celebration, at the expense of his health and his concealed broken heart over the loss of Nosson , by the way speaking of the King of Smiles , his brother.

While at the picnic Levi never breathed a word of the families’ loss and of our loss yet to be exposed. He and his family did not let on to anyone about the tragedy of Nosson's loss which happened within hours of the Lag Baomer BBQ Event. Levi's aim for the day was for everyone to simply enjoy. His aim in life was always “Hashem & Others First."
Well, this Lag Baomer, again I'll make a hotdog L'Chaiam at the designated time. I like it with a warm bun and mustard. One new taste on it may be the salt of a tear out of remembrance of Nosson and Levi.

For without Rabbi Levi, his beautiful family and friends, most likely, there never would have been a Lag Baomer and all the other beloved observances shared by me, my son and so many others Jews in Northern Virginia.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Small Things Count Large

By: BB

Sometime it isn't about the grand lessons of life or the power of inspiration or anything Jewish at all.A lot of the time it's about the mid day phone call ,between friends,just to swap stupid jokes and things meaningless. Levi was one of the boy's.A man who talked and walked with kings, and clowns alike and who never lost the common touch. My friend,thank for your " touch"if felt so right. Hey Levi , if you can hear me , did you hear about the Rabbi , the politician and the priest who ..........

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My whole family loved Levi and still do

By: Robin Silverman

When I came to Chabad, I seemed "barely Jewish" to me. Non-observant and unfamiliar with Jewish principles, and negative about religion and Jewishness. Levi drew me in with his warmth, humor, generosity and great acceptance. I felt I could be who I was and supported but never pushed.
Over time, through watching Levi and Miriam, I came to like, respect, and love Judiasm. I loved how Levi was willing to be "flexible" with interpreting the "Observance of laws". Had he judged or pushed, I probably would have written this whole beautiful way of life off. I am so grateful I haven't.
My 14 year old son, Zack came to me last night and said non-challantly, I think I am going to stop eating pork (and in memory of Levi.) I had stopped eating pork and shellfish last month in memory of Levi. And it has brought surprising gifts with it. My 11 year old son Jake remembers Levi's story about the two chickens and cows and other barn animals brought into the house. He asks about golden calves and Joseph and Moses...through listening to Levi and learning at the Hebrew school Levi and Miriam created. So much to say. My whole family loved Levi and still do. We will keep talking about him, remembering him, and being influenced by him. May G-d Bless.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tracht gut vet zein gut was his motto until the very end.

By: Chaim Greisman  
Stockholm, Sweden

Dear Deitsch Family,

Please forgive me for posting this long time overdue. It was my intention, since that very sad Motzaei Shabbos, to write to you. I did start writing several times, but found it painfully difficult. There were no words to pen down the many thoughts, emotions and feelings. So I tried to ignore my emotions and focus on some memories.  

Much of what I’m writing is surely known to you, as you knew Levi much better than anyone else. Nevertheless, I would like to share some of my personal experiences with Levi and tell you again how much he meant to me.


I first met Levi in the middle of 5752 after moving to Crown Heights from Israel, in order to start learning in Oholei Torah. I was a shy Israeli boy, who had just lost his mother, and was trying to get used to my new life, new friends and a new environment. I had great relatives and grandparents in Crown Heights who were an amazing support but it was Levi who was that extra support amongst the friends, who made the entire process easier. Levi was an open and loud boy who knew everybody and was the anything but shy.

Levi was life. He was full of Chayus. He was always in a good mood. He enjoyed life, his family and friends. I will forever owe Levi so much for helping me adjust and melt in.  

As we were entering Shiur Alef Zal we decided to become Chavrusos for Chasidus, and we kept it up until the end of yeshivah, four years later. We spent hours and hours learning, shmozzing, farbrenging and just hanging out both in Yeshivah and at home or in 770.

Often we would continue after night Seder to Levi’s home as Levi loved having friends over at all times of the day and night. You never felt that you were bothering anyone. There was always something to eat and drink, and if you were tired, even a bed.       

So much has been written about the amazing Hachnasas Orchim and special Shabbos meals at your home. There was always room for another guest, and everyone felt like they were part of the family. No matter what part of the meal you showed up you felt like the most welcomed guest.   

Summer camps

I had the privilege of being Levi’s partner for several summers, mostly in CGI Montreal. Levi was an amazing counselor who cared for his campers’ every need. If a camper wanted to leave after one month Levi found the way of making sure he would stay for both. If a camper was feeling bad, Levi found the way of making him feel special. When Levi was around everything was fun, even a simple hike. There was always something exciting. He would sing, crack jokes, motivate and encourage. He knew how to give everyone around him the attention they needed and always had a good word for everyone.

Levis energy and lebedikeit was contagious, bringing an unbelievable summer experience to his campers and surrounding. After each meal he would start to sing, even if the head-counselor would ask for quiet. Nobody could get angry at him, you just smiled and sang along. With Levi around it is no wonder we always won bunk competition.

Levi loved the Rebbe and would make sure to infuse his campers with feelings of Hiskashrus and Chassidishkeit. Story time at bedtime, midnight activities and just hanging around were all ways of motivating and inspiring the young boys.    

We spent two consecutive summers with the same bunk and formed a special and close relationship with our campers. Levi would organize Farbrengens and activities for our campers throughout the year. We went on Mivtzoim together, had Melave Malkas and much more. Levi lived camp year round. At the camp reunions he was the natural central figure.

When our third summer together came around Levi had a revolutionary idea.

Being a waiter in camp was not the most prestige-filled summer job and it wasn't something an average Chasidishe Bochur was looking to do. Levi, with his unbelievable compelling talent, got a wonderful group of great Chassidishe Bochurim to come and serve as waiters (or Mashbak”s as we called them). Although formally I was the learning teacher and Levi the counselor we ended up doing everything together and we had a wonderful summer, spending lots of time learning and Farbrenging, but also going on many trips that Levi managed to arrange for the group.

In my humble opinion it was an amazing accomplishment that contributed to a much stronger chassidishe environment in the entire camp from then onwards.

Our forth summer we spent in the European summer Yeshivah in Italy and France. We traveled a lot and had a great time. Levi spent much time during the pre-summer months on getting good boys to come along, thus ensuring it will be a truly Chassidishe experience for all.

Our fifth summer together was back in Montreal. Levi was head-counselor and I was learning-director. What I miss most of that summer is those Shabbes afternoon Farbrengens in our little condo. These were truly special moments, talking about anything and everything over a Lchaim or two, getting ready for our lives as Shluchim of the Rebbe.

During the Shivah I took out the many albums I have with thousands of great summer pictures. Loads of wonderful memories of unforgettable moments that will be cherished for life came rushing in front of my eyes. I was just sitting and crying while staring at Levi being Levi. Here he is laughing, smiling, dancing, sporting, learning, farbrenging and just enjoying camp like only Levi knew. I will IYH scan some of them and post them on the blog.

I will forever be thankful to Levi that he allowed me to be part of those wonderful days.


During the Shiva I wrote the following words to my weekly e-mail list: 

This week I learned an important lesson about friendship.

One of my closest friends and classmates, Rabbi Levi Deitsch of Chabad of Tysons in Virginia, passed away last Shabbat after a three-year battle with cancer. Levi was a true friend who’ve I spent lots of time with in Yeshivah, summer camps and travelling. I will always be thankful for getting to know him and being able to learn from his many qualities. I will truly miss him.

But what inspired me most about Levi, during his life but especially the last week reading so many emails and blog posts, was the fact that there were literally hundredths of people that considered Levi one of their best friends. He had an amazing ability of giving all he came in contact with the feeling that he was their best friend, that he really cared for them and that you can always count on him. Everyone was just happier when Levi was around. And it wasn’t a show, it was just who he was: a true friend, who cared for so many, with his entire being.

Levi was a living example who demonstrated that love and friendship are not limited. We can befriend many more people then we think. Let us not hesitate to reach out and acquire another friend. No one has ever suffered from having too many friends.

There is so much that can be written about Levis amazing friendship quality. But for me the most amazing thing was that Levi was able to connect with anybody, young and old, far and near, he was simply everyone’s best friend. For real.

I remember a period in yeshivah where Levis was trying to surprise his friends on their birthdays. Not only was the present itself a surprise but also the way he handed it over. At one occasion he found an old kindergarten picture with one friend. He enlarged the picture to a 20x30 poster and framed it. He then sneaked in to the friend’s bedroom at home and hung it up at the wall over his bed. As far as I remember he didn't even ask for permission. When Levi wanted to do something, he just did it. With his laugh and a good word, you just accepted it with a smile. What else could you do?  

At another occasion he purchased a leather Siddur, personalized it with a friends name and hid it in his Tefilin bag so he will find it the morning of his birthday.

These were small things and thoughts that made Levi so loved by all his friends.   

Shlichus years

Naturally, after leaving to Shlichus we were less in touch as there were time differences etc. but we kept in touch and would speak every so often. What amazed me most was Levis ability of remembering details of names and people. He would ask how this and this is doing and how did a certain program develop. It could have been months later, but he remembered it all.

In general Levi felt very close to Stockholm, as he was a great-grandson of Rabbi Yaakov Israel Zuber who served as a Rabbi and Moehl in Stockholm during the 1930’s and 40’s. Rabbi Zuber was a Rabbi in Adat Israel Shul, where I Daven today. Levi was very interested to know how is “Zeides Shul” is doing and would ask about as much details as possible.

After Levi’s father, Reb Zalman, passed away we decided to start a phone Shiur on Thursday night / Friday morning where we learned together a sicha bechavrusa. The first year or so we learned together but after a while some classmates joined and this kept for several years. The Shiur was very dear to Levi and he would make an effort to join, even when he was already sick and it was getting more difficult.

Unfortunately due to Levi’s condition the Shiur weakened the last period. But Levi promised me several times that as soon as he gets better he will join again. Now his friends have decided to renew the Shiur, and it resumed during Shivah. Every Leil Shishi friends from around the world join in learning in his memory and I’m sure Levi is joining us too from Gan Eden. (If any of Levis classmates are reading this and would like to join please email me at rabbi@chabadstockholm.com for the details).

I saw Levi last during the Kinus Hashluchim, in NIH hospital, just over a week before he returned his purified soul to Hashem. It was very obvious that his condition was not good. Nevertheless he made an effort to joke around and talk about whatever as if all is well. Tracht gut vet zein gut was his motto until the very end.

Levi, I will forever remember you for all the love, friendship and happiness you spread around you. Your amazing ability to think positive will be a motivation and inspiration for me. Often, when things are difficult and I have a hard day, I think of you and get encouraged to keep it up. You will forever remain with us.

Soon, Moshicah will come and we will be able to continue our Farbrengens together. Until then, may Hashem give your wife, children, mother and siblings the Koach they need to go on with life. Often, when such events happen we say Life must go on. Levi, YOUR LIFE must go on, the amazing of a person you were must live within all of us and continue be an inspiration for all who knew you during your short, but so accomplished, life. 

May we share only Simchos and Besuros Tovos with the Deitsch family from now on, Simchos that we will all share in.

Levi at my wedding.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Your efforts will not be forgotten

By: Dr Stanko Petrov

I can not stop thinking about him.
Great man and a real Rabbi (The only one that I trusted).
He will always be remembered by me for his love, patience, kindness, sacrifice and generosity.
He was always there for me helping to get my life straight.
By all means ( buying my undergrad books (now 3rd year medical student), bringing food when I was sick to going out playing pool to cheer me up and talking about life.
Will always remember
His laugh, jokes, hugs and kisses.
As I write this tears are running down my face there is so much to say.
I will miss you
Your efforts will not be forgotten.
And I will keep my promise !

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Rabbi

By: Alfred Ohebshalom

Rabbi Levi Deitsch. Where could a person begin?

…Just about 20 years ago, one Friday afternoon before Shabbat, I heard the bell of my office door ring and on the other side were two Frum young men, holding a Talit bag and asking my father, brother and me if we would like to partake in the mitzvah of putting on Teffilin. Obviously, I welcomed them in and that was where the start of our beautiful 20 year relationship began. I witnessed him grown from a special young man to a community leader who was beyond his years in wisdom. His teachings were always filled with knowledge and the pearls of Torah which he bestowed upon his listeners, were always rich in depth and meaning.

On one particular occasion, I remember Rav Levi visiting me at work and announcing that he was engaged to the woman he hopes to spend the rest of his life with, (the fabulous Rebbenzin Miriam whom we all know so well). That day we had a memorable lechaim and his face was nothing short of glowing. He was clearly radiating a heavenly joy and he was beyond happy to finally start his life with this very special woman. Months later, Rav Levi approached me with Rebbenzin Mirriam, and mentioned he wanted to start a Shul in Virginia. At the time I had no idea that a young man of his age was capable of achieving precisely that and truly, so much more. Because of his charisma and inborn love of Hashem, it seemed as if he could do truly anything. He called me and confidently proclaimed “We did it.” Albeit he was proud (and deservingly so,) his strength in being an anav overcame his desire to boast this wonderful achievement.

Baruch Hashem, throughout the years I knew Rav Levi, we shared happiness in numerous other smachot as well; my son’s Bar Mitzvah, the earning of his Rabbanut, and the birth of his adorable children, in addition to many other milestones of his life.

Sadly, we also shared a common displeasure in many unfortunate moments. Throughout the ups and downs, Rav Levi still carried his famous smile on his face and approached all issues of life with a positive attitude. Even in his later days, where I was privileged to visit him at his mother’s home in Crown Heights, he welcomed me with that distinct smile that made him nothing short of legendary. Throughout our time together, his Emunah in Hashem, his love of humanity and his outstanding character, never faltered. It was precisely these virtues that carried him so long and helped him overcome all of the obstacles throughout his 34 year journey in this world.

Not too many people could achieve what Rav Levi did in such a short amount of time. Rav Levi will forever live in our memories and hearts as a unique person with unmatchable courage and love. Personally, I am forever grateful for the way Rav Levi touched my soul, and for having taught me to better embrace the Torah and thus become a greater citizen of Hashem’s world.

Rabbi, we will never forget you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rabbi Levi giving the speech at the Hebrew School graduation, where 50 children graduated between 5-13.

Levi giving a L'chaim to a newly engaged couple, who had their engagement party at the Chabad house.

Monday, January 3, 2011

He was a larger than life

By: LF

“Rabbi Levi” as he was fondly called, was sent to Tyson's Corner, VA to save lives, spiritually primarily, but in his final moments and then beyond, an actual life.

In his last weeks, Rabbi Levi was in massive pain, his illness rapidly becoming too difficult for his doctors to treat. An energy healer was flown in from Israel, one who they hoped would provide Rabbi Levi with some relief.

Taking a walk that fateful Shabbat afternoon, the Healer began to experience chest pains. Mentioning this to Dr. I, he was told to stay in town until Monday when he could have it checked out by Dr. B right there at Reston Hospital.

Monday morning came, and as he was staying at our home, I drove him to his appointment. Figuring I’d go and say a quick hello to Dr. B. I accompanied him instead of driving to the office. It was a good thing I did, as the receptionist said he had no appointment. Reluctant to stay until the afternoon only to get a consultation, as the receptionist suggested, he says to me “Let’s go, I have friends in Baltimore, and then some things to do in NY, I’ll take care of it some other time”.

Leaving the office, I glanced at the wall where the names of the doctors whose practice it was are prominently emblazed; I recognized one of them as a student at our current JLI course on Medical Ethics. Calling Dr. Y. on his cell phone he graciously agreed to have him squeezed in immediately.
Not a moment too soon.

The next morning he was being wheeled into Inova Fairfax for an emergency angioplasty. His results? The opening of his coronary artery that had become 95% blocked. He was, in the doctors’ words, “a heart attack in waiting”.

You see, he came to save Rabbi Levi’s life; it was Rabbi Levi who saved his.

Rabbi Levi will be sorely missed. He was a larger than life figure; his presence filled any room he was in. His absence now leaves a gaping hole in our collective heart.

Yet in Beit Shemesh in the land of Israel, a grateful father, husband, and grandfather feels his presence still. So does his family.

So do we.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A nephew's memories

By: Shaya Bernstein

Hi, as Levi's oldest nephew, I wanted to share a few memories:

When I was about six years old, he was the head counselor of Lubavitch Day Camp, the camp I went to (my father was the director). One day I won a raffle. I went up to the stage to collect my prize. He started singing that I cannot get my prize until I make a Somersault across the stage in front of the camp. I was mortified, but did it anyway. Levi started screaming and clapping like only Levi could. Of course I walked away feeling good that your uncle cheers you on in front of the whole camp.

We went a few times during our summer vacations to Virginia to visit. Levi was so excited that we were coming, he went to Costco and stocked up on food for six weeks and enough pillows, blankets and towels for an army. The Deitsch's have a pool, and the Bernsteins loved using it! Levi would laugh at us that we would rather be swimming than going to Washington DC to see the sights! One time he convinced me to dive into the pool off of someone's head! The he came up from behind and pushed us both off the diving board. He laughed like only he could. We had so much fun with him!
He loved his Shlichus, and made sure to be the first one in Shul. We were really impressed- as yeshiva boys, who only get up when they are forced... this was impressive!

Hopefully he will inspire us to live Besimcha Uvetuv Leivav.

I wish Levi was here

By: Esther Kosofsky

When I think of my nephew Levi, I always remember one particular story that epitomized the reaction he had on people. The Deitsch family hosted a youth group leader for several years when he would bring his teens for a Shabbos in Crown Heights. The group would eat with one family on Friday night, somewhere else for lunch but the leader always brought the group back to the Deitsch home for Havdala. My family and I stayed at the Deitsch's house a few years during that same Shabbaton weekend and met the youth group leader and some of his students. One year, the leader arrived at the Deitsch home with around twenty teenagers before Havdala time and they milled around in the living room waiting until my brother-in-law a"h would return from shul. One by one, the three older Deitsch boys filtered in and when they noticed the group in the living room, smiled and retreated. My sister suggested that they go in and interact with the guests. They walked in and after saying hello, an uncomfortable silence settled in the room. After a moment or two, one turned to the other and said "I wish Levi was here".
At this time, Levi was several years younger than the guests, but that did not matter, he was the one who would have engaged the group and broken the awkward moment.
Levi, now we are also turning to each other with the same bakasha: "I wish Levi was here", not to break any uncomfortable silence or to put strangers at ease, but to enjoy your warm personality and shining demeanor, to see your obvious love for your famliy and for your shlichus, you will always be an inspiration.
I wish Levi was here.

Only one grew to be a giant

By: Leibish Heller

I just watched the video on Shmais couldn’t stop crying, levy last time I saw you was at Nosson’s Shiva you were there being Mechazek us, though we were class mates (from the original 22) we hadn’t really spoken for some years before then and one of the reasons for flying in was so that we can catch up an I remember thinking to myself this is was chasidim used to say: “Tzuman gegesen ober... we both ate from the same table but somehow only one grew to be a giant” seeing you after all those years you emerged so powerful so huge… Levi Teiere you always had such a good heart Daven for the class that the rest of us have the vision you had, I pray that having watched this video will make me a better parent son siblings Jew and Chasid.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The example of a true shliach

When the word Shliach comes to mind, there is no one that can better fit the description the Levi.
He treated every Jew with kindness and made them feel like they were the most important person in his life.
He himself was filled with life. Always happy no matter how sick he was.
He was welcoming. You never felt like you were a burden on him.
And one thing that the Rebbe stressed was to be Mesudar. I cannot think back to one time where Levi did not present himself in a neat and dignified way.
He was a true Chossid. Always inspiring others to do more.
It’s impossible to think about the future without you here physically helping and encouraging us. It is hard to move on. But we all know that the best way to keep your flame alive is by continuing to spread Yiddishkeit to others and strengthening ourselves one mitzvah at a time. Levi we miss you very much and we Daven every day for the coming of mashiach when we can once again be reunited with our dear Rabbi Levi.

By taking on one mitzvah at a time we are hastening the coming of mashiach, I will work on strengthening my ahavas yisroel-love for you fellow jew, in Levis merit and I encourage you to take on your own mitzvah.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Transcript of speech by Dr Donald Infeld at the Tanya Dedication after the Shiva period. Chabad House of Tysons VA

Transcript of speech by Dr Donald Infeld at the Tanya Dedication after the Shiva period. Chabad House of Tyson’s VA
Rabbi Levi Ob”m and I were best friends. Actually, to be very
honest, over the past two years, I came to love Levi Deitsch.
He was a remarkable man, capable of fighting a devastating
illness with the tenacity of a Lion, while at his core remaining
a gentle man with a heart of gold….the most accepting person I
have ever met.
Let me give you a bit of background so that you can appreciate
how we came to embark on a very special life journey together.
I am a physician and just before Rosh Hashanah two years ago, I
learned—admittedly thru federally prohibited stray talk in the
Doctor’s Lounge—that Rabbi Levi had lung cancer. Since this was
not public information, I was concerned about meeting with him
to discuss it. Nevertheless, I did, I called and made and
appointment and met with him at his small office at the Shul.
At the meeting, not unsurprisingly given who he was, Rabbi Levi
was completely disinterested in spending any time listening to
my nervously offered and weak apology of how I was acting on a
healthcare information leak. Instead, he listened intently as I
offered my services as a medical liaison—a guide, a scout, an
advocate—in short, a Shliach to help him navigate the complex
healthcare system we have in America and ensure he received the
best medical care possible.
Little did I know at the time, but Rabbi Levi was a 5-star
general preparing for what he knew would be a protracted and
difficult war against a tough and unrelenting enemy. Yet, to
his last breath, he was absolutely certain that he would beat
this illness and the prospect of having a medically
knowledgeable and connected aide-de-camp at his side was
extremely appealing. He embraced my offer and, indeed, he
embraced me.
And off we went together, the two Shluchim, on a medical and
spiritual journey that would profoundly affect both of our
Allow me for a brief few minutes to share a small part of what I
have seen and experienced on this journey. Some of my story
will reflect the on the amazing qualities of our dear departed
Rabbi—but my purpose as well this evening is to share a few
particularly meaningful experiences that shed light on the
incredible Lubavitch culture—their way-of-life and their values.
For in my medical Shliach role, I have for the past few years,
walked among the Lubavitch as an honored guest. I have been
allowed to pierce the outsider’s veil, to gain access and
observe and participate from within—and what I have seen and
experienced has been enriching beyond words.
With Rabbi Levi, I walked the streets of Crown Heights, I slept
in his Mother’s house, I davenned at 770, I layed Tefillin at
the Ohel (the grave of the Rebbe). At his side, I attended
Kinuses and the National Jewish Retreat; I danced at the
weddings of his Sister and Miriam’s Sister—and with him I sat
Shiva in Crown Heights for his Brother Nosson.
Through this all, I have witnessed, first hand, the majesty and
beauty of Yiddishkeit
And, perhaps most importantly, I have seen and experienced what
Ahavat Yisroel—the love of Jew for fellow Jew—indeed, the pure
love of one for another—really means. I have seen, up-close and
personal, a quality and depth of love that I did not know—or
believe—existed on this planet.
You need to appreciate the hundreds if not thousands of visitors
who came to Rabbi Levi’s bedside during his many
hospitalizations. On numerous occasions his ward at NIH looked
like the streets of Crown Heights on a Spring Sunday…with
Schluchim driving and flying in from all over the country,
indeed the world, to simply spend a few hours at Rabbi Levi’s
bedside. And they sat and they comforted him with a genuine
caring that is hard to convey. Between Miriam, his brothers and
other relatives and friends, our Rabbi never spent a night
alone in a hospital, often with as many as three people taking
shifts all night at his bedside.
All over the world, Schluchim and others were praying for Rabbi
Levi. There was a recent conference call with over 500 people
saying Tehillim in Rabbi Levi’s merit. At the national Jewish
Retreat a few months ago, Danny Cohen, the Shliach of Hevron sat
down to talk with us. As you may known, Hevron is the biblical
city which contains the Caves of Machpelah the resting place of
the tombs of the Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as
the Matriarchs: Sarah, Rebeccah and Leah.

And I’ll never forget that moment, as Danny looked at Levi with
radiant love and compassion and said in a Yiddish cadence:
“Levi you simply have to get better soon. You see every time we
have a minion at Machpelah we say a Refuah Schlamah for you…and
I think the Emahot and Avot are getting tired of hearing about
you.” A truly remarkable scene that played out repeatedly at
the second holiest site in Judaism.
I could go on for hours, telling you of the outpouring of love
and prayer for Rabbi Levi; yes he was special and touched many
because of his heart, his compassion and his outgoing
personality—but what was showered upon him is part and parcel of
the values inherent in the Lubavitch way of life. It is very,
very powerful stuff and it permeates the Chabad outreach
movement that brings us all here tonight. I can’t tell you how
many people, secular New York City Jews, who I met along the way
who visited Rabbi Levi during his illness because of how deeply
his Tefillin visits touched them during his Friday Mitzvot
rounds decades ago when Rabbi Levi was a young Yeshiva bocher.
I need to share with you the poignancy of the last Shabbos of
Rabbi Levi’s life—not to evoke tears but to share with you the
both the reverence for and the majesty of Shabbos that I have
witnessed. At dusk, Rabbi Levi lay in his bed on life support
in a medically induced coma. At bedside, his wife, his Mother,
two brothers, a sister and my wife and I welcomed in the Sabbath
Queen. To the rhythmic whooshes of the ventilator, Mendy
Deitsch made Kiddush and passed around wine and challah. In the
ICU waiting room, a white tablecloth was spread on the coffee
table and the Shabbos meal was eaten in shifts. The next day,
the Rabbi’s soul was returned to its maker mid-afternoon. At
darkness with a Shomer saying Tehillim in Levi’s room—Nechemia
Deitsch chanted Havdallah in the ICU at the Nursing station—and
then and only then were cell phones turned on and relatives
notified. Even a life event of this magnitude would not be seen
as justification to break the sanctity of Shabbos.
And so to all the non-Hassids in this room, I relate these
experiences so you may better appreciate the culture and values
of the Chabad Shluchim and how very blessed we are to have them
in our community. Simply put, by values and practice, they are
very special people truly doing Hashem’s work here on Earth—and
the fact that we in Tyson’s Corner have an open door to this
world of Jewish faith, spirituality and Yiddishkeit—a door that
is open in a totally accepting and non-judgmental way—is nothing
short of extraordinary. We must not take this for granted; we
must avail ourselves of Chabad@Tyson’s many offerings and we
must support it.
A propos of this, let me close by relating a wonderful
metaphorical story that Rabbi Bryski (of California) told at the
National Jewish Retreat in Reston a few months ago on Shabbos.
He said imagine that you are in an enormous Olympic-sized
stadium about to take the baton for your leg in an epic
relay race, the results of which can strongly influence the
history of our people. The stands are filled with countless
spectators from the 5000+ years of Jewish existence. You look
out over the faces and you look up and in the skyboxes you see
Abraham and Isaac and the Matriarchs; you see Moshe Rabenue and
the Ramban—and you see the Rebbe and the Bal ShemTov. And they
are all watching you to see how you will take the passing of the
baton from your ancestors and how you will run your leg. And as
Rabbi Bryski concluded, “so when you take that baton, I urge you
to run and run like you never ran before”.
And I would amend his parable as a challenge to all of us
sitting here tonight. Let us all in our mind’s eye see Rabbi
Levi—in his robust form of several years ago—as that last runner
handing us the baton—and let us pledge to take that baton here
in Tyson’s Corner “and run and run like we have never ran
Out of nothing, Rabbi Levi came here eight years ago and created
a vibrant Jewish Community, a veritable oasis of Jewish
learning, Jewish spirituality and Yiddishkeit. All of us have
been touched and transformed by him and the work of the Chabad
House here. So in his merit—and also for ourselves and for our
own Jewish spiritual journey—let us tonight take a solemn pledge
to support the Chabad at Tyson’s and see it flourish. I am
certain that next to the wellbeing of Miriam and his
children—looking down from above—nothing would be more important
and gratifying to our beloved Rabbi Levi Yitzhok ben Zalman Yuda

Monday, December 20, 2010

So full of life

By: Gittle Gopin

I knew Levi really only through my husband Moishe, who grew up with the Deitsch family. On the few occasions that Levi came to Melbourne since he married Miriam, Moishe always loved to catch up with him, as old friends do. When we were overseas last year, Moishe went to visit Levi in Virginia. He could not get over the amount of people coming through the doors in the few hours they spent together. And although Levi did not look the same, he sure was the same Levi that Moishe knew and loved.
Last year, my brother in law who is on Shlichus in Johns Hopkins University made a dinner for his community. Although unwell, Levi made the trip to Baltimore to be by the dinner, to support his friend and fellow Shliach. After the dinner, Levi called our house. He wanted to give Moishe Nachas from his younger brother, and proceeded to talk of how impressed and inspired he was by my brother in law's speech. As I spoke to Levi, I could not get over that with all that was going on in his own life, it was important to him to think of Moishe in Australia, to call him to give him Nachas. On a personal note, I was humbled at how Levi spoke so warmly to me, as if we knew each other personally. As we chatted, I could not get over how this sick man sounded so cheerful, so full of life, so happy. This was Levi.
After Pesach this year, I wrote an email to Mendy, Levi's brother, to tell him how we had spent Pesach with a bochur from his community, and how the Bochur had such wonderful things to say of Mendy. Literally as I pressed the send button, my American phone rang. The caller ID showed Levi Deitsch. I was shocked. When I picked up the phone, Levi in his ever so friendly voice told me he was sitting with his brother Mendy, and they were talking about Moishe, so they decided to call to say hello. We spoke for a bit and then he asked for Moishe's work number. When he got through to Moishe, Moishe was so touched. He put everything at work on hold, and spent some time Shmoozing with his dear friends.
Levi's passing has left Moishe and myself with broken hearts. We are aching for Miriam and the children, for Cyril, for all the Deitsch family. And we are aching for ourselves as we have lost a dear friend. I am honored to have known Levi, even the little bit that I did. And I am a better person because of him, for the Hachlotos that I took upon myself in his Zechus.
Miriam, I wish you strength to be able to cope with this, and may you be comforted from hearing of all the many people Levi touched. May you always have an abundance of Nachas from your children, and know of no more pain!
Warm regards,
Gittle Gopin

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dear Levi

By: Ariel Goldin

Dear Levi,
Tears are running freely down my cheeks as I remember all of the amazing times I had in your house throughout my year on Shluchos and all the visits after that. There are so many things to say that I’m having a hard time gathering my thoughts…
I remember first arriving in Virginia, first walking into your house and feeling immediately comfortable. In general, it usually takes me a while to warm up to new people but you and Miriam were so friendly and welcoming I felt instantly at home. Two days later I was telling my mother how I was comfortable enough already to walk into the house and open the fridge and her saying how you guys must be amazing people. I assured her that you were.
For the ten months that I was living in your home, I watched as you transformed so many people who came to the Chabad House. The change and growth that I witnessed was amazing and no one else could have pulled it off. Aside for weddings, Bar Mitzvah’s, and births, I saw more Yiddishkeit in the people of Tysons. I saw people observe more Torah and Mitzvos under your persuasion and influence.
Even after I moved to New York and would come visit for Shabbos or Yom Tov (happily welcomed every time no matter how you were feeling and regardless of the number of other guests you were having), I saw the community grow under your care. Each time I would return, I was amazed by what you had accomplished in the few weeks or months since my last visit.
I also watched your family grow through your love. I saw Miriam smile as she made Shabbos dinner for 30 people and how she would glow when you would thank her for it. I saw Zalman first rolling over, Mirel calling herself “tights” instead of “Deitsch”, Mendel making leaf piles, and Chaya learning to read while you patiently and devotedly helped them all. Then, I think of them now and how proud you must be!
At the end of my year of Shluchos, you and Miriam gave Chana Raizel and me each a chitas. You had our names written on them but I remember you handing it to us and specifically saying, “We didn’t put your last names on them!” Baruch Hashem, both of us have new last names a few years after leaving Tysons.
On the topic of name change, you passed away the Shabbos of my Sheva Brachos. I had called Miriam a few weeks before to find out if you were going to be able to come because I wanted you to say a bracha under my chuppah. Even though you couldn’t make it, I know how much you wanted to be there. I also know that you waited until after my wedding to leave so that I could be happy and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Levi, driving home from Midrasha shortly after you were diagnosed you told me that G-d willing, everything would be ok. I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through your head at this moment and here you were trying to reassure me.
Every Friday night at the Shabbos table you would go around and ask every person to say something that inspired them that week. This tradition always used to drive me crazy! And of course, you knew this and would always skip me unless I had something particular in mind.
The truth is, Levi, that you inspire me. You inspire me to pursue my goals and to think of others more. You inspire me to always think positive and to never give up. I hear you singing your favorite niggun and only hope that I can inspire people even a fraction of how much you’ve inspired everyone you’ve ever met.

I miss you, Levi! Moshiach Now!

Ariel Goldin

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Tribute to a Dear Friend

By: Sholom Schapiro

(From a weekly email sent to my mailing list last month)

This past Shabbat, I lost a very dear friend.

At the young age of thirty-four, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Deitsch, of blessed memory, passed away after a heart-wrenching three-year battle with lung cancer. Levi, as he was called, was a friend of mine from a very young age. We spent our yeshivah school years and summer camp together from elementary through Rabbinical college. We were partners in the Rebbe's work, visiting Jews in offices and businesses on Friday afternoons: as thirteen-year-olds we would put tefillin on people twice our size and share ideas about the weekly Torah portion as if we were world-class speakers! Later, we traveled together to Chabad Houses around the world, receiving hands-on experience as young Rabbis.

One of the greatest things we can do for someone who has passed away is to better our lives by learning from - and emulating - their special qualities.

From among Levi's countless good character traits and deeds, there are two qualities that stand out in my mind:

Levi was always happy, upbeat, and humorous, greeting everyone with a smile. He was full of life and his laughter was contagious. His positive attitude was directed to everyone, no matter what their religious standing, views, or life path. What always stuck out in my mind is not just that Levi greeted everyone with a smile, it's that he greeted everyone. We all have certain people with whom we'd rather not have to interact. Levi spoke to everyone equally for, in his world, there was no one undeserving of kindness and respect.

Levi's openness and straightforwardness was another of his special qualities. He could tell everyone what he thought and felt without having to worry that he might offend them. Because of his loving, non-judgmental attitude, people appreciated his honesty. If there was a yeshivah student who cut his beard, Levi would tell him in his witty way, "Ah, com' on, you shouldn't be touching your beard; you should have a full beard." He would prod me in his forthright and loving way: "Sholom, I think it's about time for your Chabad House to be open on Shabbat!" (Levi is one of our inspirations for starting Shabbat services, which we now have every week.) People were able to accept his advice without offense because they knew that it came from his tremendous capacity to care about them.

In this week's Torah portion, Yaakov prepares for a reunion with his brother Esav after many years of separation. Esav, the epitome of wickedness, hates his brother and approaches him ominously with 400 armed men. Nevertheless, when they actually meet, Esav embraces him.

Yaakov is known to be the middat ha'emet, the attribute of truth. When we project and express the truth, we can even approach a person with the veneer of Esav and turn him into a friend. By recognizing and revealing the inherent good that's in every person, we can reach even those seemingly far from Judaism, through their essence.

More than any other, I feel this quality personified Levi. He was able to touch so many with his honesty and genuineness; any criticism he offered was accepted as an expression of his warmth and care.

If we need another reason to cry out for Moshiach to come, let it be to bring an end to all suffering and pain, when all those who have passed away will be reunited with their loved ones; and Levi will be reunited with his beautiful family, his wife Miriam and four lovely children, Chaya, Mendel, Mirul and Zalmen. And they will continue to lead the community they built as emissaries of the Rebbe in Tysons Corner, VA.

A gigantic heart and neshomo

By: Shalom M Paltiel

I love you Levi and miss you. So much that has been said rings so true. He made everyone feel like they’re something special and unique. That may sound nice, but with Levi it is really true. What a gigantic neshomo and heart he had. For everyone who crosses his path, be it an irreligious Jew, a fellow chosid, or just a stranger… to be made to feel like they’re really special… that was what Levi would achieve. That's real ahavas yisroel!

Levi spent two or three yomim tovim at our chabad house as a bochur. Not a big deal in the scheme of his bochur years no doubt. Yet, he became engraved in the minds and hearts of our family from those short visits. It was shmini atzeres when he taught our then two year old daughter Mushka a cute childish song to the tune of I have a little driedle. It went like this:
"I have a little Sukkah with four walls and a door, it doesn’t have a ceiling, it doesn’t have a floor. The schach, will be the ceiling, the earth will be the floor, add some decorations. its ready now for sure". He sang it with joy and humor and a childlike lisp... Our Mushka was hysterically laughing and in love with him each time he sang it.

Fast forward ten year, eleven years. Our mushka was then twelve, thirteen years old. She still remembers Levi vividly and the song he sang. For many long months, she, along with thousands of others, said daily tehillim for his complete recovery, praying that he would continue to spend many more years with Miriam and his children and community. On erev sukkos 5770, days after yom kippur we were told Levi was unable to lead his congregation on that Yom Kippur and that things had taken a turn for the worse. Suddenly there's a phone message on the voicemail at our home, just hours before sukkos. It was Levi. He had nothing more important to do that day then to leave a message for our Mushka, singing the "I have a little sukkah" song... needless to say he had all of us in tears, including our now much grown up Mushka who just couldn’t believe it.

Another year passes. A difficult year for Levi and his family. I'm quite aware from visiting with Levi and talking to Miriam that things aren’t great and that he's gone back to VA because there wasn’t much they could do for him in NY. But there it was again, Erev Sukkos 5771 (!) a voice mail from Levi Deitsch, "I have a little sukkah..."

I love you Levi and miss you. But clearly you will continue to make an impact, as someone said so powerfully on the video – “his influence will continue…”

In a brief visit with Levi in Crown Heights last summer, when things were not so good... Levi was pounding me on why I don’t send enough kids to mayanot which is the way to bring them really close to yiddishkeit. This had been a discussion between us numerous times... but here he was again, the conversation wasn’t about him, his hardships, etc but about the work of Shlichus. Although, as usual he never spoke about himself, a few times in the conversation he exclaimed: “My wife, Miriam, she's my everything. she's my everything...” - Surely Levi will make sure to arrange that EVERYTHING should go well for his EVERYTHING here on earth begashmiyus and bruchniyus.

A week later, I am at the ohel and Levi is there with his Rebbitzin. Again, he is sitting with a mekurav, a yid who did not look frum, giving him chizuk and instructions. I was there davening for my little tzoros, and there I see this giant of a chosid totally and completely focused on another yid and on his shlichus... literally with his last kochos. That image will stay with me forever. It removed my excuses to complain and be grouchy for whatever happens in life... to me it was an image of a real chosid, much as one would see in generations bygone, but in the modern “dor-hashviei” model. A chosid. A jew permeated with emunah, bitachon, and ahavas yisroel.

Like everyone else, I have no idea why this happened. But it is clear to little me, that these amazing people who get hit this way - Levi, and his amazing wife and their children, and the entire Deitsch mishpocho who were hit so hard of late... all being the best of the best lubavitch has... and the questions are all begging to be asked, why why why... It is clear to me (these are just my own feelings but I’m sharing them for what it’s worth) that as the gmoro says vohavov ktzeis hashemesh bigvuroso, those who love Hashem will shine on that Great Day like the sun in full glory. The gomoro explains that this refers to hasmeichim byisurim rl... those who rejoice despite their afflictions. All of those aforementioned, those who were taken from this amazing family and all those who were affected so deeply, each and every day by these tragic loses... they are the real special ones. The ohavov, the ones who love Hashem. Hashem has in store for them such goodness (as the Rebbe writes that miyom holchi lecheder... from the day I went to cheder… he thought of the good that Moshiach would bring… it’s got to be so good as to make up somehow for all the tzaar hagolus… the pain of exile…) They will all get the real goodness on the big day. They are real chasidim and real jews and Hashem chose them. But they will be the ones to know true goodness.

May it be very soon.

With a heart overflowing with love and admiration for Levi and his family, I write this in the name of my entire mishpocho, my wife Sara - and of course our now 14 year old Mushka.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Passing tourist

By: Dan Abitbol
Montreal , Canada

Of all the people posting messages about Rabbi Levi (Z"L) I am probably the one who knew him least yet I remain compelled to say a few words about him.

I live in Montreal, Canada and was invited to play music at Mr. Michael Medina's (a prominent member of his Shul and close friend) wedding a couple of years ago and then was called back for another wedding the following summer so I've only spent to Shabbats at Tyson's Corner Chabad but in that short time, like many have already testified, a bond was immediately formed and it was as if we always knew each other. We spoke and joked like old friends and despite not seeing other for an extended period of time, picked up where we left off . Such Neshamas are really special and he leaves a tremendous void in his community that will not easily be filled . My best wishes of comfort to his wife and young children who are just as special as HE.
May Hashem send much needed comfort to the family and the Rebbe’s merit be with him and bless you all , Amen


By: Anonymous

A couple of year ago I was talking with Levi and I mentioned that I’m moving on Shlichus, I don’t recall asking him for a donation during the conversation…midway thru our talk he says B”H I’m doing well and I would like to donate one thousand dollars to help you start. Then he said, call my brother and tell that I gave you a thousand dollars and he we will do the same. That is exactly what happened, humbly and happily helping others! during this same conversation Levi was telling me that B”H he has the ability to help other Shluchim financially and he is very happy to help even though people are advising him not give “so much” Tzedaka, he said it’s the right thing to do and he is going to continue.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rabbi Levi!

He never asked "Why"?!

By: Mordechai Lightstone - Credit lubavitch.com

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Deitsch, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Tysons Corner, Virginia passed away Saturday, November 12. He was 34 years old.

Levi was the son of Rabbi Zalman Yuda, a prominent Lubavitcher chasid, Brooklyn community organizer and philanthropist, and Cyrel Deitsch.

Family and classmates knew Levi as a boisterous and personable child. Always looking to bring a smile to the faces of others, he would make a special effort to reach out to his less popular classmates. Childhood friend Nussie Sternberg recalls Levi’s “larger than life” personality as “different than anyone else” he’d ever met.

“Even if you’d met Levi only once,” Sternberg says, “he made you feel like he’s known you his entire life-- as if you were his best friend.”

Levi’s liveliness was tempered by a deep sense of responsibility to his community and his family. He especially cherished his father as an inspiring role model.

“He absolutely adored our father,” recalls his brother Rabbi Mendy Deitsch, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Chandler, AZ. “He wanted everyone else to see the dedication our father had to the Chasidic lifestyle and the message of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.”

Levi would often regale friends with stories of his father’s use of his business as a means to encourage Jewish identity and observance. A business meeting, Levi would remind others, would not start until after his father had offered potential partners a chance to don Tefillin. After his father’s untimely passing in 2006, Levi would continue to draw inspiration from his legacy.

Levi’s own commitment to utilizing every opportunity for the purpose of connecting with other Jews was legendary. Every week he would join his yeshivah colleagues in the practice of visiting Jewish businessmen in their places of work, encouraging them to don Tefillin and perform other mitzvot. His weekly rounds in Manhattan’s business district would build relationships that would continue for the remainder of his brief life.

In 2002, a year after Levi married Miriam Loebenstein, the couple moved to Tysons Corner, VA to serve as Chabad emissaries to the community. Far from a traditional Jewish community, Levi’s brought warmth and liveliness to his work and the people who would quickly come to love him.
Michael Medina, originally from Montreal, met the Deitschs a year after they arrived in Tysons corner and soon became a frequent Shabbat guest in their home.

“I called him my brother,” Medina recalls. “It wasn’t a typical rabbi-congregant relationship. Levi was always open, never condescending.” Medina is quick to add that the special bond he shared with Levi was one that many in the community experienced as well.

When he was diagnosed with the disease that would eventually take his life, Levi tried to conceal his sickness from the community out of fear that eople would shy away from synagogue services. Only after he was forced to miss Yom Kippur services for medical treatment did the community learn of their rabbi’s condition.

Despite an unpromising prognosis, Levi remained optimistic and dedicated to his work.
“He never asked ‘Why?’” Mendel Deitsch recalls. “What bothered him most was not his own physical suffering, but rather how it distracted him from reaching out to others.”

Despite his deteriorating health and other tragedies - Levi’s younger brother Nosson was killed in a boating accident this past May - Levi embraced life with positive energy, hoping for a cure that would allow him to go on living and sharing his love for giving.

Sternberg recalls visiting Levi last Chanukah after a particularly difficult round of treatment. The Deitschs would run Chanukah Wonderland, an interactive Chanukah experience with a functioning olive press. The event was important to Levi, and though unable to run Chanukah Wonderland, he insisted on manning the call-center. A physically draining experience, he was left exhausted after each call. Yet somehow, Sternberg notes, “he would pick up the phone each time with a renewed vigor.”
Levi’s optimism challenged his doctors to search aggressively for new treatments and ways of beating the illness.

His physician and friend, Dr. Donald S. Infeld recalls Levi as “a remarkable man: capable of fighting a devastating illness with the tenacity of a lion… To his last breath, he was absolutely certain that he would beat this illness.”

Infeld notes that Levi has left a legacy in Tysons Corner where he “created a vibrant Jewish community, a veritable oasis of Jewish learning, Jewish spirituality and Yiddishkeit. It is now our job to take the baton he passed to us and run with it.”A series of programs and initiatives have already been established in Levi's memory. Among them, a new study hall for local businessmen has been established down the block from Levi's childhood home the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. As well, this Sunday, December 12, a memorial service and tribute to Levi's life and legacy will be held in the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia.

Levi is survived by his wife Miriam, his children Chaya, Mendel, Mirel and Zalman, as well as his mother Cyrel, and siblings, among them Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries across the globe.

A friend that cared for others

By: Anonymous

It's truly very hard to write but I want to share lessons that I learned from my dear Chaver and classmate, Levi.

Three years ago I was in the process of purchasing a Chabad house and had to come up with a larger sum of money, after trying local avenues I realized that I must find out of town ways, so naturally I called Levi, that one phone call I will never forget, firstly he was ready to give me a Gmach for a very large sum of money even if he would need to get a loan from someone else and then he suggested that I go to a friend of ours whom I wasn't in touch with for a few years. However Levi naturally was one of the only one who kept in close contact with this friend who then supported Levi as well. When I was a bit hesitant to go to one of his supporters, Levi pushed me by saying: now YOU need the money, I will worry about myself when I need it... Not only that, he then guided me through exactly how to go ahead. I will always be grateful for this, as it had helped me a lot till this very day.

Levi was truly a friend that cared for others no matter of age or background and would always put himself aside when it came to helping someone. I was always amazed to see so many young youngerlight that were close Mushpaim of Levi. I will always remember how it was just a few weeks after I got married sitting by my parents for a shabbas meal when Levi and Miriam made a point to come by to visit. It is the small things where people would think a hundred times before doing but Levi knew that if it would make someone feel good, there was nothing to think about, rather just do it.

And Lastly, it was an Erev Yom tov this past Pesach when I drove out to visit Levi, spending some time with him and knowing his Matsav I was shocked to see the Koach and Bitochon that he had, something that has surly made a huge impact on myself. Then when I arrived back home Ncheyeh told me that levi called minutes before yom tov to make sure that I arrived on time, again the friend that cared.

It is very difficult to write, but I only hope and daven that Hashem should give koiach to his wife and kinderlach and the entire Mishpacha to continue Levi's life and we should be zoche to Vhekitsu Vranenu... Levi Bsochom

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Levi was truly special, larger than life.

By: Esther Leuchter

What wonderful excitement filled our lives when you and Levi got engaged, Miriam! We were all thrilled and overjoyed that you were marrying such a fine young man from such an amazing family! What a beautiful wedding it was, one we will never forget, with all the family together. I still remember Levi singing at the wedding with such tremendous power in his voice. What passion and zest for life he had!

Before you made the final decision to go on shlichus to Tysons Corner, VA, I couldn’t believe that my beautiful Australian niece was moving not far from where I was from in Maryland. Levi asked me my opinion of the move, and I was strongly encouraging. When I came for my first visit, I realized that Tysons was a very commercial area and wondered how you were going to “grow” a community there. As the months unfolded, doors seemed to open for you two, and success just flowed. From an apartment you soon found just the perfect home for running a Chabad House, shul, and guest house. Someone even renovated it and furnished it for you, for nearly nothing. People started to come, supporters, programs and events, Shabbos meals galore with many guests from all walks of life.

Chabad of Tysons was here to stay! You expanded to a bigger shul nearby. You had your first weddings and babies in your own community. All while your own family, bli ayin hora, was growing so beautifully. Miriam, you and Levi were so dynamic, so giving and full of life. You were a shining example in every aspect of your life together of what a Chassidishe family represents. Needless to say, I had the highest respect for you both and the work you were doing. Our family was very proud of you and always will be.

I used to visit my Mother who lived at The Hebrew Home in Rockville every year, sometimes twice a year. You welcomed me so graciously for Shabbos on these trips. My visits with you were always a highlight. Smiling and relaxed, the house spotless, the aromas from the kitchen enticing, and the children already in bed when I would arrive erev Shabbos, you made everything look so effortless. Levi would be preparing his laining, his talk for Shabbos day, his divrei Torah for Friday night. He was so knowledgeable and sincere in his Yiddishkeit. With a smile and amusing word, he would challenge me to do more and be better. His honesty was refreshing. His concern for others was genuine. Whatever the occasion called for, he was fully there emotionally and intellectually.

What moved me most of all, Miriam, was the tremendous kindness you and Levi showed my dear Mother, o.b.m., over the years when she was living at the nursing home. You developed your own relationship with her, bringing the children to visit her after school, and inviting her, wheelchair-bound, to your events, and for Shabbos and Yom Tov meals at the Chabad House. I know she and Levi used to talk deeply about Hashem, about her finding meaning in her suffering (she had MS), about her love of Yiddishkeit, about life in general. She always spoke enthusiastically about her visits with you. I want to express my deep gratitude to you and Levi for your kindness to her and for all the effort you expended to make her feel important and cared for.

My dearest Miriam, Levi was truly special, larger than life, gifted with a profound humanity, integrity, and strength of character. He absolutely adored you, too, and told me many times how lucky he was to have married you. You complemented each other so well, and your love, devotion, and absolute respect for one another was palpable. You were both so mature for being so young.

May Hashem give you and the children and all the family comfort and blessing at this very difficult time. May Levi’s loving presence sustain and support you. And, may Levi’s passion and zest for life give you courage and strength to continue on.

Love always,
Your Favorite Sydney Aunt.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Always looking out for others

By: His Chaver Yonah Vilenkin

The shock of Levis passing is still seeping in. "Es Chatoai Ani Mazkir" and I confess that I did not keep in touch in the last few years as much as I should have. I am not one of these big writers but I know how important it is to share some memories with family and friends.

Levi and I were friends since preschool. In last year of our yeshiva studies I had the Zechus to learn Smicha with Levi. Originally I had plans to learn in 770 and Levi approached me and asked if I would consider learning with him. He said that he is going back for a 2nd year of Shlichus to Migdal Haemek and wanted me to join him. My first reaction was that I had no interest to go to Israel since I had already completed my year of Shlichus in Miami and wanted to focus on smicha. Levi of course did not take no for an answer he persisted and suggested that the Yeshiva will pay for my ticket and everything will be taken care of and that me and him will learn smicha together. It did not take much and he convince me to join him.

While in Migdal Haemek I got to learn allot more than I thought I knew about Levi than before. Especially since we shared the same room. When we arrived he obviously gave me a grand tour of the yeshiva and introduced me (the newcomer) to the Hanhalah and to the bochurim and made a small farbrengen. From when we arrived Levi made sure that I would be comfortable and that anything I would need would be looked after. Whether it was taking me to the kitchen in the backroom for special meal arrangements or take me to local friends house in one way or the other I always felt that Levi was there looking out for me. This was the true character of Levi, always looking out for others. Not only did I experience that with Levi but I witnessed that on a day to day basis with how he would interact and lookout for bochurim in Yeshiva.

I remember during "yemai depagra" how the bochurim would love to sit at farbrengen and make sure to sit close to Levi and farbreng with him. Almost every single bochur in yeshiva had a connection with Levi and Levi always found a way to connect with the most chassidishe bochur and the ones that were not as chassidish. What amazed me was how Levi would encourage bochurim to do what's right. I remember him talking to a bochur about something very personal, but in a very friendly and nice way, in a way that only Levi can say and would be accepted by others.

The caring and warmth was not limited to his friends. Levi was very friendly with the "Hanhalah Gashmies" of the Yeshiva. I remember him helping them approach donors and help them raise funds for the yeshiva. Everyone loved Levi, he was full of life and loved life. Levi will always be in my heart as someone who truly cared for others especially for friends. We miss you!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A special person

By: Anonymous

Although I was not privileged to get to know Levi as well as others did, I did learn a tremendous amount from him.
Levi was a role model, in everything he did. His love for Torah and Judaism was contagious. He didn't let anything seem like a burden, rather everything was done with a joy and excitement. He wasn't the only one to feel that joy, everyone around him felt it too.
His love for every Jew was remarkable. Whenever you went to see him, his face would be filled with a smile and he would ask about you and how everything was going. About himself, that was never the main subject.
Levi, though you are no longer with us physically, you light shines forever. You continue to be of inspiration to us and we hope that we continue to make you smile up there heaven.
See you very soon in Yerushalayim.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My favorite Bochur

By: Moishy Goldman

Dear Deitsch Family,

I can't begin to imagine how Levi's family, his wife and children must feel now. We have no idea. The only thing I can say is that I wish them koichos...and I wish them Levi, back by Techias Hameisim together with Nosson and his father R' Zalman A"H. I can speak for myself, and this hurts. A lot.

Levi was my counselor for two summers in Gan Yisroel Montreal, 5753-54. We were kids then and barely realized it, but those were trying times in Lubavitch, to say the least, especially the summer immediately after Gimmel Tammuz. Yet Levi and his co-counselor and very good friend, Chaim Greisman, gave us more than memorable summers. Levi became my big brother in every sense of the word.

I grew up as the oldest in my family, and the oldest grandchild on my mother's side. As such, I did not have a whole lot of older bochurim with whom I came into contact with on a regular basis, and did not have any role models to look up to, in that sense. Perhaps Levi sensed this; I don't know. But I do know that pretty much from the beginning, he cared for me and I could go to him with any problem I had.

One of the clearest memories I have of Levi's concern for me is him taking me outside the bunk for a late night chat. The purpose? Convincing me to stay in camp for the second month, as I had originally planned on being in camp only for one month. I still remember his very convincing argument: "What are you going to do in the country? You'll ride your bike a little bit, swim in the pool a little bit, and then what? Here you have your friends, a great bunk, we're having an awesome summer, stay with us!". I did and was very happy I did. Maybe I'm being naive, but couldn't Levi have simply said to himself "the kid wants to go home, zol er fohren gezunterheit"?. But he knew that I would be better off in Gan Yisroel, and he cared enough to make the effort to get me to stay.

From that early stage, I admired Levi immensely for his warmth, his chayus, his chevreman'keit - it was just great to be around him. He would tease us so lovingly and playfully, we would beg for more. He toughened us up, helped us grow out of being little boys and prepared us to be chassidishe bochurim ourselves.

Another remarkable thing that Levi did for me was that throughout the following year (I don't recall if it was 5754 or 5755) he invited me to come to Oholei Torah on Troy Avenue, and during his supper break he would learn a Sicha with me in one of the classrooms, and force me to take notes so that I could chazzer it over at the Shabbos table. I don't remember how long it went on for, but I remember feeling so special and so loved that I was chosen to have this exclusive time with Levi, my favorite bochur.

I am sure that there were many other incidents that took place during those years, but the reality is that what Levi gave me was more than something that can be measured by the retelling of specific incidents. I thought about this for a long time during my years in Yeshiva, and I truly believe that Levi was the person I modeled my own life after, and that whether consciously or subconsciously, Levi set the tone for me that m'darf zich uffiren vi a chossid. I say this despite the fact that during the years that followed, I never really was in close contact on a consistent basis with Levi again, simply because we each were in different parts of the world, at different stages of life. My heart was always connected to Levi.

I give Levi credit for the fact that I am on Shlichus today. I really believe that if I hadn't had the great mazel and zechus of being in his care during those formative years of my life, I would have turned out very differently.

I really can't believe that he is gone...this hurts. A lot.

May the Aibishter have rachmonus on his family, on his wife and children, and bring Moshiach so that he will be reunited with them and with us all.

PS IYH the next time I am in NY I will try dig up some pictures of the old times in CGI.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Beannacht Levi (Gaelic)

By: Susan Infeld

My relationship with Levi is a bit different than most who have written thus far.

I met Levi initially through his friendship with my husband Don, who was the Rabbi's close confidant and "Chief Medical Officer". As a practicing RN, I too became part of Levi's medical care team. I was blessed and honored to be invited into Levi and Miriam's "circle of trust" and worked closely with them, both in and out of the hospital, toward achieving optimal pain and symptom management.

I am not Jewish. But Levi and Miriam (and their entire family) welcomed me as if I were family. I am always amazed how Illness breaks down boundaries. Perhaps that is one of the blessings lying deep within the mystery of suffering. These past few years I learned much about the beauty of Chabad and this loving family. And I hope that Levi and Miriam's lives were enriched as well through the diversity that I brought to the table.

As a Hospice RN, I have witnessed many a fighter. But never, ever, have I seen the courage and fierce determination that "Team Levi" demonstrated. And I am not just talking about Levi and Miriam here... although they are legendary. The familiar phrase "it takes a village to raise a child".. in this case became, "it takes a World Wide Movement to fight Levi's cancer". Medical specialists (traditional and non-traditional) from around the world poured their collective wisdom into helping Levi and Miriam find treatments and a cure. It was staggering to witness the tireless quest and unflappable support that Levi received from "the best and the brightest"...and from family, friends and colleagues near and far.

Levi, Miriam, and all of you taught my husband and I so much about the beauty of friendship; one that travels hours and hours.... and more than once.... just for a visit. You taught us much about the beauty of family as we witnessed the love and support Levi received from the countless phone calls, visits, help at home and dinners around the Shabbos table. And with deep and radiant passion, Levi and Miriam taught us by example, what love and commitment in a marriage truly is.

In the heartbreak that everyone feels at this unspeakable loss, I call upon my Irish heritage and of the familiar Claddagh symbol; a heart surrounded by two hands which means "Love, Loyalty, and Friendship". Levi Deitsch was fearless and tireless in all three virtues. In our shared loss of his beautiful life, I respectfully offer the traditional toast "Today, we are all Irishmen".

A Gaelic poet penned the following words that I share in friendship today:

"May we live in peace without weeping.
May our joy outline the lives we touch without ceasing.
And may our love fill the world, angel wings tenderly beating".

"Cead Mil Failte".."A Hundred Thousand Welcomes" to Levi..who rests among angels wings.

Beannacht Levi, (Goodbye and G_d bless)

Susan Infeld, RN

Levi would always give

By: Sholom Loebenstein

As a brother (In-Law) to Levi, I am speechless, I have no words to say. In addition to the question why does the Hashem take away the best of the best people in the world, there are simply no words to describe the pain and anguish my family and I have that Levi has left us. We are left with no answers as to why this had to happen to Miriam, Chaya, Mendel, Mirel, Zalman and all Levi’s family and friends together with the whole Klal Yisroel. May Hashem bless them with much strength courage and happiness throughout their lives, they should only hear good thing from now on till the coming days of Moshiach speedily in our days.

All of those who were lucky to know, meet, or hear of Levi would know that Levi symbolized many things: always loving one another, being kind to every individual, helping everyone no matter who they are, always smiling, laughing, and doing Mivtzoim, always with a passion and with love for a fellow Jew. You were always able to see how he loved life by his acts of kindness. Levi would always give, give and give with a smile on his face.

I got to know Levi quite well especially over the last three to four years, whether it was by our long serious and funny conversations over the phone or from my personal visits to Tyson’s Corner over the last three years.

Levi was a warm, charming, funny guy to know and to be with, and over the last three years while Levi was ill, so many people, not only America but the whole world would fly in to spend some time with Levi and it wasn’t only his friends but also respected rabbis philanthropists, family so on and so forth. They all knew that Levi was such an important person to everyone.

As a fifteen year old Bochor, I always sought advice and help whether it had to do with school, friends, learning, general behavior and most importantly more personal matters. Let me tell you Levi knew it all. I always knew I could speak to Levi when I needed to. I knew I could trust him with all my personal matters. Levi was so-to-say my “Mashpia” who I always listened to and loved very much.

Just two and a half months ago, while I was there for Tishrei, I spent a lot of time with Levi walking to Shul, at home, in the spa and so on so forth. One thing that sticks out of my mind is that one Shabbos Levi and I went on a long walk to Shul and Levi was not felling very well at this time but nevertheless he was asking me as usual all about school, my teachers, what I was learning in and out of school, and with whom I have Shiuirim with, what I’m doing next year, what I like and what I don’t like, what I waste my time on and what I don’t waste my time on etc. Even though it was a very serious talk never the less Levi still made me laugh constantly like he always did. As always Levi will finish off by saying in his loud deep voice “Sholom Menachem Mendel! Now that you told me everything, now tell me how you’re going to improve all of that!”

I always thought I knew Levi until I read all the stories, poems, speeches, about Levi and his life on the blog. As well as you think you know Levi, there is always something you don’t know about him and when you find what it is you just get even more and more inspired by him.

From sitting and reading all these wonderful and special stories about Levi on the blog no matter if it was his long time old friend or Shluchim around the world, or respected elder rabbis, or men, women, and children in Levis Chabad house who wrote. It brings tears to my eyes to know what a great and special bother-in- law I have and love so dearly and so much.

This is a big loss for the whole Jewish community. Levi will be missed very much by everyone. But we pray that soon we will be dancing on the streets with Levi and all our loved ones and the whole Klal yisroel with Moshiach on the way to Eretz Yisroel, may it be speedily in our days.

May we all take and use Levi’s lessons to our everyday life and use them will just like Levi wants us to.

There is so much more I could say. I could be here for days writing about Levi and his Shlichus, funny, serious, cool, and loving stories.

Levi I miss you and love you so much and will always take your lessons into my hand and whenever I need to make a big decision I will think of you and think to myself “what would Levi have told me to do?”


Monday, November 29, 2010

He was a natural charmer

By: Mendy Wuensch

I don't have specific stories in mind. I knew Levi since I was about 8 or 9 in overnight camp. We hooked up at camp pretty much most of my summers. Then we were in Ohlei Torah together.
Levi, was one of those guy's from your class that EVERYONE knew and everybody was friends with. He was a natural charmer filled with love and always smiling, not to mention always belting out some singing with his chazanish voice. He was a pillar in a group, and all his friends loved him.
I used to love to stroll over to Levi's house Friday night's. He had on average by his Friday night table 30 to 50 bochurim or more. It always ended off in a farbrangen between Levi, his older brothers, and family. It was so beautiful and magical.
I am trying to sum up Levi, but there really isn't many words befitting. You just had to know him to understand.
Levi. I will miss you very much, may we see you very soon with Moshiach NOW!!!

He cared and noticed the changes

By: Zalman Chein

I would like to share a short story, which I think about all the time:

In the summer of 5760 I was working in the office in cgi Montreal and Levi (who was head counselor the year before) came to spend some time in camp. He was working on a project to organize the camp songs. We had a rather large room with a couch that turns into a bed, Levi stayed with us, it was great.

After camp I receive a thank you card in the mail from Levi, a general thank you and the bottom he wrote: “You’ve come along way baby, keep it up”.

To me that one line made the world of a difference, Levi cared and noticed the changes I’ve made, the struggles I was having and he made a point of mentioning it.
That line stayed in my head, at later times he did not have to say it, I knew he was thinking it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

He loved to laugh

By: Meir Geisinsky

It has been two weeks since I learned of my dear friends Levi’s passing, and it still hasn’t sunk in, and I don’t know that it ever will. I knew I wanted to write to this blog for I understand that it brings comfort to the entire Deitsch family. But I couldn’t get myself to make it real though I attended the levaya and frequented the shiva. Before I continue writing I implore all of you that find yourself often checking this blog for new material on Levi, because of your closeness to Levi, to please contribute as well, just find the time and the strength to do it – just do it for Levi for I know for a fact that it is comforting to them.

One of my reasons/excuses for delaying writing is I simply didn’t know which direction I should go with this letter. So, I’m probably –certainly going to go all over the place with it, but will hopefully go full circle at the end.

I grew up the next door neighbor of Levi. Though I was best friends with Levi’s older brother I’m only a year and some older than Levi – so, much fun and time was had with him as well. I mean how couldn’t I? Anyone that seemingly walked on Crown St. became Levi’s friend. I thought I knew Levi and I thought I knew Levi through and through as they say, there were nights we sat on my porch until it was light outside, we talked about anything and everything, I really thought I knew Levi, but I cannot tell you how amazed, stunned, impressed, humbled I am with Levi’s handling and “accepting” of Hashem’s way – with regards to his what many think is an unacceptable illness.

When I first learned of the rumors that there may be something up/down with Levi, I called him more frequently just in case I can either infer anything or be there for him. I certainly didn’t ask him directly. When I heard for a “fact” that something not so good had been found in Levi’s chest, I painfully sat down to write an email to Levi – the kind of email that takes 30 minutes to write 3 lines. Of course I had no idea how to react or what to write, but I knew as a friend I could not just let it be and go on with my day, that’s what I’m supposed to do as a friend, something that we all know that Levi was a master at. Like 20 seconds after hitting the “send” button, I get a call from Levi: C’mon Meir, cut the trash, don’t talk to me like that. I can’t tell you how embarrassed and uncomfortable I was, I was sitting at the computer devastated about the news I just heard and Levi calls me laughing like “knock it off Meir” It’s just a Hashem thrown curve ball at him, but in the same mood like he was when he came to my backyard to play basketball. At that point I jumped on Levi’s back with optimism, hope and almost assurance that all would be well. It goes without saying how his dear wife Miriam was equally as optimistic and upbeat, though she remained as devoted and concerned to Levi’s every move. Every time I would visit Levi or speak to him, not for a moment did I feel like I was talking to a different Levi Deitsch than I used to sit on my porch until 5 in the morning with, I kept telling myself things must be under control – a person can’t be that accepting. Then for me to read after his passing about all the times he was told by doctors that he has months to live!!!!! Wow, and a painful wow is all I can say!

It is at this point that I would like to praise and show admiration for Levi’s dear parents Reb Zalman Yuda A’H and Tzirel (May she only know from strength, simchas and Nachas) I would often be asked by Chabad members: how is it that the Deitsch family next door to you, all of them are on track all of them Chassidim, all class leaders, all of them destined to go on Shlichus, you have been in the house what can you tell us? To be honest I was never able to put my finger on it, though Reb Zalman and Tzirel were certainly role models and completely given over to each child and each Mitzvah. I once heard a saying: to be born a mentch is an accident but to die as one is an accomplishment. To see Levi’s acceptance of hashems way to the bitter end, though painful, heartbreaking and shocking to me is still a reflection of the great upbringing that Levi experienced, though he certainly didn’t go without a fight or an all out war more like it.

I recently spoke to Levi’s dear Aishes Chayil Miriam, and I agree completely with her sentiment, in addition to of course missing Levi, she misses Levi saying, it’ll be good, it’ll be good. She said, she somehow has the feeling that if Levi can send her a message now he would say, it’ll be good it’ll be good. I’m not sure how to interpret his passing, but everything else that came Levi’s way – he didn’t view it as a problem, more a like a challenge or a bump in the road as he would say often.

I just went back through my many letters and I found a letter I received from Levi in 1993 (I’m from the post it stamp letter generation – before email) How fitting, the return address on the envelope said: Ha Ha 518 Crown St…

Does that sum Levi or what? Was Levi not all about “Ha Ha” He loved to laugh, he loved to make other laugh, he was one ball of laughter, he knew it, his family knew it, his class knew it, his community knew it, everyone who came in contact with him knew it and enjoyed it. While certainly he had a serious side to him- when an atmosphere needed a laugh, he broke out of any mood he may have been in to deliver the laugh. I mean not only was Levi fun, but he had an ability to lead- inspire- and make one believe in himself. Like the time I was pretty much circumstantially cornered into a position that I would have to sing Mi Adir under a chupah or they would have to ask a waiter or photographer to do it – I immediately called Levi and said: Levi, do you have magical powers? Can you teach me the song until I think my singing won’t ruin the marriage? Levi was extremely patient (he really had to be) and encouraging. I guess he also wanted a good laugh :)

It is now our turn to take all the lessons that we learned from Levi, the moments we enjoyed with Levi and do as he would undoubtedly wants us to do and let another Jew another person benefit from it. Levi oh Levi I thank you for the laughs, I thank you for the memories, I thank you for the hospitality that has been mentioned by so many others on this blog, and last but not least, I thank you for the inspiration! I can write all night until it turns light outside, but I’ll leave room on this blog for others to write. Will love you forever! Moshiach Now.