By: Yochonon Goldman
When I think about you, I just see your contagious smile and hear you laughing out loud.
I am a dear friend of your brother Mendy and knew you more as an acquaintance than as a close friend. But what made you so unique was that you turned acquaintances into friends. This is an exceptional quality that you had. You had a natural talent for always being friendly and engaging people in conversation. You didn’t stick to a small circle of friends, you were everyone’s friend. When you would go out of your way to do someone a favor, you’d make them feel like it’s so easy and really not a big deal. You were always on the lookout for how to help someone else.
I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit you a few months ago, and remember how you made it such a pleasure to spend the day together, entertaining us with all your stories of the good old days. I know it sounds clichéd, but you really did give us strength, rather than the other way around. I will never forget how proud you were of defying the doctors’ predictions and your resolve to do whatever it takes.
The Hayom Yom of Shabbos, Vov Kislev, the last day of your life, talks about a soul leaving the body and compares it to one leaving the “fair of this world” and putting an end to the business of “hayom la’asosom.” It reminds us that the rest of us are still in the midst of the fair and still have work to do. I don’t know why you left the fair early, but it must have been to go behind the scenes and help plan the grand sing. The curtains will be lifted and then you will emerge as a winning general, who was instrumental in finally crushing these thick walls of golus and we will see your beautiful smile again!