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iPhone in the service of G-d

Thursday, 6 October, 2011 - 12:54 pm

I have known David since he arrived in Victoria. I would meet him at events in the community and we would bump into each other on the street many times. But I got to hear David’s story only when I came to visit him in the hospital a few weeks ago.

"My father, Samuel Reisman, was, and will always be, my hero. During the holocaust, he saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children in Brussels from the hands of the Nazis. The day after my first birthday, he was taken to a concentration camp. I got to see him when he returned home after the liberation, but all his family had perished."

When I hear of families’ horror stories from the holocaust, I naturally inquire about the surviving members. David told me of his late sister, who recently passed away from a terminal illness. Then he added with sadness, "She had three children, but unfortunately they abandoned me. Though I feel very close to them, I haven’t heard from them in many years. They just run a busy life and I think I was a bit forgotten."

"Do you mind telling me their names?" I asked. Sitting with my iPhone, I quickly searched on Facebook for one of them, Vincent, a pilot in the US Air Force, and instantly confirmed with David that the man in the pictures posted is indeed his nephew. David couldn't believe how quickly his lost family was found! He browsed slowly through the pictures, seeing the growth of the family since they last met. I quickly messaged his nephew, sharing with him his uncle’s health situation and asked him kindly to get back to me.

Last week I arrived at David's bedside with his nephew on the line. David was in tears when he heard Vincent’s voice. They had a wonderful, flowing conversation. David looked better than I've ever seen since he was admitted to the hospital. They exchanged contact information and promised to keep in touch.

It felt very good to bring joy to David at this difficult time. It was very rewarding to take part in ensuring that the link of the generations and the story of the family and Davis's father will be passed to future generations. Who knows, perhaps this legacy will encourage the grandchildren to reconnect with their roots with pride and dignity.

Rest in peace Steve Jobs. Your inventions are making mitzvahs more accessible than ever before. Your iphone is in the service of G-d.

Comments on: iPhone in the service of G-d

Sharon Fitch wrote...

It takes Rabbi Kaplan to know how to use the technology to perform mitzvoth. You bring blessings wherever you go.

Denver wrote...

When you think about it, that's got to be the right aswner.