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Farewell to dear friends

Friday, 22 February, 2013 - 4:00 pm


In the recent days we offered farewell wishes to two dear friends, who left our community in their 90s, from a generation of giants that is slowly disappearing.

I got to know Samuel Paul a few months after our arrival to Victoria. Sam was a "mentch", a great friend and a real gentleman. One little story that stands out in my memory, representing his fine character.. Living in Nanaimo, Sam was a regular to our events in the area. It was on the first phone conversation I had with him regarding a Sukkah Mobile visit. "Rabbi" he said, "why would you come to my house? I will meet you at the mall, perhaps I'll be able to "shlep"some of the Israelies who are working there, to do the Mitzvah too". Sure enough, it was the five of them, a few days later, making the blessing in the Sukkah outside Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo.

Sam was an efficient, organized and strong willed person. Even when he was ninety years old, he still climbed up the pickup truck to say a blessing in the Sukkah. It wasn't an easy task but he didn't complain. "Kveching" wasn't in the Jewish lexicon of Reb Shmuel of blessed memory.


Max Yas was a man who lived in Victoria, but breathed Israel. He was deeply connected to the homeland of the Jewish people and to our tradition andheritage.For many years he would send emails to friends against the unfair wayIsrael was being treated. His message was very logical but filled with love and passion. 

It was on the last day of Pesach a few years ago when he showed up for “Yizkor”. In the Kiddush following the services, Max walked over to me with a handmade round Matzah in his hands. “Last time I ate this kind of Matzah was 80 years ago, as a little child in Belarus”. Max wiped the tears in his eyes, “everything is different now, but the Matzah is the same”. This was a line most fitting for Reb Moishe z"l, since "Netzach Israel" (‘the eternity of Israel' and 'the victory of Israel') was from his top concerns for all the years I have known him.

Comments on: Farewell to dear friends

Pedro wrote...

17 Donna|July 24, 2010 Lois,I enjoyed your book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus so much a year ago that I felt moved to cerate a summer Bible study using your book as the primary base, also two other books by David Blivin, plus a few other helps and some internet information. It was well received by the women who attended. Seeing women (and men) value God's word enough to participate in reading and studying the Bible consistently is the desire of my heart. How else will we as Christians learn to value the relationship we have with God that has been restored to us though the work of Christ?I usually wind up reading specific books like yours and then cerate questions so that people will not depend on a book other than the Bible for their answers. I have found that we people can become proud easily and begin discussing the greatness of authors, competing and comparing, rather than the greatness of our Lord. So with this in mind, I have tried to focus on finding good and godly books, such as yours, doing the research, and developing the questions myself in such a way that students must look for answers in Scripture. This has caused them to do some of the thinking themselves and connect with the Word. Then after we have gone over what they have discovered, I present a lesson gleaning information the Scriptures as well as my outside resources, thus adding to what they have gleaned first from Scripture on their own. In this way, students connect with the Scriptures more, and less with the author of a book. I hope you are not offended by my approach. I always include a reference list at the end, in case anyone wishes purchase books and delve deeper, which some have done.I guess my point in writing all this is that I have had such a deep conviction that studying the Scriptures is becoming expensive. I my own church many bible studies run $15-$25 for the study books. Some women have not been able to afford this, and while the church often steps in and helps, I feel so strongly that it would be nice if Bible study in churches and in communities could be free. I was pleased that you put your study guide online, and I drew a couple of questions from it that did not require that women have the book. So what I'm saying is could you write a book that people could buy if they wish, but also cerate a study guide that went along with the book that was online and free, but used Scripture mostly? The book could be the leaders guide without being called a leaders guide, so anyone could purchase it for their own enrichment and reading pleasure.Sorry for the length of this. Please know I did enjoy your book and the study my Bible group benefited from by having it as a central theme. Thanks for all you do.

Sino wrote...

You can't love the law and then not keep it in it's entirety. Animal sefciricas are part of the law; you don't do these and there are many things you don't do. Jesus came to fulfill the law in the flesh and then died on your behalf so when you believe in your heart he died for your sins and confess with your mouth God raised him from the dead you will be saved.Moses also told you a prophet like him would be raised up and you are to listen to him. Just like the miracles surrounding the ministry of Moses, the miracles surrounding Jesus' ministry are there for all read. God is a God of miracles and so these signs were done to show Jesus had the power of God healing the sick, walking on water, changing water into wine, and raising himself from the dead.