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A Real Friend

Friday, 12 April, 2013 - 2:33 am

Chabad of British Columbia, and the Jewish community as a whole, are still in shock and great pain by the sudden passing of Rabbi Lipa Dubrawsky on Sunday at the age of 56. Rabbi Lipa was great scholar and beloved teacher who touched the lives of thousands in the twenty five years he lived in Vancouver.

lipa.jpgThe brilliance of Rabbi Lipa was known to everyone who got to hear him. His vast knowledge of Torah was rare and his dedication to learning and teaching was exemplary.

When visiting Vancouver, I heard from many of his acquaintances that they consider Rabbi Lipa a very close friend. While Lipa was an extraordinary teacher, people spoke more of his warmth and affection than his great classes.

When Rabbi Dubrawsky came to a meeting in Victoria, a member of the community drove him to the ferry, after the short ride he told me how much he enjoyed speaking with him "I found a new friend", he said. 

How did so many people - even those who met him only once or twice - consider Lipa to be their good friend?  I think his secret was that he really listened and really cared.

How many people do you feel are really listening to you when you share with them your challenges or dilemmas? How many really feel what you are going through? Even when Lipa was rushing on his way somewhere, even when he had his own worries and concerns - when you spoke with him, you saw how attentive he was and you felt that he was concerned with you.

When I would call Lipa to get his advice - he would mostly listen. He had a lot to say but he would never talk before he felt that I said all I had to say, he wouldn't comment until he was sure that he had heard me entirely.

 King Salomon says in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for that is the end of every man, and the living shall lay it to his heart”.

There are many things we can take to our heart from this great man, what I think will stay with me is the secret of becoming a real friend.  Listen and care.

Comments on: A Real Friend

Don Morris wrote...

Thank you Rabbi Meir for your beautifully expressed, heartfelt sharing of respect and appreciation for Rabbi Dubrawsky, "a real friend."

I'm sorry I never got to meet this fine human being. May his soul rest in peace... and his family and "friends" receive G-d's comfort at this time.


Stan Shortt wrote...

Thank you, Rabbi Kaplan for so eloquently and beautifully expressing feelings which have been in our hearts since we heard the sad news. I also had the pleasure of knowing Rabbi Dubrawsky. I will remember his extraordinary teaching... and his genuine caring spirit. This great scholar and humble man will be sorely missed.

David Sandell wrote...

Thank you Rabbi Kaplan for your beautiful message about the passing of Rabbi Lipa Dubrawsky. Although I never met Rabbi Dubrawsky I sense from what you have said, what a wonderful and exceptional man he was. Our thoughts of sympathy are extended to his family and friends,

Marvin Sharpe wrote...

It was I who had the incredilbe good firtune to spend the time it took to go to the Ferry. Having the privilege and great pleasure gettng to know Rabbi Dubrawsky in such a closed opportuniy showed me what a wonderful person he was. That I did not have the good fortune of getting to know him better I shall always consider it with deep regret. His memory shall always be for a blessing.