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Two episodes of love

Friday, 7 November, 2014 - 12:49 pm

 Dear Friends,

Imichael Goldberg2.jpgn the last week of 5774 we said goodbye to Michael Goldberg, a dear friend, whom I have known almost since our arrival.  Two episodes from last year stand out when I think of Michael.

The first was last year on Chanukah.  I was away almost every night lighting the Menorah someplace else, and when I came home my children wanted to go out and light a Menorah somewhere too.  I, on the other hand, was happy to have a family celebration. 

But then I had an idea.  Let’s go to the home of a person who would enjoy a lively group coming over to celebrate Chanukah.  Shortly after, we were at Michael's home, lighting the Menorah, eating latkes, playing dreidel, and singing songs.

Michael wasn't in good health at the time, and was confined to his home.  But seeing the children celebrate Chanukah enfused Michael with great joy. He was glowing, happier than I have seen him for years, because Michael loved “Yiddishkeit”.

 michael Goldberg.jpg

My other memory is from my last meeting with Michael some forty-eight hours before he returned his soul.  Michael was in the hospital in very poor condition and didn't seem to be aware of his surroundings. 

When I walked into the room he was staring for a while.  Then he turned his head slightly and with great difficulty said a few words.  What we heard was "new Synagogue" and “donation”.  On this very last stage of his life, Michael was thinking how he could help the community.

Love for Yiddishkeit and love for community was Michael's legacy. May his memory be of a blessing.


Comments on: Two episodes of love

Elisabeth Gelb wrote...

Dear Rabbi, Rebbetzin and kinder,
Although, we did not have the privilege of meeting Michael, we have a sense of the joy he experienced in this photo. May his soul be at peace and his memory a Blessing.
Sabbath Shalom,

Sheila Thompson wrote...

Dear Rabbi,
We too had the privilege of meeting Michael almost immediately after our arrival on the Island, some 20 years ago. Don and Michael's relationship was grounded in mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other. They also had similar senses of humour. May their memories be for a blessing.