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The Art of Few Words!

Friday, 17 April, 2020 - 9:20 am

While we ended Passover last night with an inspiring Mashiach Feast, a few hours earlier, I stood alone in The Shul for Yizkor. Holding Chanchy’s Torah in my arms with Helen’s Torah on the Bimah, I recited the Yizkor Memorial Service. I had my beloved mom and grandparents in mind, I thought about my recently departed uncle Arele, I stood near the memorial board and had the loved one of all our conregents in my prayers, but I also had Zaidy Kahanov fresh in my memory. Zaidy is Chavie’s grandfather, father of Mrs. Block, and someone we admired and loved with heart and soul. He passed away and was laid to rest just a few hours before we ushered in the 48 hours Passover finale.

In this week’s Torah portion, Shemini, we read about Aaron, the High Priest, mourning two of his sons, Nadav and Avihu. These two spiritual giants erred, entering the Holy of Holies which is prohibited by G-d, and it resulted in their untimely death. When Moses tells his older brother Aaron that it is his two sons whom G-d meant when He said, “I will be sanctified through those near to me", Aaron remained silent. He didn’t argue, he didn’t respond, he didn’t even mourn vocally; he just remained silent. He taught us all that at times, silence is the only correct path. Ranting or babbling may be natural, but the thoughtful path is one of introspection which is expressed in silence.

Zaidy helped countless Jews escape Stalin’s hell while operating in the underground. He put his life on the line to save others and then devoted his life to his family as a craftsman who earned an honest wage with hard work. In the fourteen years in which I merited to call him Zaidy, like Aaron never once did I hear him brag about any of his incredible accomplishments; he was a Chassid who loved a deep Niggun and chose silence over self-aggrandizement. He was ninety-six when he passed, and he left a generation of descendants who will carry his torch of heartfelt Judaism into the future. He really hoped for Mashiach and as we sang last night we hoped too; it’s long overdue. 

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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