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Monday, 28 November 2011
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My heart broke a little today.

Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, a woman, who knew JockBro from BBYO, saw that I was FB friends with one of her FB friends. And that mutual friend died quite suddenly over the weekend.

This isn’t my first experience with death. It isn’t even my first experience with the death of one of my peers. As a rabbi, I deal with end-of-life issues on a continual basis. So the emotions I am experiencing are not unfamiliar to me. Rationally, I can explain them.


That doesn’t really ease the dull aching.

SMC — You possessed a brilliant mind and a dry, witty sense-of-humour. Your scholarship was widely respected. Your wanderlust and sense of adventure took you to the highest and lowest of depths of a world that constantly provided you with places of personal and spiritual discovery. Your thoughtfulness showed itself in the smallest and largest of ways. Always a reliable source for the best books, films, shows, etc., I can recall many a spirited “discussion” about the virtues, or lack-thereof, of certain composers. Simultaneously socially-awkward and charmingly-disarming, the most brilliant facets of your soul remained shrouded by protective walls.

Now revealed to the Holy One of Creation.

Your memory will always stay with me for blessing.

After an Italian dinner at the 2010 CCAR.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. RabbiLaufer permalink
    Monday, 28 November 2011 5:32 pm

    I saw the same info, and am just heartbroken.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Monday, 28 November 2011 11:33 pm

      I can’t stop thinking about him. He was such a good person. And the world really does seem diminished without him in it.

  2. Monday, 28 November 2011 6:26 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Just this past week, one of my dearest friends died in her sleep. I was heartbroken. May both souls be held in the palm of God’s hand. My love to you and all those who are mourning.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Monday, 28 November 2011 11:35 pm

      Barukh Dayan HaEmet. I am sorry for the death of your friend. As I have said at numberless funerals, “whenever parting comes, it comes too soon.”

      And that is very true.

      May your friend’s name always be sweet on your lips.

  3. Monday, 28 November 2011 9:20 pm

    I, too,saw the news. May his memory be for a blessing.

  4. Frume Sarah permalink*
    Monday, 28 November 2011 11:35 pm

    Keyn y’hi ratzon.

  5. Vered Harris permalink
    Tuesday, 29 November 2011 12:07 am

    I am so sad. I only saw the information tonight. I just can’t believe it. Thank you for memorializing him here. Are you sure you can’t come up to Biennial? You’ve got a room.

  6. Marci B. permalink
    Tuesday, 29 November 2011 3:55 pm

    A beautiful tribute to a very special soul. I was always so inspired by him….

  7. Tuesday, 29 November 2011 4:25 pm

    Beautifully written. Thanks.

  8. Rabbi Churgel permalink
    Tuesday, 29 November 2011 4:28 pm

    So eloquent, FS. He was a sweet soul. I know I will certainly remember him fondly, and I will miss seeing him at our conferences… Baruch dayan ha’emet.

  9. EricStark permalink
    Tuesday, 29 November 2011 4:59 pm


    I couldn’t have said it better. Actually, I tried and failed. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel. A true mentsch who made the world a better place. I am honored to have been his friend. I miss our regular phone calls when I was in NYC and he on LI. I really miss knowing that they will never happen again – at least in this world.

  10. Birgit Sacher permalink
    Tuesday, 29 November 2011 5:24 pm

    Thank you for the reflections. He was a wonderful man. May his memory be a blessing and may all he touched with his spirit live a long life.

  11. Frume Sarah permalink*
    Thursday, 1 December 2011 10:00 pm

    Thanks, everyone. Writing this helped tremendously. It gave voice to the flood of pain that was suffocating me on Monday. And your comments, as well as those on FB, etc., have provided a network of comfort as we try to contextualize our tragic loss.

  12. Sunday, 4 December 2011 12:24 am

    Although I met him only once, it was immediately evident to me that he was beloved by the entire minyan community at TST in NYC. This morning, many of its members shared sweet remembrances of him, recounting the wonderful gifts and talents he generously shared with them and their families, as well as within the congregation as a whole. May you all find comfort in your own memories.

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