Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Personal Reflections; A tribute to my father Z'L

The following was said this past Saturday night at a Siyum I made in memory of my father Z'L

This coming week on the sixth day of AdarI we will commemorate the 28th Yartziet of my father Z'L. The Hebrew word for strength Koach has the numerical value of 28. The day my father passed away, I was in Israel during my year long study after high school in Yeshivat Sha'lavim. When I found out the news of his passing I was immediately taken to speak with the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Meir Schlesinger. What he told me then I have  used  as a basis for my own faith and strength during the difficult times that I and my family have faced over the years.
He told me that G-D gives us the strength needed to overcome the different tests that we are given so that we will pass the tests that are presented to us. I responded that I would have taken this test 20 years from now. Rav Meir responded that 20 years from  now it wouldn't have been the same test. My father was a source of strength and we as a family continue to struggle, but we know we have the strength to pass any test that we are given.

We are now in the month of Adar. Adar is known for the phrase;   "Mishnichnas Adar Marbim B'Simacha"   "From the time of the month of Adar we increase our happiness".) On a personal level I have had a hard time understanding this phrase. Adar is the month in which my father passed away and in the past few years in the month in which my mother-in-law passed away as well as two of my wife's grandparents. I believe that the word Simcha needs to mean more than just joy and happiness

It says in "Ethics of our Fathers"; "who is truly one wealthy, one id happy with his lot in life". It uses the word Simcha. There I believe Simcha represents a more still happen when one understands that everything he has comes from G-D. That understanding and acceptance are the only thing that could create true happiness.
What does this happiness have to do with Purim and the month of Adar ?
Rav Hunter explains that Purim is the only holiday that will be celebrated in the exact same way even after the coming of Messiah. This is because the other holidays are a remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt the original redemption, but that would no longer be necessary since we have experienced the ultimate redemption. ( They will still be celebrated not just in the same manner we celebrate them currently in exile) Purim, however which took place in a time when G-D hid his face (in dark days) will always be celebrated since it reminds us of how we need to act even in dark times. If you will it remind us that everything comes from G-D and only with that understanding can we achieve true happiness.

My father lived a simple life and was a simple man. Never did he complain, but rarer accepted with a smile, his lot in life. It wasn't easy in 1976 before it was popular had a heart bypass and a valve transplant surgery.
He was always there for his children, my mother and his parents as well as his friends.
My hope and prayer is that we his children, grandchildren and one day great children can take this lesson and message of Simcha, which my father embodied and be a living tribute to his life and legacy.
Abba you have missed so much and we miss you so much, but I hope that we your children  (including your daughters-in-law and son-in-law) and your grandchildren continue to make you proud and carry on the  legacy of the person you were.
Your Loving Son

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