The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, December 04, 2006


Today is the second Yahrtzeit for my dad, Shmuel ben Moshe Dovid.

My dad came to America from Romania in 1937. He served in the US Army, mostly in North Africa, from 1942 until the end of the Second World War. He worked very hard and honestly for over 50 years to provide for his wife and family. He left four children, 11 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren (at the time of his passing; that number has grown to 17).

This is part of what I said at the levayah (funeral):

It is customary to refer to your father as Avi, Mori; my father, my teacher. That, indeed, was the essence of what my dad was.

He taught us both concrete things and abstract concepts. He taught us to throw a softball and he taught us to be erliche Yiddin. He taught us a love of baseball and he taught us to be menches. He taught us the importance of being physically fit and he taught us the importance of being real. He taught us to swim and he taught us the power of music. He taught us the importance of a smile and a good word. He taught us about the sweetness of Shabbos. He taught us z'miros in three-part harmony. He taught us that it was more important to get out of the Shea Stadium parking lot quickly than whether or not the Mets won. He taught us that if you walk at a fast pace you get to where you are going more quickly. He taught us to give tzedakah in a tzniusdik way. He taught us the importance of being oskai Tzorchei Tzibur B’Emunah. He taught us the importance of being on time, especially for appointments with the Ribbono Shel Olam. He taught that it was not beneath his sons or grandsons to do the laundry, clear off the table or wash the pots. He taught us a love for Eretz Yisrael. He taught us never, ever, to raise our voices, especially to our loved ones. He taught us how much a person can overcome in life just by force of will and determination.

And, he taught us all this without ever darshaning or giving mussar. Indeed, he taught us all this by hardly saying a word. He taught us all this simply by the way he conducted himself. He understood on a very simple level that he was a Ben Melech, a child of the King, and conducted himself accordingly.

My father was a very special man and we will miss him dearly. I take comfort from the pasuk in Tehillim that I was reading last Sunday night when we thought he was about to leave us. Yodai’ah Hashem Yimai Timmim, V’nachalasam L’Olam Tihiyeh. “Hashem recognizes the days of the righteous and their inheritance will be forever.” The Even Ezra says that nachalasam, the inheritance of the righteous, refers to their children and grandchildren through the generations. The Radak says that nachalasam refers to their olam habah.

May Hashem grant my father the olam habah that he so richly deserves and may he be a meilitz yasher for all of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and all the generations to come.


  • At 11:54 AM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    May your father's neshama have an aliyah. Please realize and appreciate how fortunate you are to possess such wonderful memories.

  • At 12:20 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said…


  • At 2:40 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    I do, believe me.

  • At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Amen - I figured it was your father's yartzeheit when I saw your brother shlepping the obligatory Zomicks to shul this morning.

  • At 4:14 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    You should have come to Aish. Zomicks, herring and good scotch. (We have a tikkun exception to our 'dry shul rule'; you can bring ;iquor so long as you take the bottle with you when you leave).

  • At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    mmmm Herring


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