The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Friday, September 05, 2008

I didn't want to write this . . . it was too hard, too painful. But I did, because I must. 

While saying krias shma al hamita, I noticed several posts from my blog that my grandfather had printed out and stapled together. I broke down crying.

Here is the speech for tomorrow -in all of it's unedited glory . . .
It is was it is.

How does one speak about a life time? If we are to believe that a picture is worth a thousand words, then how can over three quarters of a century's worth of experiences -of love and loss, pitfalls and ultimate triumphs- a vast tapestry of vibrant shapes and colors, people and places woven a thousand times a thousand over to form one cohesive whole- seek to be summed up in a few sparse words -words that in the teachings of our sages are compared to mere stones. Yet one if one stone sits alone, it can also serve as the corner stone for a house . . .

There is an interesting chassidic custom not to eulogize the deceased, but rather to relate stories of him, and that the stories themselves are the eulogy. For no words, no set of platitudes or thoughts, could ever hope to do justice to the stature of a person who has lived in this world, only by seeing his actions can we hope to fathom a ray of his character.

On the Third of Elul, the month that we are taught that the infinite king of kings has made himself accessible to us in preparation for the New Year, the month when divine mercy is at its zenith, my grandfather, Avraham Ber, Bernie Dorfman . . . Zeide B . . . returned his soul to its maker.
In the entry for the third of Elul in the Hayom Yom, a small book of quotes and chassidic adages compiled by the Lubavitcher Rebbe ziy"a, it states that one who believes in hashgacha Protis, divine providence, knows that from Hashem the steps of man are guided -that the soul needs to refine and rectify a certain matter in a certain place and that for hundreds of years, or even from the moment of the creation of the world, that certain matter that needed to be rectified or refined anxiously awaited that specific soul to do as such, and that this very soul that emanated from above and was created awaited the time for its descend into the world to fulfil the mission placed upon it.of time.

I have many memories of my grandfather, many stories that ought to be shared, experiences from which we can draw lessons of a lifetime. Of my grandfather's many hobbies, one of the most dear to him was the tending of his garden. He would offer us cherry tomatoes, apples and pears -if the birds didn't get to them first- that he has so carefully tended to. Each plant was given the individual attention needed for it to blossom to its fullest. Weeds were tirelessly removed, and water and nutrients were given when needed. My grandfather's garden did remained relegated to the borders of his property, however, nor was it merely made of trees and plants -my grandfathers garden was this world, and each and every single one of us blossomed in his hands.

My grandfather was not a great philosopher, though he would pride himself in his status as a "talmid chuchim' when it came to quoting various bits of trivia and fact -often with the promise that it was a true story -that it had really happened, rather he was a simple Jew -complete and whole in the entirety of his essence, like the words of the Torah portion of the day he passed on -תמים תהיה עם ה' אלקך - the injunction that one should be complete with G-d.

My words can never do justice to him, but I hope that they bring merit from above, and solace below . . . and that we merit to the ultimate redemption, the revelation of Moshiach this very moment and the end of this tired and painful exile. And trust me, that, my friends, is true story.


Leora said...

So sorry to hear about your loss.

Thank you for telling us about your grandfather; I would have enjoyed meeting him. I would have asked him all sorts of gardening questions!

You are fortunate to have shared all those years with him.

chaviva said...

You've composed some very beautiful words here, and I thank you for being able to share them with us.

What a blessing his life, words, and love indeed must be on the lives of those around him!

Anonymous said...


"While saying krias shma al hamita, I noticed several posts from my blog that my grandfather had printed out and stapled together"

Clearly your Grandfather loved you so much and was so proud of you - that's really beautiful

me said...

Baruch Dayan Emes. May the inspiration you give others truly bring your grandfather an Aliyas Nishomah, and Moshiach should come now so that you will be reunited immediately.
Stay strong, and know that a Yiddishe connection runs farther and deeper than gashmius. You are forever connected, intertwined, and he's forever proud of you.

mendel p said...

Mordechai Very touching!

I Wish my condolences to you and your whole family. We should only hear good news and Moshiach now.

Mottel said...

Thank you all for your condolences. We should be zoche to bias moshiach tzidkeinu now!

Anonymous said...

from the guy who never gives compliments

Mottel said...

to the Amazing Yankel, thanks for the wow.

Anonymous said...

no problem
I think I'm being quite expressive