Hard to believe, but true…
This June marks the 13th anniversary of the accident.
I participated (virtually) at the OJCS Rabbi Simes Yom Iyun and Bar Mitzvah was the theme of my message.
One year after Rabbi’s passing, I was approached by CBTO to join with them in a Hachnasas Sefer Torah – a Torah dedication in memory of Rabbi Simes. I jumped at the opportunity. A date was chosen & plans began in earnest. It was no “coincidence” when looking at the Hebrew calendar, that we discovered that the weekend “randomly” chosen, was non other than that of Rabbi’s Bar Mitzvah Parsha!! How befitting on so many levels.
To the surprise & delight of the audience, Shmuly read Rabbi’s very own Bar Mitzvah speech at this very special occasion. What made this even more shocking?? Rabbi spoke about the Mitzva of Tefillin. As he would then be turning 13, he would be responsible to keep that Mitzva. Rabbi took it one step further – he discussed the scenario of one fulfilling the Mitzva with the help of an agent. Could he have known at the age of 13, that 30 years later, he would need an agent to help him perform this Mitzva? Certainly not! And not ONE agent, but a team of dedicated agents! Fondly referred to as our “Tefillin Brigade”. Men on rotation who came every week day whether at home, in hospital, in rehab to help Rabbi in this sacred ritual. True dedication.
I gave over the message that each one of the students in attendance could pick a Mitzva that is dear to them and dedicate themselves to the performance of that Mitzva. In addition, each one of them can be a catalyst to help others perform Mitzvos. Like Rabbi & like other former students who fulfilled the Mizva of Tefillin, perhaps now, as they are in their Bar Mitzvah year, they too can accept the Mitzva of Tefillin upon themselves.
3 photos enhanced the presentation.
The Hachnasas Sefer Torah procession leaving from our home.
Rabbi delivering his Bar Mitzvah speech.
Rabbi’s student marks the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah & first time wearing Tefillin with his beloved teacher.
These are all such special memories, thank you for sharing them with us!