Hi – Hope you’re having a great day.
… As you probably know, I recently lost my older brother Reuven.
I wanted to thank so many who reached out to me at this difficult time.
Whether it was a card, a phone call, Shiva visit or a contribution in his memory?
Each and every one was greatly appreciated.
I thank you all. And may we only share happy occasions!
… I wanted to tell you a bit about my brother.
Reuven lived in Jerusalem and was a huge Torah scholar.
He spent his entire life studying and teaching Torah.
My brother had ten children.
And each and every one of them is in love with Torah like he was!
Growing up, he was a role model for me and my sister.
We loved Torah because he loved Torah.
We wanted to live elevated lives because his life was elevated.
And there were two things that I spoke about often during the Shiva.
One was a story that sticks in my mind.
Reuven came toChicagofor our son Ari’s bris.
And while he was here he wanted to buy new cutlery for Shabbos.
(Since I’m a big sport, I took him to Wal-Mart!)
He was calculating how many servings he needed.
So he started listing his children one by one.
And there was himself and his wife Chana.
Then he said something that really touched me…
… “And figure two or three guests”.
Here’s my brother living inJerusalemwith ten children.
With a very simple lifestyle and a very limited budget.
But one thing was a given in his mind.
You need to have guests at your Shabbos table!
He taught me what a Jewish home has to be like!
… I spoke to my sister in law briefly during Shiva.
And she told me what my brother was doing for the last few months.
Of course, he went to the best doctors.
There was hope that he could recover, but he knew he may not.
And what was his primary focus for the last few months?
His spiritual growth!
How he could improve his relationship with G-d and with other people.
He sat down with his spiritual mentor and what did he say to him?
“I need your help. I hope and pray for the best. But I may only have a short time.
I need you to help me come up with a program.
What aspects of my spiritual life should I work on?”
And while his wife was heartbroken? She was extremely proud.
She got strength from what she told me.
And so did I!
Some people would say that he taught me how to die.
But I look at it totally differently.
My older brother Reuven did what he always did.
He taught me how to live!
He always inspired me.
And I hope he inspires you!
My Yom Kippur will be more meaningful because of him.
And I hope yours will be as well!
All the best and Shana Tova,
Rabbi Moshe Katz
2832W. Touhy Avenue
P 773. 761. 0400 ext. 201
F 773. 761. 9262