Hope all is well.
Yesterday was a tough day for me and for my community.
I attended the funeral of a twenty year old “boy”.
Albert Bitton, of blessed memory, an army medic, was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb.
… Albert Bitton loved people.
Two friends eulogized him at the funeral.
They spoke about his magical smile that lifted you up. That made you want to be his friend.
He had a dream of becoming a surgeon so that he could help people.
And he was proud to do his part in defending freedom.
… Albert graduated from the Ida Crown Jewish Academy
He loved Judaism. And he loved Torah.
When friends warned him about the serious challenge of being a practicing Jew in Iraq?
He said, “I will never compromise my commitment to Judaism. And I will do it proudly!”
And he did.
He observed the commandments between man and G-d.
And lived Torah by the way he related to other people.
His friend told an amazing story.
When Albert’s parents would send him a “care package”?
He asked that they include dollar bills. Lots of them!
His parents couldn’t imagine why.
“The Iraqi kids love when I give them dollar bills. It makes them feel rich!”
He knew his life was in constant danger. He experienced the horrors of war close up.
And he remained so sensitive!
When I heard that?
I decided that I would think of Albert and become a better person and a better Jew.
And I decided that I had to write this Torah Minute.
I needed to tell you about him. And I needed to do something to honor his memory.
… I want to ask every reader of the Torah Minute to help honor his memory.
By taking at least two steps in your Jewish growth.
Please choose from the following.
Trying to speak less Lashon Harah (gossip).
Calling Mom (or anyone else who would really appreciate it!) once a week.
Lighting Shabbat candles before sunset this Friday.
Trying to greet everyone with a smile, even on “one of those days”.
(If we already do these things, we can do them even better!)
Inviting some friends to my home for an informal learning session with Rabbi Katz.
… And I want to ask you to send me an e-mail with your “pledge”.
I plan on paying a Shiva (condolence) visit to his grieving family.
And I want to show them your e-mail.
And show them that thousands of fellow Jews who didn’t know their son?
Were inspired by his memory!
All the best and may we share only good news in the future,