This week has been filled with a lot of emotion, excitement, and memories. Today, is the yartzheit (the 11th anniversary of his passing away). So quite obviously I've been thinking quite a bit about him and all of the memories I have with him from growing up, and the desire to be able to sit with him for just one more chat or one more hug.
As you may already know I didn't grow up in a chasidic home, or even a particularly observant home, but my very last conversation with my father was telling him Devorah's and my dream to open a Chabad House and become a rabbi. This brought him a lot of joy. In fact, one of the last things he said to my mother was "My son the rabbi; I like the way that sounds" Those words have brought a smile to my face for the past 11 years and served as a major motivation for what we do at Chabad at Oberlin.
Talking about family I was moved by the photo of Aushwitz survivor, Shoshana Ovitz who celebrated her 104th birthday with all of her living decedents...over 400 of them!!! It is such a powerful image to see this matriarch, her four children and then hundreds and hundreds of grand children, great grand children, and great-great grand children. Makes me think about what we are leaving as a legacy in this world.
I watched this TED talk from my friend Mordechai Lightstone who talks about the internet being a powerful too for good, and the power we all hold to be messengers of good and inspiration into the world.
A podcast that I've been listening to for a while now, but keep falling in love with is Ear Hustle. Reporter Nigel Poor goes into San Quinten State Prison and along with some inmates from the inside, she produces one of the most authentic podcasts I've ever listened to. Having been a volunteer Chaplain for the past 9 years in Ohio prisons there are many facets that I have identified with and I've learned a great deal about people through this podcast.
Last week, along with tens of thousands of other fellow Jews, I concluded the annual study of Maimonides work called the Mishna Torah, where he explains every mitzvah in the Torah. Come and join me in the study, it takes about 3 minutes every day. Every year when the cycle concludes It feels very gratifying to look back and see how much was accomplished and also knowing that I am unified with so many others across the globe in learning the same thing.
Have a great Shabbos,
Listen to this week's Soul Searchers ChabadCast where I shmooze with Jon Madof OC '96. We talk about his transition from majoring in Japanese to running a record label and fronting his own band. He was a really fun interview, we had never met before and we still have a bunch more to talk about, so look out for a 2nd episode at some point.