I fulfilled a promise to my father after his memorial service last June, by telling a fuller version of the story in this month’s sneak preview” to a few hundred people who had gathered together afterward for a meal. But as Dad drew closer to his homegoing, I think he came to accept the fact that we would miss him terribly, and that pain and sorrow would be unavoidable. After all, Jesus said, “blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
But Moishe being Moishe, he still wanted to focus us on the hope of heaven. And so, in his will, he set aside funds for a dinner party to take place for his yahrzeit [literally “year’s time” in Yiddish, it marks the year anniversary of one’s death.] He stipulated that we should have good food, music, and make it a party that he would have liked to attend, centered on heaven as the theme.
Dave Garrett, a friend and staff member to whom Dad had entrusted the orchestration of his funeral and memorial service, promised Moishe he would see to these arrangements for his yahrzeit. He has been more than faithful in fulfilling that promise. Compared to last year’s memorial dinner, it will be a smaller, but still significant group of friends and family that will gather later this month.
I know that many of you, our extended friends and family, will be with us in spirit. Please pray for us during this tender time, that we might truly honor the Lord as well as Moishe’s memory by celebrating the fact that in Yeshua, Jesus, we do not sorrow as those without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18).
Many friends have valiantly fulfilled promises to honor the Lord through Moishe’s passing, including David Brickner, our executive director who has shown great care and concern for our family. I should also mention Susan Perlman who, as many of you know, was one of the founding Jews for Jesus back in the ’70s. She knew that Dad had always wanted his death to be an opportunity to preach the gospel—and she spearheaded the effort to make sure that it was just that. Among other things, Susan wrote a press release and saw to it that it was widely distributed immediately after Moishe’s homegoing.
More than a dozen religious and secular publications/news agencies found his passing newsworthy, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, the Wall Street Journal, The London Times, CNN, World Magazine, Charisma Magazine, The Jewish Chronicle online, and two Israeli publications, Haaretz.com and Arutz Sheva.
You can see a sampling of excerpts from the media here. Also, as many of you know the memorial service last May was streamed live on the Internet. Many of our staff reported that family members who do not yet know Jesus watched the service (which clearly presented the gospel) and were touched. Dad definitely got his wish to preach the gospel even in his death. In particular, many of the obituaries quoted statements Moishe had made in an article to be posted on our website following his death.
Finally, on behalf of our family, I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who sent us such beautiful cards and notes of encouragement. We are blessed beyond measure to have your friendship.
Warmly in Yeshua,