Yes, today s a very meaningful day for me. The man I was closest to throughout my life, my precious Zada, (known to all as "Al") , Eliyahu Mordechai, passed away 2 years ago today. I want to share with you, my dear readers just a little bit about my zada, because you just don't see a lot of people like him around anymore and he may be an inspiration to you as he was and still is to me.
The first thing that comes to mind was his silence. Most of us are always so quick to express our opinions, be them good or bad, to others, our family in particular. Most of us interfere and "just have" to be part of a topic discussed even if private. Our mouths do so much danger for ourselves and for others.
I was lucky to have had the zechus in meeting such a man, Zada, who never interrupted, interfered, expressed his negative opinions or complained. When he was accidentally served food with cheese that had gone bad (as I discovered later on) he did not say one word, in order not to offend the one who served it. He always preferred to suffer than to hurt another human.
All his clients adored him, Jew and non-Jew alike. He treated everyone with kindness and dignity and always with a smile and a joke.
I never ever heard him speak a word of lashon hara against another Jew, even when people around him were discussing people who caused pain to the family in some way or another.
He just had such love for the Jewish people that he could not cause harm or retribution in any way at all.
And boy did he spoil us! He was a giver. He gave happily. He was always happy to treat his einekels and other kids with donuts and what not. I'll never forget the 5 or 20 dollar bills he would sneak into my hand when I was younger and no one was looking.
And no, he was not wealthy at all. He calculated the money he spent in general responsibly, but just couldn't help but lovingly give his own family as much as he could afford.
And one last thing: when he was asked how he felt about the fact that he was dying from ca-cer, he said, "whatever the boss wants, I am happy to do. if He wants me, I'm ready." And he said it with a confident smile. No fear at all. No sadness. Like Avraham Avinu, zt"l.
Now, as my eyes fill with loving tears, I just want to wish us all, that we should merit emulating such beautiful middos as best as we can. And
"Remember; Keep smiling!" as he always said.