This past Shabbos, my wife and I were, baruch Hashem, privileged to attend the bar mitzvah of our grandson Yehoshua Buchwald, son of Rabbi Naphtali and Shira in Houston, Texas. In previous articles, I wrote about the very special character of the Houston Young Israel/Community Kollel neighborhood. The bar mitzvah was magnificent in every way imaginable. It was a great source of nachas for my wife and me, plus our entire family, bli ayin ha’ra.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center sponsors the Museum of Tolerance on East 42nd Street in New York City. The museum is dedicated to teaching the importance of tolerance – that is, the evils of bigotry against all races, religions, and ethnic groups. I have never visited the museum, but it has a fine reputation for living up to its mission.
I recently spent quite a bit of time in the hospital. Baruch Hashem, to date, I have responded well to all my treatments. During my stays, I had white gentile, Korean, Chinese, and, of course, Jewish roommates. Some were more interesting and conversant than others.
I did not know Rav Chaim Kanievsky. I never had the privilege of visiting him or consulting him on any matter. I do not recall hearing a drashah or inspirational speech from him. I read very little of his writings. Yet, like perhaps millions of Jews in Israel and throughout the world, I felt a very personal loss upon his passing.