Lubavitch International, Winter 2016-2017
To the Editor:
Thank you so very much for your beautiful article on my brother David, of blessed memory. David had lived an adventurous life, one filled with travel around the world and unusual experiences. However, he was missing something significant in his life and we spoke about that often. When Rabbi Levi Levertov and Rabbi Yisrael Treitel mysteriously chose David’s door in the remote Alaskan wilderness, it was certainly G-d who was offering David the last, most important piece of the puzzle of his life. We had found out that there was a large part of our family history, through my mother’s side of the family, that was Jewish.
For these two wonderful men to arrive at our door, as my brother was dying, should be seen as, and was, a gift from G-d. David told me, as he lay dying and spending his last days in prayer, bound in tefillin, that he had never felt such joy and belonging at any time in his life more than he did as a Jew. Five rabbis, all of extraordinary depth in their faith, gave my brother the most important gift of his life: that he was a Jew, and always had been a Jew. The knowledge that he had finally come home to his true faith made his dying days the most important and joyous days of his entire life.
Rabbi Mendy Greenberg and his lovely wife Chaya invited us for Shabbat and we were made to feel so welcome, so loved, and so part of the beautiful Shabbat services, that I will never forget it.
When we knew that David, of blessed memory, had a very short time left we traveled from Alaska to Gig Harbor, Washington.There, Rabbi Zalman Heber (Rabbi Mendy Greenberg in Alaska had kindly put us in touch with him), constantly took time off from his very busy work at Chabad of Pierce County in Tacoma, to frequently come to David and bind him in Tefillin and pray with him. Rabbi Levi, who traveled from Brooklyn, came frequently to the house to teach my brother, as much as time allowed, about Chabad-Lubavitch, its history and mystical tenets.
My heart will never forget these great men, their kindness, their generosity of time and love, and how they made my brother’s last days the best days of his life, as a Jew.
Cape Cod, MA