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permit me a personal moment

04/07/2020 10:28:42 AM


Shalom Lewis, Rabbi Emeritus

We are obsessed with the incredible drama of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has swallowed us up whole. We cling to every rumor of a cure. To every hint of an effective treatment. We count down the weeks, the days, hoping for an early release from our gilded prisons.
Our hearts are good hearts and so in the meanwhile, we weep for the thousands of unknown victims in the distance struck down by this invisible, planetary scourge. We are beset by impersonal sorrow but now my heart turns inward to an intimate passing of an innocent soul.
This past Shabbos my cousin Josh breathed his last. Eleven years my junior, a week after his sixtieth birthday, he was rear ended by a thug driving a stolen car. He languished for five weeks in a coma and died this past Friday night of his injuries. A resident of Baltimore, an observant Jew beloved by his community, he leaves behind adoring children, grandchildren and a loving wife. We grew up together and even shared the Hebrew name, Shalom. We also named sons after his father, my uncle, David. We are saddened, shaken by the statistics of nameless casualties but are painfully reminded, as I was just days ago, that we cry different tears for those who are nearer to our hearts.
May Joshua Seth, Yehoshua Shalom ben David v’Blima find eternal rest in God’s embrace. He will be missed by many.
Wed, June 3 2020 11 Sivan 5780