Despite, or perhaps because of, the many bumps they each had in their lives, they were grateful, optimistic and full of thanks to Hashem Who brought them together and gave them the fortitude to rebuild their lives. Abba’s material success later in life only magnified his humility and sense of responsibility to help others achieve self-sufficiency, which he valued so deeply. Abba was like the cars he drove – simple, rock-solid and reliable. In his low-key manner he was extraordinarily generous to his children, extended family members and people in need. Though Abba very much appreciated his creature comforts, he and our mother lived far below their means and nothing was ever done to impress others.
Our parents were not exempt from the shortcomings all humans experience, and of course there are things we all wish we had done differently during our formative years. Nonetheless, our parents had the wisdom and the love to raise us as the unique individuals we are and to provide us with the stable and nurturing upbringing upon which we were able to build our own lives and families. Children could ask for no more.
Abba: Dvora, Reb Yehuda and I are forever grateful to you for providing our mother with the bedrock of support she so badly needed in her most vulnerable hour, for treating her with such extraordinary respect over the years, and for raising us as your own children.
I have no knowledge of the workings in Heaven and am always deeply suspicious of people who claim to, but I am quite confident that our father was the first to greet you in Gan Eden to thank you for taking such wonderful care of his three prized possessions.
May your memory forever be for a blessing. Yehi zichrecha baruch.
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, a regular contributor to The Jewish Press, is dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey and director of Project YES.
This essay was written with the active participation of Rabbi Horowitz’s family members: his mother, Beile Ganz Nutovic; his siblings, Issac/Shifra Nutovic, Dvora/Chaim Ostreicher, Rabbi Yehuda/Etti Horowitz and Chantzie/ Volvie Rosenberg; and his wife, Udi.