This week, we are mourning the passing of our dear rabbi, colleague, and friend, Rabbi Zvi Dershowitz. For fifty years, he served Sinai Temple. The overarching theme of those that shared at his funeral and shiva was that Rabbi Dershowitz was consistently part of our stories.
I explained at the funeral that he and I would share a Shabbat routine. As the Torah procession came close to his makom kavua, his permanent shul seat, I would linger for a moment. Leaning towards him I asked, “Rabbi, how are you feeling today?” With a twinkle in his eye, he’d respond, “Well I’m still here, aren’t I?” And each Shabbat, he’d tease me with the same refrain. But perhaps he didn’t realize the Torah I’d carry from those moments.
For his nearly 95 years, Rabbi Dershowitz was always there. There for our life cycles. There for counseling and pastoral guidance. There as a mentor. Even weeks before his passing, he was still offering to lead shiva or meet with a congregant in distress. He looked at each day on this earth as a gift. Taking each opportunity to teach, preach, and exemplify joyous Jewish living.
He ushered me into Sinai Temple as I began my journey as a rabbi. It is surreal ushering him from one world to the next. But his story doesn’t end with this lifetime. The clergy will continue his legacy, welcoming those in need and striving to bring Jews closer to God.
May Rabbi Zvi Dershowitz’s memory forever be a blessing.
P.S. Feel free to join us this Shabbat, April 1 at Sinai Temple as we recognize those that have been fortunate to have Rabbi Dershowitz officiate at one of their life cycles. We will celebrate his life and honor his memory.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.