2015-04-01 / Editorial

Rabbi David remembers Rabbi Richard Levine

As Shabbat began on the evening of Friday, Mar. 20, we at Adath Emanu-El marked the first anniversary of Rabbi Richard Levine’s passing. It is hard to believe that it has been a full year already. For us, it was a year of reflection and sadness. Indeed, we continue to mourn our beloved teacher. May his memory always be for a blessing. Following are some of the words I shared prior to the Mourner’s Kaddish:

“It is on this night that we mark the anniversary of Rabbi Richard Levine’s passing. It was one year ago that we said goodbye to a sage and a friend. He was a beloved husband and father, brother and grandfather. He was a rabbi and, with that, he was a true leader. He lived a life of Torah and shared his love of Torah with you, with us, over the course of a life ended too soon.

“At the end of Tractate Sotah of the Talmud we are taught the following: When the great Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakkai died, the luster of wisdom died. When the great Rabbi Eliezer died, Torah became hidden for all time. When the great Rabbi Akiva died, the fountain of knowledge went dry. When the great Rabbi Hanina died, good deeds died too. When the great Rabbi Jose died, piety died too. And when Rav died, so did humility and the fear of sin.

“And then came along Rabbi Nahman who argued it is not so, for I am here, he said. I am here, he said. I was a student of theirs, he said, and so it is that wisdom and humility and piety live on.

“We are all Rabbi Levine’s students and it is in us that his legacy lives. It is within these walls and within the beating of our very heart that he lives on forever, an eternal blessing to all who knew him.” .

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