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A Post Stained With Tears | Moish Gluck Of Blessed Memory

I have not been to a lot of funerals in my life. I have been blessed.

Yesterday evening my family celebrated Sheva Brachos for a cousin in my parents home. It was a joyous occasion.

Immediately following its conclusion, I walked the 200 feet from my parent’s home to the neighborhood shul. At about 11:00 PM a very moving funeral began.

The juxtaposition of these two events and the nature of the deceased brought tremendous emotion. What follows is an attempt to do those feelings justice in writing.

When I was 12 my family moved to a fledgling Monsey community, our sole neighbors up the block were the Glucks.

Blessed with wonderful children, the Glucks were proud and humble people. Performing anonymous kindnesses was a hallmark of their lives.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck a few short years ago when Mrs. Gluck was taken from this world. The tragedy shook up the neighborhood. It was one the my parent’s first contemporaries death and it was painful for everyone.

The Glucks were resilient. They bounced back. The children were successful in achieving their goals and Mr. Gluck, Moish Gluck remarries.

Yesterday, tragedy struck again. Driving home from work, Moish Gluck suffered a fatal heart attack, literally yards away from his home.

The pain is indescribable. Four surviving children under 30. The oldest was my classmate. The youngest my sister’s age. A recently married widow. A community still reeling from the untimely departure of Mrs. Gluck, now struck again is left to help repair their torn hearts and help the family pick up the pieces.

Listening to the youngest Gluck eulogize his father last night was one of the most emotionally difficult moments of my life. The cracking in his voice, coupled with his eloquent words were too much for me to bear. I cried. Tears were streaming down my face. It was the first time I have cried freely at a funeral in my life.

I, as countless others, my father included, owe Moish Gluck tremendous gratitude for a variety of things. In my case, the gratitude I have for Moish Gluck directly correlates to my profession as a Rabbi and a teacher. The mere fact that you are reading this post, is somewhat due to Moish Gluck.

Moish Gluck was my first employer. As a 12 year old neighborhood kid, Moish Gluck gave me my first opportunity to teach. Their eldest son needed someone to study Mishna with him. I was asked, and given a fair remuneration for my time.

I will never forget preparing for those sessions. Teaching Torah to the boy who was just 3 years my junior, was my first taste of the joys of teaching, and I will never forget that. I will never forget the smile on the boy’s parents faces when they gave me my monthly stipend. I will never forget the encouragement that Moish Gluck gave me, in the face of my first challenge to teach.

It must have been a good experience as since then I have been teaching in many capacities. As a Campus Rabbi, as a High School adviser for Yeshiva Students and Public School Students, and now as the Rabbi of the Pacific Jewish Center I draw upon my first moments as a teacher. All directly caused by a man whose friends and neighbors will all miss, Moish Gluck.

If this post were on paper and the words written in ink, my tears would stain the paper instead of falling onto the desk from where I type.

Let us remember to cherish the ones we love. Let us enjoy each second we spend with the people we care for most. Let us not waste the opportunities we have for love and friendship.

It was too difficult for my ears to hear a loving son pine for one more moment with his precious father. If we have those moments let us treasure them.

May the Lord comfort us amongst the mourners of Zion.

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3 Responses

  1. Tzvi Haber says:

    Boruch Dayan HaEmes. It sounds like they were wonderful people and his passing is a loss not only to his family and community but to the whole of Klal Yisroel. I am sure your words both written and spoken are a true nechama to the family.

    • Shimon Pepper says:

      We celebrate life by what we do for others and death by
      Recalling one’s good name may the neshama have an aliyah and may thegluck family know of only simcha

  2. Gila says:

    Baruch Dayan HaEmes. This is written beautifully. Im crying as i read. Thank you.

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August 2009

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