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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -There are two people in the Bible who are called - in the singular, by direct address - Beruch Hashem, Blessed of the L-rd. (In fact, the word "beruch" appears only in that context.)
The first was Avraham's servant (traditionally identified as Eliezer) who was called Beruch Hashem by Lavan the Aramean in the Torah portion which we read the Shabbat before last.
The second was Yitzhak, who was called Beruch Hashem by the Philistine king Avimelech in the Torah portion which we read just this past week.
Eliezer Yitzhak is my father's name and his yahrzeit follows those two readings, falling on Monday this week - 5 Kislev. It has been thirty-two years; he was in his fifty-eighth year.
He was named for the younger brother of his maternal grandmother, Lajos Bauer, who was a high-level government official and almost certainly still alive at the time. It is quite possible that only the "Eliezer" came from Lajos Bauer, whose birth record has only the one name. If that is the case, the "Yitzhak" may be from Isak Fischel Pikholz, my father's great-grandfather. But I am speculating.
When my father was in his early forties, my parents began speaking of aliya, though they had never even spoken to us of wanting to visit Israel. Nothing came of it at the time and a few years later, at forty-six, he had his first heart attack.
After three years, they took the two younger girls and went back. My parents rented out their apartment and continued paying their Israeli medical insurance, figuring that after my father retired, they'd come back.
|At Amy & Ron's wedding, Skokie|
He insisted on going back to Pittsburgh for Rosh Hashanah that year. He knew the end was coming. They were to be in Pittsburgh in November for my cousin Ellen's wedding and he decided to make a kiddush in our shul - no reason, just because. Then he died. My mother called to cancel the kiddush and to arrange for a memorial service there instead.
It was Wednesday night when my father died and the logistics were such that the burial in Petah-Tikva would not be until early afternoon Monday. There was a service in Pittsburgh on Sunday and those in the US sat shiva from then. We sat here after the funeral Monday.