By Susan Jackson-- I opened up my email today to hear from a friend that one of the people murdered today while davening shacharit in Jerusalem was a personal friend, Rabbi Avraham Goldberg. A smart, kind, loving and gentle soul, Avraham, originally from Liverpool, made aliyah and Israel is where his neshama should always have been.
We became friends through his hobby, tracing the family trees where famous and interesting Rabbis appeared and our family is lucky enough to have a Rabbi that interested Avraham in our tree. Cousins in England put us in touch and over the last number of years emails flew back and forth. No trip to Israel (which I make regularly) was complete without breakfast or coffee with Avraham.
I sit here stunned not knowing how to begin to process the information. I just keep seeing his bright smile, hearing him tell stories about his children and grandchildren and realize there will be no more stories told from his lips and that bright smile is no more.
I heard on the radio this morning a reference to the murders as “militants”. Shame on them; they are terrorists, murderers and cowards of the very worst kind. To gun down such a fine man, or anyone during morning prayers gives me a feeling of hopelessness.
What would Avraham say or want me to do? I have no idea; how can one in such a terrible reality? But I know one thing for certain, his memory will live on in all who knew him. His smile will shine in my mind and the minds of others and each of us will try to go on and pray that someday such things will happen no more.
Susan Jackson is Executive Director, UJA Women’s Philanthropy.