In honour of my grandfather’s fourth Yahrzeit, I want to share this story that I wrote a few years ago. It was my first attempt at constructing something multimedia. It began as an opening intention at Sunset Service Toronto, at a session about loss and healing. I remember, as I delivered it, the tears flowed fresh and freely. 

After that, I turned it into this piece which I revisit every year on my grandfather’s Yahrzeit. 

This year, I said Kaddish for my grandfather at morning minyan at Holy Blossom Temple. Since it is during the counting of the Omer, we read a couple of passages from Pirkei Avot – the Wisdom of the Sages. We read: 

Ben Zoma says: Who is wise? One who learns from every person.

Pirkei Avot 4:1

This was my grandfather. The recording that is clipped here began with him talking about how whenever he wanted to learn something, he always asked — he asked anyone and everyone, and was never afraid to expose a lack of knowledge when there was something to be gained. 

Four years later, I miss my wise grandfather every day. I feel his smile looking over my shoulder, and I hear his voice vividly in my head. His memory is, always and forever, for a blessing.