………And, an angel lived among us

Some 14 years ago, the A-mighty G-d gave us a precious gift: an angel. …… He planted an angel among us, in the midst of our community. … Like all angels, he was sent on a holy mission. …… G-d entrusted him, for safe keeping, to one of His faithful shepherds & gardeners of pure souls … the Cotlar family. They named him Menachem Mendel and he was faithfully raised in a true Torah way of life, immersed in and nurtured by the love of family and friends alike.

But, for an angel, life on the earth is a short existence. He is destined to return to his Maker as soon as he has fulfilled his mission. … Mendel returned to our G-d only after a short 13 years of life. He left us as pure as he had come to us, without blemish. … All of us who knew him and were touched by his G-dly essence were utterly heartbroken and devastated by his untimely departure.

Mendel gave love before being loved, he cared before being cared for, he gave comfort in the midst of his own discomfort, he cherished and loved no matter how much was there to cheer for, and he displayed and practiced G-dly essence of love, compassion, uprightness and faith with an angelic passion for his Creator and His creatures alike. Most importantly, he taught us that you don’t have to be an angel to live a G-dly way of life on earth. Rather, to begin with, you were borne by G-d to, naturally, lead a G-dly way of life…

To console myself for the tragic loss of Mendel, I have had to constantly remind myself of his angelic essence & destiny. ………….. But, what was his mission on earth?…. No one would fully know for sure what it was for him to be done & was done during his short sojourning on the earth……. However, In my view, he left behind one clue: It was the last public act he so masterfully accomplished as a young Bar Mitzvah boy. He genuinely and most enthusiastically urged everyone,……. in the very large crowd of his Bar Mitzvah celebration, to say “Modeh Ani” upon waking up every morning. …….. At his very young age he had fully understood that we begin celebration of being alive by acknowledging & thanking our creator, the living and eternal King, for having restored our soul within our physical bodies after emerging from sleep every morning. . … He was the messenger, urging us that the essence of life could be reached and appreciated only through acknowledging the source of life itself, every day, day by day.

May the soul of Menachem Mendel ben Daniel be united with our Holy Father, the A-mighty G-d, in the Heaven. And, may his merits be the protector of all his family, relatives and all of us.

V. David Rahmanian, a close family friend