I have never been
more constrained in preparing a eulogy. Harold and I spoke
end of his illness and he was very clear on a couple of
things. One, that
he didn't want the service to be too long. And the second
thing he was clear
about resulted in the promise that he made me give him, that if I
would be mostly about Marlene and his two sons, Andrew and Robert, and
family. Having given him my promise, I will try to do my
best, as I speak
about Rebecca's son, Marlene's husband, Nora's brother, Hal's
Andrew and Robert's father, Kristen and Thalia's father-in-law, and
Rebecca, Isaac, and Kate's grandfather.
Harold's family was
very important to him, as seen in his request to me. The time
his children and grandchildren in Key Biscayne was always precious to
him. Kristen and Thalia made a book of photographs, many of
them from the
Key Biscayne trips, describing their husbands as fathers to their own
The book describes Andrew and Robert as among other things, patient and
loving and involved. This book was a gift from the
Harold, because they thought that he had taught their husbands all the
qualities of being a father.
I can also say that
in spending time with Marlene that she has a generosity of spirit,
seen in the extent of her involvement in KAM Isaiah Israel.
Israel was important to Harold as well, although he was less likely to
committee. He shared with me that he among others was
surprised when he
was asked to be on the rabbinic search committee. Many
Marlene, were surprised when he agreed. His agreement came
because of the
importance that he placed on KAM Isaiah Israel.
As Marlene, Andrew,
Robert, and I spoke with Harold in the last few weeks, he explained
was one principle that guided his life and his choices, to live so that
no regrets. For other people having no regrets is more
it is having a family or an accomplishment in one's career.
having no regrets, meant always choosing to do the right thing, to
methods of changing the world when there were wrongs that needed to be
righted. Doing the right thing included his family, but it
rest of us as well.
Once there was a
student who was with a teacher for many years. And when the teacher
felt he was
going to die, he wanted to make even his death a lesson.
That night, the
teacher took a torch, called his student, and set off with him through
they reached the middle of the woods, where
the teacher extinguished the torch, without explanation.
the matter?" asked the student.
has gone out," the teacher answered and walked on.
shouted the student, his voice plucking with fear, "will you leave me
in the dark?"
"No! I will
not leave you in the dark," returned the teacher's voice from the
surrounding blackness. "I will leave you searching for the light."
We have lost one of our
lights with the death of Harold. But he has taught all of us
not only how
to find it, but how to make it brighter in the world.