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Remembering Levi Deitsch OBM

A new website dedicated to publishing memories of Rabbi Levi Deitsch was launched yesterday. RabbiLevi.com already features a number of stories of his self-sacrifice to his Shlichus, his energy and positive outlook, and his genuine care for others.

The site posted an email address for which readers can post their own stories by sending them to rememberinglevi.memories@blogger.com

He Honestly Cared Solely About Others

by Dani Chitrik

I didn’t know Levi as a friend I knew him as a mentor. He was always Nossons big brother. The captivating head counselor, the guy who could make you laugh until you couldn’t breathe. I remember arriving on my first day of camp scared, and feeling lost away from home. If your first camp experience is not terrifying enough, head-counselors have a tendency to make it a nightmare. They’re these big guys who are constantly hoarse from screaming, they have an eternal evil smirk which every child dreads. I remember thinking that they could read my most secreted thoughts when they looked at me. Even if you knew that you were doing everything you were supposed to, you always double checked when they were around.

Every kid’s nightmare is his first day of camp. I remember Nosson warning me to stay calm when the head-counselors started their mischievous screaming, threatening and warnings. Those bully head-counselors would yell at us until we really regretted ever coming to camp at all! It’s a frightening experience of which every kid has to go through on his first day of overnight camp. For me it was a fragile moment, it struck cords at my heart and made me wonder if bullying and commanding was inevitable with receiving authority.

That day would have been my disaster if not for Levi. I remember him standing on the side smiling throughout the ordeal, while the other head counselors barked with delight. All He was occupied with was making you laugh and feel comfortable. He didn’t scream, he simply spoke with a high pitched cantoral voice. His smile was perpetual and warm; he made you feel that everything was ok and he was there for you.

Over the years I had an occasional chat with him. He always stressed happiness, and with his signature presumptuous personality he was constantly irritating you to the limit with friendly irksome remarks. He was the only person who could humor you with his making fun of you! But he knew his limits and always showed that he truly cared.

The little that I do know about his Shlichus life is what Nosson told me, and from a short personal firsthand experience which I spent with him in Virginia.

He was lively devoted and energetic; anybody who met him felt energy radiating from him. But above all he was altruistic. If something had to be done he did it, no matter what the costs or the nuisance. He thought big and did big, nothing was too big of a deal for him. He cared solely for another, he completely ignored his personal benefit from the things he did, and complacency was a rejected word from his lingo. If something was troubling someone he helped him through. He was an eccentric in his love for others. Constantly telling me that I must share everything I have with others.

My mind now wrestles with these thoughts. Here was a person who was the paradigm of an altruistic existence. Someone whose motive in life was only caring for others. He didn’t help others because it was good for him; he helped others because that was him.

Without thinking of a Shliach like Levi my mind would tell me that Morality and kindness is a gesture. It’s something we use to fool others into believing that were doing what’s good for them, but in essence it’s all a pseudo show, we ostensibly only care about ourselves.

But when I picture Levi I realize that morality and kindness can be truly altruistic. He honestly cared solely about others, altruistic and selflessness was the first and only important words in his dictionary. He depicted the truth of what Shluchim truly are.

I believe that there is a greater plan to it all, I only beg and pray to g-d to let us see in an open and revealed way the truth of this sadness.

Let the “Nevuah” of Yeshaya “ומחה ה’ דמעה מעל כל פנים”come true speedily in our days.

I miss you Levi!

9 Comments

  • 2. CLOSE FRIEND wrote:

    VERY SAD AND A VERY BEFITTING SONG!!!

    MAY HASHEM BRING NO MORE SADNESS FOR THE ENTIRE KLAL YISROEL WITH THE COMING OF MOSHIACH NOW!!!

  • 3. Gedaliah Goodman wrote:

    Such beautiful people, Levi, Nosson, Esty, etc, to many, to long.
    HASHEM, when I was growing up I heard so many stories of how my
    ZAIDE, without any concern for himself, singlehanded, with his own hands, killed so may cossacks, chandarmes, soldiers, protecting
    the Jewish people he loved so much. ZAIDE didn’t know their names or who they were, it did not matter, they were Jews and that’s all that mattered. You, HASHEM, you KNOW these people, good, beautiful people. Shame on you, HASHEM, shame on you.

  • 4. so sad wrote:

    this video brought me to tears i cant handle it anymore we need moshiach now! may the deitches be zoche in seeing their lost ones immediately!

  • 6. So sorry!! wrote:

    when I picture Levi its always that warm engaging sincere smile that I see. I wish his family much comfort!!!!!

  • 8. SHLOIME FELLIG wrote:

    THIS SONG IS BY GAD ELBAZ AND HIS FATHER BENNY ELBAZ
    ITS SO HEAT BREAKING THE STORY ITS HARD TO UNDERSTAND
    WHY IT HAPPENED

  • 9. brazilian friend wrote:

    I was Tobby friend in Beth Rivka 22 years ago we learned together I from Brazil and I became frum baruch hashem and by that time I could remember once eating shabbs night by her house i got impressed when the fatherz`l made all brothers (hers)say a mamar on the table before kidush,a beautiful family that didn`t deserve this pain I also lost a sister with this terrible disease and I ONLY ASK HASHEM to bring mashiach and confort all of us that losted relatives my parents also included Tobby I`m Miriam from brazil and have coach for all and be with your mother she will need more confort than people could think only bessorot tovot and your brothers are together with your father some place.No more words really a tragedy be well.

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