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Dr. Yitzchok Block to Be Remembered at Shloshim

Dr. Yitzchok Block passed away on Erev Sukkos and his levaya, a quiet and hurried affair, occurred just before Shkiah on Erev Yom Tov. The thousands who would have attend the Levayah to accompany this extraordinary Chossid on his final journey were unable to attend. With no Shivah to speak of, those who would have shared memories and offered consolation were unable to do so.

The Block family therefore invites friends, admirers, mushpaim, students and acquaintances of Dr. Block A”H to a Shloshim memorial on Wednesday, November 1st–12 Mar Cheshvan, 8:00 PM, at Lubavitch Yeshivah, 570 Crown St.

Rabbi Shmuel Lew, the Rebbe’s senior Shliach in London and a master educator, will share memories and anecdotes of his life-long friendship with Dr. Block. The Shloshim will feature addresses by several of Dr. Block’s Mushpaim and family members. A Hashchalah for a Sefer Torah that will be written Leiluy Nishmas Dr. block and his wife Laya will take place at the Shloshim.

Dr. Block was a leader in many fields, yet he was graced with true chassidisher humility. He did not like to speak of himself, but he loved to farbreng about the Rebbe and Chassidus. In the course of these farbrengens, he often spoke of the many inspiring moments that he shared with the Rebbe and of the guidance and mentorship that he received.

He was a man of contrasts, but a thorough P’nimi; authentic in every dimension. He was a true chossid and a leading philosopher. A gifted speaker, and a quiet doer. A master teacher and a humble student. A gifted lecturer and an unassuming person. A Harvard Graduate, who lectured at philosophy conferences around the world, and an authentic Mashpia, who made many Baalei Teshuva at his famous all-night farbrengens at the Pegisha. An accomplished and published academic, and a Shliach of the Rebbe who studied Chassidus and davened with Avoidah every morning.

Come celebrate the life of an authentic chossid in modern times.

A tribute booklet of stories about Dr. Block will be published in honor of the Shloshim. Please send your favorite memories of Dr. Block to drblockmemories@gmail.com.

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One Comment

  • 1. 1973 wrote:

    This is what I emailed to drblockmemories@gmail.com

    I met Dr. Block in the fall of 1973, the year my brother went to study at Western University in London, Ontario. I came with my brother to help him find a place to live and settle in. But it was near the end of the week. I had been to Bais Chana in Minnesota the week before and had spent my first Shabbos. I wanted to keep Shabbos again, and was directed to Dr. Block.

    Not long after that Shabbos, I moved to Crown Heights so I could begin to learn more about Yiddishkeit. When ever Dr. Block would visit Crown Heights, I made a point of chatting with him. I found myself opening up to him and he always had the right responses for me.

    One time I had noticed he was going to be speaking at an event for men only. I really wanted to hear his presentation. It was a time in my transition that was difficult and painful. In those days crowds were not so big. Dr. Block told me I could slip into the back row and no one would notice.

    His audience was made up of men who were at the beginning of their journey into being more observant. Dr. Block told them that they had to close their businesses on Shabbos. And they may think that because you do that – G-d will bless you and you will be prosperous. But no. You are going to be closed and you will lose money. In fact your customers might be upset and they won’t do business with you even when you are open. But you close your business anyway.

    His words were so comforting to me. With every new Mitzvah I was crashing into walls. I had recently heard a woman speaking at an event who elaborated on the beauty and peace of taking on Mitzvahs. That was not my experience so far. I had wanted to scream at her and tell her she was wrong. But Dr. Block said it how it is. It’s not easy. But easy is not the point, and we forge ahead anyway.

    By now, I would say that it gets worse before it gets better. And it does get better. When it works for you, a life of Torah and Chassidus is amazing.

    But ever so often, newcomers are tested. Sometimes with incredible hardships. It could be that it is like getting an immunization. Strengthening yourself for the inevitable trails that come with a full life. But whether I understand the process or not… I just know that Dr. Block’s honesty, sincerity and his example of living a challenging life to the fullest, was the salve I needed to sooth my aching soul.

    May all his loved ones be comforted with the Geula Shlaima and the revelation of Moshiach Now.

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