The Baltimore community gathered to mark the Shloshim of Efraim Gordon, a young man from Eretz Yisroel who was brutally murdered in their neighborhood, sharing memories of his kindness and words of inspiration.
By Anash.org reporter
The Baltimore community gathered on Wednesday to mark the Shloshim of Efraim Gordon, hy”d, who was visiting from Israel when he was brutally murdered in the heart of the Baltimore Jewish community.
The event was organized by the Vaad HaRabonim of Baltimore, with words of inspiration by Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer, Chairman of the Vaad Harabonim in Baltimore, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann of Agudas Yisroel Baltimore and director of the StarK, Rabbi Elchonon Lisbon of Beis Lubavitch Baltimore and Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, head shliach of the Maryland Region.
Local safety and security organizations held a security and safety fair at the start of the event, with resources and information was offered to the community. State, city and police representatives were on hand as well, to answer questions and address the community’s concerns. The writing of a new Sefer Torah in Efraim’s memory was also launched at the event.
Many spoke in praise of Efraim’s kindness, humility and sincerity in observance of Torah and Mitzvos. Over the past few years, Efraim had grown closer to Yiddishkeit, spending time learning in Yeshivas and Kollel.
His cousin, Dovid Reyder, shared a few stories about Efraim’s generosity. How when he was in university, he squeezed a mattress into his very small room to host a friend who had nowhere else to stay. And when a few days later, that friend’s friend also needed a place to stay, he offered his own bed, saying that he would go somewhere else. Only later did they learn that he had driven 2 hours to his parents’ home for the night.
“When it came to giving,” Dovid shared, “He gave with a complete heart and never expected anything in return… If we can all take upon ourselves one good deed, especially in the field of Ahavas Yisroel, then we can be assured that Efraim did not die in vain.
“No matter how busy, stressed or overworked Efraim was, he never failed to notice those around him and was always present for them to help them as much as he could. We all have so much going on and sometimes we can be oblivious to those who are around us, sometimes the people closest in our lives. May Efraim be the inspiration for us to really be there for each other in every situation that we are in.”
Efraim’s very last conversation, only a few minutes before he was brutally murdered, was about his plans to go to the Rebbe’s Ohel for the first time the next morning. He called his cousin to ask whether he should put on Tefillin before they left or if they would be davening at the Ohel.
The participants left with much inspiration, and with the wish that the achdus and good deeds inspired by Efraim elevate his neshama and lead us to the final Geuloh immediately.
To take part in the special mitzvah of writing a Torah in Efraim’s memory, please click here.
WATCH: Friends share their memories