“Zachor. Remember. You shall never forget. Only this shabbos, zachor means something else entirely.” Dovid Gopin writes about his dear friend Meir Likhovetski who tragically passed away this week.
It’s 4 o’clock in the morning, I’m sitting on a bench on the Parkway. The streets are still. Roads are desolate, not a car drives by. It’s dark, very dark, it’s pitch black outside, blackness you can cut with a knife.
Sitting here, currently surrounded by the feelings I’ve been having the last five days. If you can call them feelings that would be OK, it’s more like wounds, wounds that are freshly cut, wounds that burn from all the tears.
The roads are silent, yet my heart and mind are on fire. I know what I want to say. But I can’t. My mouth is completely dry, all I do is cry. I have so many thoughts that I want to say, instead I’m attempting to write. Everything seemed so formulated in my mind but now I don’t know where to start. Nothing comes out.
Tomorrow we will gather together in shul to fulfill the mitzvah of Parshas Zachor. Only that this time we will not all be together. Tomorrow only some of us will gather here, while others will be elsewhere. Majority of us down here, while some will gather upstairs.
Zachor. Remember. You shall never forget. Only this shabbos, zachor means something else entirely.
A time to remember.
Zachor, You shall never forget.
Zachor, always remember.
Meir, I promise you I will never forget. I will forever remember.
I will remember the days, the endless nights we use to sit together in Zal hour after hour talking about anything amd everything.
I will never forget the walks we use to take late at night. One, two or three in the morning. Rain or shine, hot or cold sometimes the frigid freezing Toronto nights.
Meir, I will always remember the ideas we use to plan. The crazy initiatives that we undertook. The ones that no one thought you can ever do, but you always proved us wrong.
I will never forget the farbrengen’s we had during covid, the phone calls we had on a nightly basis. The conversations we had about what we would do next. But that next never came.
I will forever remember those crazy adar nights, speakers and lechaim in hand with your smile and pure joy. I will remember the tens if not hundreds of times that your credit card was swiped out of concern for another bochur never knowing if you will ever be paid back.
Meir, I will never forget the last time we spoke and spent time together only just two weeks ago at the Cteen shabbaton when you and Sholom brought in your Cteen chapter from Mason, Ohio.
Meir, I promise you I will never ever forget. I will always remember. I will remember for one reason and one reason only, because you Meir never forgot about us and always remembered about me.
Keep on smiling as you always did from up there. I’m trying not to cry.
I’ll forever love you,