Rabbi Lieder personified the name of his organization: Ahavas Chesed. His name was Avraham, and like Avraham Avinu, he loved Chesed. A grateful member of the community recounts Rabbi Lieder’s selflessness when it came to helping a fellow Yid.
By a Crown Heights resident
I first met Rabbi Avraham Lieder when he accompanied me to the emergency room after my father took a fall. As the Chaplain of Kings County Hospital, Rabbi Lieder took care of everyone admitted to the ER from “a to z”. Unfortunately, the event did not have the outcome that we had hoped for and Rabbi Lieder followed our case to a Manhattan hospital where my father fought for his life. Rabbi Lieder was so intuitive that he arrived right before yetzias hanishama and swiftly took over all the levaya arrangements, as well as the kevura in Eretz Yisroel.
Rabbi Lieder’s distinguishing factor was his tremendous intuition coupled with genuine love to help a fellow Yid. He somehow knew what you needed before you yourself did. Years later, when another family member took ill, Rabbi Lieder, “the malach” appeared just when we needed him. He came to the hospital to deliver the first meal to the patient who had not been allowed to eat in almost a week. He then informed us that the patient would need around-the-clock nursing care when transitioning to a home-hospital setting.
Rabbi Lieder didn’t just advise, he acted on his word by immediately setting out to find qualified nursing staff as well as subsidized the first few days of care. When any trip was needed whether medical or recreational, Rabbi Lieder was there to organize the details and logistics.
These personal experiences are shared by the hundreds of members of our Shchuna who merited to be recipients of Rabbi Lieder’s genuine care. Perhaps the story that most personifies his being, is the time that he noticed a fellow Yid standing alongside him while crossing Eastern Parkway. The Yid looked very despondent and Rabbi Lieder gently broached a conversation, “You look like things are hard for you, what can I do to help?” The man shared that he was in debt, having recently lost his employment. Without missing a beat Rabbi Lieder arranged the resources necessary for the man to get back on his feet with dignity.
Rabbi Lieder personified the name of his organization: Ahavas Chesed. His name was Avraham, and like our first ancestor, he loved Chesed. Everything that Rabbi Lieder did touched the very core of life. His well-known blood drives saved lives as he replenished blood banks in major hospitals. The medical establishment was constantly amazed at his great success. He organized food vouchers for ill people to receive nourishment of their choice from local restaurants. Rabbi Lieder’s work was always done in a way that brought dignity and love to those in need. This is just a drop in the bucket of him being there for everyone 24/7. He never overlooked a single detail when it came to helping another.
It is beyond the realm of our understanding why Hashem took Rabbi Lieder suddenly on the eve of Rosh Hashana. One thing that we can be sure of, is that his makom kavua is near Avraham Avinu as they both beseech the Aibershter to please grant us the final Chesed with the coming of Moshiach.