You are all invited to the Fourteenth Annual Ariel Avrech ZT’L Memorial Lecture that will take place Sunday, June 11, 2017, at 10 AM, followed by brunch.
Location: YULA Girls High School Auditorium
1619 South Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035
For those unable to attend the lecture will be posted here at Seraphic Secret.
Karen and I are delighted to announce that our good friend Daniel Greenfield will deliver this year’s lecture:
“Fighting Anti-Semitism and Defending Israel in the Age of Obama, Trump and BDS”
Why does pro-Israel activism continue to be an uphill battle despite the enormous resources dedicated to it. Are we losing the war against anti-Semitism or are we failing to fight it? In a talk that applies the lessons of Jewish history in Tanach to the politics of today, we will discover that fighting anti-Semitism and defending Israel doesn’t require changing “them”, but changing how we see the world and ourselves.
There is a small number of blogger/journalists whom we faithfully read. Daniel Greenfield is one of the select few. His blog, Sultan Knish, and his articles for Front Page, are invaluable, required reading for anybody who cares about the state of western civilization. Daniel is an eloquent defender of Israel, and a fearless critic of the left and radical Islam. So persuasive is Daniel’s body of work that he has been quoted by, among others, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mark Steyn, Mark Levin, Allen West, Caroline Glick, Melanie Philips , Michelle Malkin, Victor Davis Hanson, The Blaze, National Review and FOX News.
Karen and I just shared Shabbat lunch with Daniel, his lovely wife, and several other guests. Conversation at the table was dazzling, as if authored by Ben Hecht for a Howard Hawks movie. Thus, gazing through Daniel’s groaningly heavy bookshelves I was not surprised to find a rare copy of Ben Hecht’s remarkable memoir, A Child of the Century. Hecht was Hollywood’s greatest screenwriter and a loyal Zionist.
When we memorialize our beloved son Ariel, we not only remember the past, we imagine a future that might have been.
Had he lived, Ariel would be in the prime of his life.
We imagine him married to a lovely and modest young woman, perhaps with several of the six daughters he wished for, all named for the expressions of joy and love that appear in the blessing recited at Jewish weddings: Gilah, Rinah, Ditzah, Chedvah, Ahavah and Reut.
Always sensitive to the needs of others, but immersed in learning Torah, Ariel was pursuing a degree in Special Education. But he aspired for more and tormented himself at the age of twenty pondering a choice of career, even when in the throes of critical illness.
Ariel never doubted that he would survive. He sincerely believed that his biggest challenge was finding his life’s path. The physical challenges were incidental compared to the task of learning, and spiritual growth.
Ariel raised our family to a higher level of holiness. He inspired his sisters with his sweet humility and kindness which guided them in choosing their husbands, men he would embrace as brothers.
We feel diminished by his loss, for he was a beacon illuminating our family with a special light. From the time Ariel was born, we always said, “Ariel is special.” We will continue to declare it every day, and especially on the day of his memorial lecture.
Contrary to all logic, as time passes, our memories of Ariel have become more vivid. The images of every stage of his life are easier to evoke in all nuance and detail.
This is a mixed blessing since it intensifies our longing for his smile, his steadfastness, his intelligence and kindness. Yet the enrichment of memory strengthens his role in our family as a luminous spirit, guiding us in the corporeal world.
His goodness, his Torah scholarship and modest piety are a constant reminder of what we should all strive for in our lives.
Indeed, Ariel’s absence has been transformed into a deeply felt presence.