You are all invited to The ninth annual Ariel Avrech ZT’L Memorial Lecture that will take place Sunday, June 3, 2012, at 10 AM at the Young Israel of Century City, followed by brunch.
Young Israel of Century City
9317 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035
RSVP to Rebekah at the synagogue office: (310) 273-6954
For those unable to attend the lecture will be posted here at Seraphic Secret.
Karen and I are proud to announce that Joel Pollak will deliver this year’s lecture: “The Mainstream Media’s Betrayal of Israel.”
Joel grew up in Chicago where he attended Solomon Schechter Day School and graduated Niles North High School as class valedictorian. He attended Harvard College and then earned his law degree from Harvard Law School. Additionally, Joel has a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa where he was born.
Joel is a brilliant and articulate commentator on talk radio, Fox News and CNN. Currently, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and in-house counsel to the influential Breitbart.com websites. The lecture will address the following questions: At what point did the mainstream media turn against Israel and why do they consistently demonize the Jewish State? How should supporters of Israel combat this insidious betrayal?
When we memorialize 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, turning thirty-one years-old.
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 Jewish expressions of joy: Gilah, Rena, Ditzah, Chedvah, Reah, Shalom, 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.
Shavuot is a holiday in which we celebrate:
1. The giving of the Torah to the Jewish people.
2. The harvesting of wheat in Israel.
3. The ripening of the first fruit in the land of Israel.
In a sense, Shavuot provides a resolution to the holiday of Passover.
On Passover, the Jewish people were freed from slavery.
And on Shavuot the Jewish people, as freed slaves, were given liberty when G-d transmitted the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai.
Freedom for the Jewish people, first and foremost, means accepting and living the moral code transmitted by G-d through the written and oral Torah.
Indeed, the Ten Commandments are not only the foundation of Judaism but the basis of moral law for all civilized nations.
Perhaps this is the reason Jews have been persecuted for so long. The world has never forgiven our gift of ethical standards, our love of goodness and—
—and the mitzvah to hate evil.
Seraphic Secret will be off-line until Tuesday in celebration of the holiday.