My father, Rabbi Chaplain Abraham Avrech passed away on March 15, 2014, which the Jewish calendar translates into the 13th of Adar. Thus, tonight — Jewish holidays begin in the evening, after sundown — is the second Yahrzeit, memorial, without my father’s physical presence in this world. My father was 94 years old.
He is gone, but he is certainly not forgotten.
I ponder the astonishing trajectory of my father’s life. Born in a tiny impoverished Polish town, my father and his family emigrated to America where they found the liberty to live as Jews and Americans.
My father reveled in Americanism, even as he lived the life of a Torah Jew and a religious Zionist.
Like most New York Jews, my father was a lever-pulling Democrat for most of his life. But in his later years, he realized that the Democrat party had changed into a crypto-socialist organism dedicated to subverting American exceptionalism, and the Constitution.
My father was appalled by Obama; that a man who was a member of a Jew-hating church for over 20 years was elected to this nation’s highest office was, to my father, a ghastly subversion of the ideals of the America he loved.
As we head into Purim, the holiday in which Jews remember an ancient Persian regime that sought to annihilate the Jewish people, I will read Megillat Esther and proudly remember my father: a pious Jew and a proud American.
May HaRav Avraham ben HaRav Shmuel’s neshama have an aliyah.
And G-d bless the United States of America.