By COLlive reporter
Hundreds attended a Shloshim memorial service in Long Island to mark 30 days since the tragic passing of the 9-year-old son of Chabad Shluchim to the Five Towns.
Levi Yitzchak Wolowik OBM was found not breathing in his bed on Shabbos morning, Febuary 28.
“We feel the pain every moment, hour and day,” said his father, Rabbi Zalman Wolowik, Director of Chabad of Five Towns.
In his emotional speech, Wolowik thanked the community for its support and “thanks to Hashem for giving Chanie and me all our children, including the nine years and two and a half months we had Levi.”
An occasional tear was shed during the Monday evening service at Young Israel of Lawrence – Cedarhurst. Mayor Andrew J. Parise, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum and other leaders were present.
Family members and Chabad Shluchim came from throughout the Tri-State area. Some in the crowd were from Israel, Florida and China.
“Standing at a Shloshim for a grandchild is something we would have never imagined,” the boy’s grandfather, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky said in his eulogy.
“For the last month I searched for words of comfort for myself and others,” said Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch – the Lubavitch arm overseeing the Shluchim network. “This was the test of all tests.”
The young Levi Wolowik, who often joined his father for a bike ride, was described by his principal as a blissful and unique child.
“He was a boy that was happy – with himself and others,” Rabbi Shmuel Strickman, an elementary principal of Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway, NY, said.
“He was happy, bright, motivated and sensitive. Levi took pride in saying a Dvar Torah at the Shabbos table. Unfortunately, that Shabbos was his last time,” Strickman added.
Benjamin Brafman, a celebrated criminal defense attorney in New York, was asked to launch the library project in Wolowik’s memory, but chose to go off script.
“I think it’s the first time in 40 years that I’m nervous speaking at the podium,” he began. “Certain occasions there are certainly no words. Tonight I will rely on my heart.”
He said: “Our obligation is not to build the library – that will come – but to remember Levi Yitzchak. We impose so much (on the Wolowiks), now it’s our turn. He is our kid.”
Brafman asked participants to do an extra good deed in the child’s memory. “Give life to a little boy who doesn’t have it anymore.”
Rabbi Wolowik’s Speech:
Rabbi Kotlarsky’s Speech: