By COLlive reporter
Photos ©David Miller Studios 2016
Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, who served as the Shliach in Temecula, CA and is now battling ALS, spent the Pesach holiday with his family at the KMR Pesach retreat in Henderson, Nevada.
Inspired by Rabbi Yitzi’s courage, faith and spirit, guests of the program spent much time singing with the bedridden Chabad Rabbi, visiting him and sharing the joy of Yom Tov together.
Whether during the Seder, the Chol Hamoed concerts or the numerous Kumzitz gatherings which took place throughout the Yom Tov, Rabbi Hurwitz was brought into the circle of singing and music.
During a concert by superstar singer Avraham Fried, a poignant moment was when the singer sang “Shine a little light,” a song composed by Yitzi himself, to the beloved Shliach, with the emotional crowd joining in.
Following candle lighting one evening, Dina Hurwitz, Yitzi’s wife, addressed the women on the topic of overcoming challenges in life, with many of the participants visibly moved.
During the final days of Yom Tov, an appeal for the Hurwitz family fund in the program’s various Shuls brought in many thousands of dollars from the guests who had gotten to know and love the Hurwitz family during their short time together.
Mrs. Hurwitz later shared that during the Seder, an elderly couple came over to her table. The husband was a survivor of Auschwitz and the woman lost her brother to ALS. She commented that Rabbi Yitzi’s sparkling eyes remind her of him.
Later, while Mrs. Hurwitz was eating Maror during the Seder, the Holocaust survivor came over again and told her to stop.
“You don’t need a reminder of the bitter life,” he said.
Mrs. Hurwitz was deeply moved.
“He shocked me, he lost all of his family and he thinks MY life is hard?” she said. “I have always been amazed by the generation who picked up the pieces and built a beautiful life. You have my deepest admiration and gratitude. We are here because of your strength.”
Donate to the Hurwitz family fund at www.hurwitzfamilyfund.com