Unfortunately, Jewish news is often filled with the obituaries of those who have lost their lives at a young age. We read the details, especially if the person is someone we know, or share a community with. Every once in a while, however, there comes the story of an individual who is so remarkable, so inspiring, that even without knowing them, the reader’s heart aches that they are no longer in this world.
R’Chaim Goldblat was well-known in the Ezras Torah community. Each morning, before the sun rose, he arrived at the beis midrash to learn. Each night, at 11pm, he would pack up his seforim and return home to his beloved wife & 12 children. This continued for years, even during bein hazmanim. This would be an incredible level of dedication for anyone, but there was something different about R’Goldblat: He was suffering from brain cancer.
R’Chaim Goldblat passed away on Shvi’i Shel Pesach, leaving behind a devastated family and community. His children tell three short unbelievable stories that give insight into what an incredible person he was:
“Shortly after being diagnosed with brain cancer, Abba had two major brain surgeries. While he was recovering, our mother gave birth to our youngest sibling. On shabbos, Abba used all of his strength to walk across town to tell his parents the news. They were shocked to see him at their doorstep, when he had just returned home from the hospital. He insisted that he had to wish them ‘mazel tov,’ to make them happy.”
“He was committed to learning, even when he was in a wheelchair and had tubes coming out of him. When he was too sick to learn, though, he would never despair. With a smile on his face he would say, ‘A Yid does what Hashem wants. When Hashem wants me to learn, I will learn. If right now Hashem doesn’t want me to learn, I won’t.’
“He was always worried about Mommy, even when he was at his most sick. When he would come home from grueling chemo sessions he would ask her, ‘What can I do to help you?’”
This is the level of the tzaddik who left this world at the beginning of this week. Wife Mrs. Tziporah Goldblat is at a loss. Of her 12 children, 9 still live at home. The youngest is just a baby. She works as a teacher but is unable to carry the household on her own.
On a Chesed Fund page opened to help them survive their futures without them, Mrs. Goldblat remembers that when R’Chaim was diagnosed with cancer, he told her that ‘a Jew is never alone.’ The Goldblats are praying that the rest of the Jewish People will step in to help, to show her children that even without their father, they will be taken care of.