By Brocha Lipkind
When you’ve known someone as long as I have known Dina Hurwitz, your lives become inextricably intertwined. We have been friends since we were six years old. Her family was mekarev my family in the early 80’s.
My husband, Mendel, and her husband, Yitzi were also childhood friends and went to yeshiva together. We attended one another’s weddings and, believe it or not, our eldest children were born one week apart. When my father passed away two years ago Dina and Yitzi came to make a shiva visit. It was early on in Yitzi’s own illness and his words were slightly slurred. Still, they were unaware of the cause. To say we have history together is no exaggeration.
Since his diagnosis with ALS two years ago, Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz has endured more than most could imagine. And he has done so with light in his eyes and love in his heart (surely, in no small part, because of his loving wife, Dina, and the unwavering support of family and friends). He has not given up or given in to the darkness that could so easily overtake most people. He remains positive and generous with both his time and his gift for inspiring others.
He is literally teaching a lesson with every smile.
Yitzi has deeply inspired me personally. During a recent visit, he encouraged me and gave me strength on an issue with which I was struggling. Dina has as well. Through her busy daily routine with her children, Yitzi, as well as dealings with the Chabad House in Temecula, she found time to once again give me some inner strength that was needed. I have to say I have come back to Florida a changed person. And I so much want to be able to return that kindness and love to my dear friends.
On January 25th, I will be running the Miami Half Marathon with a group of friends, appropriately named “Team Yitzi,” to raise $10,000 for The Hurwitz Family.
Rabbi Yitzi is running a marathon of his own. As the ability to type with his hands and speak with his mouth have been taken, every word he shares comes with great effort. But his family and friends are right there, cheering him onward. It is in this same spirit and focused determination that Team Yitzi will push to the finish line—not only to raise money for the Hurwitz family, but to give strength to a great person.
If you have been touched by the grace and undaunted spirit with which Yitzi and his family have faced this illness, please consider helping Team Yitzi reach its goal by donating here:
The crowd-funding site I chose does not take any percentage of the funds donated. One hundred percent of your donation goes directly to the Hurwitz Family Fund.
We are not always given the opportunity to show gratitude and appreciation to those who inspire us. But on the occasions that we are, it becomes its own gift.
May Hashem bless Yosef Yitzchok ben Bracha with a complete refuah shleima!