A large crowd of Anash from all over London, together with neighbors, family and friends, joined Yossi and Ester Potash in commemorating the Shloshim of their son Nochum Tzvi OBM, who passed away tragically and suddenly on 22 Teves.
Still in obvious pain, Yossi firstly thanked the community for their support and then shared fond memories of Nochum Tzvi, evoking the unique qualities of this well-loved child. Yossi chose a Mishna in Succah as the Siyum, as Nochum Tzvi’s class had been learning this Masechta and had been given a project over the winter break which he tragically never had the opportunity to start. Yossi mentioned the story of Reb Mendel Futerfas OBM, how he said that it was Emunah that kept him during the tough years in the Soviet Union. Here too, it is the Emunah that keeps us going.
The name Nochum Tzvi shows Emunah. He was named Nochum after his famous great-grandfather Reb Nochum Zalman Gurevich, who had mesirus nefesh in the Soviet Union for Yiddishkeit. Just this past Chanuka for the Menorah competition, Nochum Tzvi and his younger brother Mendy created a potato Menorah, copying their great-grandfather who had done the same many years ago while serving in the Russian Army. Nochum also means comfort, while Tzvi, named after a great uncle, stands for Tzadik Be’emunosa Yichyeh, we need Emunah that Moshiach will come now and continue on after this tragic story.
Yossi concluded by mentioning the building project launched by the Shul. “Please help to make this a reality, to make from this trauma a Teruma,” said Yossi, “so that we can have a place to daven, learn and farbreng together.”
He was followed by Rabbi Shmuel Aryeh Hackner, a close family friend and a teacher in the Junior Boys School. Rabbi Hackner spoke from a teacher’s perspective, how while Nochum Tzvi was generally a well behaved child in school and actively participated in a wide range of activities, he was still a boy, with all the liveliness and cheekiness that comes with it. He continued that while it is tragic and difficult, if the negative thoughts lead to nothing then there is no point, all the suffering and tough times must lead to positive energy and into something productive. The lesson we must learn, concluded Rabbi Hackner, is that just like Nochum Tzvi was a real boy in every aspect, so must we become real in everything we do.
Mr. Ephraim Potash, a zeide of Nochum Tzvi, made the Siyum Mishnayos, but preceded it by explaining why we make a Siyum, which is a happy occasion, at times such as these, to teach us that every situation must be turned over and created into a positive one. After the Siyum, Yossi said Kaddish.
The event was concluded by Mr. Yechiel Wilhelm, Gabbai of Heichal Menachem, who mentioned the projects that have been set up in memory of Nochum Tzvi, a lending library at Gan Menachem, the International JNET Yud Shevat study program, a local initiative to sing songs at the Shabbos table, the new Diamond Daveners and Torah Tots programs at Heichal Menachem and last but not least, the building project, to finally build a permanent location for Lubavitch in Golders Green, which will be named Beis Nochum Tzvi.
“Why do I mention the building project to you?”, asked Yechiel. In this week’s sedra we read how Moshe Rabbeinu was told by Hashem to fundraise and build a building. Moshe Rabbeinu, the Nosi of Klal Yisroel, did not pass on the job, he alone became the most successful fundraiser in history, and within a short time he had extra money in the bank!
“If Moshe Rabbeinu could be a fundraiser, surely us simple Yidden can do it too,” concluded Yechiel, “No one needs to wait for the board or director; if they know someone they could approach they should do it and together we will build a Shul.”
Please be a part of this project and help make it a reality.
To donate: http://www.heichalmenachem.com/beis-nochum-tzvi.html
Video: Mr. Yossi Potash
Video: Mr. Efraim Potash
Video: Rabbi SA Hackner