Mar 12, 2015
Nadiv Kehaty's Prophetic Name

From the COLlive inbox: New Orleans Shliach Mendel Rivkin writes about Nadiv Kehaty, the person he viewed like a "little brother."

Dear Friends,

The last four days have been a daze in which I have been numb and in shock from the horrible loss of a person who I viewed as almost a little brother, Nadiv Kehaty.

In the beginning of this week’s Parsha we read about the contributions to the building of the Sanctuary. The Torah uses the expression “Kol Nediv Libo” – loosely translated as “anyone with a generous heart.” In Hebrew the word Nadiv means kind or generous. Tradition teaches that parents are endowed with borderline prophecy when designating a name for their child.

When Uzzi and Rivkah Kehaty selected this name for their son Nadiv 30 years ago, it was straight up full prophecy. He literally, without exaggeration, embodied the word Nadiv.

Nadiv made every person feel important to him. When you interacted with Nadiv, the sense was that you his best friend. Nadiv was an amazing father, husband, son and brother. He loved his family with every fiber of his being and he was their anchor in difficult times.

Nadiv had many wonderful qualities, each worth mentioning. I would like to share three qualities that are his legacy from which each of us can derive some inspiration to implement into our lives.

The first is Simchas Hachaim – a life of happiness. This is much more than just what the French call joie de vivre. It is not just that he enjoyed living. He found joy and brought joy to others in every moment and experience of life. He always had his signature big smile and loved making people laugh and be happy. This was true even though he had plenty of challenges in his life on many levels.

The second, an outgrowth of the first, is greeting people “besever panim yafos” – with a happy face. No matter who it was, everyone got the Nadiv smile and a kind word or joke to brighten up the day.

The third was his stellar fulfillment of Ahavat Yisrael – loving his fellow. Nadiv didn’t view this as an obligation. Rather he really did love everyone and they loved him back. He loved holding babies, playing with children, talking to adults, hanging with seniors – anyone at any age. Whenever someone needed something Nadiv was there – from the smallest acts of kindness, like helping a mother with a stroller, to the big picture of helping people in many unheralded ways.

Nadiv also loved New Orleans. Even though he had moved away many years earlier and set up his life in Brooklyn, NY, New Orleans was still home and he considered himself a local. He thrived on hearing about the growth and development of Chabad in New Orleans. On many occasions Nadiv generously supported the activities of Chabad in New Orleans. He was a regular sponsor of the Downtown Lunch N Learn, Young Professionals events and much more. He loved reading about things that were going on and constantly gave enthusiastic encouragement.

I had the pleasure of being in touch with Nadiv on a regular basis. He would call, text, email or send a facebook message just to let me know that he was thinking about our community. He would shower us with blessings. Nadiv very much wanted to be financially successful so that he could be even more generous in his support of the causes that he loved.

When the tragedy struck earlier this week, it was hard to imagine that the love and the joy of life and the smile were all gone. When I got the call I could not, and still cannot, imagine life without Nadiv’s physical presence, his smile and love for everyone. How could this steamroll of positive energy, joy and love come to a stop? And yet for his wife Toby, their children Moshe, Yuda, Shoshana and Yacov, his parents, Uzzi and Rivka, siblings, Talor, Tzivyah, Mendel and Levi, his in-laws the Ezagui family, and for all of his friends and loved ones, it seemed that it had come to an end.

And then something amazing started. All the love that Nadiv had projected to others throughout his 30 year life was being reflected back to him and his family. Messages, photos and kind words were streaming in from all over. Nearly 4,000 people contributed to a fund to help support Nadiv’s wife and children. Every message, photo and contribution was like a beam of love that was rebounding from the love that Nadiv had given in his lifetime. While this cannot fill the gaping void left by Nadiv’s untimely passing, it injects a tiny bit of warmth into the coldest of cold feelings being experienced by his family.

If we could only take to heart the lessons of Nadiv’s life the world would be a warmer place with more love, and this would zoom us forward to the time of Moshiach, when we will be reunited with our loved ones who have passed and we will see Nadiv Dovber ben Uzzi together again with his family and 7 billion friends.

If you would like to contribute to the fund please see

Several important initiatives are being considered to perpetuate Nadiv’s life and legacy. Details will be forthcoming in the days and weeks ahead.

May Hashem bring comfort to the family among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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Opinions and Comments
We are so proud of our native New Orleanian.I hope everyone, everywhere will learn more about this noble soul.Although our grief is immense, we must hold on to the cheer he spread.We must hold on to his smile,his charm,his goodness.If we don't do this,then his legacy will have been in vain chas v'.It's too shocking right now but slowly we must push ourselves to believe as he believed in the words of the Rebbe and our Creator.We must believe this is not the end.This is what will bring him peace.To honor his soul,is to do what he always did-to get up and do something good for someone whenever the moment presented itself.There wasn't a Pesach I didn't stop laughing as soon as we sat down.To be honest I dread Pesach because I knew he wanted to be here with his loving family.I'll have to force myself to laugh again with the help of Gd.May his family be comforted by H'!All our love to the remarkable Kehatys!
(3/12/2015 7:29:21 PM)
Very beautiful
Thank you for sharing.
(3/12/2015 7:32:20 PM)
so special
I wish I could have met him. Such a holy neshama he must have had. Baruch Dayan Haemes. For all who mourn his passing, may Hashem be with you in your sorrow. And, as it says: "Those who sow in tears will reap in joy". Soon, with the coming of Moshiach, we will meet Nadiv and the entire B'nei Yisrael in true happiness. All we can do now is daven to G-d, with sincere hearts, do Mitzvos, and make a difference in the world.
(3/12/2015 8:23:20 PM)
Kaplan Family
This is a beautiful tribute to an amazing person. We should be reunited with Nadiv and all our loved ones with Moshiach immediately. Kehaty Family - we love you very much!
(3/12/2015 8:52:10 PM)
How true!
It's the genuine happiness that captured everyone's heart. It is not a trait seen often.
I would see nadiv often times in the morning, him having just dropped off his son, me- coming into work.... He always held the door open even for the few extra seconds it took me to get there... Always with a good morning smile...
Other times we'd lmeet him on his way to shul on maple street and joke how we walk from our side to his side, and he treks from his side to our side --- he was easy to talk to... Pleasant ... You felt comfortable saying whatever came to your mind at that moment without feeling stupid or having a why did I say that moment .... And this little spark made him noticeable to everyone , who now recognizes him... When if it would have been another person.... No special mark would have been left and makes people want to give... And give even more if they could have.
A good soul was taken away. My heart aches despite not being friends or close.... Just from the tiny instances I've had with him.... For those close to him and especially his family --- I can't imagine the loss you must be feeling, but how great it is that he belonged to you ! What an honor!
(3/12/2015 9:24:31 PM)
Grieving friend
I want to name after nadiv in hopes of my child being as special as he is!!!!! ( refuse to say was)
(3/12/2015 9:41:53 PM)
So much love!
I saw his pure smile and made me cry!
Is so much love in his eyes.. Hashem please
Terachem oleinu!
Look at this note, how a loving man he wasss.
Look at his beautiful kinderlach how it can be
They lossed their taty! Hashemmm! Pleaseee!
Only one thing i can be sure, his love and his kidnnes he left with them!
May the kehaty and ezagui's family can only hear good news and be reunited again with this beloved man in te comming of mishiach now mamesh!
(3/12/2015 9:56:31 PM)
An amazing person
I couldn't agree more beautifully written, Toby Lew
(3/12/2015 11:02:56 PM)
`what a special man!!
I wish all husbands would learn from Nadiv ; ! 1; be respectful and give smiles and kindness to your wife!! 2; Make sure to LOOK at your children when u talk to them and spend time with them WITH JOY!!!
(3/13/2015 1:43:34 AM)
Once again, Rabbi Mendel Rivkin is spot on with words that clearly come from the heart.
(3/13/2015 2:19:36 AM)
Special neshama
Nadiv was a special person always said hi wherever we were as if he had nowhere Else to be! Nadiv will always be remembered and never forgotten! Hamakom yenachem etchem betoch sharie Tzion veyerushalim
(3/13/2015 7:49:43 AM)
I had the privilege of being Nadiv's roommate in yeshiva and of being his friend. He had a profound effect on me to this day and I am in a state of shock that he is no longer with us.
I remember once when I leined Parshas Vayakhel on a weekday in Yeshiva he came over to me afterwards and said thank you for singing my name out so loudly. It is truly Hashgacha and surreal that this is the same Parsha of the week of his passing.
I will never forget you Nadiv, your infectious happiness, kindness, and unique personality will stay with me forever.
(3/13/2015 9:29:55 AM)
Online School G8
Today's Parsha class was dedicated to the memory of Nadiv- we were learning the OhR Hachayim on the Possuk of ðãáä øåçå which truly described Nadiv!! Someone who gave even more than he has because of his HUGE heart. As the Possuk says- àéù that is a true man- !
(3/13/2015 11:49:48 AM)
Whats his full name including his father?
(3/13/2015 2:56:44 PM)
I believe it is Nadiv Dov Ber and his father's name is Uzi Kahaty
(3/13/2015 4:25:20 PM)
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