By COLlive reporter
The tragic passing of Chabad Rabbi Yehoshua Binyomin Gordon of California, on Monday, the 29th of Shevat 5776, is being mourned by Jews of all backgrounds and from across the globe.
Since 2009, thousands of people have been starting their day with a prayer, coffee and tuning into the daily Torah classes crisply delivered by Rabbi Gordon from his Chabad of the Valley center in Encino.
A programmer analyst from New York City wrote on the COLlive.com Facebook page that he learned about the sad news while he was listening to one of Rabbi Gordon’s classes. “I have been listening to his Tanya lessons for 3 years,” he wrote.
Calling Rabbi Gordon “a brilliant Rabbi,” Nili Shore wrote on Facebook: “He brought so much joy and humor to learning, it’s sad to lose such a great man. His shlichus will surely continue on. May his neshama always be elevating.”
Rabbi Gordon’s daily classes on the daily study portions in Chumash, Tanya and Rambam have attracted a loyal and international following. Zevulun Brewer said he would listen to the class while working rice fields in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand, while Brocha Taub said she learned while driving her children to school in the van.
His many students could perhaps find comfort in a personal video message that Rabbi Gordon recorded in New York following the passing of his mother, Rebbetzin Miriam Gordon OBM in 2012.
In the video, he briefly tells the story of his mother’s life including her early life in Harlem and Boro Park as a member of the illustrious Simpson family, one of the first chassidic families in America. He then describes her married life as the rebbetzin of the venerable Shliach Rabbi Sholom Ber Gordon OBM.
In his personal reflections, Rabbi Gordon shares unique words of consolation that the Rebbe told his father and grandfather at the shiva of his paternal grandmother in 1957.
“When someone passes away,” said the Rebbe to the Gordon family, “They don’t leave. They just go up to the second floor.”