By COLlive reporter
Yehuda Shmuel Maimon, a Chabad boy from the central Israeli city of Bat Yam who recently celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in an emotional ceremony, passed away on Friday, 1 Adar 5775.
“He was called to complete a minyan in the heavenly court,” his father, radio personality Ami Maimon wrote in a Facebook status following the passing.
Last month, a large crowd of rabbis and friends came to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of the boy who has been battling Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, which weakens muscles and impacts physical function.
A highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a music video prepared and sung by some of the boy’s 7 siblings and without the knowledge of the parents, Ami and his wife Tali Maimon.
VIDEO: Ach Sheli music video
Ami Maimon, a Lubavitcher who is one of the most widely syndicated radio hosts in the country, revealed to his estimated 150,000 listeners about his son’s illness some 4 years ago.
Well before ALS received wide awareness with this past summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge, his touching announcement has moved many and led to mass prayers and wishes in merit of his Yehuda Shmuel.
“We could have sent him to a nursing home, but my wife and I felt that we got a gift,” the spirited father said once in an interview. “It’s true that it isn’t easy to care for a child like this, especially when we are a large family.”
“He is confined to a wheelchair, connected to a feeding tube, and lives on special food that is not included in medical coverage,” Ami Maimon said. “But we decided not to abandon him and make it an integral part of the family.
“This child is my drive, is my engine and helps me stay sane. He makes us very happy, and I thank the Creator for the gift sent to us. It’s not easy at all, but joy can heal every sadness. The fact that I can get my boy to smile, that I could make him happy and make others happy – is my merit. For that I live, to do good to the people of Israel.”
The funeral took place on Friday, Adar 1, in Cholon.
Baruch dayan haemes.