Remembering Rabbi Sim Glaser

Rabbi Sim Glaser, playing guitar in my living room
July 10, Jerusalem, photo ©2010 Aviva Dekel

for Sim

Your mother survived the Shoah.
You were born on my father's birthday
in the same year that I was born.
This year, you left the world
on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial
Day. The last time we saw each other—
a Shabbat meal together here
in Jerusalem with my family—
we didn’t play music as we had
           Still, guitar strings resonate
with memories

			—sound out
Vietnamese lunches together
where we would share a meal,
more conversations, friendship.

			—sound out
walks around the lakes in
Minneapolis, talking freely.
We planned meeting in Israel
on one of those walks, and
after that trip, I came again,
when I met Aviva, to where
I have now made my home.

One of my trips to eretz Israel,
before moving here, when war
broke out, I met a couple at a café
who knew you—the first couple you
performed a marriage for, they said.
In this way harmonic circles hum.

You have left the world on a day
we will never forget. And today
I will visit the Western Wall,
leave this poem as a prayer
for you, your family, your friends,
your congregants, your students,
all those you have left behind with
memories of laughter, music, lessons
learned, and forgotten, I imagine.

These connections and memories
form gold wires, a fine-tuned antenna
for here and the world to come
that will keep your soul’s signal
singing in the synapses of love.

Poem ©2023 Michael Dickel
Photos ©2010 Aviva Dekel

A beloved rabbi, good friend, and mensch—I will miss Sim. I wish we’d had one more visit here in Israel, one more music session, one more walk around the lakes. May his families and friends be comforted by his memory. May his memory be for a blessing to all who knew and loved him.

Categories: Poetry

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