Dr. Irving Moskowitz - Enveloped in a cloud of holiness
At Ma'arat HaMachpela - with Hebron children (photos David Wilder)
Much has been written by many people about Dr. Irving Moskowitz zt"l since notification of his passing late last week. I too wrote a short piece on Facebook:
A Tzaddik has left this world for a better world, Dr. Irving Moskowitz, whose name and acts will be remembered in the annuls of Jewish history with Montefiore and Rothchild, whose generosity knew no boundaries, a man of modesty, a man of Torah, a man of the people. Together with his indefatigable Ashet Chayil Cherna, may she live and be well for many years to come, Irving changed the very face of Jewish presence in Eretz Yisrael. There aren't words to capture and define his legacy. Only that I have no doubt that what he was able to accomplish in this world is only a sliver of what he'll be able to do in the next world. May he and his memory be blessed for eternity.
I don't know if I can add much to what has already been written, but on Shabbat I read a beautiful paragraph from the Zohar, appearing in parshat Chaya Sarah, which is the Torah portion describing Abraham's purchase of the Caves of Machpela, and immediately thought of Dr. Moskowitz:
Rabbi Pinchas said, before a Tzaddik (righteous person) leaves this world, a voice from Heaven calls out, 'prepare a place for this person, the Tzaddik, who is coming.' And because this soul is so privileged as to enter the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem, the angel Michael, the great minister, goes forth to greet him with Shalom, and all the other ministering angels wait behind and ask, 'who is it coming up from the desert, from the world below?' Because it is a world of ruins, called desert, as opposed to the heavenly world.
And the angel Michael, the great minister, answers, 'one is my pure, innocent dove,' in other words, Michael does not praise the private mitzvot and traits of the Tzaddik and his righteousness, rather he recites the innocent loftiness which includes all the traits and positive, kosher characteristics, and just as this soul includes all of these pure, innocent, kosher and honest deeds, so the elevated holiness surrounds him always, and when he deals with Torah and Mitzvot, all the area around him is with total holiness and his reward is very great indeed.
With Hebron children - with the author (photos David Wilder)
This, perhaps, describes the transcendental process by which Dr. Irving Moskowitz left this world, on his way to the next world. For his deeds were all for the good of 'Klal Yisrael,' the greater Israel, not for his own private reward, but for all of Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael and Torat Yisrael.
It was an honor and privilege to have known him, to have walked with him and talked with him, because he was always, as is described above, enveloped in a cloud of holiness.
Without any doubt, he will continue his righteous efforts in the world of total good and happiness, on behalf of his family and on behalf of all Yisrael.