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To be somebody

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Lior Shai, a charmingly radiant Breslov Chasid, passed away last week. Several years ago, at the Bar Mitzvah of Neryiah, his firstborn son, I heard from him the following thought:

"Many words of wisdom and many congratulatory messages have been spoken here today, but my wish for you, sweet Neriyah, is that you will be 'somebody.'"

Those assembled looked at the father of the boy with a quizzical expression, and he explained as follows:

"At home we often say 'somebody should wash the dishes' or 'somebody should take out the trash.' And at school we say 'somebody should call the sick students and ask how they are feeling,' or 'somebody should take charge and organize a gift for the teacher.' As we move forward in life, we say 'somebody should move this rock off the sidewalk,' or 'somebody should hold a class between minchah and arvit (ma'ariv) at the synagogue, or 'somebody should take responsibility for the teenagers in our community.' We always say 'somebody' should do this or that. And I ask, Who is that mysterious 'somebody' that everyone is talking about? I am blessing you, Neriyah, with the hope that wherever you go you will be that 'somebody' who is always needed. The right 'somebody' who knows the right thing that he should do."

May we merit to be somebody.

In his memory.


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