This story made enthusiastic waves in the Canadian Media. CBS defined it as “The Story of the Day”:
Eddie Ford was a 90 year old lonely, childless holocaust survivor from Toronto. He never had a family and was not in touch with the Jewish Community, but in the recent months of his life he asked to urgently meet with a rabbi. Rabbi Zale Neuman came, and the sick Ford asked to be buried, when his day comes, with a Jewish burial, and he also wanted to adopt a Jewish name. The rabbi helped him, and the name that was chosen for him was Ephraim. Ephraim ben Dov. A few hours before the funeral the rabbi posted this call:
“I need a Minyan for a valiant, childless person in his last journey. This would be an act of pure Chessed (kindness). When you come, wear warm clothing.” His funeral day was one of the coldest days of the year, a blizzard, and minus 25 degrees Celsius (-13 degrees Fahrenheit). But the following day, the rabbi wrote the following echoing words: “Friends, it is hard to believe. I was sure that only me, him and G-d would be there. When I arrived at the cemetery, I couldn’t get in due to the huge number of cars that were parked there. I thought that there was another funeral going on at the same time. I walked in the freezing wind, and then I found out near the entrance about 150 people who had arrived – for the funeral of sweet Ephraim – just as we should do, sending such a person to the Next World. I think to myself with teary eyes how great it is that people leave everything in such short notice, travel a long distance and stand in the freezing cold, only to accompany a little Jew whom they have never known. And who is like Thy people Israel”.
In memory of Ephraim ben Dov.