Selected Sermon/Article
2001-03-05 Shmuel Nussbaum by Michael Freedman
A few words about Abba/Sabba
A few words about Abba/Sabba (This is a eulogy written by the son-in-law of the Niftar. The Niftar was an uncle of Dr. Avi Lasdun, one of NHBZ members.)

I am very pained at not being able to be at the Levaya, so I just needed to put down some thoughts on paper.

Nothing that you are not aware of, it is just for me, that I need to write this, so that I can review all of the great attributes of our father/grandfather in order to strive to make them a part of me, thus making him live on through my thoughts, deeds, and of course my children.

Whenever I have pictured my children growing up I have always had in my mind the image of him sitting and learning with them. He was soon to make Aliyah and I thought in that, I would have the perfect role model around all the time, to be a guiding light for them.

I wanted my sons to be just like him, and my daughters to marry people just like him.

I could never have imagined this tragedy happening as I had always thought of him as infallible.

It must be that Mashiach is about to come and Hakodosh Baruch Hu needed his most loyal and dedicated servant at his side to be a part in the planning.

What better role model could I have for my children then the perfect eved hashem.

A man who could almost never be seen not fully engrossed in the study of Torah. At the latest hours of the night he was never in bed but always up, even when dosing off and on as the Gemorah in Brachos said of Dovid Hamelech at night, totally immersed in learning. I don't think that I have ever mentioned an inyan, sugya, or halacha that he did not know cold, with all the shitos and ramifications connected to it.

The greatest part though, was not his knowledge, rather his use of it in practice.

I never saw him get angry, I never saw him raise his voice (except during Tefilos), he was the most kind and gentle person I have ever met.

He was the most dedicated family person there could ever be, never one to say "I am busy learning and can't help you", he was always there for anyone (whether part of the family or not) whenever he thought he could help in any way. His family extended to the whole of Klal Yisroel , as he was a most dedicated soldier helping carry out the commandments and master plans of the "Superior officer" in the most meticulous of ways. This did not compromise his learning, as it was clear that even when not in front of a sefer his thoughts were always in Torah. He was in every way, exactly as I have learned from my Rebbe, the way a person should be.

It seems that he had totally given up his bechira chofshis, as no trace of a yetzer horo could be seen within him.

I just cannot picture him doing anything wrong, as it would seem that doing wrong to him was like the sun not shinning, against the laws of nature.

It is fitting that when his time came he was killed while running to do a mitzva, to be mashlim a minyan for mincha. When his time came, it had to be in such a way, since there simply were no other times in his life, his life was only mitzvos.

One only needed to look at him physically to be able to see what he was all about. He just gave off that "image".

I have never seen anyone so sincere in his Tefillos and avodas Hashem as he was.

He was so confident and sure of himself in his straight ways, that as I mentioned above, I thought of him as infallible, as someone who could never leave us.

I always joke with Merla about how anytime I would see him in a shiur or drasha , every once in a while he would shake his head in disagreement, of course he knew better. The truth is, he usually did, but that did not matter either. He was a servant to the mesorah, the minhag, and the normative halacha. If the Rav of the Kehilla would paskin a halacha, that was final, even in cases where he knew better. I am sure many of the rabonim were not on his level either, that did not matter of course. If you would say something to that effect he would laugh and look at you like you were crazy, showing his tremendous gadlus in anivus.

He really thought that way, while at the same time knowing just who he was.

B"H we were Zocheh to have him as sandek at the Bris of our son Zorach Tzvi just a few weeks ago.

He was here for just two weeks, but he made his impression on so many people here. The telephone has been wringing constantly from people in our community who saw just who he was. He did not go out showing himself off rather stayed in his corner but radiated light. Everyone noticed who he was to the effect that although he did not spend that much time in Kochav Hashachar , I could easily say based on the many phone calls that I have received that this is an Ayvel Kaved on Kochav Hashachar.

If this is the case, the avaylus that exists in his own community is probably not even measurable.

To even begin to discuss the loss to the immediate family and especially to his most dedicated partner, Is way beyond my abilities.

One reason that we suffer so much now is only because of what we had and have now lost.

Had he been a lesser person perhaps we would suffer less. It is because we the great zechus of being close to such a great person, that now we see that we just can't go on without him. We have become accustomed to him. In marrying Merla I married a part of him not just physically but in the things he indoctrinated into her. That is the Zechus of marrying the daughter of a talmid chachom, one can receive their chinuch from someone that was brought up by such a person.

The void was spelled out when after hearing us talk about Saba, Asher Baruch ran down to "Saba's room"(The room that he stayed in when he was here), opened the door, went inside, looked around, and said," Saba is not here".

I cry for my sons that will never have really known him, and needed to know him so very much.

My teffilos are all begging hashem that I will be able to take on just a fraction of the great traits that he had in order to improve both my family and myself. Surely Hashem could not remove such a person from this world without giving us the strength and abilities to fill this void. We must all work hard at keeping him alive, by carrying on his teachings and his derech.

It terrifies me to think that I was not a good enough son in law, as much as I wanted to be.

In recent years he delivered a regular shiur in his kehilla that unfortunately I never merited hearing.

That and the fact that I did not spend enough time with him, is something that I have missed and can never make up. The pain is too great to shoulder. I am sure though that he was happy with me, as he saw all the good in everyone. I will try to work as hard as I can toward becoming what he would have wanted me to be.

I always admired him and considered him our father, pillar, and role model.

Although I am not in official avalus, I truly feel as if I am. I cannot be comforted in the fact that "Saba is not here".