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My Friend Nadiv age 30

Thursday, 12 March, 2015 - 12:03 pm

Nadiv.jpgMy friend Nadiv Kehaty,  a 30 year old father passed, away on Monday morning. The most noticeable quality Nadiv had was his genuine love for his fellow man; his constant smile is something that endeared him to thousands. Literally thousands of people donated close to a million dollars toward a campaign to support his children

We regularly ask after someone passes - how do I move on? How do I return to normal life after a tragedy? In the words of the Midrash: “Master of the universe, if a person becomes contaminated through a human corpse, how shall he become pure?” Moses asked G-d. G-d remained silent. "At that moment, Moses' face darkened."

Much later the Midrash says, "When G-d reached the section of the red cow, He said to Moses: 'you once asked Me how can this person become pure, but I did not respond. Now I will give you the answer.’ And G-d proceeded to present the entire mitzvah of the Red Heifer.” In short; the unblemished, no black haired Red Heifer was ritually slaughtered and then burned to ashes.  Its ashes were mixed with water from a natural source.  This water was sprinkled on someone who came in contact with death, thus returning him to a state of purity.

In this special process, the two main elements of fire and water were mixed together.  Fire represents expression, yearning and passion while water represents cool, calm and normalcy.  This in reality is the yearning of the soul for purpose, control of self and living higher whereas the body is self-indulgent, ego driven and interested in the self.  

How does this ritual answer ‘how do I move on?’ I am not sure. One thing I know is that Nadiv managed this balance. He was normal, fun loving, hardworking like a regular guy, yet at the same time, he loved everyone and made a point to express it and let us all know how much he loved and appreciated us. True Ahavat Yisrael!

Ask yourself, are you expressing your appreciation to those who you appreciate? Do people see your fire? 

  • Don't be crazy about yourself; be crazy about your soul.
  • Be normal and exceptional at the same time. 
  • Express your soul without neglecting your body. 
  • Let the fire burn and water it.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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