Torah thoughts in memory of Louis Goldstein

Dr. Joseph Frager parts from his beloved father in law. "He never lost his smile or sense of humor"

Dr. Joseph Frager‏ ,

Louis Goldstein
Louis Goldstein
Courtesy of the family

On the 11th of Cheshvan my beloved Father in Law- Louis Goldstein Left this earth near his 98th birthday.

At his Funeral my brother in law-Rabbi Eli Alpert gave the main Hespid. He compared my Father in Law to the three men who visited Abraham on the third day after his Circumcision. “He lifted his eyes and saw: And behold three men were standing over him. He perceived, so he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent, and bowed toward the ground.” (18:2) Rabbi Alpert called my Father in Law an “Angel”. Just as HaShem sent three Angels in the form of men to visit Abraham , Louis Goldstein Z’L was an Angel who everyone thought was just a Man. Rabbi Alpert elaborated that sometimes one just does not perceive an Angel in our midst. They appear to be Men. It is lesson for all. We need to see who are the Angels among us. It takes a high degree of discernment and vision. We must all strive to attain that level of sight.

My Father in Law loved everyone and everyone loved him. This was a trait inherited from our forefather, Abraham.

The story of Abraham’s discussion with HaShem concerning Sodom highlights Abraham’s incredible Chesed. “Abraham came forward and said, “Will You also stamp out the righteous along with the wicked? What if there should be fifty righteous people in the midst of the city? Would You still stamp it out rather than spare the place for the sake of fifty righteous people within it? It would be sacrilege to You to do such a thing, to bring death upon the righteous along with the wicked; so the righteous will be like the wicked. It would be sacrilege, to You! Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justice?” (18:23-25)
The Rabbeinu Yonah says that this story is to contrast the Chesed of Abraham with the depravity of Sodom. Sodom was the absolute opposite of Chesed. Abraham’s love of mankind knew no bounds. It was unconditional and unlimited. The fact that he would take up the “cause” of Sodom is a prime example. Only Abraham would try to save Sodom. It was the ultimate act of Chesed.

The Baalei Musar ask why was Yonah dispatched to Nineveh to give warning to the people to do Tshuva but no warning was given to Sodom. The answer is that Sodom was way too far gone. Essentially, Sodom was worse than the generation of the flood that was warned even though their sins were not that different.

The lesson of Abraham is that Chesed rules and triumphs over all. The more Chesed the better the world. If Abraham could stand up for Sodom than we Kal V’Chomer should stand up for our fellow man no matter what. May my Father in Law be a Great Advocate (Mailietz Yosher) in the tradition of Abraham for all of mankind.

Who was Louis Goldstein?

There were 16,112,566 members of the United States Armed Forces during World War II. It is estimated that 389,292 American Veterans from the war were still alive in 2019. On November 8th my beloved Father in Law - Louis Goldstein passed away making only 389,291 Vets still alive. He was buried with full U.S Navy honors at the Mount Hebron Cemetery.

He was stationed in the Pacific on a submarine chaser on a boat not too different from the PT 109 made famous by President John Kennedy. My Father in law’s brother nearly drowned after his PT Boat was blown up by the Japanese. Both my Father in Law and his brother survived the war. My Father in Law was honored by the National Council of Young Israel on March 31, 2019 along with three other American Jewish Veterans Of World War II. The Dinner was dedicated to American Jewish Veterans 80 years after World War II began. My Father in Law cherished the moment. It meant a great deal to him. Jewish War Veterans are not given enough credit for their service. It was not coincidental that he passed away on Veteran’s Day Weekend.

He was the youngest of ten children born in the Lower East Side in 1922. He lost his mother when he was eight years old. She died in an emergency room waiting to be seen. She had an Asthma attack. He lived through the Depression and often went to sleep hungry. Food was scarce. He never lost his smile or sense of humor. Despite his childhood hardships he loved everybody and everybody loved him. He kept everyone upbeat and happy.

He will be sorely missed. The family should be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.