On Friday, erev Shabbos kodesh, a levayah set out from Green Park in Modi'in Illit. Jews silently accompanied Rabbi Guy Gad Tzadok z"l on his final journey.
His childhood friends were not in attendance. Those friends had been left behind somewhere in Tel Aviv, and lived a different type of lifestyle. He had no brother who lived in the adjoining neighborhood, nor a Rosh Kollel brother-in-law who lived on the next street. Like Avraham Avinu, alone he came close to Hashem, alone he did teshuvah, alone he made his way with mesirus nefesh into the world of Torah. At age 21, after leaving Tel Aviv behind, he came directly to the world of Torah learning. A refined, soft-spoken, modest avreich, from the time he discovered the Creator and His Torah, he simply never separated himself from learning. His diligence in learning was extraordinary, accompanied always by his gentle congeniality.
Their home was small and poor. His tzaddekes of a wife never wanted anything for herself, and worked hard to support their six children.
He had a severe case of juvenile diabetes from childhood, and as the years passed the disease worsened. He suffered from pains, illnesses, and medications. Over time, his vision was affected. It reached a point where he was in danger of losing his vision altogether, ch"v.
He underwent an operation in order to save his eyesight, but after the operation, when the bandages were removed, they discovered that the operation had been a failure- he couldn't see anything! The eyes that had daily pored over lines of the Rashba"m and the Ritv"a- how would he learn Gemara now? A talmid chacham needs to see! Anguished, he traveled to kivrei tzaddikim, and davened from the depths of his broken heart- the heart of a Jew whose entire world was learning Torah. He had left everything behind, all worldly pastimes and pleasures, everything he'd enjoyed, his entire previous life, all OlamhaZeh- he walked away from it all and chose Torah; but without eyes, how could he learn?
"Please, Hashem, restore my sight!" He stood and cried for four hours, and returned home as he groped in the darkness. But when he arose the next morning- his sight had returned!!! The honest, real tefillah of a Jew, a pure tefillah from a pure heart…until the end of his brief life he saw like everyone else, and was able to continue with his life's beloved mission- sitting with his Gemara and learning.
Despite the suffering and the illnesses, a long-term slipped disc, diabetes, and additional pain-filled experiences, he did not allow himself to 'take it easy.' Every day, at midnight (!) he arose for kollel chatzos- and learned until morning.
Last year he contracted Corona. Immediately upon becoming infected his situation became serious, due to his complicated medical background. He was hospitalized for many months. His situation deteriorated until he was put on a respirator, and a medical coma was induced. At home, his wife was left alone, without support, as she tried to grapple with what was happening to her.
On Friday his pure neshamah ascended to Shamayim, at the young age of 42.
There are no relatives in the neighborhood who can take on the responsibility; no one who can support the young, self-sacrificing widow with six small children.
Since the children are so young, they may barely remember their father- but who will raise them month after month? Who will support them? We can't leave this tzaddekes of a widow to fend for herself. There wasn't a dry eye at the small levayah when the little children started sobbing painfully.
He came to us 21 years ago- let's now open our arms to his six orphans. Am Yisrael- we are all first-degree relatives! We are all his brothers in this story! Even if you have other tzedakahs- this story belongs to you.