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Reuben Eli Mitrani, the eldest son of Donna Orbach and Albert Mitrani, the brother of Adam and beloved family member and friend to so many was an extraordinary person. Those of you who knew him know that. Others who are getting to know Reuben through these journal entries and posts will discover that. Reuben died as he lived, surrounded by family and friends, embraced in love.Information on Reuben's funeral and donations in his memory can be found in the Journal entries on this page.This is just the beginning of the healing process for our family. We've so appreciated all your love and support. Please feel free to keep reaching out.Love,Shari
Donna and Albert asked that I share their plans for memorializing Reuben, as this week marks the yahrtzeit, the anniversary of Reuben’s death on the Jewish calendar. Reuben died on the 8th of Tishrei, two days before Yom Kippur. Significantly, this first yahrtzeit takes place on the same English date that Reuben collapsed.
On Wednesday evening,September 11th at 7:15 pm, Donna, Albert and Adam will recite the kaddish memorial prayer as part of evening services at Chisuk Emuna Congregation, 3219 Green Street, Harrisburg. The yahrtzeit observance will continue until sundown on Thursday. (If you are planning to attend this brief service, please let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org )
On Sunday, September 15th at 11 am, family and friends will gather at Reuben’s grave at the Beth El Cemetery, 1100 South Progress Avenue, Harrisburg. Those gathered will be invited to share reflections on Reuben and place stones on his grave.
Donna and Albert wanted me to emphasize that they have no expectations of anyone regarding these memorial gatherings. They wanted you to be aware of this sad milestone and the ways in which they are marking it. They understand that it is not possible for everyone who might want to be with them in person to do so. They continue to be so touched by the love and support that continues to surround them from all corners of their world.
Please continue to share any thoughts and memories of Reuben.
Traditionally, a yahrtzeit is marked by the lighting of a memorial candle, the recitation of the kaddish prayer, Torah study, the giving of Tzedakah and doing good deeds as concrete expressions of the ways in which our loved ones continue to inspire us. As we reach this unbelievable anniversary, as we reflect on the outpouring of love of a year ago and since, please consider:
Sharing your thoughts and feelings with Reuben’s family via their email addresses or phone numbers or via this website.
Making a tax-deductible contribution to The REMember Foundation via REMember-foundation.org or by mailing a check made out to The REMember Foundation to 1104 Eric Drive, Harrisburg PA 17110.
Doing an act of kindness in Reuben’s memory on Wednesday night and Thursday.
Studying something in his honor.
(Donna would probably tell me to add two other suggestions for memorializing Reuben – working out and drinking a shot! Actually, the latter is a Jewish custom too – drinking a l’chaim in someone’s memory.)
Donna will post something soon to update us all of some recent efforts being done in Reuben’s memory. Amazing acts of generosity are enabling the REMember Foundation to begin to serve its mission of perpetuating the light that was/is Reuben’s life. Colorado College and Emma Kaufmann Camp are active partners in these deeds.
Below is an excerpt of a piece that I heard on Rosh Hashanah that made me think of Reuben and his precious family and this extraordinary circle of love.
How long is a lifetime, indeed.
Sending love from my family and me to you and yours,
Rabbi Sharon Brous writes:
“Why is the Torah so concerned that we remember? Because our instinct is to work so hard to create space between ourselves and our painful past that we risk mistaking resilience with forgetfulness. So what does our story do? It mandates that we not forget. We ritualize our experience in the darkness by delving back into it with a ferocity and pointedness that will make the experience feel real every single year, for all time. Why? Because the deepest human truths often cannot be discerned in the light; we have a depth of clarity within the darkness that we don’t have within the light. In the light,we are complacent, satisfied, bored. In the darkness, we are raw, sensitive…
The Midrash teaches that it is not possible to see through all parts of the eye: “The eye is made up of white, with black in the middle.Through which part can a person see? Not from the white part of the eye, but from within the black.”
So we revisit the darkness in order to remember the suffering. We remind ourselves to not change the channel when we see grueling images of destruction in far away places. We know what it feels like to be raw and real, and to have a sense of urgency. We know how to be present in the face of pain: ours and others. That’s what it means to see through the black part of the eye — the darkness gives us a clarity we wouldn’t otherwise have.
But we must be careful neither to romanticize, nor to become paralyzed by the darkness. Our story is one of redemption... Our responsibility is to gather up the pieces and begin to ascend.”