June 15th, 2014

My Father

Dad was born in Mamaroneck, New York, and grew up in and around New York City. He saw service in the Pacific in WWII, and his first exposure to Judaism came in the form of radio broadcasts by an American rabbi during that time. But it wasn't until I was in my late teens that we both - on separate but parallel tracks - actively pursued an interest in the Jewish tradition.

He was quiet, mild-mannered, and thoughtful. (Picture a cross between Albert Einstein and Captain Kangaroo and you've got the idea.) He had a fine speaking voice, and his reading voice was magnificent. He enjoyed reading aloud, works of literature or news articles on the events of the day.

In his last years, I believe he worked as a volunteer reader for Books On Tape or some similar program, recording books for the blind. He also became involved in the synagogue choir (he attended a Conservative congregation) which brought him much joy until his health prevented him from continuing.

I like to think I've inherited my father's disposition and his love of the spoken word. Sometimes I read aloud to myself, and whenever I do, I think of him.