By Shloime Dachs
It’s hard to imagine that four years have passed since Yisroel Moshe Reisman, z’l, left us. To know him was to love him. He was a neshamah tehorah whose contagious smile and warmth touched everyone he came in contact with. Despite the tremendous nisyonos he experienced during his short 31 years on this world, he taught us all what true simcha is. His larger-than-life personality inspired so many to appreciate all we have been given in life and not take anything for granted.
I go back with the Reisman family many years, but having the z’chus to sing at Moishe’s bedside on many occasions and sing a duet with him under the chuppah at his brother’s wedding took our close relationship to a new level. You literally felt the Shechinah at every kumzits. I entered their home to give chizuk yet left getting much more in return. To watch a young man in pain begin smiling and dancing as soon as the music started was truly fascinating.
In his early years at Chush and later at Yeshiva Darchei Torah, it was clear Moishe Reisman wasn’t a typical special-needs child. His limitations didn’t stop him from becoming a “member” of Hatzalah, director and head counselor of Camp Achim, and head chef at Chap-a-Nosh of Cedarhurst. The support of his dedicated family and incredible community gave him many opportunities to blossom and be the best he could be with the limited abilities Hashem gave him.
“Tatty, I want to grow up and be a tzaddik,” he would often say—and a tzaddik he was. He never missed or came late to davening and he wore a hat and jacket to every tefillah no matter how hot it was or how sick he was feeling. Moishe loved learning Mishnayos, especially Sukkah, which had illustrations. The joy he had when he finished it and made a siyum was a sight to see. Moishe was ma’avir sidrah every week and never missed a Friday-night avos u’banim. And who can forget his “Yaamod, Yaamod, Yaamod!” at every simcha at the Agudah!
There was one thing Moishe loved more than anything in the world, and that was his tefillin. Moishe and his precious tefillin were inseparable. While many of us leave our tefillin in shul, Moishe would take them with him all day—from Darchei, to the Hebrew Living Center, to Chap-a-Nosh, and then home. On his last day, he was zocheh to put on his gehoiybena tefillin and say Krias Shema at 5:00 a.m., 20 minutes before he was niftar at 5:20 a.m. that morning.
As Rabbi Reisman fondly said on several occasions, “I only have special children. Some have special gifts and some have special needs, but they are all special. These are the neshamos I was given and so these are the neshamos I’m going to nurture and take care of.” It doesn’t get more powerful than that.
Yehi zichro baruch.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish the rav and rebbetzin many more healthy and happy years raising their family and inspiring their kehillah and Klal Yisrael, ad biyas goel tzedek bimeheirah b’yameinu. v