After reading the story, DDF member @postoffice, who is a Chabad shliach in Fargo, North Dakota, figured he would try his luck and ask the forums for help.
He met Dr. Jay Goldstein just a few weeks ago. The Doctor was not planning on having a Jewish burial, but the shliach was called in to help him say his final prayers.
In addition to saying viduy, the Doctor tearfully agreed to put on tefilin, while telling the shliach that he never thought he would ever put them on again. After donning tefilin, he felt so inspired that he agreed to have a Jewish burial.
But there was one issue. He was estranged from his family and didn’t remember his parents’ Jewish names.
In Judaism, being buried in a traditional manner is absolutely critical and part of that is the Kel Maleh Rachamim and kaddish prayers which are said with the deceased’s name and father’s name.
And so on Thursday evening, @postoffice asked DDF for help tracking down his parents Jewish names to have at the funeral on Friday afternoon.
Goldstein is an awfully common Jewish name, but the DDF magic got to work with many members doing research and coming up with cemeteries where the parents were buried.
DDF moderator @Something Fishy pinged his brother in law Nachy Schechter in Philadelphia, who on Friday morning went to the cemetery which seemed most likely to be the location of the parents. Unfortunately, the markers in the cemetery were in total disarray and even with the help of the caretaker he was unable to find the graves.
Meanwhile on DDF, members were still hard at work and eventually with @postoffice’s help they were able to track down the exact location of his parents final resting place. On Friday afternoon, @Something Fishy’s brother in law headed to Roosevelt cemetery and found Jay’s parents’ headstones with their Hebrew names, Raizel and Shalom. He posted them to DDF at 2:59pm ET, with less than an hour to go before the funeral in North Dakota!
It’s an incredible zechus for everyone who helped, from @biobook, @whYME, @YitzyS, @good sam, to @Something Fishy and his brother in law, and all of the other DDFers who chipped in with their help.
And as @Yehuda57 so eloquently pointed out, Schar Mitzvah Mitzvah, the reward of a Mitzvah is another Mitzvah! Keep the chain going. Chabad Shluchim in far flung locations have immense challenges and small contributions can make a big difference. I was happy to make a donation before Shabbos in honor of everyone’s amazing work to Chabad of North Dakota and I hope you’ll consider doing the same as well.
It’s also pretty incredible to think about what can happen from a post about a Siddur!
May Reb Yaakov ben Shalom’s neshama have an aliya!