From Dei’ah veDibur
From an Address Delivered by a Member of the Family. . .
It was an unblemished sacrifice, that went up in a tempest to Heaven as an atonement for Klal Yisroel. It’s obvious that this is a signal to Klal Yisroel — such an accident, the like of which has not taken place for tens of years. The clearest proof is that they were people who belonged to the entire community. The whole concept of self simply did not exist for them. They only gave to others, without taking anything. They gave and gave, without any personal agenda.
All his life, Abba ztvk’l, was on the move all over the world, from one place to another. We asked him, “Abba, how do you have the strength?” and he didn’t even understand what the question was. One does what needs to be done!
Lately, he was in South Africa as well. One day, a Jew who had moved from South Africa to Gibraltar called him up, and from what he said, it sounded as though he needed him. Immediately he said, “I’m coming to you,” and he reserved a seat on a plane. It’s not a direct journey. One has to fly to Spain and then take another plane to Gibraltar, and he did it all for one faraway Yid . . .
People said that he used to deliver thirty talks in fourteen days. He spread the devar Hashem everywhere in the world. Whenever he drove his car he looked around to see if there was anyone to whom he could give a ride. No matter where they were going, it was “on his way.” My sister related that just this erev Pesach, we travelled to the shopping center in Ofakim and he met an avreich and told him, “When you finish, call me — I’m here anyway — and I’ll take you home.” In the meantime, the family finished the shopping and Abba had sat down to start learning with the boys, when the mobile phone suddenly rang: “HaRav, I’ve finished my shopping.” Without a word, Abba left the house and went to bring this Yid home.
Not long ago, he was driving together with an avreich from the community and as they were travelling, the avreich asked, “Perhaps our rebbe will say something, a devar Torah maybe. “Abba said, “I think that one Jew who doesn’t give to another as freely as he would to his own son, is lacking something in his Jewishness. This avreich knew that whenever HaRav Pincus said something, his own conduct was already on that level. He couldn’t understand it. How can one possibly fulfill such a thing? He went to one of the Rav’s close neighbors and requested an explanation. How could the Rav say that? Does he actually care about every Jew as much as he cares about his own son? If he said it, he must do it! The neighbor replied, “Rav Pincus was already conducting himself like this fifteen years ago.
There was a case then involving an avreich whom Rav Pincus didn’t even know very well. From a conversation, he realized that the avreich was in a problematic situation, to extricate himself from which he needed two thousand-four hundred dollars. The Rav immediately wrote out a check for that amount and gave it to him. This neighbor, who found out about the incident afterwards, did not understand it. He knew that Rav Pincus’ own financial situation at the time did not allow him to make such a donation. He didn’t hold back and asked Rav Pincus to explain. The Rav took issue with him and retorted, “Wouldn’t you do as much for your own son? A Jew who doesn’t give to another Jew and to his son to exactly the same degree, is lacking something in his Jewishness.”
Abba’s connection to Hakodosh Boruch Hu was something tangible and straightforward. Abba would speak about making one hundred brochos each day. A hundred brochos extend over the entire day — there is a constant connection with Hakodosh Boruch Hu. The way he used to make a brochoh . . . we would enjoy watching how he cleaved to Hashem as he made it. He would laugh and ask, “Are you watching to see whether I do what I say in my talks?”
The stories are endless…
All through Chol Hamoed, people didn’t stop coming in. Each one knew him from somewhere else and had a different story to tell. We feel as though we have lost not only our own personal parents but parents of Klal Yisroel.
Imma z’l, shared this characteristic too. She never thought about herself. Every erev Shabbos, she would prepare fish, not only for her own family but also for her father zt’l, who lived in Bnei Brak. In the early years, there was no direct transportation there and she would stand by the road looking for people to take the fish along with them. Every week was a miracle of its own.The fish production expanded to include the family of a neighbor, for whom Imma thought preparing her own was hard because of her family, and then to another woman and another. And then she would always get on the phone: “I have too much. Perhaps you’d like some?” We never heard a word from her about the hardship. Imma’s prayers were uttered word by word, just as one counts money. When she was in the middle of bircas hamozone nothing else interested her. Let the cab wait. Let the minivan wait — right now, she is bentching!
She would rise every morning at six and daven word by word, crying. Our neighbor though at first that it was an avreich who’d returned from vosikin and was praying aloud. Later she realized that it was Imma who davened every day early. Abba’s opinion was the one that was followed at home. Only when Imma started working as the principal for the girls did we discover that she also had opinions. In school she was the one who said what to do but never at home. “Go to Abba.” Her self effacement was absolute.
Miriam z’l, too, lived her entire life for others. When we came home for Shabbosos and Yomim Tovim, she would gather all her nieces and nephews and send their parents off to have a nap. When would she sleep? That didn’t concern her. She volunteered regularly for Yad Eliezer. She made sure that all the volunteers would arrive. We never once heard from her the name of a single needy family. When they arrived at the families’ homes she would hide, so that they wouldn’t be embarrassed to take if they saw her. They devoted their entire lives to serving Hashem.
Imma never pressured Abba to stay and not to travel, not to leave her alone. He would always console her, “Here in Olom Hazeh, there’s no time. In Olom Haboh, we’ll be together a lot.” And, Imma didn’t object to a single moment. Somebody said that, were it to be announced that a calamity was hovering over Klal Yisroel, and that a communal sacrifice was needed to stave it off, who would be prepared to be that sacrifice? Rav Shimshon Pincus would of course jump to be first.
There is no cause for concern for the welfare of the deceased. It is very good for them where they are. But their task in this world is still incomplete. Their mission was to increase spirituality in the world. Whoever continues with this mission is assured that the souls of the departed will assist him. We must prove to Hakodosh Boruch Hu that we have understood — that the sacrifice was not for nothing!
We sat on the Friday before Pesach which was the only day we had for sitting shivoh for Abba, Imma and Miriam. We couldn’t come to terms with the enormity of the tragedy. Suddenly, Miriam’s friends came in and my sister burst out crying and gave a fearsome shout: “Do something that will make Moshiach come today!” That cry echoes in my ears. Everyone should genuinely accept something upon themselves, so that another week doesn’t just go by in which we continue life as normal.
It can’t be harder than this. May there be no more reasons for such terrible blows. May this sacrifice not have been in vain! “Do something that will make Moshiach come today!”
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