To some he was Rabbi Yehuda Friedman, to others he was Dad, yet to me and my family he was always “Uncle Ernie”, as my Grandmothers Sisters Husband.
Uncle Ernie was a great man. Always there when someone needed him and lead a great life, constantly learning and striving for more.
My fathers dad passed away when he was 2, and Uncle Ernie stepped in and became his father figure, and for that I will always be grateful.
Every seven years Jews around the world gather for the completion of Gemara (Talmud), at an event known as the “Siyum HaShas”, for those that learned a page of Gemara a day (hence the seven year cycle).
Uncle Ernie participated in seven of them, teaching it for many, many years.
At the most recent Siyum they showed a video on the big screen at Met Life stadium, and streamed around the world, and they featured him as a Torah Leader.
Uncle Ernie also spent many years helping out in shuls around Washington D.C.
As I sat there yesterday watching a LiveStream of the funeral (below) I couldn’t help but feel such a loss for the world.
Those that knew him will surely miss him. And those that hadn’t had an opportunity to meet him, believe me when I tell you you couldn’t meet a nicer person.
He now rests side-by-side with his wife, Aunt Chana, whose lovelingness (and cookies) are missed every day.
Hamakom yenachem etchem b’toch she’ar aveilei tzion v’yerushalayim — “May G-d comfort you, together with all mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”