Dear readers,

My uncle, Rabbi Nachman Sudak z”l, recently passed away. He was my mother’s younger brother.

During shiva, my mother, Rebbetzin Batsheva Schochet, spoke about her brother’s courage, strength and faith. She spoke about their life in the former Soviet Union, about their devotion to lead a chassidic life despite the tremendous hardships. She spoke about a different world, a world that required such sacrifice to be a G‑d-fearing Jew.

But more than that, she spoke about a man who was full of love.

My uncle lived far away in England. He lived a full and accomplished life; the seeds of all he planted have sprouted into a forest of flourishing schools, shuls, outreach services and communal centers that continue to spiritually nourish Jews in England and throughout the world.

He was not a man of many words—and never empty ones—but he was a devoted chassid and, despite his hectic schedule, a man of heart.

After the birth of my sister, her third child, my mother became very ill. Uncle Nachman took the next plane to New York to the Rebbe. Seeing him, the Rebbe smiled, assuring him that there was no reason for concern; his sister would be fine. He immediately returned to England, and soon after, my mother fully recovered.

Many years ago, I had a stopover in London. I assumed that my uncle would arrange for someone to pick me up, but was completely astounded to see him personally waiting. As a teenager, I remember being so touched that someone whose time was so precious was calmly awaiting me like there was nothing else on his agenda!

Years later, I came to England to lecture. The smile on my uncle’s face was so beautiful, so proud that “Batsheva’s daughter” was here to impart chassidic teachings.

When I was perusing the many pictures of my uncle, one caught my attention. After a life-threatening ailment, while still terribly weak, my uncle returned to his office in what would be his last months of life. He was standing behind his desk, which was full of the many, many things that required his attention. My heart skipped a beat and I felt awed and humbled as I noticed that lying right there on his desk was my just-published book, Listening to the Whispers.

There are many things to say about my uncle, but to me that epitomizes him. He was a man of so many deeds, so much wisdom, so many accomplishments. He was a true chassid, a shliach who toiled day and night to bring the Rebbe’s message to the masses. But despite his many illustrious undertakings, he was a man who never lost his heart.

He would go to the ends of the earth to assist any member of his family.

And to him, his family extended to all the Jewish people.

And perhaps that is the most important message as we begin the Three Weeks period leading up to the Temples’ destruction. No matter how busy you are or how important your undertakings, never lose your heart.

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW

P.S. Please continue to pray for the security of our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.