Dear Friend,

Like many others, I woke up on Monday to the stark news of the untimely passing of our very own Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon, Torah teacher par excellence (read a special letter about him here).

Though I did not work with him as closely as the team, my mind wandered back to the last time I called him. This past fall, I was working on a story about Tashlich observances all over the world, and wanted to talk to him about the indoor fishpond used by his congregation in Encino, California.

I didn’t know it at the time, but he was already suffering from the illness that would take his life, and there I was pestering him about room layout, décor, and the spelling of Weequahic Park, where he went to Tashlich as a child.

There were probably a million important things on his mind, but during that call he was wholly focused on helping me with my article (which was never published, since I found a more compelling story out of Tallinn, Estonia).

I believe that this focus on others is what made Rabbi Gordon’s classes an instant hit all over the world. Sure, he was engrossed in the text he was teaching, but his main focus was on his students, and how he could best impart his lesson to them.

May his memory—and recorded classes—be an inspiration to us all.

Menachem Posner,
on behalf of the Editorial Team