Tragedy struck the Jewish community of Baltimore when a freak traffic accident claimed the life of a 53-year-old resident heading to a doctor’s appointment after visiting his mother.

Avrohom Goldstein, a beloved figure in the local Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva where he volunteered and studied with the students, passed away the morning of June 8 when his vehicle hit a guardrail and flipped over.

“He was on the exit ramp from Route 70 to get onto Route 695,” said Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, a friend for more than two decades and director of Lubavitch of Maryland. “He must have lost control of the car.

“So many rabbis and yeshiva students attended the funeral,” said Goldstein’s mother, Frances R. Goldstein, 74. “He was loved by so many.”

Ever since he started going to services and programs at Chabad of Park Heights in 1984, Goldstein served as a committed member of the local Lubavitch and wider Jewish community. After the yeshiva opened four years ago, the kosher supervisor dedicated much of his time to studying amidst its books and students.

“He was always very helpful and spent all of his free time there,” said Kaplan. “We considered him an adjunct student.”

Every Sukkot, he took his lulav and etrog to a senior apartment building, going from floor to floor to make sure the Jewish residents had the opportunity to make a blessing on the Four Species.

Even his arthritis, which made walking a daily challenge, didn’t stop Goldstein from chaperoning yeshiva students when needed or running to do a favor for a fellow in need.

Emunah Friedman, a close friend of the family who was visiting Goldstein’s mother in Silverspring at the same time, was likely one of the last people to have spoken to the man before his passing.

“We said good morning, had a short conversation, and said that we would speak again later in the day,” she recalled.

Ready to Help

“He was always ready to help another Jew, whether the need was spiritual or material,” said Rabbi Elchonon Lisbon, director of Chabad of Park Heights. “In the words of the Baal Shem Tov, he was an ish pashut, a simple Jew serving G‑d with no sense of self.”

During the traditional seven days of mourning, Goldstein’s mother was comforted by people who knew her son and shared recollections of his life.

“I heard so many stories from people,” she said. “He was such a wonderful person.”

One story shared at the funeral illustrated Goldstein’s love of Judaism:

One night, he overheard a conversation during a Chasidic gathering at the yeshiva. A spiritual advisor was speaking to a student about customs relating to the 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, the anniversary of the release of the first Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, from prison.

“On the 19th of Kislev, a Chassid should stay up all night learning and farbrenging,” said the mentor, using the term referring to attending a Chasidic gathering to draw inspiration.

Although he was not a part of the conversation, Goldstein quietly decided that the message pertained to him as well. The following holiday, he stayed up the entire night, learning with the students.

“He was meticulous about observing Lubavitch customs and had a heart of gold,” said Kaplan. “The community is in shock.”

“It makes a person very special when he is always willing to help someone else,” said Friedman. “He was a very happy person and will be missed very much.”

Avrohom Goldstein is survived by his children, Yocheved, 26, and Mordechai, 25.