« Low-Hanging Fruit | Main | I voted (did you?) »

Monday, February 07, 2005

A tale of four Davids

This past June I posted a journal entry entitled 'Messy' in which I unwittingly described two Davids who knew of one another (but had never met) helping to bury a third David.

For those who didn’t read that post, it was about the funeral of my friend Pesach’s brother, David Daniel Wolicki (z"l) which took place in the Samarian town of Karnei Shomron on a sunny afternoon in early June. The deceased, a husband and father, was taken from this life at the impossibly young age of 40 by a random bolt of lightning, known in medical circles as a cerebral hemorrhage.

At the time I went through a silent struggle over how G-d could allow this kind of thing to happen. I remember hugging David’s brother and staring across the room at David’s young widow and her uncomprehending children … all the while furious at G-d for causing such a tragedy, and terrified that the still form laying there wrapped in funeral shrouds could just as easily have been me.

I found out about the third David because one of the comments I received on that particular post came from David of Israellycool. As I mentioned earlier, though we had never met, we were both among the crowd of people who escorted my friend’s brother to his grave. At the time it struck me as a ‘small world’ kind of coincidence that two bloggers named David (who read each other’s work regularly) had unknowingly stood next to each other at the funeral of a third David in a small Israeli town far from where we each called home. I’m certain the significance of all three David’s in this story being young fathers was not lost on the two of us who were fortunate enough to return home to our families at the end of that terrible afternoon.

As time passed I came to a shaky understanding with my Maker and managed to get on with my life. The rationalization that made it possible for me to go on was to imagine the events of the world as if they were taking place at a neighbor’s beautiful house.

It might pain me to pass by one day and see a gaping hole where once stood a perfect wall. But it is not my house, and it is not my place to ask if my neighbor has a plan. It may be that He opened the hole in a fit of rage and decided to leave it as a reminder. It may be that He intended to add a room or two to his dwelling or install a picture window. Again, it is His plan and not my place to intrude or inquire. All I could hope for was that one day I would pass His house and understand why He had created such an ugly wound in such a beautiful house.

This morning I met David (Israellycool), and his lovely wife and beautiful children at the Brit (circumcision) of our mutual friend's 8-day-old son. Neither of us was particularly surprised to hear that the baby was given the name David (actually ‘David Daniel’) after the uncle he will never meet.  David and I stated the obvious to each other - that it was much better to meet on happy occasions. 

Funny... two fairly eloquent people reduced by emotion to mumbling well-worn platitudes!

The father of the newly named baby and I hugged and spoke in the hoarse whispers that men use when tears threaten. I told him that all children are special, but it seemed to me that this newly named little boy might possibly begin to repair a terrible hole that had been torn in the world. 

Again, I can only seem to state the obvious. Maybe treppenwitz has rendered me incapable of expressing myself coherently without a keyboard under my fingers. 

I’m still angry at G-d for creating such tragedy in the lives of the people who loved David Daniel Wolicki (z"l) and who needed him to live the long and happy life he certainly deserved. But now that some time has passed and I can discern a plan taking shape from amidst the ruins, I can allow myself to be comforted.  My neighbor's house is not yet whole... but I think I know what He plans to do about the hole.  I hope this new life can begin to comfort others as well.

Life is unpredictable and fragile.  Eight months ago to the day, David and David helped to bury a David. We should have known that before too long another David would come along to help console us all.


Posted by David Bogner on February 7, 2005 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A tale of four Davids:

» Havei Havalim Edition #9 from Soccer Dad
Jewish Super Heroes Fred Lapides, a former co-poster at Israpundit now has his own site Israelpundit where he introduces us to some new Jewish Superheroes. Though the characters he created were not necessarily Jewish, Stan Lee definitely is. He talked... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 13, 2005 10:47:52 AM


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Thank you.

Posted by: Lila | Feb 7, 2005 4:02:27 PM

Beautiful. May little David be a shining light among the children of Israel.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 7, 2005 4:28:27 PM

Truly one of your best posts.

Posted by: val | Feb 7, 2005 5:41:46 PM

It was great to meet you, David! You are a Virtual Celeb to me... as a reader of your eloquent blog!

The W's are dear friends of ours too... the Brit was an emotional event to be a part of. May this new David be blessed with a long and healthy life filled with brilliant things!

Israellycool's Wife

Posted by: Rix - Wife of Israellycool | Feb 7, 2005 5:44:08 PM

Lila... I wish I could take credit, but this story told itself.

Doctor Bean... Amen. Knowing his parents as I do, this little boy is (IY"H) destined for great things.

Val... Thanks... Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view it) I have good material with which to work.

Rix... It was a pleasure meeting you this morning. Your children are (tfu tfu tfu) adorable, and I'd be hard pressed to say whether you or your husband is the luckier of the pair. I hope we will see more of each other (but only at happy occasions).

Posted by: David | Feb 7, 2005 6:21:02 PM

Thank you for joining in, and blogging about, our brit today. Your post is beautiful.

Posted by: David's Ima | Feb 7, 2005 8:44:02 PM

As always, I enjoyed your post.

Posted by: Isaac B2 | Feb 7, 2005 10:58:10 PM

Wow...Beautiful post.
Thank you David.

Posted by: Chavi | Feb 7, 2005 11:59:17 PM

You have the ability to make me cry at regular intervals (from across an ocean yet), which is something few people can do. That was a beautiful post. May the new baby be a blessing both to his parents and to the memory of his uncle. May he grow to be a Gadol in Yisrael. By the way I liked your mashal about not understanding why there was a gaping window in your neighbors house, that is the perfect way to look at things, I am going to try it from now on.

Posted by: Faye | Feb 8, 2005 12:28:40 AM

Some of us can't even figure out what to say when we have a keyboard. It's truly a pleasure to read your eloquent writing. May this new David bring a nechama to his family and to all of k'lal Yisrael.

Posted by: Marjorie | Feb 8, 2005 1:54:23 AM

David's Ima... I'm delighted that you got a chance to read this post, and of course it was wonderful seeing you yesterday as well.

Mazal Tov!

Isaac B2... As always, I'm glad you stopped by and liked what you found here.

Chavi... See my comment to Lila (above), but thanks.

Faye... I promise you that was not my intention. However, if I'm going to cry, I guess it's only fair that I not cry alone.

Marjorie... You and Jordan are two of the most erudite and well-spoken people I know (and you're smart and speak good too), so I am deeply touched by the compliment.

Posted by: David | Feb 8, 2005 8:57:06 AM

David-- As an uncle to this new David Daniel, I thank you for such a thoughtful post. Such is life - the joy I feel thinking about my new nephew David Daniel juxtaposed with the devastation I feel (still) when I think of my friend David Daniel (z"l), his wife, his children, and the rest of his family.

Posted by: Greg | Feb 8, 2005 10:19:54 PM

Greg... Your job (and the job of your entire family) is to make sure that the new David Daniel grows up 'knowing' (and being inspired by) his uncle through pictures, stories, and of course the beautiful artwork he left behind. He has big shoes to fill... so your job is to see that they fit.

Posted by: David | Feb 9, 2005 11:49:36 AM

Mamash beautiful, Mr Bogner. I do wish I could have been there.


Posted by: Tonny | Feb 10, 2005 2:12:41 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.