2008 – 2009

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Justin and Yael Goodman Korda

At brit of son Noam Benzvi on his naming

March 22, 2008 | 15 Adar 5768 – Shushan Purim

Dear Son,
At around this exact moment one week ago on Shabbat afternoon, you slowly made your big entrance into this world. In just one short week you have become the center of our lives, and the focus of almost everyone gathered around here. And you have already become one of our greatest teachers.
Your Ima and I have spent these past few days getting to know you and seeking to provide you with a name that reflects a balance between our aspirations for you, and our tuning-in to the name that G-d has intended for you. Today, on this very special Shabbat and Purim Meshulash – a holiday that both your parents were strongly connected to even before your arrival – we stand here proud to name you Noam Benzvi Korda (NBK).
One of the founders of Chassidut, Rabbi Elimelech of Lyzhansk, writes in his classic work, “Noam Elimelech” that there is a profound connection between the soul of an infant and the soul of the person for whom he or she is named. When a child is named after the deceased, the latter’s soul is elevated to a higher realm in heaven and a spiritual affinity is created between the soul of the departed and the soul of the newborn child.”
Noam Benzvi, you have the honor and the good fortune – like both your parents when they were born – to have all of your grandparents in your life surrounding you in health and in happiness. You also have the fortune to have 3 living great-grand parents. And you have the great fortune to be standing on the shoulders of greatness, to be proceeding in the footsteps of your family members who have already departed from this world, but who are all undoubtedly smiling down upon you today. Some of these family members that we want to tell you about are as follows:
Your Great-Grand parents from your Grandma-Maggie’s side, FC and Margaret Love, who were deeply respected people, who stood for integrity, who never spoke an evil word about anyone, and who were always thought of as angels by your mom. We hope that you follow in their footsteps in using the power of your speech and thoughts.
Your Great-Grand parents from your Grandma-Gerry’s side, Roszie and Harold Bleier – whose Hebrew name was Zvi – showered your dad with the kind of love that is becoming of grandparents in those story-book movies. We hope that you follow in their footsteps in being able to receive and offer that kind of love.
Your Great-Grandfather from your Granpa-Steve’s side, Ben Korda, was sharp, witty, very generous, and incredibly learned in Torah. After surviving the Holocaust, he moved to Canada and successfully rebuilt himself and his family, while maintaining the values he grew up with back in the old country. We hope that you follow in his footsteps in seeking knowledge and achieving the goals you set for yourself.
Another person that we want to mention here, is one of your grandfather’s dearest friends who had an untimely passing this week, and that’s Roland. We hope you follow in his footsteps too, of dreaming big and accomplishing those dreams.
Your uncle, Tani, is remembered and revered all over Jerusalem everyday. In your family, Tani was the youngest son, brother and greatest friend to so many, and he is irreplaceable – in name and in character. One of the reasons that his memory endures so strongly is because he is not just remembered for he was, but for the way, the ‘derech’, in which he did things. For this way, your family coined the term ‘Derech Tani’, or the ‘Tani Way’ and it is this derech that is at the core of so many of the projects and memorials to him, allowing his memory to live on through our practicing of this derech. In a speech at the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, the following Rav Kook idea was taught that seems to perfectly describe the way your family defines “Derech Tani or the Tani Way”:
“The broadness we refer to is the ability to respect another individual and another movement, as long as it is anchored in the Torah of Israel. It can be Chassidic or Mitnagdic, Sephardic or Ashkenazic, from here or from there. The basic, unifying point is that the people follow the Torah, learn it, and lead their daily life based on it. Mutual respect is not only for fellow talmidei chachamim but for every level of society. This is based on a realization that the whole of the Community of Israel contains foundations of sanctity, whereby each individual manifests his sanctity in his way and according to his needs. When we connect ourselves to this whole, we are placed in the rays of light.” At the time however, the Rav didn’t refer to this approach as the “Tani Way,” he referred to it as Darchei Noam.
The Gemorah teaches that when parents name a child, they have a spark of Ruach Hakodesh (Divine inspiration) to choose the right name for that child. That doesn’t mean that the parents know why that name suits that child, they just feel prompted to name a certain name.
In your case, we are so grateful to G-d that we were able to receive this Ruach Hakodesh. I have to admit, that even after your name was revealed to us, I was somewhat apprehensive, hoping that the personality and character that was designed by G-d for you would suit your name. But after spending these past 8 days watching you, staring at you, changing you, and feeding you, we are both confident that the name Noam is really fitting and from Shamayim.
The name Noam means “pleasant, comfort, gentle, sweet, kind, and tender” and these are all qualities we have seen in you this week. We hope that it is a name that suits the personality that will develop and emerge throughout your life.
On Shabbat, when we return the Torah to the ark, we say “Etz Chayim hee l’mahazikim bah” – it is a tree of life for those who hold it; “derachehah darchei noam, v’chol netivotehah shalom” – Its ways are pleasantness, and all its paths are peace. The liturgy, which is from the book of proverbs, means to say that the paths of Torah should be comforting, gentle and sweet – as described by Rav Kook. But we want to also offer you another reading. We hope that the paths of Torah are also your paths, and that those paths lead you along the peaceful journey of your life.
The next and concluding verse of the liturgy is “Hashivenu Hashem elecha v’nashuva, chadesh yamenu k’kedem” – “help us return to You, and we shall return, renew our lives as in days of old.” This brings us to this most meaningful holiday of Purim. Your uncle Micah teaches us that back in the old days, in the days of Gan Eden, the world was a world without judgement, without the clear distinction between good and evil. It was our eating from the Etz Hada’at, the tree of knowledge, that forced upon us the ability to make this distinction. On Purim, we are encouraged to drink to the point where we can’t distinguish between Haman and Mordecai, or in other words, between good and evil. In this sense, Alcohol is like the antidote to the fruits of the tree of knowledge, offering us the chance to return to those days of old where we were all like you are now, innocently unable to distinguish between good and evil like in the days of Gan Eden.
Another interesting Torah about Purim comes in the form of Gematria. We know that the gematria of Arur Hamam is equal to the gematria of Baruch Mordechai. That same gematria is also equal to the words “emunah pshuta” – meaning simple faith. For us, this form of belief, emunah pshuta – simple faith, is how we can make some sense out of bringing you into this world, and into this brit with G-d and the Jewish people. While it’s easy for us to count our blessings, it’s also difficult to ignore the tragic state of the world and our people. With terror on the rise, genocides still ravaging, rocket attacks on the State of Israel, and kidnapped IDF soldiers – we ask ourselves what kind of people we are to be bringing you into this world. The answer to this question is emuna pshuta – simple faith. Simple faith in the idea that with your being, things will be better. We pray that you, our little Noam, will be just that to the world around you – a little Noam, a flash of pleasantness, a taste of sweetness, for all of us and for all of the world, because G-d knows we need it.

We also want to share with you that although your name is Noam, signifying pleasantness, there’s nothing wrong with being a little feisty and passionate either. We want to bless you to find that balance between being pleasant and comforting, to going out there and rocking the world with everything you got. And we hope the significance of your second name, Benzvi, helps you in striking that balance.
Before we adjourn this brit, it’s important that you know how much you are loved by those around you today.
While they are not here in person, your great-grand parents Sara and Neurick Goodman, are celebrating your arrival with us.
Your aunt Andrea is on her way over here to meet you in person, and she has some exciting news of her own to share with you.
You are very lucky to have your great-grandmother, Irene Korda, here with you. She made the big trip over here to welcome you into the world, and we are so grateful that she made the incredible effort to be here.
You may not know it yet, but you are surrounded by a huge and overwhelmingly loving immediate family beginning with your grandparents, Maggie and Jerry and Gerry and Steve (that’s going to be confusing, but you’ll figure it out!). We want thank you guys so much for all your care, your guidance, for being here and for always being there for us, and for making this celebration today.
Your aunts and uncles – Devora, Micah, Zippy, and Avichai; and your first cousin Anaeli. And last but not least, your future pal, Buzz.
Yaeli and want to thank you all for joining us today as we welcome Noam Benzvi into the community of Israel. We love you all so much.
Noni, the last blessing, for today, that want to bestow upon you is in the spirit of Zusha the Hasid. That you should live up to be Noam Benzvi, that you should learn and strive towards your G-d given potential throughout all the days of your life. Now get to it.
Your Ima and Abba – Yael and Justin

Jonatan Reiner

דברים לזכרו של תני
האומץ לדבר

“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all.

  1. תשובה. כולנו רצינו ורוצים בתשובה. אבל מה עוצר בעדנו, ומה לא עצר בעד תני?
  2. תני כתב:  ‘והיה רגע שבאמת התחלתי לחקור והגעתי למצב של תני מול תני מי זה תני? מה הוא עושה בחיים שלו? מה זה שווה? מה הוא שווה? ומכאן התחלתי לחפש תשובות ולשמחתי, ברגע של בהירות, דרך חיי הייתה ברורה. הבנתי שהריקנות בחיי שאני ממלא בשטויות נובעת מהעובדה שאני לא רודף אחרי מטרותי בחיים, ואני מזלזל באנשים שלא עושים מאמץ להשיג את מטרותיהם בחיים, לכן הרגשתי זלזול עמוק בעצמי ולכן חיפשתי את דרכי שאבדתי לפני בערך חצי שנה – שנה’
  3. האם כאן טמון זרע השינוי? ברגע של בהירות – התבוננות מתוך כנות? ובעיקר, שיחה של האדם עם עצמו. אולי, אך מה יגרום לזרע זה לנבוט וללבלב?
  4. ‘והנה מצאתי, כל שהיה חסר הוא הפן העשייתי בעולם הרוחני – תורני, וידעתי, פשוט שע”י קיום מצוות וחיים מלאי תורה והלכה. ורוחנית. אמלא לאט לאט את החורים הבלתי ניתנים למילוי ואולי, אולי סוף סוף אבין משהו. התשוקה העיונית שגם היא ברחה לה בעולם האינסטינקט  – תחזור אלי, ואחכים, ואגדל, ואתבגר, ואז, אולי רק אז, אוכל לקרוא לעצמי אדם, לאחר שבאמת אהיה אדם מוסרי. ולא, להיות אדם חרדי זה לא הפיתרון, ולא להיות פלורליסט זה גם לא הפיתרון. הפיתרון הוא…’
  5. אז אפשר לחלוק ואפשר להסתייג, אך מוכרחים להתפעל. אם כן, תני גם לא חסר את הלהט. כמטיף בשער הדהדה בו קריאת הפעמון בצלצול צלול של ודאות. אולם הפעמון קורא לכולנו – התחרשנו, או שמא החרשנו?
  6. תני לא הניח לנו להחריש   ‘ולאחר שהבנתי דבר זה ושפכתי אותו לקבוצה דברים בקבוצה השתנו:

קבוצה א: קצת התנכרה ממני הרגשתי אי חיבור
קבוצה בעודף נחמדות, הקשבה וחום, כדי שארגיש כאן בבית
קבוצה ג: בסבבה, אותו הדבר בדיוק.
ועלינו כתב ‘אני שונא אתכם כי אתם מאלצים אותי להסתכל טוב טוב על עצמי ומאותה סיבה אני הכי מעריך אתכם בעולם אני שונא את שבירת השיגרה שבתוכנית ואני אוהב את איך שהיא משפיעה ל השגרה שלי ורצה ‘לדבר עם כל אחד עד כלות הנשמה
7. אולם תני טעה, לא הייתה זו הבחירה שלנו להעמיד אותו באור הזרקורים, היתה זו בחירתו   האמיצה לחשוף בפנינו, בסגנון קרוע-לרווחה את נימי נפשו הרגישה. בפשטות, בנקיות ובאהבה גדולה הכריח אותנו להתמודד עם האמת שלו, ללא כחל ושרק. על אף הדברים שהיו קשים לחלק מהנוכחים, שב אל עצמו ואלינו כאומר : “הנה אני, תני שהכרתם, תני שעוד תזכו להכיר, אבל תמידאותו תני”. הוא ידע שהוא אינו אי בודד ושהתשובה איננה שלמה עד שאדם שב לעצמו ולמקום ממנו בא.
‘ורק כשאחזור לארץ אצטרך להתמודד עם החיים שלי באמת, רק אז אדע! … אחד המבחנים שיהיה כשאחזור הוא מידת החברות איך חברים ירגישו כשיראו אותי בביה”ס, אני שוב פוחד’  
ובחזרה למילותו של ג’ון דון, לחלק מוכר יותר:

No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.
John Donne (1572-1631) Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVI

Tani’s death has diminished me, yet during his life and after his death he translated thoughts and ideas into a better language, for he was a man who knew for whom the bell tolls.

Yair Fink

When someone has been missing for a great deal of time, you begin to forget how his voice sounded. Or how exactly he looked and which kind of smell he had about him.
The things that he said to you become a bit confused, and the memories become dimmer.
Sometimes you have to go back in time. To search again for that same voice, to remember again the way he looked and to guess at the __

This is the purpose of this evening, to recall Tani again.

However, to bring up memories again is a paradox. On the one hand, we all want to remember each and every detail in order to feel that he is still with us, just as the Torah instructs us to: “Only take care of yourself and greatly take care of your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have beheld and lest you remove them from your heart all the days of your life, and make them known to your children and your children’s children.” (Deuteronomy Chap. 4)
On the other hand, we do not want to forget our past and _ the challenges of the future, like the three _??? “They forgot nothing, and they also learned nothing.

The reason for this memorial evening is to remember Tani with the ____that his unique character, not as a source of responsibility and not in order to be sad, but as a source of admiration for each and every one of us for who Tani was, and what we can do today in order to continue the way Tani lived…The Tani Way. The memories and the songs that will be sung by all Tani’s friends will try to give to everyone of us the direction, a reminder of where we must go.

And perhaps in order to give a small example, I will quote from words spoken by Tani’s beloved sister, Yael, at her eulogy to him here at Hartman, 7 years ago.
“Tani, I don’t really know what to say when my little brother goes. How do I get up in the morning? What to think about when I walk down the street? These feelings spread about in the body and sink in the heart like a stone. I always told you that there are two ways to life. If you have a situation in life you can either manage to deal with it in two ways: either positively “Sababa!” or negatively: “Basa”. We are going to try to manage this your loss in the most “Sababa” way we possibly can manage, exactly like I used to tell you to do.”

Tani, in spite

Yoni Blum

Aloha loved ones
Thinking about you all the time especially in high happy moments…may this warmth,love and positive energy help you through the vortex of life !!!
Once again guy’s ,love you dearly please send my love hugs and kisses to everybody. Stay strong ,happy and healthy as much as possible ,anything you need i’m always here for you!!!!!
With you all the time

Sigal Steinberg

תני, חברי.
מן העולם הפיזי- הנתינה הפיזית, הגופנית, כמה חיים נצלו מתוכך ממש, ולאחר מכן תמונתך על גבי החוברת לתרומת איברים. בזכות החיוך שלך המרוח שם.

דרך העולם השכלי- הלימודים, בתחילה על ידי מגי וג’רי, מיכה, יעל דבורה ואביחי, דרך חברים, מורים או סתם מלקטי מעשים טובים, פרח וגדל לו בשנים האחרונות המרתני, עד שהוא נתפס כמובן מאליו. מאות ילדים ומבוגרים לומדים ומלמדים, ומקבלים ונותנים. מקיימים עולם.
יש בי איזו תחושת גאווה כאשר ילד מספר לי על חווית לימודיו במרתני, מנגנון שהוא טריוויאלי בשבילו, ואני מכירה את המוח שמאחורי המנגנון, את המשפחה של תני. כאשר אותו ילד מגלגל בלשונו את המילה “מרתני” ואני רוצה לומר לו שאתה, תני, לא “מרתני”, אתה היית איתי בגדוד.

גם בעולם הרוחני- לרקוד אתכם, ג’רי ומגי, בחתונות של חברים מהגדוד, להרגיש את השמחה המלאה שלכם, את שמחת החיים שלכם. זוהי הרגשה של אותו זוהר רקיע, כמעט נגיעה בכסא הכבוד.

המשפחה שלך שיוצרת רצון להיות חלק משרשרת הנתינה, מהמערכת האקולוגית הזו של נתינה.

יש עוד אלפי דברים, פעוטים ועצומים, שהייתי רוצה לשוחח איתך עליהם. הייתי רוצה לשאול אותך מה דעתך על אובמה. הייתי רוצה להתייעץ איתך האם יותר חשוב לחזק את המפלגות הגדולות, או אולי ללכת עם הלב ולהצביע לאילו שכמעט אין להם סיכוי. הייתי רוצה להתלבט איתך איזו תפילה יותר נכונה לחניכי הצופים.

תני, לפני 7 שנים הבטחנו לקחת אותך לכל מקום שאנו הולכים. אנו משתדלים לעמוד במילה שלנו. אתה תישאר לנצח בגיל 17 ושלושה חודשים. אך אותו כח עצום שהמשפחה שלך מזרימה רק ילך ויגדל, ללא יכולת צמצום, ללא אפשרות עצירה. טוב שהולך ונערם.

דע שהם שומרים עלינו. דע שלשרשרת כל הזמן נוספות חוליות. דע כמה טוב מופץ בעולם. דע שאנו לנצח אוהבים אותך.

Billy Morell, Tani’s cousin

Feb. 19, 2009
Dear Goodmans… these are times when distance is most keenly felt… and when the moment lingers so firmly it becomes its own memory to be stitched onto its ancestors.

Today, at the moment you gathered at Tani’s grave, the passing of 7 years must have seemed an endless instant. And all of us so far away… a part of the moment only by intention and prayer and kinship and love, but not by reassuring touch and sight. Another keenly felt absence at your side…and ours.

I have thought so often today of you all.

Tani’s memory is so strong a blessing it conquers distance and time and, in some small way, longing. So I pray.


Meg Gardiner Shreve, Tani’s cousin

Dearest Maggie and Jerry,
We’re thinking of you all and especially of Tani today. I am remembering him with his cool and generous smile at Micah and Zippy’s wedding!

Kathy Ramseur, Tani’s aunt

San Antonio, Texas
Dearest loved ones,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you this day as they have been all month.

Mark Ramseur, Tani’s Cousin

San Antonio, Texas
Maggie and Jerry,
We will say a prayer on Thurs. We love you very much.
Mark Ramseur

Tom Ramseur, Tani’s cousin

San Antonio, Texas
Maggie and Jerry,
I’m so sorry that I can’t be there to celebrate Tani’s life with you guys. You are in our prayers.

Barbie Love, Tani’s cousin

Springfield, Ill.
Feb. 14, 2009
thank you for the reminder… we will be thinking of you all and especially remembering Tani during this time…
Sending you all my love,


Feb. 19th, 2009
Dear Maggie and Jerry…
I just wanted to reach out and tell you I am thinking of you, today,
on the 7th anniversary of Tani leaving us…
I was just looking at his website at the pictures and memories and
recalling my own memories of my sweet,
beloved cousin. Though I saw him infrequently I miss him so!! And I
can only imagine the grief you all must feel
and continue to feel as you miss him every day. I often think of
Jerry and how he told me it feels like Tani is still
living because he is so very present in the family. I want you to
know I remember Tani and love him still, and he has
touched so very many people and they love and remember him as well…
he truly does live on…
I am thinking of you all and sending all my love…

Gerry and Steven Korda

Montreal, Canada
Dear Maggie and Jerry,

As always, please know that we will be thinking about you. We wish that we could be with you at this time to offer you our sympathies and any comfort that we possibly can give.

It seems to us that Tani´s memory not only is a blessing to all, but also a great source of strength for all who knew him and even to those that were not fortunate enough to have met him.

We hope that the family and friends that are present will be a comfort for
you on Thursday.

We send our love to you and to all the family and look forward to seeing you soon.

Gerry and Steven

Maia and Ofer Kedar

Cupertino, CA
Feb. 2009
Dearest Goodman family,

We are far in miles, but think of you all often. This year we lit a candle and read thru the Tani site and browsed thru the photos – his memory is blessed and he will always be in our hearts.
We love you and miss you very much.

Maia, Ofer, Yaeli, Michali and Shira

Dearest Mags and Jerry – you and Tani and the family are always in our thoughts and prayers, may his mamory be blessed, and may you have peaceful and loving days.
Dash and kisses to all and extra hugs to the babies,

Missing you a whole lot in California,
Maia, Ofer, Yaeli, Michali and Shira

Nomi Nachmias

Feb. 20, 2009
“Of Songs and Friends”
Dear Maggie and Jerry
what a moving and wonderful tribute to Tani z”l by his loving friends.
The glimpses of his life with them, the stories, the music – truly a blessing.
After seven years – two things really stand out for me – especially as someone
who never had the good fortune of ever meeting your son Tani – but has only learned about
him over the years..
First, that at 17.3 years of life he understood and reached emotional, cognitive levels that many of us strive toward but never attain. Everyone he met and knew he touched in some magical way – what Micha called years ago “the Tani Way”. And then – from the pictures – the fun-loving boy, always surrounded by friends, family and nature – probably the three things he loved most – and not in that order.
The second is how your dear family perpetuates his memory in a dynamic and living way through all the good works.
I never met him – yet I feel I know who he was and what he stood for and it gives me strength.
Isn’t it always that way – we try to comfort you – but it is you who give us comfort and strength .
May all of your family and Tani’s friends go from strength to strength. Yehi Zicrho Baruch.
shabbat shalom

Yoni Blum

Honolulu, Hawaii
Aloha loved ones

Thinking about you all the time especially in high happy moments…may this warmth,love and positive energy help you through the vortex of life !!!
Once again guy’s ,love you dearly please send my love hugs and kisses to everybody. Stay strong ,happy and healthy as much as possible ,anything you need i’m always here for you!!!!!

With you all the time

Brian and Sue Gilbert

Dearest Maggie & Jerry,

Just a belated note from your friends in England:

Our thoughts are with you and your family today – we send our love and good wishes to you all, and join with all your friends in honouring the memory of your beloved Tani.

Brian & Sue xxx

Debbie Kapp and Family

Toronto, Canada
We are thinking of you today and sending our love out to you.

As always,
Debbie, Neil, Jana and Jackie
we love you
Mark and Amanda Gilbert

Dearest Maggie and Jerry,
Amanda’s and I send you both all our love and our thoughts are with you for Thursday.
Mark x
Mark Gilbert

Arlene Yakov

So sorry that I can’t be with you, I am working, you will be in my thoughts.

Love, Arlene

Barry and Paula Izenstein

Longmeadow, Mass.
We will be there in spirit as always. And Yaakov’s is the 21st. More of that later.


Bunim and Pricha.

Robert and Carine Kleinman

We are thinking of you and Maggie and the family today on Tani’s 7th yarzheit.

Carine and Robert

Yaffa Bernstein

New York
Hi Maggie, Jerry & All,

I’m writing from New York – I’m here with my husband, having moved here in November for a few years.
I just wanted to tell you that I am thinking about all of you – and especially about Tani – this week. It’s hard for me to believe that I will not be at his azkara this year, and probably not for the next two or three years also. I did go visit him on Har Hamenuchot before we left Israel, but that is still not the same as being at the azkara with so many others who loved him.
I am far away now, but hugging each one of you. Just know that I will be with you in spirit at the azkara.

much love,
Yaffa (Jessica) Bernstein