A couple of weeks ago, our kehillah was plunged into mourning when we learned of the sudden passing of Reuben Kahn, a longtime friend and member of our community.
Although Reuben was not young in age, he was young in spirit, with an effervescent quality that warmed the hearts of children, teenagers, and young adults alike.
He was affectionately referred to as our “Kohen Gadol,” because he was a kohen, and because he was quite tall. On Yomim Tovim, when Reuben went up to the bimah for Birkas Kohanim and his booming voice filled the shul, we all felt enveloped by his good wishes. Most importantly, however, as my husband pointed out in his eulogy, Reuben was a real gadol, a person of greatness. Everyone who met him felt embraced by his warmth, wide smile and genuine caring.
People from near and far called to express their deep sadness that Reuben was gone. He and his wonderful wife, Julie, had enjoyed more than 60 years together. Their children and grandchildren all remarked on the tremendous love and respect they had for one another. The large crowds at the levayah, the kevurah and shivah attested to the mark this man had left on all who knew him.