Dear Aish Family,
I mentioned to someone in the United States that Aish HaTorah lost one of the pillars of our movement when Rabbi Eric Most passed away at the young age of 46. A few hours later he called and said that he googled Rabbi Eric Most but did not find very much information. I replied that is because of the fact that his greatness lay in his humility. In a world where most of us are obsessed with seeing our name and adding up how many “friends” we have, Rabbi Most quietly set an example for all of us to follow.
Eric, as we all called him, did not start his career as a Rabbi. He was a brilliant lawyer who practiced environmental law in a major New York firm. Eric started to learn Torah at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah and could not stop, eventually becoming a staff member.
Eric brought his incredible organizational skills to the Aish HaTorah Dan Family World Center where he helped coordinate learning classes for hundreds of groups. His attention to detail was legendary and he did it all with a smile.
Almost ten years ago, Eric fell ill. He went through many rough patches throughout the years, yet he never stopped coordinating groups at Aish. I don’t think any of the program heads were aware that they were getting emails many times from Eric’s bed at Hadassah hospital. I have never known a more giving man.
A year ago, Eric apologized to me that he was not on top of the bookings they way he wanted to be because his laptop kept shutting down. We immediately bought him a new one. He made sure that I knew that he would have made due with his old laptop and that when he mentioned the issue to me he was not asking for a new one. Rather, he just wanted to explain what was delaying some of his emails. I have never known a more selfless man.
I once emailed Eric to call me when he had a chance. He emailed me back with a profuse apology that he was in the hospital and had a tube in his throat. He was so sorry that he could not call me right away. I have never known a more thoughtful man.
Although Eric suffered much over the years, he never once complained. He
was strengthened by his amazing wife, Naomi Rivka and their three children who were more precious to him than all the gold in the world. I have never known a more loving man.
Although the Aish family has suffered a terrible blow, we will carry on and continue the holy work of Rabbi Eric Most. May the Almighty comfort and strengthen us. May we all learn the lesson of humility and focus on others.
Warm regards and good shabbos!