Tears

Tonight — Shabbos, the 26th of Tammuz — is the fourth yahrzeit of my father, R’ Nachman Bulman zt’l.

I spoke to my mother today shortly before Shabbos (her time) and she told me that she had gone to my father’s kever earlier in the day, together with my brothers, my sister, and many other relatives and friends who live in Israel.

“The taxi driver cried all the way to the cemetery,” she told me. Why? “He was listening to the news. They were talking about the funerals of three Jewish soldiers. He kept wiping his eyes with a tissue, the whole time.”

When my father was alive, I used to ask him his opinion about everything. If it was a Torah subject then, as far as I was concerned, his opinion was da’as Torah — he saw the world through the eyes of Torah.

These last few weeks there have been so many issues I would have liked to ask him about.

But I know what he would have done with today’s news — a young soldier, married three weeks ago, buried today in Eretz Yisrael. He would have done the same thing the taxi driver did.

He would have wept.

May the day soon come when “all tears will be wiped away.”

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7 comments to Tears

  • Rabbi Daniel Olgin

    Toby,

    Thank you for the post. I was a talmid of your father in Ohr Lagolah 96-98 and I learned so much from him, both in the classroom and in our personal talks. I was terribly saddened at his petira and I miss his da’as Torah.
    May his neshama have an aliyah and may he be a melitz yosher for you and Klal Yisrael.

    Rabbi Daniel Olgin
    Cleveland

  • Baruch Horowitz

    Just a quick comment before Shabbos:

    I met your father a few times, but actually, my parents knew him much better, as he had introduced them to each other. I also find myself thinking about what he would say in different situations. I think myself, based on a certain interaction that I had with him (which I can e-mail if you wish) that he would emphasize to the current generation that the Jewish people need Gedolie Torah, as the Jewish people can not survive without leaders.

    I read your article linked below. One point which struck me was ” My father was an Agudist, but an unusual one: He had a sympathetic view of Mizrachi and a deep appreciation for the writings of Rav Kook.”

    I don’t have any particular connection to Mizrachi, but in the broader sense, it is enlightening that one can be part of a particular group and still maintain some individuality, flexibility and (appropriate) non-conformity.

    I also echo the last sentence in the current post.

  • mycroft

    I only had the pleasure of hearing Rabbi Bulman A”H a few times-but he was certainly an articulate spokesman. Those who had the pleasure of knowing him better have commented on his gadlus that was lost and as a person-see eg it might be worth repeating Rabbi Ellison’s comments on Rabbi Bulman when he was growing up in Virginia.

  • yitz

    Hi Toby, I was with your mother, brothers, sister, nephews and fellow talmidim of Rav Bulman at the cemetery on Friday, and I expressed to your mother and brothers that we need Rav Bulman’s tefillos now more than ever, he should be a Meilitz Yosher for all of us, especially here in Artzeinu HaKedosha.
    Zechuso yagein Aleinu!

  • Eliyahu & Shaindl Barocs

    Hi Toby,

    There isn’t a day that goes by without our having some fond memory of your dear father. It’s hard to believe that it has been 4 years. He was a most important part of our lives, adn that of many others, and we were blessed to be a part of the community. His love for Eretz Yisrael was tangible. May he be a Melitz Yosher for all of us.

    Kol Tov,
    Eliayhu and Shaindl

  • Saul Mashbaum

    Toby and her family know of Rav Bulman\’s greatness better than anyone, but many others recognized it as well. This is because he dedicated his life to others, sharing his outstanding qualities – his erudition, his profundity, his eloquence – with his congregants and talmidim.

    His loss is indeed keenly felt in these most dificult times. Yhei zichro baruch.