Dear Sara Gutnick,
My name is Gloria Lupas (nee Dubin) and I am writing to you about the many fond memories I have of your whole family and your father in particular. My parents are David and Doris Dubin, z”l, and my grand-parents are Sam and Ida Bloomberg, z”l. Our family felt very close to yours and I fondly remember your father coming to our house for my father to sign the Yeshiva’s cheques. For such occasions, my father would put on a yarmulke which he kept handy in a drawer near the front door. I truly believe that my father, in his later years, became frum through your father’s kind influence.
Your father also came many Motzei Shabbos to my Bobeh Ida’s house to discuss how to raise funds for the Yeshiva. They would discuss bazaars and “Governors’ Dinners” and I fondly remember these exciting annual events. Naming my Bobeh Ida “Mother of the Yeshiva” was very touching for me. Also, to this very day, I treasure the bencher I have from your parents’ wedding.
Your family, with your father and mother at the head, had a profound influence on me. You contributed greatly to the frumkeit in my heart and the beautiful frum family that my husband and I have created, largely through your influence. Brought up in a traditional (not Shomer Shabbos) home and having studied at Hebrew Academy (then Adath Israel School), I always wanted to become religious, with your warm home as a glowing example. Your father and mother were never judgemental; their heart-warming frumkeit spoke for itself.
Your parents were invited to all our family simchas. I fondly recall that, at eight years old, at my sister’s wedding in 1958, I insisted to eat only kosher sardines in the can because that was all your parents would eat!
Years later, I met my future Chosson, Thomas. Your father, who took care of all our religious needs, of course arranged for Thomas’ Aufruf at the Yeshiva. Thomas had had very little exposure to Judaism; therefore I taught him the Brachot for his Aufruf, transliterating them into English. On the special day of his Aliyah, Thomas was very nervous; he had not stepped into a Shul since his Bar Mitzvah in Romania 14 years before! Rabbi Kramer kindly reassured him and told him to repeat each word of the Aliyah LaTorah after him. However, there was one problem: Rabbi Kramer did not pronounce the words as I had taught Thomas, since I taught him with modern Hebrew pronunciation! At the first את, (es, et), Thomas proclaimed: “That’s not how Gloria taught me! She said ‘et’.” Rabbi Kramer looked at Thomas kindly and answered: “If that’s how Gloria taught you, then it’s fine. Do it how Gloria taught you.” How wise and sweet was that answer! I have tears in my eyes to this day, thinking how this great Rabbi said to say it my way, not his way.
Years later, my dear beloved mother passed away on Shabbos, June 1, 1996. I was frum at the time and living in Toronto. The minute Shabbos was over, I frantically phoned your mother to ask her to please make sure that my mother got the proper Tahara. Little did I know that your mother would perform the Tahara herself on my mother, her friend! That meant so much to me and I will never ever forget it!
Another fond memory of how our families are so intertwined, is that your dear mother, upon hearing that my daughter Michali was going to learn in seminary in Eretz Yisroel for a year, insisted that Michali phone your brother Yossef in Tzfat. Yossef, who greatly resembles your dear father, immediately invited Michali and a friend for Shabbos. The warmth and radiance of his home made this such a memorable Shabbos for my daughter and her friend.
I am also so touched that your mother calls me whenever she comes to Toronto, inviting me to her grand-children’s simchas. Your dear mother is very special to me.
Hashem has blessed me and my now frum and learned husband. Thomas learns Gemara every night, does Siyums and always davens with a Minyan, even leading the davening occasionally! Baruch Hashem, we have beautiful frum children (two live in Eretz Yisroel) and frum grand-children who study in Yeshivas and Bais Yaacov. I truly feel that your father and mother are Shaliachs-Hashem, helping Jews, such as my family, to embrace the beauty of frumkeit through their warm, heartfelt influence.
-Gloria Lupas (nee Dubin)