Rabbi Kramer Found Us

I grew up in Montreal, as a secular Jew, though highly identified. My Father A”H was always involved with the Jewish community and very active in fundraising, especially for Jewish youth and for Israel. I moved away in 1967 and though I went back frequently to visit, I never moved back. Somewhere around 1975, my husband and I became Baalei Teshuva and so got connected with the Lubavitcher community in Montreal in order to handle Shabbosim when we went home. My Father suddenly passed away on Yud Ches Kislev in December 1984 in Montreal. My good friend here in LA was close to Esther Shneur, Rabbi Kramer’s daughter and so she called her asking her to help me at that terrible time. Esther made herself available then, babysat for my then 6 year old during the funeral and helped in so many other ways. I knew that we needed to have a kosher burial though my Mom A”H and siblings didn’t think it necessary. I don’t remember exactly how Rabbi Kramer “found” us, but somehow he became very involved in helping not only with the funeral preparations, but also the shiva. Since some of the shiva was during Chanukah, he made sure that we had a Sefer Torah, helped with the minyan and in general rescued me who was the sole person in my family who felt that doing things according to Halachah was critically important. My gratitude doesn’t end there but extends even further as several months later my Mother A”H was trying to organize the unveiling of the matzeivah on her own. (My sister and I live in Los Angeles, one brother in Toronto… and a Montreal brother to whom this didn’t really hold a lot of meaning then) My Mother arranged with some Rabbi to come to the cemetery and help, but at that critical moment, he didn’t show up. Again I have no idea of how Rabbi Kramer “found” us, but somehow, he was there, organizing, facilitating, managing and in general, “running the show”. He was sensitive, never casting aspersion on the other Rabbi, compassionate to my Mom and the rest of the family, gentle and caring. He was appropriate in his remarks, knowing things to say about my Father that I’m not sure how he found out, but then it was consistent with his just being there in every way during the funeral, shiva and at the unveiling. Maybe he had ruach hakodesh — it wouldn’t surprise me. I will never forget his kindness and be forever grateful to him for taking such good care of my family and me during this very difficult time.